Dan Inosanto and the Tueller drill

I heard of this a long time ago but never saw the actual video. So I’m glad to finally see Dan Inosanto wielding a knife on police officers to illustrate the lessons from the Tueller drill. Props to TDA Training for the find.

A lot has been said about the Tueller drill already so I won’t rehash it all here. Just some thoughts:

  • If you’d like some more background, here’s an interview with Sergeant Dennis Tueller on his drill back then and his thoughts on it now.
  • I like what he said about movement, looking for cover, obstacles, etc. These are all concepts you consistently find in traditional martial arts that have kept their original knowledge. Nil novi sub sole, I guess.
  • When you look at Dan Inosanto in the clip, notice how he sticks his hand in his pocket to take out the knife. That should be your cue to act. Every time a hand goes out of sight or you can’t see what’s in it, you should expect it to either hold or go for a weapon.
  • A key issue many people seem to miss is that the Tueller Drill points out the importance of controlling the distance when you’re close and not only when you want to stay at 21 feet or more. Either you have to be far enough to react with a fight stopping response (i.e. shoot the guy) or you have to be close enough to stop him from getting his knife out. It’s this being close part that people tend to overlook. There’s more to it than meets the eye but it can work very well. More on that another time.
  • Notice how smoothly Mr. Inosanto goes from rushing the LEO to recognizing the target as it opens up and slashing the officer’s exposed throat cleanly. Doing that as you’re sprinting forward full speed is not as easy as he makes it look.
Dan Inosanto Tueller Drill

Dan Inosanto shows a police officer what a knife can do in under two seconds…

A lot of bullshit has been said about knives in general and the Tueller drill in particular. I usually don’t comment all that much because this is a topic that brings the keyboard warriors out of the woodwork. But it was cool to finally see this video with Dan Inosanto after having heard of it for so long.

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  1. Wim:

    Amazing the ignorance on this subject. I wrote a piece on knife defense some weeks ago that got reposted to reddit. Some of the the responses were so jaw-dropping in their denial of reality they didn’t merit a response.

    Anyway, thanks for the brief but insightful response. Nathan at TDA is having a series of guest posters in to write about the video and the Tueller drill itself next week. Should be interesting.


    Martial Arts Spectrum

  2. Hello Craig,

    I found the post you mentioned on reddit (Link below) I was just wondering what you thought was so ignorant in the post. I read through all of the comments and while a couple didn’t sit well with me I didn’t think any seemed “jaw-dropping in their denial of reality”.

    I’m not sure if people posted on your blog and you didn’t approve their comments or actual comments in reddit and was just wondering what you thought was so bad.



    • Johnny:

      It was meant a passing comment and not a conversation starter. However, I’ll try to give you the short answer.

      I accept what I consider “jaw-dropping” may not merit that label in someone else’s eyes. That said…

      One guy who tried to comment on my blog went on a rant about how I was “anti-hapkido” and had no business commenting on hapkido knife defense since I’d never studied the system, and that if I had done so I would know how effective hapkido is against knife attacks. (I didn’t post his comment because of the profanity and the unkind things he said about my mother.) Jawdropping denial of reality.

      In the reddit comment thread, the issue of handgun deployment against a knife came up. One poster made reference to the Tueller test (although indirectly and not by name), prompting at least one response that implied that failure to get your service weapon deployed in the face of a knife attack meant you hadn’t trained enough in weapon deployment. Jawdropping denial of reality.

      If you want to discuss this further, I invite you to comment on my original article: http://blog.spotsybba.com/2011/03/your-knife-defense-could-get-you-killed.html . I promise I’ll publish your comment as long as you don’t curse me out or say bad things about mom :^) . It’s not that this is off topic for the thread, but I’d rather discuss my article (and the comments to it) on my blog rather than Wim’s.





  3. Wow, thanks for sharing. I didn’t know that Dan Inosanto was into this as well. This is a rare find.

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