Edged Weapon Training for Survival

Edged Weapon Training

Intelligent Approach for How to Survive a Knife or Edged Weapon Scenario

This course focuses on tactics which will mitigate the risks in a scenario where an edged weapon is in play. This is a golden rule:

Non-police staff should not be expected to deal with any incident involving a weapon.

The logic is simple in that if the police were called and told that you there is a person with a weapon who is trying to hurt themselves or others, then the police despatch will send the appropriately trained and equipped officers to the scene.   The argument has always been that if you and your team do not have an arsenal of weapons and equipment to approach someone with a knife or edged weapon, then staff should not be expected to confront the person. However, where we have teams of contact professionals working with people in Mental Health, Anti-Social Behaviour, Security or Enforcement roles, there is a risk that they may be engaging with people who could, unexpectedly and unforseen by even a competent risk assessment, produce blades or edged weapons into a scenario. It is just possible that a knife or other edged weapon might be introduced into a situation even though it was never expected by the people who went into the interaction.

TRAINING PROCESS for SURVIVAL versus a Knife or Edged Weapon

Our training is designed to help staff to carefully and safely approach and address the risks of a bladed weapon assault.  The training process passes through several phases, starting with simple skills about how to reduce the effectiveness (lethality) of an assailant’s slashing, stabbing and thrusting movements with the blade which anyone can learn in a few hours of dedicated and focussed practice with a qualified and professional trainer. Next, our learners begin to explore both instinctive protective behaviours which are integral to their body’s survival system and also the assailant’s predictable behaviours as we attempt to reduce the lethal effectiveness of their use of the edged weapon. We progress through stages of training which help the learners to get a feeling of control and ‘relative comfort’ with what is happening, gradually allowing them to explore their options for bringing the situation into relative safety. This training course is quite intense and requires hours of work, however we achieve excellent results – in safety – by carefully replicating the process and the pressure of real knife assaults so that we achieve the best training fidelity possible and send our trainees back to their workplace with a greater degree of confidence that they can positively influence the outcome of a situation where an edged weapon appears.



  • Issues in Dealing with an Edged Weapon (the 5 paradoxes)
  • Risk Management and Understanding Duty Of Care
  • Understanding Reasonable Force in a Knife Assault
  • The mechanics of blade usage and mitigating damage
  • Physical Skills:  The blade as a Weapon of Intimidation
  • Physical Skills:  The blade in Motion
  • Physical Skills:  The concealed blade
  • Physical Skills:  The compound assault with blade
  • After-action issues

For a full and thorough treatment of our approach to training for Edged-Weapon Survival, please read the article here:


This advance-level training will enable your staff with the knowledge, skills and judgement to be able to understand and deploy tactics which increase their survivability during any incident where an edged weapon is in play.  Our courses are always tailored for their specific target context and client group.  

Our team is experienced in training teams working with vulnerable people of all kinds in healthcare, social care, psychiatric, security and hospital environments.

When: 1 to 2 Days based on your identified needs and scheduled for your convenience

Who:  Groups of up to 12 staff are led by each Dynamis trainer (larger groups by request).  Any staff who have completed self-defence, breakaway or physical restraint training to a competent standard can all benefit from this training which is tailored for your environment.

Where:  Training is held at your venue

How:  Our trainers deliver this course using a mix of lecture/presentation, Q&A, physical practice and scenario rehearsal.

Why:  Matched to your needs      Led by Professional Trainers      Legally Audited      Fully Risk-Assessed      Values Dignity and Respect     Safeguards Client rights      Offers Staff Practical Options      Compliant with Government Regulations      Value for Your Investment

Recommended Related Courses: Conflict Management or Personal Safety training, or both depending on your risk level. Please contact us to gain access to our online Physical Intervention, Control and Restraint, Safe Holding and Conflict Management Training Needs Analysis tools.

CAN’T THEY JUST RUN AWAY? Sometimes, yes, there is the opportunity to run away, but only in very specific circumstances.  Here is a famous video regarding the “21ft rule” which has been around for an awful long time in the world of tactics.   It shows the process by which we found the concept now known as the ‘reactionary gap’.  Please ignore the focus on firearms here as the important information is in looking at the reaction times. https://youtu.be/rytJweALgqw I have written (in my book on Lone Worker Safety) about the use of fine and complex motor skills during high stress moments and the effects of the 21ft rule which compound the problems.  I once set up a scenario exercise asking a lone worker to exit a room as I came charging out of my chair at him.   The exercise required him to turn 180-degrees and run for the door as fast as possible.  He never got to the running bit, not because I caught him, but because in an effort to turn around for the door as rapidly as possible, he tripped over himself and landed flat on the floor, hand forlornly extended out toward the door, 8 feet away.  This is a peculiar aspect of running as fast as your feet will carry you, in panic:  often you will try to run faster than your feet will carry you, and you will fall on the floor. Watch the video again.   Each subject is in ‘ambush range’ and each subject attempts to back away and or run, but none of them successfully manage to get to safety before the knife is on them.  Several of them are falling when the blade bites. Consider also that often in a situation where a blade is presented and used, the first thing anyone knows about it is that they are feeling a slightly different quality and placement of the hits on their body, and that someone in the confrontation is bleeding.  Sometimes it is when the person who was hit with the blade collapses from blood loss. Those who hope that staff can 1)  avoid every situation where there is a knife present and then 2) run away on presentation of the knife into the scenario are failing to think deeply enough about the actual problem.

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