Knife Fighting

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Don Roley, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Black Belt

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    Certainly illustrates the need to train as though the opponent always has a weapon that you just may not have seen yet. In my dojo that's often actually the case: We do a fair amount of stuff involving use of kakushi buki or small hidden weapons. And of course, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander: whatever the bad guys use we can use too, and I rather like the design of this folding boxcutter.

    Not here in California anyway -- no advantage in either direction. A concealed fixed-blade is a felony no matter what the style. Likewise, a fixed-blade worn openly is totally legal no matter what (barring certain statutorily defined venues such as schools, government buildings, etc.).

    So when I wear a fixed-blade knife, it's 'most always my handmade Scottish dirk.

    I'm also looking forward with great anticipation to one item in a forthcoming line of historically-correct 19th century style bowies from Hanwei, the Bell Bowie. This is a reproduction of one of 14 surviving bowies made by Samuel Bell. Bell -- like Bowie -- is a Scottish name, and this one has a remarkably "Scottish dirk-like" look to it.

    Samuel Bell was a cutler and silversmith in both Knoxville, Tennesee and San Antonio, Texas. He was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania; and at the age of 14 went to work in an arms factory making swords for use in the War of 1812. He later became mayor of Knoxville before relocating to San Antonio. While in Texas he made a pair of silver spurs for General Sam Houston (also Scottish, from the Gaelic huisdean), who wore them at the Battle of Sam Jacinto.

    (Other trivia: There were 30 Scots among those who fought in the Battle of the Alamo, and piper John MacGregor stood on the adobe walls in the midst of the battle to pipe the men on in true Scottish tradition.)

    I'm of partial Scottish ancestry and also a Texan by birth, and this knife just really calls out to me!
     
  2. Grey Eyed Bandit

    Grey Eyed Bandit Master of Arts

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    Possibly so. I was however more referring to the actual use of the blade in self defense.

    Heard the other day that knives are legal to carry in Germany as long as they don't have a downward curving blade, like a kukri shape...seems strange, especially since I've heard that many German Pekiti Tirsia-practitioners are fond of the CRKT Ryan Plan B and the aforementioned AFCK...
     
  3. Mountain Kusa

    Mountain Kusa Orange Belt

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    So Dale, does this mean in California that a small folding blade may be carried conceiled?
     
  4. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Black Belt

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    It does. It also means a large folder may legally be carried concealed: Under the law, it's not a "dirk or dagger" unless/until it's being carried or worn with the blade open. If I wanted to carry around, say, a Camillus Cuda Maxx "folding bowie" with 5 & 1/2" blade it would be no problem.
     
  5. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Black Belt

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    I think Don Roley has more than adequately addressed the potential impact of names, appearances, and "intent reflected in design" of certain sorts of knives, and I agree with him. That's why the folders I & my wife carry are arguably "utility" rather than "tactical" knives. As a strict matter of law, it's a non-issue. However, would an attorney attempt to use such things as a psychological ploy to influence members of a jury? Count on it!!

    To give you an idea how far such things can be carried, I served on a jury in a criminal trial a few years ago in San Francisco. The defendant was charged with assault with a deadly weapon (to wit, a knife) and infliction of great bodily injury on a security guard outside a bookstore of which the defendant was a patron and which employed the guard.

    According to the prosecuting attorney the defendant's abiding interest in military history (the section in which he spent nearly all his time) attested to his defective and dangerous character, while his prior honorable service as a US Marine was evidence of his physical deadliness. It was also clear, to me, based on personal experience that her description of the "attack" on the guard and the way the injury was inflicted was not physically possible: It was akin to watching someone trying to create a kata by combining movement and techniques from several unrelated arts, with no understanding of any of them.

    Oh, and the deadly weapon? It was a non-locking Swiss Army knife.

    The great bodily injury? A wound no more than an inch wide which only penetrated the skin, didn't even go through the subcutaneous fat layer.

    The assault? The guy didn't knife the guard just outside the store when they got into an argument and the guard threw him out, as alleged. The guard had harrassed and bullied this guy over a period of weeks. On this occasion, the guard finally threw him out. . .then abandoned his post and followed him for two or three blocks, threatening him (during which time the defendant surreptitiously palmed the knife and opened a blade). When they finally reached a point where the guard thought they were unobserved, he made his move -- whereupon the defendant poked at him with the can-opener blade, jumped back, and yelled at the guard to leave him alone.

    During jury selection it was already established and known that I was (at that time) both an account manager with a uniformed guard service (responsible for staffing and guard training -- and disciplining -- at a number of client locations), and a martial arts/self defense instructor who taught weapons use as well as empty-hand stuff. I'm also a former Marine NCO, as well as a former Army officer. I thought neither side would want me, but they both thought I was perfect for their case.

    I do think I had a considerable influence on the jury during deliberation. The defendant walked, acquitted of ALL charges. No "assault", just self-defense. No great bodily injury inflicted. No deadly weapon -- in fact, it was a finding of fact by us that it was not even a knife at the time it was used because of the blade that was deployed.
     
  6. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    Dale,

    No disrespect meant here, just curious.

    If this is true then how come no one will ship a balisong knife to California? I mean is their specific legislation against this style of knife?

    Thanks
     
  7. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Black Belt

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    Unfortunately it does fall within the statutory description of a "switchblade" in section 653K of the California Penal Code (see my post on this on page 5 of this thread). It's not illegal to own a switchblade, but it is a misdemeanor to purchase, import, or to possess one other than on your own property.

    The relevant part here -- emphasis added by me, below -- is:

    For whatever it's worth, if it was a wee bitty balisong with a 1.9" blade, it would not legally be considered a switchblade.
     
  8. Cryozombie

    Cryozombie Grandmaster

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    Ok, so here is a situation...

    As a PC tech, who is often charged with manufacturing Category 5 (cat5) cabling for our Motorolla Canopy Wireless internet connection, I often need a knife for cutting and splicing cabling.

    Obviously that would not be a Bowie, or a Tanto, or a Dale-esque (I coined a new phrase for ya there Dale) scottish dirk...

    But what would be "acceptable" for that?

    My CRKT, which I commonly use for that, would be seen by its design as NOT a utility knife... the Skeletonized handle, serated edge and Tanto point just dont speak "utility"...

    Likewise, a folding boxcutter, while termed "boxcutter" and therby given the name of a utility knife would seem like a utility knife, but would be useless for cutting the cabling because of how brittle a box cutter blade can be...

    So, is perception more important, or "proof of use"?
     
  9. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Black Belt

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    Could go either way for you in Chicago. 'Course, if you like CRKT (and I do myself), you could always just go for a different model, like this one:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    I'd say both. If the knife is used in self-defense, it boils down to if your attorney can beat up the prosecuting in court. So, it's best to have your ducks in a row in as many ways as you can beforehand. If you can avoid getting the knife that is marketed or percieved as a "fighting knife" AND that cuts you cable well, that is preferable.


    I wish I had advice on a good cable cutter off the top of my head, but I don't cut a lot of cable so I am probably not the best person to ask. What comes to mind though is the new SOG trident TF-2 or TF-3: (http://www.sogknives.com/Folding/SOG-Trident/TF-2.htm)

    The reason this comes to my mind is because I am looking at getting one myself. They have a little notch in the handle that they call the "groove," basically it allows you to use your blade as a wire cutter or line cutter without having to open the knife. I don't know about cutting cable, but that may work.

    However, this knife is terrible for "perception;" with its automatic feature it may not even be legal to carry in your state, with its tactical look and marketing towards operators this gives the prosecutor a heck of a lot of ammo to use against you.

    I was thinking another choice to look into would be something like an Xicar cigar cutting knife: http://www.xikar.com/knives_xi744.asp?order_id=

    Instead of cutting Cigars, your could use the hole feature to cut cable? You might have to modify it though.


    I only thought of these two options because these are two toys I am looking into getting next. I am sure there are other options that'll do a better job...

    Paul
     
  11. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    The few times I had to cut wire or cable though, my spyderco persian did a fine job: http://www.newgraham.com/persian.htm

    But again, I don't know about repeated and continue use for the job, but I can attest that the persian has a very strong and durable blade and handle.

    If you like that design but want an even sturdier, bigger handle and blade, I say go with the Chinook II (but take this guys review with a grain of salt): http://www.knifenetwork.com/reviews/review_02_spyd_chinook_al.shtml

    O.K...I'll shut up now and let someone who knows more about cable cutting speak... ;)

    Paul
     
  12. Cryozombie

    Cryozombie Grandmaster

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    Nah, its good input. Im thinking along these lines tho, and I dont think I was clear in my original post...

    I want a knife that is first and formost good for self-defense, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME being "utility" enough to use on a daily basis... thats why I dont just carry a swiss or a leatherman...

    And my question is pretty much in line with, how well does that translate in the courtroom?
     
  13. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Black Belt

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    Well, that pretty much gets back to my last post above: You can expect the D.A.'s prosecutor to use every possible sleazy trick, and if you're lucky you'll have someone like me on your jury or as an expert witness for the defense. (Of course, the latter could be arranged without "luck" even being involved.)
     
  14. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    Agreed, and exactly what I say about the prosecutor. So, one needs to stack the cards in their favor in every way that they can before an incident, because during a self-defense encounter that requires lethal force, the last thing you want to be thinking about is how much trouble your going to get into.

    I say check out the Spyderco Persian. It's beautifully crafted with a nice hefty blade that holds an edge well, and it looks more like your outdoorsman's or fishing knife rather then a tactical tool of destruction. It'll uphold rugged use as well, and can handle most tasts; so I assume it'll handle cutting cable just fine.

    Paul
     
  15. Kreth

    Kreth Grandmaster

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    Ok, now you're just confusing people: Cat5 for a wireless connection...? ;)
    Seriously, I tend to use a dedicated cutter when terminating cable. Something like this...

    Jeff
     
  16. hicho

    hicho Guest

    Hahaha...that's funny Jeff,

    We use Motorola's Canopy wireless backhaul for a seven-building WAN at work. The Canopy system uses shielded CAT-5 for power injection and data to the wireless radio itself - hence the reason for cutting CAT-5.

    I carry a Kershaw or Al Mar "clip it", but usually cut CAT-5 with a pair of wire cutters or RJ-45 crimpers.
     
  17. Kreth

    Kreth Grandmaster

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    I understood. It just looked strange when I first read the post. Although, now that you mention it, I'm surprised they don't use Cat6 instead...
    And just so I'm not accused of thread-hijacking: I think my Cold Steel ProLite would be a bit of overkill for stripping cable... ;)

    Jeff
     
  18. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    Dale,

    Thank you.

    My problem is that even though thumb studs or thumb whole knives require a little work, almost all (* All I have handled *) can be opened with the flip of a wrist. So, I could see a officer with a grudge or attitude could think the pocket knife was not acceptable as well.

    Is the fact that the statute specifically states does not include those devices with a thumb stud disqualify these blades, even though there is not enough resistance, and a wrist flip will open them? I realize this is for California only.

    Still curious

    Thanks
     
  19. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Black Belt

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    As a matter of fact, that language was added to the statute -- went into effect in 2002 as I recall -- precisely because law enforcement officers were charging people with misdemeanors simply because they were in possession of folders which could, if one tried hard enough or enough times, be opened with no other action than a wrist-flick.
     
  20. GAB

    GAB 3rd Black Belt

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    Quote here>>>>
    As far as american sensitivity, I don't 'teach' blade deployment or more offensive/pre-emptive blade technique to those not invioved with military or law enforcement. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing so with most students. I do, however, teach blade defense and retention to those who want it...[/QUOTE]
    Hi.
    I like this Quote, Regarding sensitivity of knife fighting in America, especially CA.

    Most of the stuff in martial arts are a felony if you carry or use. Yes it is nice to know how to defend and counter. But to cut and maim and kill is a whole nother thing.

    I come from a law enforcent back ground and can't seem to break that mentality.

    I have quite a bit of a different attitude...

    I believe empty hand is the way to go and then there is the intelligence to not go there in the first place... But hey, I am not a 25 year old male running around with a lot of testosterone and ignorance, regarding most out comes, of knife fights and shootings.

    Seen the other side and it is not pretty and no second chances when you are mortally wounded because you failed to pick the correct action.

    Hard some times, but you need to know that America, is a place with lots of laws and that is the way to handle it. Not in a street fight with an illegal knife that some bozo in a martial arts class want's to sell you.

    I wish they would start prosecuting the teachers and not the student who has been primed for this stupidity...

    Just my thoughts on this.

    Regards, Gary123
     

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