If you know the right moves …
When carrying a knife, that means having the potential to use it against any contact-distance attack that presents a danger of death or serious bodily injury.
The setup: Bat vs. Knife. The bat is powerful but slow, so you should have more time to react. A knife excels at cutting and puncturing, and with proper targeting has the capacity to sever muscles, tendons and nerves to instantly disable critical motor functions. Due to its small size, however, it has limited range and lacks the mass to be useful for weapon-to-weapon blocking.
The defense: Shoulder Stop. As soon as you see the attacker wind up, turn your body to the left—toward the incoming strike—and drive both arms straight out simultaneously. Your right fist—holding your knife—should target the attacker’s left triceps, while your left hand aims for his left forearm close to his elbow.
The crippling cuts: Once you’ve stopped his swing, step diagonally forward with your left foot as you grip his left arm with your left hand. As you do, drag your right hand downward to deliver a deep, disabling cut through his triceps muscle. At the bottom of the cut, thrust into the back of his left knee, turn your hand from palm down to palm up, and sink your body weight to cut the top of his calf with maximum power. Finally, sever the Achilles Tendon at the back of his ankle. Properly executed, these cuts will destroy the function of his lower leg and make it impossible for him to support weight on his left foot.
To see these cuts in action: Check out the September/October issue of Knives Illustrated!