Primitives with primitive weapons are deadly adversaries. In comparison most people from the modern age, without training or natural athletic ability, are going to be clumsy with a primitive weapon. They are not likely to be effective or able to adequately defend themselves or others. They might get lucky once or twice with a primitive weapon but luck typically doesn't last.
I hope you're paying attention to that point. Don't just buy a primitive weapon and put it up in your closet for a rainy day. You need to know how to use it and then be able to use it when the time comes.
The problem with relying solely on a knife or dagger is that there's a good chance in a time of lawlessness your opponent may have a longer weapon -- a heavy chain, a baseball bat, a machete, or even a sword -- all of these have greater reach than a knife or dagger.
Obviously if your opponent has a gun you don't have a chance in this fight -- don't even try. You'll survive this fight by your wits and escape.
Remember, "fight or flight" is the essence to survival when in a face off with danger. You don't always have to fight. Most of the time it might be a smarter move to run.
Rather than panic, you need to go into fight-mode and immediately consider what it's going to take to win this fight -- if you strike first (with just a knife) there's a good chance that you're going to die or end up seriously injured and on the ground. His weapon is longer and will reach you before you can reach him.
So don't strike first -- instead, bait your opponent to swing his weapon by stepping just inside his range and then stepping outside his range as the swing comes at you (if he's trained with a sword he may thrust, rather than slash -- if you see him start using thrusts -- if he looks like he's trained with a sword -- don't even try to fight -- turn up your heels and make a run for it). There's too much risk -- your knife may never get close enough -- not unless you can throw it (that's another article).
You're able to move quick, you're able to move in and out of range, you're able to step out, laterally, and attack at angles.
Great footwork takes months and years of training and sparring to develop. Even so, you can learn a lot about footwork after just a few months of training and sparring in a gym.
And so you too should know a thing or two about hand to hand combat.
Here are links to FREE DVDS for dangerous self defense, put together by SecretsofSurvival.com contributing writer Matt Numrich.
Matt studied Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do and Krav Maga (a dangerous and easy to learn fighting style of the Israeli Special Forces), became an expert at both these skills, and now teaches self defense to law enforcement agencies and civilians in the U.S.
Just maybe Matt's free DVDS will give you enough skills that you can practice at home -- and one day then use to SAVE YOUR LIFE or SAVE THE LIFE OF SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT.
Look at a street fight and what happens when you bring footwork to the table ...
You step into his range, your opponent (aggressively) throws a punch, but as it's thrown you've already "bounced" back and his punch misses -- suddenly you explode off your back foot and move forward, throwing a combination of punches or a kick followed by two punches. You circle away out of his range -- or at this point "clinch" (grab your opponent by the upper body, locking your arms while keeping your midsection back) and either throw knees to his ribs or pull your mid section forward for a stand up wrestling move (from Greco-Roman wrestling, think Randy Couture and his early days of UFC) and take your opponent to the ground.
Most fights like this call for the same rules that go into street fighting -- namely, never let your opponent know that you know how to fight. Don't let him know what you know. Beat him with the element of surprise, as much as it's possible. Keep in mind that if you're battling a few opponents (I've seen this happen back in my earlier days of life), if you're trained in martial arts -- MMA for example -- someone else on the opposing side might see you fighting, realize that you know how to fight -- and plot an attack that catches you off guard --
In a street fight the guy with a wrestling background can turn out to be the most dangerous opponent -- as you strike he shoots at your legs, before you know it you're on your back and being choked out. In the early days of the UFC wrestlers multiple times beat the crap out of kung fu "experts" and other stand up fighting styles like karate. Boxers didn't have a chance against wrestlers. UFC quickly evolved though to pit well rounded fighters against other well rounded fighters (for the most part) and modern day mixed martial arts was born.
What's important to note is that "stick and move" fighting isn't learned from a book -- it's learned from time in a gym and by a lot of time spent sparring.
At the same time, many fights, with or without weapons, can end up on the ground. This is where wrestling and moves from Brazilian jiu-jitsu can come in handy.
You can learn the principles behind hand to hand fighting from a book or even better, instructional DVDs -- but they need to be practiced and you should get plenty of training, if you want to be able to count on moves to go to work for you without any thought. With training, these moves can become instinct. Instinctive offensive and defensive moves will come from lots of sparring and time with an instructor.
You're on a survival site and the name of the game is survival -- if you're forced into conflict and your life (and the lives of others) depend on whether or not you can defend yourself, great footwork can keep you from being injured while at the same time enabling you to inflict injury -- even serious injury -- on an opponent.