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.
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