Mindset check: What is more dangerous: A firearm or a blade?
While some people may jump to the conclusion that a firearm is more dangerous, I encourage you to really think about it for a minute. What is the scenario?
Is the gun loaded? Is there a round in the chamber? Is the safety on? Is it concealed?
What about the blade? Is it loaded? Is the safety on? …wait, what?
It is easy to become complacent with blades. After all, we use them all the time – in the kitchen, to open boxes, etc. Yet, this simple thought exercise above illustrates a few important features of the blade that many people do not think about, especially when it comes to safety.
A wound from a blade can be every bit as life-threatening as that from a gun. For this reason, Sayoc Instructors take safety very seriously. As seriously as we take safety when training with firearms. It starts with the understanding of the mindset of why you are training. From the martial perspective, a blade is a tool for using deadly force. Therefore, many of our rules directly translate to firearm safety.
However, the blade has a few important traits that a firearm does not have, as alluded to above:
- A blade does not require ammunition nor does it have a safety. A blade is always “hot” or “live.”
- Because of this, a blade can cause injury by itself, without an operator – grabbing, falling, etc.
- As opposed to a gun, it is not always obvious where the dangerous part, the “cutting edge,” is on a blade, especially when sheathed
- The sheathing system itself (sometimes including the handle of folding blades) is not always intuitive and may be designed to expose a cutting edge
Live Blade Protocols:
- Just like a firearm, a blade is produced only because there is an imminent threat to life and limb. It is known that bringing a deadly force weapon into a lower-level force situation will escalate that situation. Sayoc does not develop a “dueling” mindset.
- Also, just like a firearm, the responsibility is yours to accurately determine the justified use of deadly force.
- Understand and practice with your blade and sheathing system. Avoid self-cutting.
- When handling/passing live blades, place the blade on a table or other surface, rather than handing directly to that person.
- If in the presence of another person handling a live blade, ensure that you are keeping enough distance so that you will have time to recognize any erratic behavior in time to protect yourself.
Training Blade Protocols:
- Sayoc protocol is that there are NO LIVE BLADES ON THE TRAINING FLOOR.
- Clearly delineate when training starts and ends. Practitioners and instructors must communicate when downloading live weapons prior to training, THEN COMMUNICATE AGAIN after training, when going back to live weapons. Once back in the real world, all weapons are live.
- As part of the transition to training gear, always check your training blades for spurs or sharp edges. If found, remove prior to physical training.
- From this point forward, always treat your training blades as if they are live blades. That is what you are training for.
- Blade passing – there are specific methods for passing blades to another person that allow for safety during training as well as during times of duress. An official Sayoc Instructor and/or Training Group Leader will be able to explain these to you.