Aaron Donald training with knives to improve handwork, reaction time
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald won Defensive Player of the Year honors last season as he consistently wrecked opposing offenses from the defensive interior.
Donald is one of the most skilled defensive linemen in the league. His quickness and hand-fighting techniques enable him to be a wrecking ball to opponents on a weekly basis.
But Donald seemingly took the idea of “hand-fighting” to a new level when a video came out last week showing Donald training against a man flailing at him with knives. Unsurprisingly, the knives aren’t real. Donald showed as much in a video put out on the Rams Twitter account on Thursday.
“Everybody see? It’s not real,” Donald said with a grin while stabbing himself in the arm with the plastic knife. “It’s not real. It’s fake. ... You can’t die with this. It just hurts when it hits you though.”
“It makes you react faster, makes your hands go faster.”
According to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com, the training Donald is utilizing is called Krav Maga, which was developed by the Israel Defense Forces.
The man “attacking” Donald in the video is a police officer by the name of Al Carson, who has been working with Donald for the last two months.
“I am very, very impressed with Aaron,” Carson said. “His hands are just -- they’re at a different level compared to the average NFL player. And his eye-and-hand-and-feet coordination are just superior to a lot of the NFL players that I’ve trained. I can truly understand why he is the best defensive player in the NFL, because he’s a different breed. When God made Aaron Donald, he only made one of him.”
Donald is already the most disruptive interior defensive lineman in the NFL. He should already benefit from the Rams adding Ndamukong Suh to their defensive front this offseason, which should limit just how frequently opposing offenses can throw double teams his way. If he’s able to get even more skilled with his hands by training against knives - even fake ones - it could be a rough season for opposing quarterbacks.