I wrote Knife Fighting: A Practical Course in 1992 while I was assigned to the U.S Embassy in Bankok, Thailand. At that time, I had been researching and analyzing knife fighting technique for about 17 years and finally felt confident that I had some substantial knowledge to share. Having already read and reread every book I could find on knife fighting technique and found them wanting, I set out to write the book that I wished existed when I first started my research.

The key instructional elements presented in this book were drawn from my analysis of the Filipino martial arts and my desire to create a system that promoted quick, reflexive defensive responses based on natural, instinctive movement patterns. These elements still form the foundation of the Martial Blade Concepts (MBC) system as it exists today.

At the time I wrote this book, I had not yet learned—or appreciated—the reflex training drills (aka “flow” drills) of the Filipino arts. I focused exclusively on the combative applications of the movements and a few very simple supplementary drills. Also, although the targeting portion of the book was thoroughly researched and quite detailed, the current MBC targeting strategy and target priorities had not yet been developed. Nevertheless, the fundamental logic of the system remains very sound and the book remains one of the most commonly referenced works on practical knife technique.

All the photos for the book were shot in the back alleys of Bangkok with the help of my friends and training partners from the U.S. Embassy. Although the MBC system has evolved tremendously since I wrote this book, it still represents a milestone in instructional knife materials and will always remain a proud accomplishment in my career as a writer and instructor.

Michael D. Janich