Incidentally, a couple of decades of reading about self-defense with firearms, particularly articles and books by Masaad Ayoob, I kinda knew where the knife bit would end up. A sufficiently motivated (adrenlin, drugs, plain crazy) assailant can cross a room in less than a second. If you don't have your gun out, your screwed.
Indeed. Putting on my martial artist's hat...
Filippino SWAT cops are actually trained to do that as well, if they find themselves in that situation. The optimal range to hold a person at (pistol) gunpoint is not less than 8 feet, and not more than 12. Closer than 8, the knifeman will (if he knows it, or is hopped-up enough) be able to get in first, an unarmed man can disarm the gunman, etc. He'll probably take a hit, but the odds are it won't be fatal, as the gunman can't aim in time, and a knifeman can certainly kill him before bleeding out. More than 12 feet away, there's more chance the knifeman will run away and gunman will miss.
Don't try this at home though, it's still a good way to end up in the ER. Life isn't an action movie unless you're specially trained for it by being in a SWAT unit or Special Forces or something... What I'm talking about there is a result of academic studies of how combat situations have turned out over the world since WW1
As for the "in kendo the first person to move will lose" thing. Speaking from experience in a variety of sword arts, this is definitely at least semi-true - it depends, however, on the two combatants being equally matched. Obviously an experienced combatant will beat a newbie even if he moves first. But I can certainly attest to the fact that if two equally matched kenjutsu-ka (or similar) duel, the one who moves first almost always loses. Partly because he's more likely to leave himself open in some way during the attack, and also because those arts, being arts, are taught in a way that emphasises reaction and countering, so it's second nature for the participants to respond a stimulus rather than as a first-strike.
If you put a good practitioner of Iai-do against him, OTOH, you're more likely to see the odds even out, or actually go the other way, as that's all about making a first-strike draw, rather than responding to a combat stimulus.
As for wild west duels, yeah, there's plenty of memoirs that show that fast draws counted for nothing - aiming properly and shooting straight were what counted.
I wonder when the UK will be getting these episodes?