top of page

Episode 178 S5-15

Bladed Weapons Basics


Special Guest:

Dark Days in Denver Ch 15

~Dan Lovas~

Dark Days in Denver continues as Daniel begins sword training under the tutelage of a master. Even though Daniel is sword fighting, it is much more likely that you would be using a knife for self defense. Here today to talk about knife defense and attack basics is Chief Master Dan Lovas, eighth degree martial arts instructor.

Play the Podcast

Audio Drama Slide end a (YouTube Display Ad) (1800 x 720 px) (2600 x 720 px)(3).png

Download Day After Disaster for FREE!

One week commercial-free access to the audio drama, access to the Changing Earth Archives, behind-the-scenes clips, and more!

An individual should carry two knives at all times. One should be carried on the body and the other should be kept in your vehicle, every day carry bag, or evacuation (bug-out) bag. The pocket knife that is carried on the person should be one that automatically opens and locks when pulled from the pocket. Even if the laws of your state do not allow a double bladed knife or dagger, one edge of the blade can be sharp and the other can be semi sharp. This way it is within the legal parameters and is still good for puncturing. Dan prefers the brand Cold Steel. The blades they produce can be sharpened to a superb point and they stay sharp for a long time if treated decently. 

Make sure you check your state laws regarding the length and type of blade you are allowed to carry. Generally, the length of the blade can be as long as the cross width of your palm. For most people that is about three and a half to four inches long. 

Some blades have a depression that runs down the length of the blade. If a blade used in defense punctures a human it creates suction and is sometimes hard to pull out. This depression allows for the suction to be reduced. Alternatively, the knife can be twisted and pulled from a body with ease. 

Dan recommends Schrade Knives or KA-BAR. Look for a knife that is made of 1095 steel. This is a heavy material that is more rigid. It's versatile enough to pierce flesh and hold up when cutting harder materials like wood. Look for a knife that has a serration and a dagger point. It is also useful to have a knife that has storage in the handle for basic survival items like fishing line and matches. Every evacuation pack (bug-out bag) should contain a quality bush knife. Don't skimp on the price. A knife is an essential tool. The KA-BAR has been used by the military for many years. It's a lighter knife that is also used as a bayonet. Sometimes a heavier knife may be preferred for big jobs.


As previously mentioned, your bush knife should be a 1095 steel. However, the pocket knife should be a good stainless steel.  Dan recommends the black coating on a blade so that there is no reflection or glinting off the metal. This makes it easier to conceal and stops corrosion as well. 

The weapons an individual carries should be used on a daily basis. If opening a letter, use a pocket knife. This use makes the knife a part of the individual or a natural extension of the body. The user will become more and more familiar with the blade's feel.

If an individual is attacked by someone with a knife the best defense is creating space. If the attacker can't reach their target the defender can't be hurt. As an untrained individual getting away from the attacker or using a longer reaching weapon is the very best defense.

If the situation calls for an individual to attack another individual with a knife the primary target should be the circulatory system not the body. When an attacker reaches out, it leaves them vulnerable to their vital areas to be assaulted. These vital areas are the veins in the body where they are closest to the skin. If attacking with a blunt weapon, aim for where the bones are closest to the skin. The inside of the legs and arms are the areas where the veins are easily exploited. If this area is attacked while the assailant is under adrenal stress the blood loss will be greater. It's like turning on a sink. If the injured party doesn't stop attacking and tend to the wound, they will be in big trouble.

Treat a blade like it is a poisonous snake. An individual can't get hit by a blade. Just like a snake would be caught behind its head, the knife wielder's hand should be captured by the person's wrist. Then the defender must control the knife and keep it away from his vital areas. In a knife fight, the back hand should always be kept over the neck to provide protection. An individual can be hit in the neck by a knife zero times. In a combat situation clothing or armor of some type should be worn to protect the neck.

There are four basics steps to learn to battle with a knife. The first step is opening the knife efficiently. The second step is learning to indiscreetly pull the hand with the knife behind yourself after the knife is opened. That way the opponent can't see the length of the blade, if they can see it at all. Once a weapon is brandished the threat should not be shown to the opponent until the last second. The third step is, practicing turning the blade into the target. A great way to practice is by slicing tomatoes thrown through the air. The last step is understanding that anything wielded as a weapon should be an extension of the body. The wielder needs to be as good with the weapon as she is with her hands. Anything less could put the wielder in danger if the weapon is turned against him.

Develop an attack strategy. Distances can be closed as quickly as they can be created. If the intended use of a knife is self-defense, practice is needed to the wielder can be two seconds ahead of her opponent. Aim for the circulatory system. 

Learning Escrima is a good way to learn to wield a knife. A typical mistake that wielder's make is following through too much. Proper training with and instructor can correct that problem. Even blocking can make a defender vulnerable. A quality instructor will teach outer shell blocking. This involves using boned areas to defend, not areas of the body that contain the circulatory system. 

Always try to end a fight as fast as possible. Defuse the situation by taking away their knife. In a knife fight both individuals are going to get cut. The trick is minimizing the areas of the body that are exposed. 

If an injury is sustain the first thing to do is, get distance so the wound can be attended to. Stop the bleeding. Clean the wound and clean it quickly. Plants like oleander and pyracantha can be used to add a poisonous element to a blade. In a long term survival situation people will be desperate and although this idea may seem far fetched now, it will be common practice in desperate times. Blades can also carry diseases.


Even if an armor is not bullet proof it may be a smart edition for bladed weapon defense. Traditionally people wore chain mail to prevent getting cut. Now-a-days they also make Kevlar armor for blade fighting. 

Closing tips from Dan:

  • Always carry a knife in your pocket

  • Don't skimp on the price. Spend one hundred plus.

  • Have multiples. If one is lost, it can be replaced immediately.

  • Midway USA has reasonable prices on Cold Steel products.

  • A weapon should be brandished within three seconds. If you can't get to it quickly, it's useless.

Sharing is Caring!

Please Subscribe, Like and Share

Follow us on social media to discuss the novels, audio drama, and latest podcast takeaways.

  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
Dark Days in Denver Ch 15

~Dan Lovas~

When Dan was young he was fascinated by Bruce Lee movies. They spoke to his soul in a way that nothing else had. He desperately wanted to learn how to move like Bruce so he found a Boy’s and Girl’s Club that offered Judo and Kung Fu. He took them both. Plagued with indecision over which one he liked best, he decided leaving either of the styles behind was not an option. One day while practicing forms at a 24hr fitness, a man, Joe Tucker, challenged him to a sparring match. Dan’s confidence was high and even though Joe broke his foot over Dan’s head, the outcome of the match came out much differently than Dan expected. 


Joe introduced Dan to Taekwondo and Chief Master Jack Corrie, who was a third degree black-belt at the time. Applying his previously established training regimen to Taekwondo, Dan’s passion for competition grew. He jumped at every chance he had to compete and compiled a long list of competitive accomplishments including: 1990 ATA world Champion, 2xITC National Champion, 2xGSKA National Champion, Full Force World Champion (barnacles fighting) 15-0 with 9 head kick kos.


Taekwondo is still a way of life for Chief Master Dan Lovas. His relationship with Chief Master Corrie grew and he still trains under him to this day. Chief Master Lovas’s teaching instruction is internationally renowned and he has been named instructor of the year four times. His love of martial arts doesn’t end with Taekwondo, he has a third degree black-belt in Jujitsu, a black-belt in Kung Fu, a black-belt in Silat. Dan is a certified instructor of Tai Chi, and criminal counter measures and a graduate of Escrima. Even with all these other accomplishments, Taekwondo is his love and he thanks God for it at the end of each day. Many years have passed since 1988 when Dan received his first Dan in Taekwondo but his dedication and commitment to the art have earned him the honor of testing for his eighth degree in October of 2017.

bottom of page