Thursday, August 05, 2010

How I kill people with a knife

I remember a class back in the early 1990's, we were working on some knife techniques.  Standard type knife defense stuff you see in martial arts classes. 
At that time we had a middle-aged Cambodian woman in the class as a white belt.  Pretty unassuming woman - plain-looking - quiet - stocky build.  I think she was studying something nerdy and boring in college like Plant Pathology.
After the instructor had demonstrated a technique, she whispered to me, "I don't attack like that when I kill people."  I thought that she had just mis-spoken because her Engrish was pretty broken.  So, being a smartalek, I jokingly asked her, "How exactly do you hold a knife when you kill people?"
Without flinching or hesitating, she turned the knife over (icepick grip) and said, "I sneak up behind, grab face like this and jerk back.  Then I stab in neck two or three times!" (pumping her hand up and down.)
I was dumbfounded...  Mortified... It was at that point that I realized she must have been a young adult in Cambodia during the 1970's and 1980's.  She had not mis-spoken.  She'd said exactly what she meant.  When she'd killed people she hadn't done it like we were practicing. 
The moral of the story - You can never tell who you are standing next to.

[Photo courtesy of Alan Chan]
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