Podcast Episode 61: Interview with Maija Soderholm

I had a great time doing an interview with Maija Soderholm for the podcast. We got to talk about Arnis and Filipino martial arts, knives, knife design, her books, her views on martial arts and self-defense, and of course, what it was like to train with her teacher, Maestro Sonny Umpad.

In the bonus episode on Patreon, she answers questions from my Patrons and she also shows us her new knife design.


The links mentioned in this episode:

Thanks for listening!

Like, share and leave a review!

You can support the podcast in various ways right here

Subscribe to the podcast and automatically get the latest episode:




How to block a knife attack

As you know, I’m working on a book on self-defense against the knife. By the way, I’m still looking for people who want to share their story about that (anonymous if they prefer.)

What often comes up in my research is that people fall victim to some misconceptions and myths about the techniques you can use when somebody tries to stab you with a blade. One of these is that you should try to “block the knife attack”. I’m not claiming it’s impossible because I know people who’ve done just that but I am going to say that there are good and bad ways of going about it. Not to put a fine point (hahaha) on it, do you want to know how to block a knife attack? Not like this guy did..

how to block a knife attack

How to block a knife attack? Not like this...


The irony of this picture is of course the tattoo on his chest. Seems like somebody wanted to test that theory…

Back on track.

There are numerous ways of defending against a knife attack and they all have their value. Some are better than others. Some are worthless in my opinion. And then there’s everything in between. That said, however “bad” you may judge a technique to be, there is only one factor that determines its worth in the end: did it work or not? [Read more…]

Knife Fight in Beijing

Dave sent me this video of a knife fight in Beijing. Take a look first:


Here’s what I see happening:

  • They’re having trouble trying to kill each other. There’s posturing, talking (to the other guy and also the girl who might be involved in the whole thing), pauses, etc. throughout the whole knife fight. More on this in a bit. [Read more…]

Review: Put ‘em down, Take ‘em out ! Knife fighting techniques from Folsom prison by Don Pentecost

Here’s another look at an older review: “Put ‘em down, Take ‘em out ! Knife fighting techniques from Folsom prison” by Don Pentecost. I re-read this book and only slightly added things to the review.

Knife fighting has been a topic of debate for a long time. Many people, especially in the Martial arts, claim to teach techniques that work against the blade. Unfortunately, few instructors seem to have ever been in a knife fight. As a result, their techniques are sometimes very peculiar. I was intrigued by the book title, as the author seemed to offer experience from a place where cutting and stabbing is part of daily life. So it was with high interest that I read this book.

Mr. Pentecost starts his book by making some clear comments : Determination is more important than technique, be in the right mind set and learn to control adrenaline and fear. As a starting point on knife fighting, there are worse things to be said.

Don Pentecost shows what a real knife attack looks like

Don Pentecost shows what a knife attack looks like.

He goes on to kill off some popular myths concerning the use of knives in real encounters: Leading with the knife, facing off, the paralyzed arm, etc. All of these points are very important and the author explains clearly why these are myths. Pointing this out might seem useless to more experienced practitioners, but keep in mind that most people get their information on violence through television and movies. Unfortunately, these media offer a distorted view of reality and the repetitive effect of it will only reinforce this information on those who don’t have real fighting experience.
[Read more…]