When it comes to Martial Arts Weapons, There are only four ways to hold a knife if you’re going to be in a knife fight. Well, there are two other ways, but they don’t count. Perhaps I should tell you how not to hold a knife before we get into how to hold a knife.
One thing you don’t ever want to do, when holding a knife, is hold it by the blade and club somebody with the handle. This is sort of silly, as you can’t really grip the blade with strength, you risk losing the knife, and you can’t get all that much power in the strike, anyway. I really shouldn’t have to tell you this, but you just know that there is somebody, somewhere, who is thinking about doing this.
Another way you don’t hold a knife is for throwing. By the blade or by the handle, throwing a knife is just a method for losing your weapon. There is just too much risk that you will lose the knife, so you don’t except for the extremist circumstances, hold a knife in a manner that is preparatory to throwing.
The worst way to hold a knife, and in my mind the weakest, is with the blade extending from the bottom of the fist, with the blade facing back along your arm. This doesn’t set up the blade for real work, and is good only for a specific type of stabbing. Yes, you can hook, but the hook tends to be a trap more than a real cutter.
The second worst way of holding a knife has the blade coming out of the top of your fist, and the blade turned facing up your arm. You can do a little poking this way, and there is slightly more angle for hooking, but not trapping. The problem is that the blade is facing you and not your opponent.
The third worst way, or perhaps we should say the second best way of holding a knife is with the blade coming out of the top of your fist and facing away from your arm. There isn’t much hook or trap potential here, but what potential there is is natural. The real blessing of this method is that the blade is facing your opponent and strong for both stabbing and slicing.
The best way to hold a knife, in this writer’s humble opinion, is with the blade extending from the bottom of the fist and facing away from your arm. Hooking or trapping doesn’t have a blade on it, but it is a very strong motion. Stabbing is possible, and while a touch awkward, does have a lot of strength potential.
The most important thing about holding a knife in the manner I have just detailed is that you can use the punching muscles when striking. You simply punch, and the curve and arc of steel is natural and devastating. Thus, it is natural to hold, taps into other methods of fighting that you practice, and presents the best potential for slicing, stabbing, hooking, and trapping. This is very sound advice when it comes to martial arts weapons.