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Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture
Triangle Choke Defense from Silat by Stephan Kesting

I’m going to let the cat out of the bag here! He’s talking about stabbing your way out.

A great video that makes the point – that is so often echoed here – that context is king!

We drill this and it makes for a very different type of ground fight. As the instructor, in regular sparring, you simply can shout out “the right fist of person on top is a knife” and hence all blows and scrapes with that gloved fist should be consisted as stabs and cuts. I also scatter soft items such as focus mitts on the matt that people can pick up and use as if they were bottles, rocks, glasses, etc. Again, it just adds in another element.

All the best,


PS Stephan Kesting has some great vidoes (YouTube Channel).

sarflondonboydonewell's picture

Very interesting but my view is there is no context ;  how did they both end up on the floor? Did it start as a fist fight? A robbery gone wrong? ; why didt the knife man pull the knife out when they were standing up? Was the person with the knife a mugger, street robber or just carries the knife for self protection in case he gets bumped. Because all will have the knife out straight away they will not wait until they are wrestled to the ground then try to get it out; normally the knife is hidden in the waist band under the bottom fold of a hoodie not a gi top. I would like to see the guy pull the knife from his waistband whilst wearing an oversize hoodie at least that would add some contextualization.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

I think we are using the word "context" to mean different things. The point I was making was that fighting on the floor in a consensual unarmed fight (context 1) is different from fighting on the floor when dealing with an armed criminal (context 2). That's the general point that Mr Kesting is making too.

It's not a roleplay or a reenactment of a specific situation. And you're right there are other things to consider too (for a full contextualisation), but I don't think that's the intent of the video. One single point is being made. They don't need to be in "street clothing" and have a full back story to make the generic point that weapons change things.

If they wanted to show how other factors also impact, then they would need to include those. 

All the best,


Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

I did something like this recently with a training partner, kind of impromptu ended up on the floor when playing with plastic knives, it was funny how much the "standard" grappling for position kind of went out the window when we were both paying attention to the knife in play. Really scary in some ways, horrible place to be with a bladed weapon!

Stuart Akers
Stuart Akers's picture

I don't honestly think it needs context (the dreaded word if you're a fan of scholagladiatoria).

What is fascinating is how quickly the dynamics changed from the the guy on the bottom being comfortable and in an excellent position to Ooops.