knife defense

Ray Floro and Edged Weapons


Recently at The Martialist:

There are two aspects of training with knives that Instructor Floro always emphasizes: The first is the importance of safety in training (including good protective gear and respect for one’s training partners). The second is the social and legal responsibilities of training with, carrying, and using knives. Especially given that knives are not legal in some areas, the latter is extremely important, while the former fosters a training environment in which quicker and more realistic progress can be made, he asserts.

I have personally trained with Ray many times several years ago when I was lucky enough to live near him - including numerous private lessons. Ray is the real deal.

Ray's system, Floro Fighting System (FFS), is fantastic for the following reasons:

  • Solid origins from the Filipino greats (Illustrisimo, Sulite, Diego etc).
  • Ray stripped out all traditional aspects of his system making it more focused.
  • Ray became quite proficient in fencing and that influence can be seen in the foundations of his current approach.
  • The FFS system is very knife focused - this is important from a self defense perspective due to edged weapons being the most common weapons used to commit violent crime in Australia and the UK. In the US edged weapons are just second to firearms.
  • The FFS system is very direct and linear. This means it is QUICK!
  • Ray himself is very personable, funny and a great instructor.
  • Ray personally possesses the fastest striking I have ever experienced - the very definition of non-telegraphic striking (this is the fencing coming out). I have been hit squarely in the face by Ray on so many occasions during knife sparring and I still haven't seen most of them.

A lot of what Ray teaches is how to use a knife. This is important from a purely self defense perspective so that you develop an appreciation of how the knife can be used and develop a sense of its strengths and weaknesses. This prepares you to aim to defend against the knife’s strengths and its most dangerous uses.

He also teaches a very effective unarmed approach to defending against edged weapons. His use of what he calls, or at least called, 'the latch' was the simplest and most effective means to stop an aggressor pulsing, or sewing machine stabbing, I have seen. This is the most effective way I have seen to effectively defend against that rapid in-out-in etc. stabbing so common, and effective, in knife attacks.

Ray is also constantly refining and updating his system as his own knowledge, learning and experience grows so it is not dormant.

To get a taste of Ray's approach to edged weapon awareness from a self defense perspective have a look at the following two videos from his free ’7 Vital Truths of Edged Weapons' video series.

All of the other videos in the 7 video series are well worth a look too.

I can highly recommend his DVD series for those that don't live near him. You might find it interesting to look at who provided some of testimonials on that page as well.

I struggle to think of anyone else anywhere in the world more qualified and capable of teaching on the topic of edged weapons. Two thumbs up.

Confronting Armed Rascals

News Story:

Gamez had gone to Hernandez’s residence and slashed the tires of a vehicle belonging to Hernandez. Hernandez went outside and confronted Gamez. Gamez attacked Hernandez with the knife causing him injury.

Lesson: Don't confront someone unarmed who has just slashed your car tyres with a knife.

Real Knife Attack and Startle Flinch Response Example


A 33-year-old was sitting in traffic in Steel Street, with the driver’s window down, when a man ran towards him from the footpath and started stabbing him.

The driver used his arms to protect his body, which bore the brunt of the attack, as he sat strapped into the driver’s seat.

This sudden attack would probably have triggered the startle-flinch response which is evident in the use of the arms to protect the body. Sometimes instinct and reflexes are good for our survival.

Strategic Self Defence

Strategic Self Defence

Many people get confused regarding the differences between strategy and tactics; Even people who are well versed in various combat arts and sciences.

This post examines exactly what strategy is and what it is not - from a self defence perspective.

Then we go deep and explore how we can approach self defence from a strategic perspective. This will get you thinking big picture and how the deliberate big picture decisions we make flow down to everything else.

13 Commonly Believed Myths About Self Defence BUSTED!

13 Commonly Believed Myths About Self Defence BUSTED!

This post explores 13 commonly believed myths regarding self defence and we bust them wide open!

Some of these are sacred cows that need slaughtering. Some of them may be eye opening. Some not so obvious. 

Regardless you are sure to get something out of this one!

The 5 Best Improvised Weapons in the World

The 5 Best Improvised Weapons in the World

Improvised weapons can be a great equaliser.

But what makes a good improvised weapon? What commonly espoused improvised weapons are worse than using unarmed options?

That is exactly what we are looking for here as we drill down into the topic and identify the 5 best improvised weapons in the world.

5 Most Important Skills For Protecting Yourself

5 Most Important Skills For Protecting Yourself

A guest post from Jack Roberts from Black Eagle Martial Arts.

In this post Jack explores topics such as looking ahead and staying alert, walking confidently but not aggressively, knowing when to run, using quick and effective techniques and staying out of trouble by understanding your town or local part of your city.

Is Killing Someone Who Broke Into Your Home, Self Defence?

Is Killing Someone Who Broke Into Your Home, Self Defence?

In this post we explore some real home invasion case studies. Some of these cases saw the occupants of the homes respond to the intruders with lethal force. 

Some of them were found not guilty of any charges as they acted in self defence. In some, the occupant was found guilty of an offence and was sent to prison.

This is an important topic to explore. We highlight some of the key differences between the not guilty and guilty verdicts for your consideration.

Let's get into it.

What Does the 21 Foot Rule for Defending Against a Knife Mean For Non Mil/LE?

What Does the 21 Foot Rule for Defending Against a Knife Mean For Non Mil/LE?

Distance is a safety buffer. What will help us from a distance is awareness. Look for key indicators that someone is about to close that gap.

Already be looking for signs that the aggressor is hiding a knife somewhere. Can you see both palms?

Don't let them distract you. This could give them a split second to spring forward which will take you off guard and put them at the advantage. 

We explore these and other factors inside.

STAB Knife Defense System Video

The STAB knife defense system is certainly a good one. This is a solid system on knife defence.

The STAB knife defence system is alive and it is all about controlling that knife bearing limb. This is 90% of what effective knife defence is all about. Controlling that knife bearing limb.

At Low Tech Combat, we discuss realistic knife defence a lot. The things we suggest for a realistic and effective knife defence system is evident in the STAB system.