The knifing in Chinatown should reinforce what we have been discussing on this forum all along , albeit, not universally accepted because of prejudice and perpetuating self delusions about our defensive martial arts skills ! I can hear the arguments and rationalizations already ..the Monday morning quarterbacking ..the Uechi v. kyusho v. "okuden" v. styles and systems ad nauseam ..the tactical mistakes and on and on ….
The cold facts of life are that when violence comes , it will be with blinding speed , surprise and cruelty ! By the carrying of knives , the fighters had 'mindset' long ago` to use them on living flesh without hesitation ! When you come up against such an explosive relentless attack which , seemingly, gets to you in between heart beats and you don't even become conscious of the knife until you have been stabbed a few times , you can junk all your martial arts training , I don't care what system you are currently selling, because it is your time to die ! Avoidance >> awareness ? sure ! But you will find, to your chagrin, that in most of these situations , it is easier said than done !
In the majority of the times you will be smack in the middle of it in the blink of an eye ..and, to your consternation, the lies, You have been feeding yourself and your students with>> about how great your style and your teachings are in dealing with the 'sudden' knife , will be kicking your backside as your blood spills ! Even as you attempt to flee , as David points out , you will be tripping on your feet , on passerby's , and your very own dying friends presenting a tantalizing target to the opposition !
As you commit to the confrontation you will have made your bed and you are going to lie in it , for better or for worse ! If you have any fantasies of dealing with a determined knife at pumping speed as you trip over your own two feet while trying to resurrect one of your 'formidable' techniques from under your high 'dan' ranks …you really need to see a shrink! Even with a concealed snub-nose .38 special firing from your pocket , you will probably still get stabbed ..even as you mortally wound the attacker ! Yeah , I know , lots of techniques out there by the enlightened ones , I am sure we are going to hear a few..maybe this is one 'demonstration ' for Sifu Mooney , and I mean no disrespect ..but I would be very impressed if he could stop them dead in their tracks with a look in a split second !
The obvious answer to this is to always enter the fight as expecting force of arms to be introduced and preparing yourself in "layered response" dimension , which , obviously , includes, martial prowess, as a 'minimum' component only ! Hey!..Where are the arguments ?