The lateral close is the most commonly taught method of defending against a thrusting, lunging, or cutting attack. There are two methods to use the lateral close. The first is to side step your opponent's forward movement. When the opponent attacks, you step either to the side of the attack so you end up very close to the side of the opponent's body.
The second method is to move diagonally inward toward your opponent before your opponent moves forward to attack. You move into your attacker's space and end up very close to the front of his or her body. Both ways allow you to close the distance effectively while avoiding the attacker's weapon.
By holding a knife, the attacker extends his or her range of attack and thereby shortens your range. Once you pass by the outer reach of the attacker's range, the blade of the knife, you lessen the attacker's options for attack and take away his or her advantage. When you get very close, you force the attacker to resort to grabbing or blocking your attack, which distracts his or her attention from the knife.
There are two types of lateral closes: the outside close and the inside close. Each type describes the direction of your movement relative to your opponent's body and may be executed using either of the above methods to close. In the following examples, assume you are defending against an attacker who is stepping or lunging forward in an attack with a knife held in the right hand.