Counter-Blade Concepts is a system of empty-hand defenses against edged-weapon attacks that evolved parallel to the evolution of the MBC system. Since my initial interest in knife tactics was initially motivated by my desire to learn practical, effective counter-knife tactics, Counter-Blade Concepts (CBC) was always a natural byproduct of MBC. However, it was not until after the tragic events of September 11th that I really quantified and codified the way that I had come to approach counter-knife skills.

The CBC curriculum consists of four “phases” of tactics:

  • Deflect and Counter, which focuses on blocking or deflecting an attack while striking the attacker’s eyes to disable him and hopefully cause a spontaneous disarm.
  • Control and Counter, which involves blocking and controlling the attacking limb while delivering counterstrikes to disable the attacker.
  • Returning Blades, which strives to control the attacker’s limb and redirect the weapon back against him while he is still grasping it.
  • Combined Skills, which involves flowing from one skill set to the other as the dynamics of the encounter demand.

Although many aspects of the CBC curriculum are drawn from the Filipino martial arts, the techniques have been modified to better address the true nature of today’s edged-weapon threat and the constraints of our legal system. For example, although most Filipino arts place a heavy emphasis on “stripping” the weapon from the attacker’s grasp and immediately using it to deliver a counter, this approach is not valid against box cutters and small knives. In the eyes of the law, it also means that you are purposely training to disarm an attacker (at which point he will probably no longer be considered a lethal threat) and then attack an unarmed man with a knife.

The CBC system focuses on achieving positive control of the attacking limb and disabling the attacker so you can create the opportunity to escape. The Counter-Blade Concepts video documents the entire CBC curriculum, providing step-by-step instruction in every aspect of the CBC system and faithfully presenting everything that I teach when I present CBC at live seminars.

The critical camerawork for this video and all editing were done by Mike Rigg and my assistants in the video included two of my advanced private students Vincent Luke and and Keith Jennings.

If you’re looking for practical, effective counter-knife tactics that are relevant to the reality of today’s edged-weapon threat, this video—and the CBC curriculum—are for you.

Michael D. Janich