Our world can feel like a dangerous place. The news lets us know about the various attacks in communities that feel like ours, making it scary even to leave your home.

A knife is one of the best self-defense tools you can bring with you for protection. Their legality is better than blunt weapons or firearms; they’re convenient to carry and can do a lot of damage when wielded by an experienced individual.

Most people back down when they see you’re armed. If that doesn’t happen, you can defend yourself by knowing the following information.

Select an Appropriate Knife

The best knives provide sharpness and balance. If you throw one, it should reach its target accurately while maximizing its impact. The hilt should feel comfortable, while the blade is light enough to wield strength while allowing you to operate with force.

Learn the Grip You Prefer

Several self-defense tactics and systems can show you multiple ways to hold a knife. All of them tend to follow the principles of two primary grips.

The forward grip is ideal for a shorter blade. You’ll grab it the same way you’d shake a person’s hand, keeping the thumb on the spine to ensure flexibility.

You can also use the reverse grip. It causes the edge to point outward, with the thumb coming around the handle or butt while the remaining fingers provide a secure grip. This option works well for a downward stabbing action.

Draw the Blade Correctly

If you use a fixed-blade knife for self-defense, ensure it points away from your body. Grasp the handle firmly and extend the weapon up and out to establish a strong defensive position.

Everyone will follow this course differently based on the knives they prefer, their physical movements, and even potential health issues that alter how joints move.

Counterstrike with Wisdom

When someone attacks you, use your knife for rapid counterstrikes. Each one needs to be fast and accurate to maximize your success. If someone attacks low, at your stomach, follow the attack with a long stride backward while stepping to the side. Bring the blade across the assailant’s forearm, aim down, and cut at this wrist. It could cause them to drop their weapon.

If someone strikes high, slash at the underside of the forearm instead, aiming at the wrist or forearm.

Stabbing should be avoided unless the attacker is wearing protective apparel.

Don’t Limit Your Options

You don’t need to use a knife, even if you have one. If the attacker is close, you can follow a slash with a knee, elbow, or upward chin strike to end the attack quickly. Mid-range self-defense could benefit from throwing stars or knives to maintain distance. If you must protect yourself from a long-range attacker, today’s best pepper sprays deliver a stream up to 20 feet.

Don’t switch your grip when working with a knife. Wield this tool as a last option, and always keep it in front of your body.