What kind of knife is best for knife fighting?

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

  1. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    I have certainly seen what you see as well, regarding knife stuff (sometimes being too flashy) it's even in my school but as part of something. My Inosanto Kali Lineage is a little weird. It passes from Master at Arm's James Keating to my Guro. This not only lead to some more Spanish sword influence but a "quirk" of Keatings. He taught my Guro, and thus I am taught, with the following method. We first learn a complicated and/or flashy method. Then we are taught the "clean" unflashy method. Keatings thought on that was that if you teach the student the complicated way first when you teach them the simple method the "light bulb" will go off and the simple method "sticks.". I don't have any FMA experience outside of my school however so I don't know how common, or uncommon, this idea is.

    I also don't hold illusions of being a knife fighter. In terms of "fighting" i look at the knife training as very useful because in learning to "fight" with a knife I learn to better defend long enough to transition to my firearm (thinking work.) I am what I would call a fair "dueler"/sparrer though (with stick and sword too) but that is likely because I spent many years fencing. That gave me an appreciation for what some might call "dancing" but "dancing" only works if both opponents already have their weapons openly at the ready. That's why I say "sparring is pressure testing, not fighting" because as often as not "fighting" starts with a surprise attack. Here is a video that I think illustrates what I am talking about a bit dueling vs fighting... "Prepared" vs "natural position" to get surprise.


     
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  2. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Black Belt

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    I haven't seen it the way you describe in any of the places I have trained unless the fancy version was being shown as a demo, but that is not a criticism, just an observation. We start clean and simple and then build on that later. Again, it's pretty hard to get a disarm if you can't even get control of the limb. I've heard Guro Dan say in the past that disarms are incidental if not accidental. However, when I trained in Modern Arnis, Sayoc Kali, or even Lacoste-Inosanto Kali, we did a ton of time on defanging and disarming. Since I have been training in PTK, we rarely train those things. They come pretty late in the system to begin with, so it is implied that you have solid basics, know how to manage distance with footwork, and understand timing. It's also implied that you have the ability to perform a tap correctly (as an attack).

    I certainly can't disagree with any of that. The knife is an ambush weapon most of the time. If I only have empty hands and the other guy has a weapon, I need to survive the initial assault long enough to get to my own weapon. In order to do that, I need to react in a simple and aggressive manner, and I better have footwork to control the distance. If he has one knife, I want two, or a long weapon, or a gun, etc.
     
  3. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    I mostly used karabits for trickery. Like balisongs. I mean I can still knife you with one. But I can knife you with a screwdriver.

    But a lot of the trapping , hooking and assorted trickery I am never going to use. I never encountered anyone else who used a knife in that manner. These people spar almost never use curved blade stuff.

    A bit of defang and that is probably it.

    I wouldn't get one just for coconuts.
     
  4. Mephisto

    Mephisto Black Belt

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    If we’re talking practical use the only blade that matters is one that will save your life (physically and keep you out of prison). Legality has little to do with it, if you carry a specialized “fighting” knife or anything that can Be construed as a dedicated weapon you’ll be at the mercy of a jury and the opinion of the lay-person. If your tactical karambit is legal carry in your state the lay-people in your jury won’t care. You carried a specific type of weapon which can imply specific intent to some. Best to carry a ultility knife that can be found at any local sport/hardware store and can more readily one presented as a weapon of opportunity.
     
  5. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    Let me say first this is just based on 30 years as a cop (literally to the date as of this month). If you use a knife in self defense you have to be justified in using lethal force, by your State Law. So if you were allowed to use a straight blade in an encounter, and you State's law doesn't prohibit karambits, do not sweat it. Why?

    In most States, if not all, there is Preliminary hearing which is only before a Judge, no Jury at the magistrate level. After that you can request a Habeus at the Common Pleas level (a second bite at the prelim) again just in front of a Judge. Then, if for some reason two Judges ignored your State Law doesn't prohibit such a blade (very unlikely) you can request a Bench trial. This means no Jury, just the Judge making a decision on law. People keep saying "omg Juries!!!" That's really a non-issue.

    The answer is learn the specifics of your State's and Municipalities laws. In terms of weapons bearing the system actually works well, you just have to know what the laws around you say. Then make sure you only deploy it, as it's deadly force, when is justified. It's really not that complicated.
     
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  6. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    Edit Dang typo.. 20 years. Sleep drprived posting lol. But the main take away is,

    1. Know you knife laws.
    2. Understand that when you use a knife in self defense it's best to ask "if I had a gun would I be justified in shooting the person" because a knife is lethal force.

    #2 is actually more important than #1 imo because if you screw up #2 it doesn't matter what knife you are carrying.
     
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