Surviving a knife attack: What you need to know

Posted at 5:38 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 17:59:54-04
It's a situation no one ever wants to find themselves in: facing off with an attacker with a knife.
There have been three major stabbings in less than a week's time. 
In France, two men stormed a church and stabbed a priest to death. 
In Tokyo, a man slashed the throats of dozens of people. 
In Sarasota, a Publix employee was stabbed at a store in Sarasota.
E.J. Diaz, a former Tampa police officer turned martial arts instructor said there are things you can do to protect yourself from an attacker with a knife.
The first things is using any everyday object you have right there with you, like a chair, table or even a TV set, to disable your attacker.
"Anything I can get in front, I can go ahead and use as a tool or a weapon.  Now, I'm going to be able to use that against him if I have to," Diaz said, who now runs Sparta, a training gym.
But what if you're too close to your attacker? 
Diaz said you can strike them on the arm, which can disable them and force them to release the knife.
"Hitting him on the wrist joint or the wrist, it causes pain and discomfort and I'm not really hitting him that hard," he said
There's also a pressure point you can use to get someone to open their hand and release the knife, located on the forearm, just under the elbow.
He said once the person releases the knife or drops it, you have to get ready.
"The next thing that's going to happen that I have to be prepared for is he's probably going to go for that weapon," Diaz said.
Diaz says you have to decide if should you try and get away, which is not always the best, safest option.
"Even though I got a jump on him and I got past him, now, you'll notice I've got less of my tools to defend myself while he's chasing me," Diaz said.
He says sometimes it can be better to try and further disable your attacker by hitting, kicking and using objects to smash them while they are reaching for the knife. 
Diaz said for some people, the adrenaline will take over allowing you to make life-saving decisions for yourself and your loved ones.
'You just being committed to the fact that I will not be a victim," he said.
Diaz said if you are stabbed with a knife, immediately use something like a piece of clothing and apply direct pressure to the wound. Then, call 911. 
He said people don't always recognize they are hurt right away because the adrenaline helps block the pain, so it's important to double check and make sure you are not injured.