Tactical Knife Carry


Todd Rassa

I am confident that most armed professionals and responsibly armed citizens are not only carrying a firearm but also a folding knife. In a moment of honesty we would acknowledge that not only do we carry our knife(s) as a utility tool but also as a secondary defensive tool – a back-up for our firearm. Keeping this in mind, we should re-visit where we carry the knife on our person. The purpose of this evaluation is not only to assure that we are maximizing our abilities to use it as a back-up tool to our primary self-defense tool but also to look at how much we are displaying our knife to the public.

I have noticed that the majority of people that carry both a firearm and a knife are carrying their “tactical folder” clipped into their strong side pocket. By doing this we are significantly increasing the risk of hampering, if not eliminating our ability to access the knife in the case of a gun grab. No matter from what direction the gun grab may originate, I believe that our first reaction is to clamp down with our dominant weapon side hand on top of the hand(s) of the attacker. Our main area of focus initially is the attacker’s hand(s) being on the weapon, whether in or out of the holster. We must not allow the attacker to gain control of our firearm our only thought! Once our brain processes the situation we will hopefully transition to some action to remove the attacker from our firearm and this response may involve the use of our other hand, feet, mouth, etc. If none of these work we may want to consider transitioning to our back-up self-defense tool, in an attempt to convince the attacker to stop his actions. If the knife is clipped into the strong side pocket and our strongest hand is clamped down on the attacker’s hand(s) we will be forced to reach across our body in the middle of a struggle to forcibly remove the knife from our pocket. We must also consider the possibility that we could be on the ground and possibly using the ground to assist us in pinning and retaining the firearm. In this case a knife withdrawal from a strong side pocket will be harder!

It is my suggestion that the knife be carried in the center of the body. Whether near the belt buckle or around the neck and hanging from a necklace sheath a “body center” carry position is accessible by either hand. This would be very beneficial in the situation described. It would still be easily accessible for all of the times that we deploy our knife for utility purposes. A body center carry position would also increase our concealment of the knife as the clip would be covered by a belt or a shirt. (Why do we show everyone that we are carrying an edged weapon and conceal our firearm?)

If you take my suggestion into consideration please understand that you must practice retrieving the knife with your support hand! In my
Defensive Knife and Pistol course this and many other knife and pistol tactics are taught. It is possible to safely and simultaneously handle both a knife and a firearm efficiently and effectively. In the Defensive Knife and Pistol course you will be exposed to these realistic tactics and your confidence and skill level with both tools will increase significantly. Please check out the course description under Guest Instructor Training and take my suggestion under strong consideration.