Knife Quick Draw Drills and Techniques

December 11, 20120 Comments

There are tons of instructional material out there on knife and weapons training.

Typically most of the information out there deals with material where a person have already drawn weapons and are in a “duel” type of environment… or it deals with how to respond against a knife attack (when armed or unarmed).

One of the often neglected areas of training is how to actually draw the knife from your primary and secondary carry sites (and also tertiary carry sites) when attacked, and do so under pressure.


A primary carry site for your knife may be your pocket where it can be easily reached with your dominant hand.

A secondary carry site could be a backup site such as your boot or inside your jacket.

A tertiary carry site is typically where you will reach for a weapon (in your desk drawer, on your shelf etc.)

This video on Knife Quick Draws by Coach Jim McCann will show you some of the things you ought to be aware of in your knife training. In this video Coach McCann discusses:

  • Why it’s important to practice drawing the knife (from your primary, secondary and tertiary carry sites)
  • How to get your weapon out and present the blade (using a “military X”)
  • How to use a stiff arm, clear your hip and get your weapon out against an incoming attacker
  • Rudimentary drawing techniques from standing, kneeling, on the ground etc.
  • A skill drill using a punching combination, to burpee, to drawing and presenting the blade.
  • Quick Draw Drills from standing, kneeling and on the ground against a target.
  • A Quick Draw Pressure drill with partner throwing wild punches. Objective being to draw the knife while someone is throwing punches at you.
  • Quick Draw Pressure drill with partner throwing punches where you end up on the ground. Objective here is to draw the knife while on the ground, cut an X and get back to your feet.
  • Another Quick Draw Pressure drill starting from the ground with partner being on top throwing punches at you. Objective is to defend, get the guy off, clear your hip to draw the weapon and present it against your opponent and get back to your feet.

These are just some of the basics you should know about how to draw a knife, along with some pressure drills you can add to your repertoire.  You can create your own drills to address other common positions you may end up in during a confrontation.

These drills can be made more complex by adding more pressure as well.

Please be careful and do NOT use live blades during training.

Use plastic knives (such as Sharkees) or dull training blades / folders, and also wear protective gear (eye protection and/or headgear and a mouth guard is recommended when doing partner drills).

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