What kind of knife is best for knife fighting?

Discussion in 'Knife Arts' started by Joab, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Master of Arts

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    i think this is going to be dependent on your first comment, of "how are you going to use it". the tactics used will be the determining factor on the the usefulness of the weapon.
    i think a jacket will limit the effectiveness of thrusts like you say, but will actually limit slash cuts more so. its very difficult to say whether thrusts or slash are more effective because the goal is to stop the threat. will a slash have the emotional demoralizing effect needed?? maybe. but the chances of hitting something that will make the assailant bleed out quick enough is pretty slim if he is determined to kill you. to be honest if your using a knife in a violent encounter where lethal force is required your pretty much screwed.
     
  2. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    When working I carry an appropriate knife for work. In my private life I carry this.

    SwissArmyKnife.jpg
    Not a joke, it's the knife I prefer. Gotta' admit, it is cute.
     
  3. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Master of Arts

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    and that looks actual size too. :)
     
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  4. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    In the face Chopper style.

     
  5. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Master of Arts

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    the Folsom Sewing Machine is always very effective. more so to the face and neck. gets the job done
     
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  6. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    Oh one addition regarding my appreciation of the karambit. To my mind a knife is a weapon of stealth, it should be felt before seen. One interesting thing about the blade shape of the karambit is that the curve has an added bonus on top of being able to "hook". The shape also keeps the straightline distance from handle to tip short, while at the same time having a long cutting surface. Just to spit ball numbers let's say the straightline distance is 3.5 inches but the actual cutting edge, if you follow the contour of the blade is 5 inches.
     
  7. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Black Belt

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    The Karambit does have interesting applications. However, there are a couple of concerns I do have with it. Prior to that, let me say that I pray to God that I never have to use a knife (or any tool, martial art, etc.) for defensive purposes. I hope this all stays purely hypothetical/theoretical.

    From the perspective of the shape of the blade, the ability to justify carrying it in the event that you have to use it in a defensive manner is concerning to me. I can explain carrying my pocket folder pretty easily, as many people do that. It has legitimate non-defensive purposes that a LEO or, God forbid, a Jury, can easily understand. The Karambit? Not so much in my view. The average person, particularly in Texas where I am at, understands and accepts the use of a defensive handgun for legal concealed carry much more readily than a knife, particularly one that is shaped like a Karambit. We can certainly debate the logic of that, but it is true nonetheless. People have a perception of the knife as an offensive/defensive tool that is different than that of a firearm for the same purpose. This perception, and the lack of common everyday uses for the Karambit, is the the primary reason I have refrained from purchasing or attempting to learn it.

    Secondly, in the event that one does have to use a knife in a defensive situation, you lose the ability to thrust with the knife due to the shape of the Karambit, and the knife's ability to end a confrontation quickly is enhanced by thrusting. Sure, you can sever an artery with the Karambit, but you can do that with a straight edge as well. However, it is pretty hard to puncture a lung, etc. with the Karambit as you have pretty much lost the thrust.

    All in all, while I am intrigued by the technical aspect of Karambit use, I won't be carrying one myself.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  8. Kababayan

    Kababayan Orange Belt

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    I don't know if anyone has said this yet, as I didn't read the numerous replies, but I prefer the Kershaw Needs Work 1820. It has a 3 inch blade, which is legal in most counties, it has a pointed blade, which cuts through the quadriceps tendon well, and is very sharp. It's a less expensive version of the blade that Michael Janich suggests. They don't make it anymore but you can find one ebay for around $50.
     
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  9. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    Karambit.Sheath.1.jpg
    First agreed, I hope to never need to use it. The same way I am glad I always found a way to get around having to use my firearm at work.

    I also agree you should consult your local laws on knives. In my neck of the woods a Karambit is legal.

    As for thrusting that really depends on the design of the blade itself and training. If you train with it trusting can be done with any karambit but I will easily grant one like I have above is far better for thrusting...

    [​IMG]

    I think what I really like about it is how effective it is at "defanging the snake." Knives are like any weapon though, it's a very personal thing.
     
  10. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Black Belt

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    My apologies for any confusion. I wasn't actually referring to legality. I was referring to perception on the part of any LEO who may end up investigating a defensive situation, or any jury that may be deciding on legality should it ever come down to that. It would be very easy for a LEO to look at you twice when carrying that sort of blade when they might not do so if you had a standard pocket folder that they themselves might carry. In addition, it would be easy for an overzealous prosecutor to paint a picture of a person who likes to train with knives, and deliberately chooses a knife which only purpose is killing other humans to a jury should something ever come to trial.

    Having said that, I certainly agree that knowing your local knife laws is a good idea.

    Perhaps, though I am not sure about the "any Karambit" and thrusting. You lose a good deal of depth of penetration due to the curvature of the blade. You could certainly do "punch cuts" though, particularly to certain areas like the femoral or subclavian arteries.

    I can certainly understand that. I am intrigued by it for the same reason.
    Indeed. One needs to find what works for them based upon the system they study, and the corresponding assumptions, tactics, and techniques of that system.
     
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  11. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    Oh I see what you are saying now. I suppose I am projecting. Knowing my State's laws, and being a LEO, I would not arrest someone based on that knife alone but the circumstances. Likewise I talked to DA's in my county to confirm my interpretation of the Prohibited Offensive Weapons statute and they concurred with me. So I guess... If you like them come to PA (just not Philly, they have their own ordinance ;) )

    As for training what really hooked me on this blade was a seminar last year that my instructor taught. It started with just "combat takedowns" (meaning ones where you are looking to dislocate and break) then transitioned to grappling with a karambit. Due to it's design, and the pikal grip it's optimized for, it worked far better in a grappling scenario than your typical straight fixed blade in a hammer or saber grip. It was rather eye opening actually.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  12. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Black Belt

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    Cheers!
     
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  13. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    One thing I like about the Karambit is that it is simply and absolutely the best fruit cutting knife you will find. I use one of mine for this all the time at home. I have a regular one I use just in the kitchen. That is how I use it but there are more uses. While traveling in India one day at one of my wife's uncle's homes we had a coconut guy come to climb a tree and cut open coconut's for us. He came with his trusty knife which was an Indian version of a Karambit. Betcha didn't know that this is where the tool originated from. He climbed a tree about thirty feet up cut the coconuts and then opened them easily with his knife. Easily... Great tool, great knife but like you Charlemagne I prefer a simple folding knife for my every day carry. Less conspicuous and easily explained! ;)
     
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  14. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    Oh let me say my EDC is a folder (Fox DART). However I see a difference between an EDC (meaning doing most everything decently while not seeming like a threat ;) ) and a "fighting knife."
     
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  15. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    It is a trick knife.
     
  16. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    And that is based on what training and experience in edged weapon training as well as assisting victims of edged weapon assaults? Honestly curious. The blade is very dangerous. You can find plenty of videos on YouTube where it's ability to lacerate is demonstrated. It does have disadvantages, less reach if in the pikal grip, depending on blade geometry harder to thrust/stab with, illegal in some jurisdictions even. But anything that can do damage like that efficiently isn't a "trick." It's apparently good enough for members of Canada's Joint Task Force 2 (their counter terror force). /Shrug.
     
  17. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    I taught scientific fighting congress for a year or so back in the day. Which was all tacticool knife.

    And bounced during the Asian gang heyday. Who were incredibly stabby. They used to use swords.

    Otherwise a common pastime in north qld is killing pigs with knives. Which I have friends who do. And if you can drop a hundred kilo wild pig you can probably drop a person.

    Yourself?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  18. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    Starting from bottom to top. I study FMA (Inosanto Kali to be specific). Also after 20 years as a LEO in a bad town I have seen more than my fair share of stabbings and slashings, some fatal. I also test my blades when I first get them on analogues (before I cook them of course) lamb thighs are my favorite but I have used pork as well. I have also used the karambit to dress game while hunting and Brian above already spoke of watching it used to harvest and tear a coconut open, not an unworthy feat. I believe he also uses it quite effectively for utility tasks. This actually makes sense to me because in the Philippines, where the blade is called a lihok, its original purpose was as a tool but as many tribal cultures do it got turned into a weapon by necessity.

    As for the sword comment, that is irrelevant to this thread because we are talking about fighting knives, not swords.


    Now I will partially agree with you on one point. I feel a karambit FOLDER is tacticool, I would never use one as anything more than a box cutter. Lacking a double edged limits your angles of attack when held in the pikal grip and makes it basically useless as a flail. I would also apply that to some of the more outrageous "custom" designs that limit stabbing ability even more without a payoff in better slashing ability. However a Traditional double edged, robust, full tang, karambit/lihok, (like I pictured in a previous post) while having some disadvantages, as any design does, is effective in the hands of someone trained to use it, especially in terms of laceration because that curved design is purpose built to cut things.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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  19. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    You have to be able to use a knife as a weapon. Simple enough statement, but you know whether or not you really know how to fight with a a knife.
     
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  20. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Black Belt

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    Good points. I've studied a few different FMA systems now, some more focused on the knife than others (Modern Arnis, a bit of Sayoc Kali, Lacoste-Inosanto Kali, Pekiti Tirsia Kali - PTI, and now Pekiti Tirsia Kali - PTKGO). Most of what I have seen with the knife, either in those systems, or in various demos of other "knife systems" is way too flashy and relies on things that pretty much no one will ever be able to pull off against a resisting opponent. Sadly, the stuff I've seen with the Karambit is just as bad. One of the major aspects I like about where I train now, compared to other systems I have trained and other things I have seen, is that the training is not that way.

    The weapon hand moves fast, and while you don't have the manipulations that you do with the long weapon, you have enough that tracking it can be very challenging at close quarters. The disarms, defanging the snake, etc. are very unlikely unless you a) get lucky or b) are able to tap, trap, and lock (in that order) the weapon hand/arm first, which pretty much relies on a combination of many repetitions performed under pressure, and getting pretty darn lucky in that moment.

    In my own personal skill set, I'm probably better with the knife and with empty hand against knife than I am anything else, and I wan't absolutely NO part in a knife fight or of going empty hand against knife. The skilled person is never going to allow you to touch their weapon hand, so getting a tap, trap, and lock is going to be all but impossible, which pretty much negates your chances of pulling off any of those pretty disarms that you see in demos. The unskilled person isn't going to be as concerned with protecting themselves, which means that they might be OK wtih trading shots or when you think you have your opening, they are willing to stab you right back because they don't recognize the danger (double kill). The person who has no formal training, but knows how to use the knife is going to ambush you and it will happen so fast that none of your fancy taps, etc. are going to happen, as there will simply be no time. Either way, it's a crap sandwich.

    Despite my training and that it is probably my better skill-set, I don't hold any illusions of being some sort of "knife fighter". I'm just a middle-aged guy who wants to get home to my family if something bad were to happen. I train it because it gives me a better chance than if I don't.

    All of that being said, I do enjoy talking about different knives as well as training, and am glad that threads like this exist! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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