This is a drill we use to develop tactile sensitivity or “energy.” It is not knife tapping per se, though that’s were it had it’s origins. It’s another way to develop the attribute of tactile sensitivity. You can use it, like other sensitivity drills, as a generator to develop and train various techniques such as: knife clinch reference points, takedowns, strikes, joint locks, defenses against various angles of attack, weapons accessing opportunities, opportunities to disengage and disarms to name a few.
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Here is a good explanation of Pekiti Tirsia Knife Tapping from Functional Self Defense:
I believe this is very functional technique when you know the opponent has a knife and you have time to react with an aggressive defense.
Here’s the man himself, Dan Inosanto flowing with the knife:
And here is one last link to Dan Inosanto working tactile sensitivity in a Systema style format.
I hope you find something of value in these types of drills. Don’t forget to make it fun, you’ll train more. Rather than focusing of one particular drill, try to think about what you want to develop and find all the drills you can work that attribute or technique. Your imagination is your only limit.
Now go train!