Fighting with Knives | Author Excursion


Rachel’s characters use a lot of knives. Knives to defend, knives to attack, knives to ward off idiots. And, thus, knife fighting has been on her author research to-do list ever since she started writing.

Kate likes knives for reasons other than writing, but her characters have been known to stab when the opportunity knocks.

Jill would have been stabbing everything in sight, but it was her husband’s birthday, so she ditched us.

The Experience

Don’t worry, the knife is rubber… or is it?

Enter Nathan, who came to Rachel’s house to teach us some simple knife-fighting skills. Nathan is a practitioner of the Mastro Defense System. He specializes in street- and knife-fighting and is amazing (and incredibly patient) at teaching these awe-inspiring techniques.

He showed us an array of knives, from petite to enormous, single- and double-edged weapons of destruction, finger holds and rubber grips, curved and straight and angled blades. So many knifes, and each with its strengths and shortcomings.

After the weapons overview, we moved on to proper handling. In particular, we learned how to hold a knife if you intend on stabbing someone. Super useful info unless you like slicing through your own fingers when the blade sticks its mark.

We ran through defensive and offensive techniques, how to block and how to work around an opponent’s block. The best factor for success?


Seriously. Stab and run, y’all. The secret knife is the best one.

Lesson Learned

  • If you ever face an opponent with a knife, run… or you’ll die.
  • If you stay and face an opponent that knows what they’re doing… you’re going to die.
  • If you have some skill and know what you’re doing, but so does your opponent, fight dirty… or you’ll die.
  • Seriously, avoid knife fights… or you’ll die.

For more information on Mastro Defense System AZ, you can follow them on Instagram under mdsarizona.

To conclude our knife fighting chapter, here is an rather exciting excerpt from Rachel’s book, Personal Guardians. Enjoy!

Personal Guardians, Chapter 27

“I am ready,” Violet spoke next to me, steadying her weapons.

I nodded.

Annie sprinted across the small expanse, but a black shadow caught my attention. Like a ghost, it flew down the obscure street. Metal glinted, spiraled from the haunt, and impaled the Annihilator in the shoulder. With a scream, she slid to a halt. Reaching back, she ripped the blade from her flesh and twisted just as Jonathan propelled into battle.

Annie shuffled back, her lips in a snarl. “Traitor. You would fight against your own kind?”

Jonathan’s answer was a downward strike. His steel clashed against Annie’s knife. Face to face, his black eyes devoured his prey. His long-sleeved black shirt tight against the expanse of his shoulders, his muscles rippled. “She is my mortal. No one, not you, not your sick little boy-toy, can take her from me.”

Darius stiffened, shocked by Jonathan’s claim upon me, before he lunged at Annie. Annie shoved away Jonathan’s attack, simultaneously spiraling in the air, disarming Darius with a wheel kick to his forearm, and blocking Violet’s assault with her blade.

I watched in awe, momentarily entranced by my friends. Jonathan and Violet’s fluid and even synchronized attacks unfolded like a dance. Although not as graceful, Darius’s powerful strength and impressive skills awed.

Annie’s wild and jerky techniques effectively prevented any forecast of where she would attack next. Finding an opening, I swiped my blade at her middle. She jumped back with a predator’s lust. I jabbed and thrusted, but she deflected them all. Jonathan claimed her attention, blocking me out of the fight.

A deep cry made me turn. Hector flew, landing only feet away. I ran to him but he was already rising. I reached to him, clapping his hand in mine, and pulled him up. “No time for resting,” I said with a faux smile.

He wiped dirt from the blade with his torn shirt. “No, ma’am,” he said.

My gaze quickly took assessment of the battle front. Mortals fought lesser demons, their strength never waning as they beat back their foe.

Darius and Violet had been joined by the Heralds. Nikolaos was a blur of motion, as his once-upon-a-time family attacked from all sides. He lunged to stab Elisa, but she twisted away, grabbed Nikolaos by the arm, and flipped him to the ground. Nikolaos sprang to his feet, slashing at Cedric’s waist. Even though he wore slash-resistant clothing, the power of the assault ripped through the fabric, cutting into skin. Cedric barely registered the blood welling up within the cut, until Elisa stepped between him and Nikolaos, taking his place.

Grayson reclaimed Hector’s attention, and Hector shifted into a low crouch. Roman limped next to him, readying for the attack.

The shape-shifter and another demon with red hair broke from their group and skulked toward me, their sights trained on my blades. I slipped my father’s knife in my pocket and pulled my long dagger. Talons erupted from the shape-shifter’s fingertips, matching the length of my chosen weapon. They charged.

I slashed through the arm of the first demon, nearly severing the limb. He fell to the ground and my pendant burst open once again to receive him. The demon let out a high-pitched scream, and attempted to skirt away from me as I blocked a downward slash from the shape-shifter. I dropped to one knee from the force, but pushed back the attack, swiping at his legs. My knife cut into his naked calves and he tumbled to the ground next to his filthy, quivering friend. I advanced. The shape-shifter cried out and back-crawled over his comrade in an attempt to escape.

I leaped through the air, slamming my blade into the shape-shifter’s chest.

I hissed through clenched teeth. “That’s for Zane, scumbag,” I said, a hysterical twinge to my lilt. As the Demon’s Eye collected his soul, I plunged my dagger into the second demon’s heart, eradicating him.

I closed my eyes to the raw sensation, the additional power sealing itself to my pendant.

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