Knife crime is on the up and it’s getting worse!
Every one of us is subject to the potential risk of a knife incident on the streets at any time by anyone. Anyone can be knifed or injured and for no good reason at all including just being in the wrong place at the wrong time or getting caught up in a scenario involving others disputes or violence.
The streets are not safe especially late at night or in some places in the day and this applies everywhere.
From a trained and experienced martial artist’s point of view, the question being asked is why do people carry knives when they know they are at risk of fine or prison?
Firstly, the majority of knife related injuries and incidents are carried out by young males from the ages of 15 or 25. The average age for knife users is around 23 years of age and this is the age when most people start to find themselves or are at conflict with their self.
Around 70% of knife incidents in the UK are related to black males on black males and the rest make up white males and Asian males.
This percentage does include a small percent of white and black female use but very small.
Female use of knives on the streets pertaining to violence, conflict and altercation usually revolves around girl gangs.
The majority of knife incidents are between gangs and criminals upon criminals.
Knife crime is much larger than is known. The bigger picture is that there are more people carrying knives than even the authorities realise including what the statistics state.
So the question being asked is why do people carry knives?
The two main reasons relate to self defence and criminal activity and this criminal activity is mainly heightened around drugs and territory or the selling of drugs.
There are also many people who are not criminals who carry knives for self protection or self defence potential only.
Whether the person who is carrying a knife is involved in any form of criminal activity or is just simply scared to be without a knife boils down to one reason and this one reason is the same across the whole boardwalk of users and knife carriers.
If you were to ask 1,000 people who carry knives as to the reason they carry that knife they will all say the same thing and that it is for protection – just in case.
Carrying a knife in most cases is simply for protection.
This view or protection could be broken down into two areas where first is a form of visual protection and that the person carrying a knife will take it out and display it in front of the opponent, enemy or adversary for the sole purpose of ONLY using it has a visual deterrent.
There is a good chance that many young males will never use that knife and have no real premeditated intention of using that knife or in other words they just don’t have the grit to use it and whilst they are on a slippery path, it has to be understood that they may be only acting out some form of paranoia fear without any real intention of using that knife.
There will also be those knife carriers who will have to use it but never set out to initially use it.
Obviously the police will not take no notice of this as it is for the courts to decide the outcome for carrying or using it.
The second form of protection is to actually use it, to suddenly reveal the knife with immediate effect for the sole purpose of inflicting just wounds but not death.
There will be people who want to just slash at the threat/person in front of them, possibly across the face and nothing more than that and there are others who actually want to plunge it into the person’s body irrespective of the consequences of death whether in an act of self defence, manslaughter or a deliberate attempt at killing even though they risk serving 10 years in prison for it and so on.
There are people who carry a knife for protection just in case and will never use it, but could, but probably won’t, but might, but never will, who knows? Risky path to be on!
These peoples sole intention is to just display it in front of the enemy to basically scare them off or deter them from continuing with the unfolding verbal altercation. In most cases this will achieve the desired result; a simple visual deterrent does the job! Again the police will not see it this way.
Then there are those who will slash at you but not stab you as they know the difference between superficial injury, wounding and actual death. These people simply want to scar you up, wound you, warn you and teach you a lesson.
Then there are those who will just instantly plunge the knife inside you for the purpose of causing death as they don’t care about you or themselves and they may be even one step away from wanting to die themselves, hate, anger, self-loathing, depression, worthlessness and so on. Some of these people do have a death wish and maybe even an attraction to go into prison, make a name for themselves, gain respect, create awe and fear and become someone as life is tougher for them on the outside.
Excluding this last category of knife carriers who WILL set out to plunge a knife into another and cause death, the majority of people carrying a knife is for protection only and whether they are involved in crime or not – it is simply for protection – real or imagined threats – it is simply because they cannot fight, they cannot physically defend themselves albeit with some boxing skills or some good punch-up street skills, there is a high level of anxiety, paranoia of threat, persecution, anticipation and apprehension of an attack or an approach from another who is perceived as a physical or mental threat to them especially if they are involved in gangs, territory or even on drugs patches and so on.
When you hear of an incident where someone got slashed or stabbed to death, the media will often report part of or one side of the story because it creates good reading, it becomes sensationalism and it raises eyebrows in the community or in other words it scares people and sell newspapers!
The media although an essential service among us, often make things worse by dramatising and hiding the real facts that there is a knife wielding maniac loose on the streets when in fact the story runs much deeper and that the person who was knifed might have been a drug pusher in the wrong place at the wrong time or had stood on the toes of another drug pusher or entered into someone else’s perceived territory of criminality or drug selling patch and so on!
Additionally someone could have seen red because someone else disrespected someone’s family or made off with someone’s girl behind someone’s back or has persistently demonstrated disrespect over time and this culminated in a street knifing after a row or building feud.
It’s true to say that there is no smoke without fire and that often when you hear a story of a knifing incident there is much more to it and from the criminals or knife user’s point of view which is to them justified amongst their own and that they wouldn’t dream of harming innocent passers-by but the media will let you think that will happen, simply because it’s the media and that’s how the media report stories.
From the Medias point of view, on the surface there is no justification to someone being knifed and seriously wounded or even murdered BUT from the mind of the people doing this there is often sound justification. This is neither right nor wrong as it’s just simply information that others have that you do not have or even the media clearly reports.
It is very rare that innocent members of the public get stabbed or slashed with a knife for no good reason albeit occasionally this does happen with the mentally ill who may have associated themselves to a terrorist or religious organisation, belief or cause.
From a martial artist point of view when training in a dojo, people with knives are easily managed on the street with a simple explosive kick to take them off their feet.
Obviously this is only for the highly skilled and experienced martial artist. What one is taught within a dojo especially around the area of knife use is generally a talk that is often out of place outside of that dojo and would only be seen as bragging or boasting when in fact most trained martial artists can quite easily and competently handle anyone with a knife.
Many martial artists spend many years training to deal with either a slash or a jab of extended from the arm although it must be said that no amount of skilled martial arts ability can be fully relied upon because there is always the element of the unseen or the unexpected.
People carry knives for various reasons and it all revolves around the need for protection and self defence. A sense of threat, an awareness of threat around them for whatever reason does exist.
A heightened sense of distrust and suspicion of others sometimes known as paranoia which is often exasperated with the use of cannabis and other drug use or even mental health issues.
Someone carrying a knife is highly aware of the risk of threat of an attack for justified or even unjustified reasons, which simply boils down to fear.
A fear within the person is driving the need for them to carry that knife and that fear can cloak itself with many different masks including aggression, anger, demonstration of supremacy and dominance in the face of adversity or confrontation. The greater the power displayed, the greater the fear within!
Fear shows itself in many different ways and the holding of a knife in one’s hand to act either as a visual deterrent or as a demonstration of intent to thrust it into the body of another is fear.
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