Watching the news in Maine this week, you may wonder what the heck is happening. Three separate stabbing incidents in less than a week have been reported in Maine.

First, was a report of a double stabbing in Auburn. Police report that Mohamed Abdulkarim, 26, of Portland and Mohamed Ali Bile, 26 of Lewsiton were transported to CMMC suffering from  stab wounds after a reported fight.

Next, was this report of 38 year old Whitney Anderson of Belfast allegedly attacking her boyfriend Tracy Roadarmel with a knife. Roadarmel is being treated at Eastern Maine Medical Center, while Anderson has been charged with aggravated assault.

Finally a fatal stabbing in Westbrook. Police are reporting that 40 year old Robert Stubbs was killed and a woman he was living with was wonded in a knife attack which may have been drug-related.

All of this after several recent knife-attacks – including a lethal knife on knife fight in Lewsiston.

It’s unclear whether assaults with edged weapons in the state of Maine are actually on the rise, but it certainly seems so. Not wanting to be alarmist, in most of these cases the victims knew their attackers.

In nearly every single self defense class we train with the knife, and we train to defend against the knife. We feel that it’s extremely important to know how to use a knife, so that you can understand how to defend against it.

Many other systems take the approach that knife defense against a determined and skilled attacker is impossible. First, nothing is impossible. Second, you’re not always facing an attacker who has trained in knife fighting for decades.

Attacks with guns,and knives are always potentially lethal. It is better to try to neutralize an attack, or at least lessen it’s impact if you can’t immediately flee.

Here are some tips to defend against a weapon attack:

  1. Get some training in a system that is focused on self defense. Some training is going to be better than no training.
  2. Flee. Your #1 tactic will be to run away as fast as you possibly can. Moving targets are extremely difficult to hit, even with a handgun. Don’t bother trying to zigzag. Run for hard cover – something solid that you can get behind, but keep moving.
  3. If you can’t flee, put anything you can between you and the weapon.¬† A bag or a jacket isn’t going to deflect bullets, but it might distract an opponent, keep them from closing, or can be used as a weapon.
  4. If it is a simple robbery – comply and give your property to the person with the weapon. There is nothing you own worth your life.
  5. If the person wants to take you captive, indicates they will harm you, or wants to tie you up and you can’t flee – fight back immediately and as ferociously as possible. Attack the eyes and throat if possible. Scream as loud as you can, scratch, hit, poke, pull, tear. An enraged yet untrained person can do a heck of a lot of damage.
  6. Do not see an opponent as an unstoppable juggernaut, that type of sociopath only exists in horror movies. The toughest guy in the world isn’t going to stand up well to having a bezerker scratching his eyes out.

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