By Todd Rassa, Adjunct Instructor, SIG SAUER Academy
Most armed professionals and responsibly armed citizens not only carry a firearm but also a folding knife these days. In a moment of honesty, we would acknowledge that not only do we carry our knife(s) as a utility tool but also as a secondary defensive tool – a back-up to our firearm. With this in mind, we should re-visit where we carry the knife on our person. The purpose of this evaluation is not only to ensure we are maximizing our abilities to use it as a back-up, but also to look at how much we are displaying our knife to the public.
I have noticed that the majority of people who carry both a firearm and a knife are carrying their “tactical folder” clipped into their strong side pocket. By doing so, we are significantly increasing the risk of hampering—if not eliminating—our ability to access the knife in the case of a gun grab. No matter what direction the gun grab may originate, our first reaction is to clamp down on the attacker’s hand with our dominant weapon side hand. Our only thought is, “We must not allow the attacker to gain control of our firearm!” Once our brain processes the situation, we will engage some action to remove the attacker from our firearm using our other hand, feet, mouth, etc. If none of these work we want to transition to our back-up self-defense tool. But here’s the issue…if the knife is clipped into the strong side pocket and our strongest hand is clamped down on the attacker’s hand or hands, we will be forced to reach across our body in the middle of a struggle to forcibly remove the knife from our pocket. What if we are on the ground and possibly using the ground to assist us in pinning and retaining the firearm? In this case, a knife withdrawal from a strong side pocket will be difficult, if not impossible!
I suggest you carry your knife in the center of the body. Whether near the belt buckle or around the neck and hanging from a necklace sheath, a “body center” carry position is accessible by either hand. This would be very beneficial in the situation described above, and it would still be easily accessible for utility purposes. A body center carry position would also increase our knife concealment as the clip would be covered by a belt or a shirt.