All I can say is WOW!. I was taught to use sharp things properly since my early years. But that was for whitling techniques, using a hatchet, axe, splitting mall, etc. I just never felt comfortable cutting toward my hand, or any other body parts. So when I became serious about cooking, I purchased a cutting board and watched what others did. I kind of self taught myself. Through the years, I've picked up tips from watching professionals, and professional show-offs, you know, those TV chefs who can bone a chicken in 30 seconds.
I'm pretty quick, and rarely cut myself, but it has happened, mostly the inside edge of my right thumb when it got too close to the blade while slicing something like celery or carrots. Fortunatley, I've only drawn blood a couple times, and never lost skin, just sliced into it. I have very fast reflexes and strong thumbnails that have protected me from the occasional act of stupidity.
The four most used items in my kitchen are the cast-iron pans, the Croma Chef's knife, the cutting board, and the sink.
Like HTC and others, my mother, my grandmother, my mother-in-law, and my wife prefer to slice carrots, celery, and similar veggies against their thumb. I find that cumbersome, dangerous, and slow. I can't bring myself to do it. In the few times where I have had to, I rotate the veggie against the blade, cutting half way through on every side, until the piece falls into the pot or bowl.
I don't understand how people can cut comfortably toward their thumb. I must just be a coward when it comes to intentionally inflicting pain on myself.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the Nroth