The 360 exercise is a knife defense drill. The knife attack must come from top to bottom, bottom to top and the sides. The defense against knife attacks in a direct line is another technique which is not included in the 360 exercise. You have to imagine yourself facing a circle which represents all the directions in which an attack can come.

The logic is simple. You arm which is closer to the knife is going to defend while the other is counter-attacking.

  • The defending arm must be bent at 90 degrees to block the arm of your aggressor. Use your arm which is on the same side or the knife. It might hurt a bit but is it better than being fully reached by the knife. The angle of the arm is really important because if it is not making a perpendicular angle there’s a risk that his arm will slide onto your body side.
  • Your other arm must counter-attack. Yes, I said must. Statistics and videos of knife attacks have shown that an aggressor will rarely attack just on time. On contrary, they tend to stab you 5 to 20 times. Blocking an attack will have no effect besides keeping you alive for a few seconds more unless you attack him at the same time. Reaching for the chin is the best option if you can. Otherwise, do what seems you best. This attack is what will create an opportunity to launch a series of attack until he is not a danger anymore or until you can take control of the knife.

A few important points:

  • Look at how the aggressor is holding the knife. It will give you a hint of what kind of attack you’re dealing with. If the pointy edge is facing down then it usually means that it’s gonna be an attack from “above” to your head or chest. If the knife is pointing up then it’s probably going to be an attack coming from under to your belly or body side. Of course, if he is hiding the knife it’s more difficult to guess. In that case, it is better to step back
  • When the attack comes from above, the defending arm might not be sufficient to keep the knife from touching your head. That’s why it might be interesting to place your head under your arm when defending. The same is happening when it comes from under. It might hurt you, to put more space squat a little. It will create some space between the blade and your middle body. These scenarios are more frequent with a long knife and when your arms are shorter

Once you perfectly perform the 360 defenses, you can improve your skills with some more advanced exercises:

  • The defender is closing his eyes. The attacker sends a signal to the defender to open his eyes and immediately attacks with a random 360 knife attack.
  • The defender and the attacker are both sitting back to back.