You may not get the chance to get to your gun, knife, or another equalizer right away, so training your empty-hands (and footwork maneuvering) will be critical. Shut down the attack or mitigate the threat as early as possible.
In Pekiti-Tirsia Kali, there are a few ways to approach countering edged weapons per context.
Without giving a long-winded explanation – in PTK-SMF, we start our training with dynamic footwork and striking, then understanding the combat flow of weaponry, then onto tactics, sparring, and scenarios.
When you’re behind in timing of the attack in close range – especially empty-hands vs knife – you’ll need to make arm-to-arm contact to the weapon wielding arm when no other option of mitigating/eliminating the threat at distance is available, or there’s not enough time to leverage environment to protect yourself. So, it’s empty-hands you go.
The point is to quickly get offline, attack the attack and mitigate the threat as soon as possible - before overwhelming momentum of the attack is generated.
Footwork and maneuvering is critical, well, if you’re standing still can mean big trouble. Making maneuvering a priority along with *identifying threats* gives you the ability to get to a position of advantage before things get real ugly.
Maneuvering off the line of attack (and/or outside the arc of the weapon) decreases the attacker’s ability to make contact and takes away their timing advantage.
The counter-striking in the video (aka knife tapping) is based on the speed and power of edged weapon striking mechanics. It’s used to redirect, slow or oppose the attack, if not injure the arm of the assailant – all of which essentially require equal or greater force to ensure that the strike doesn’t continue to and through the intended target. So, strike the living HELL out of the attacking arm if possible.
This is also where I say to all firearms/EDC users: learn to fight if you ever want to get to your firearm. The same applies to any category of equalizer.
That said, never go empty-hand vs knife if you can help it.