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TwoTrees
12-23-2014, 02:48 AM
Scenario: I have an athletic female character who has received some training in self-defense with swords, daggers, etc. One scene has a much larger but drunken male character attempting to rape her. He's used his dagger to cut the bonds securing her hands behind her and then dropped it, assuming her to be no threat. (He's not the brightest bulb...) She grabs the dagger, manages to knee him hard in the groin and he throws his head back to cry out.

Question: Is it plausible and or likely that she could cut his throat with a backhanded slash?

Osulagh
12-23-2014, 03:35 AM
First, it wouldn't be "self-defense" training if she used swords and daggers to defend herself. That's not self-defense, but a killing art.

To your question: Unless she's very well trained and the situation is absolutely perfect (which, real fights aren't) good chance she'll miss. The neck is the most vital, best defended, and one of the hardest to hit spots on the body, so for her to hit with a backhanded slash would be either extremely lucky or skillful.

I suggest you have her aim elsewhere. Maybe have her stab his leg to debilitate him and then aim for a better spot for the kill when he can't defend himself properly or when she's able to target better. Though, again, this isn't self-defense. Self-defense is about defending and escaping, not killing or harming for any reason other than to free yourself.

Drachen Jager
12-23-2014, 03:43 AM
Easiest kill shot with a knife is the femoral artery.

Nobody thinks to guard the inside of their thigh.

Depends on how deep her training is though. If it were me, I'd havee her go for the throat and fail. Make her work for it, that's much more exciting.

MttStrn
12-23-2014, 04:11 AM
I obviously don't know if you are a male or a female, so you may or may not know, but a knee to the groin does not usually cause a person to throw their head back. They will almost always curl in and forward. Both a slash to the neck or to the femoral artery will be very hard in this situation.

TwoTrees
12-23-2014, 04:51 AM
MttStrn, I am female and my husband just made the same observation. When one doesn't have the parts, one may not know these things.

The blade is single-edged and strongly curved. The would-be rapist is very drunk, MUCH larger than she is and has her pinned under him.

I have a good grasp of anatomy (as does the captive) and I'm having trouble figuring out how she can access her captor's femoral artery if he rolls off her onto his side and curls up. Not trying to be argumentative - I just want to get this right. I need her to be able to kill or mortally wound him (for the purposes of the story) so that she can escape the enemy camp.

Osulugh - thanks for clarifying.

Shadow_Ferret
12-23-2014, 05:02 AM
Are you wanting her to kill him? Because if escape is her motive, then kneeing him would be sufficient depending on how hard her strike is.

Lhowling
12-23-2014, 05:06 AM
Is she supposed to kill him dead?

As mentioned, using bladed weapons is not part of self-defense training. However, she might train in martial arts. I think Krav Maga is one that uses knives; but I would double check.

Back to the original question: Does it matter if he lives or dies? Someone who is trained would most likely kick the dagger aside and make sure he is subdued. At least that's what my boyfriend (mixed martial artist) would probably go for, if only for knowing that he didn't need a weapon to take someone down. Also, slashing someone's throat is crazy. Think about it. What kind of mindset would she be in (a trained fighter) to use the dagger to kill him? Is she a killer or assassin? Maybe that's the kind of character you're trying to create. But, something to consider. Since he's kneed in the groin, then I feel like he would hunch over, in which case it's probably quicker for her to deliver another knee or foot right to the face. The force should be enough to throw him back. If she needs to stab him, then she would probably be better off aiming for the lung, stabbing him on his side since he is larger and it would easier to aim for given his position and his body height and weight. I think turning the dagger too could ensure internal damage. Someone can back me up on that.

Also, has he tied her up and taken her somewhere else? If her hands are tied behind her back, she may be able to escape them depending on her circumstances, the ties used, etc.

I know I'm throwing a lot out there. Just saying when you're a trained fighter, even if you do know your way around a weapon, if there are chances for her to save her own life and escape she'd probably take that instead. That doesn't necessarily have to end in slicing someone's throat. Mind you, if he's a larger frame, this would still be a difficult move even if she had a chance. She would have to have him on his knees, or somehow get behind him and pull his head back, etc. Not that easy for someone that is not of equal height-weight to assailant.

Lhowling
12-23-2014, 05:15 AM
MttStrn, I am female and my husband just made the same observation. When one doesn't have the parts, one may not know these things.

The blade is single-edged and strongly curved. The would-be rapist is very drunk, MUCH larger than she is and has her pinned under him.

I have a good grasp of anatomy (as does the captive) and I'm having trouble figuring out how she can access her captor's femoral artery if he rolls off her onto his side and curls up. Not trying to be argumentative - I just want to get this right. I need her to be able to kill or mortally wound him (for the purposes of the story) so that she can escape the enemy camp.

Osulugh - thanks for clarifying.

Okay, since she needs to kill or mortally wound him. And she's is lying on the ground... not standing (which I pictured before)?

If she tries to slit his throat while she's underneath him, then that blood's going all over her. Don't know if that's okay or not but something to think about. She would also have to pull his head up somehow to get enough space to move her arm across his throat.

She may have to stab him in the side or abdomen based on how she's positioned.

Lhowling
12-23-2014, 06:20 AM
I got some more information from my boyfriend who is an MMA fighter and has plenty of fun weapons at his disposal. He gives me the following based on what you've written:

-Silat is a martial arts that deals primarily with knife-fighting. So if you're looking for a particular type of self defense relevant to her skills with a dagger, silat would be it.

-Backhanded grip of the dagger would cause a stabbing motion. Instead she would have to hold it like she's slicing a steak in order to slash through his throat.

Hope this helps!

Michele AKA Twig
12-23-2014, 07:01 AM
If he's balled up from a groin shot, the easiest place to stab would be the kidneys by way of the exposed side and back.

I would watch fight scenes from movies and TV to get an idea of the various moves she could do. Not entirely realistic, but great for ideas.

jclarkdawe
12-23-2014, 08:01 AM
Don't be afraid to act these sorts of scenes with your husband.

If she's pinned under him, the chances of her getting enough speed to knee him with much effect are slim. Further, if she's pinned underneath him, her hands are going to be on the bottom of the pile and there's no way for him to cut her bonds.

If she's pinned underneath him, the most likely attack for her is through his back, which isn't the best of assault approaches. She will have a concern of stabbing too far through him and connecting with her, as well as having to deal with the ribs. The stabbing will not be high speed. However, as he lifts up, he'll provide a lot of force to her stab.

Another possible shot is from the side under the ribs towards the heart. Damage will mainly be done by twisting and sawing/rocking the knife.

She's likely to suffer some serious damage in this process. He's not going to die quickly.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Dennis E. Taylor
12-23-2014, 08:11 AM
If she can get under his chin, she can slice his throat by holding the knife in ice-pick (think of how you hold a knife to stab downwards or chip away ice) with the edge outward. You slice from outside to inside. The advantage is that you're very unlikely to lose the knife. If you hold the knife the way most people do (like holding a hammer) and try to slice, it can get knocked out of your hand when you slice. That's a better hold for for stabbing. An experienced knife wielder can switch grips on the fly.

If the guy is curled up, there aren't any really good immediately available killshots, except maybe straight in through an eye. Otherwise, femoral artery (as mentioned), brachial artery (stab through the side of the bicep), kidney (bleed to death internally pretty fast), or down through the lower abdomen to try to hit the iliac vein or artery. Also up under the diaphragm, but that's a hard one unless the knife is long and straight.

Gee, what wonderful dinner conversation...

ShaunHorton
12-23-2014, 10:00 AM
I admit I may have been watching too much of The Walking Dead, but why couldn't she just stab him in the side of the head and into the brain? Depending on the type, size, and shape of the knife. I mean, yeah, the skull is hard, but if the weapon is made for piercing, it shouldn't take more force than she could probably bring to bear, especially being in shape and having the adrenaline pumping through her.

TwoTrees
12-23-2014, 05:19 PM
Don't be afraid to act these sorts of scenes with your husband....

Jim Clark-Dawe

Thanks, Jim. This proved very helpful and educating (except for the part where I nearly broke my husband's nose with an upward strike with the heel of my hand. Sigh...)

Lots of good insights here, folks, and I think, with your help, I've got a way to get from Point A to Point B without making a fool of myself or my heroine.

badwolf.usmc
12-24-2014, 05:27 PM
We get some training with knives, not enough to be a knife fighter but enough to do a little damage.

The thing about fighting with a knife isn't about keeping distance, but getting close. There are plenty of youtube videos about knife fighting moves to give you examples.

I'm not certain how much self-defense training you have received but for us, until the threat is on the ground, you keep doing hits until they go down. I can put together an example scenario if you wish.