[From The Editor] As a former member of Russia’s elite Spetsnaz special operations unit, Vladimir Vasiliev’s mild-mannered exterior hid a vast arsenal of deadly skills including hand-to-hand “Systema” combatives.
He demonstrated a 2-inch punch on my stomach at half-speed that did some weird “energy thing” in my gut that had me feeling queasy the rest of the day.
But weird “energy martial arts” is far from the only combat skill he was trained in.
Spetsnaz soldiers were experts at shooting any firearm on the planet… and were just as deadly with any knife they got their hands on…. because the Spetznaz trained harder and differently from everyone else.
Here’s a look at some of what he shared with me…
Russian Spec-Ops Knife-Fighting Lessons
“You must be trained in many ways to use a knife. You should be able to use a knife with your elbows, held in your arm pit, (or whatever you could). We had to learn to do it that way. Fingers are good so long as they are functioning.” revealed Vladimir.
I wish I could tell you more about the armpit knife fighting (I’d love to know myself).
But I can tell you the craziest part of Russian Spec-Ops knife fighting is their… that shocked me as much as the armpit comment did – was that they are actual trained in “combat knife-throwing”!
I was speechless when I heard this.
Why would the Russian military put any time or effort into training into knife-throwing?
As Vladimir put it, some reasons for throwing your knife included protecting a third party that is in danger, simply wanting to close the distance so you can finish off your adversary, or maybe you struggled to hold the knife because of sweat or blood on them.
You might even want to throw your knife as a distraction so you can switch to another weapon.
How To Throw A Knife “Russian Spec-Ops” Style
The only knife-throwing technique that’s taught to Russian commandos for combat purposes is the “no-spin” knife-throwing technique.
This is because, as a Russian Spetsnaz soldier, you NEVER know what position you’ll be in to throw your knife when you’re in a real combat situation and you won’t have time to get set properly.
This means you can’t worry about ‘proper’ technique like the traditional “spin” method.
However, with the “no-spin” training approach, you can throw anything, not just a knife.
Russian Spec-Ops practiced throwing knives, tools, shovels, even rocks.
Vladimir Vasiliev’s Knife-Throwing Tactics At Different Distances:
Distance of 1-2 Meters
When throwing the knife from this short distance, you should hold the knife in a way that it should slip off the hand.
The throw is done by your hand only at this distance.
You should determine the center mass by simply feeling the weight in your fingers.
Distance of 3-5 Meters
To throw from this distance, use the elbow, arm, and shoulder.
Here do not cross the line between you and the target. Keep your hand, and elbow above this line.
If you cross this line the knife will rotate.
So your hand should not dive deeper than your knife.
Distance of 8-10 Meters
According to Vladimir, for longer distances, you initiate a wave from your foot up to the knife, like a lash, and this will cause the knife to fly out of your hand straight.
(By the way… if you’re having trouble visualizing that last one and want to try your hand at ‘No-Spin’ Combat Knife-Throwing, I have a free video to show you just how EASY it is to throw ANY knife the “no-spin” way…)
In a life-or-death attack, you just might need to rely on a thrown knife, or other weapon, to gain the upper hand.