Along with multiple attackers, being attacked with a weapon is pretty much your worst self-defense nightmare. A weapon certainly adds more danger to a self-defense situation, but it may be dealt with if you keep your defenses simple. You do not need defenses that are complicated to carry out because they may fail and leave in a worse condition than before.
To defend against bludgeon type weapons, you use basically the same techniques used in unarmed fighting. A bludgeon is only a threat when it is swung and the direction of the swing is difficult for the attacker to change once it is started. You may grab a bludgeon without harm.
You have practically no defense against a firearm that is out of arm range other than talking. At an arm range, you must grab and control a firearm as you eliminate the attacker. You know where the threat of a firearm is, it is the pointed end with the hole. You can grab a firearm. As long as the hole points in a safe direction, it cannot harm you.
Defending against a knife is more difficult than against a firearm, because it has more areas that may harm you. A knife may be used to stab, cut on both sides, cut on the forward and backward stroke, thrust, lunge, or slash, and it cannot be safely grabbed. When faced with a knife, you have four movement choices: retreat, lateral inside close, lateral outside close, and pass by. Each of these initial movements allows you to shorten the distance between you and your opponent. Once you get close, you can apply the defense of your choice. This movement may also be used against bludgeons and firearms.
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