Gripping a knife

frank raud

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THE HAMMER GRIP​

This term was coined by the late Col. Rex Applegate in his classic work Kill or Get Killed. To assume this grip, simply make a fist around the handle of the knife with the blade extending from the thumb side of the hand. Curl the thumb down and squeeze the hand tight.

The hammer grip is a very strong grip that is great for weapon retention and management of impact shock, and many knife practitioners use it exclusively. However, its focus on strength can sometimes compromise speed and maneuverability.

Get a Grip!: A Complete Guide To Knife Grips - SWAT Survival | Weapons | Tactics The above description is written by an acknowledged expert, Michael Janich. I train regularly with one of his instructors and have met and had face to face discussions with Mike Janich. As he mentions, the term was coined by Rex Applegate, a legend in the military combatives, shooting and knife worlds. I have trained with a direct student of Rex Applegate.
I have trained off and on for the last twenty years with Craig Douglas. He also advocates for the hammer grip, often in the reverse grip, or icepick configuration.

Don Pentecost, author off Put 'em down, Take 'em out! Knife fighting techniques from Folsom Prison call the hammer grip the hit grip. This is how he describes it. HIT Grip. The hit grip is primarily for penetration. It is the preferred grip for serious business. The hand is wrapped around the handle into a fist, with the blade extended from the top of the hand, between the thumb and index finger. Your thumb is the key element for a secure grip.

Why do acknowledged experts in military knife fighting, FMA and prison knife fighting all advocate the hammer grip? Could it be because it provides the most secure grip you can have on a knife without a guard, or an improvised weapon with an inadequate handle? Could it be because it is an instinctive grip that doesn't require a lot (or any)training to make work? I have been taught by multiple instructors that to combine a hammer grip with a locked wrist essentially creates a piston with a blade on the end. If you are doing point-oriented knife work, a hammer grip makes a lot of sense.
 

Tez3

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I haven't trained with knives but I was taught that same way to hold a knife by a Royal Marine Commando. An expert.
Funnily enough he'd throw the knife using the same grip. And darts, he'd throw darts like that too.
 

tkdroamer

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THE HAMMER GRIP​

This term was coined by the late Col. Rex Applegate in his classic work Kill or Get Killed. To assume this grip, simply make a fist around the handle of the knife with the blade extending from the thumb side of the hand. Curl the thumb down and squeeze the hand tight.

The hammer grip is a very strong grip that is great for weapon retention and management of impact shock, and many knife practitioners use it exclusively. However, its focus on strength can sometimes compromise speed and maneuverability.

Get a Grip!: A Complete Guide To Knife Grips - SWAT Survival | Weapons | Tactics The above description is written by an acknowledged expert, Michael Janich. I train regularly with one of his instructors and have met and had face to face discussions with Mike Janich. As he mentions, the term was coined by Rex Applegate, a legend in the military combatives, shooting and knife worlds. I have trained with a direct student of Rex Applegate.
I have trained off and on for the last twenty years with Craig Douglas. He also advocates for the hammer grip, often in the reverse grip, or icepick configuration.

Don Pentecost, author off Put 'em down, Take 'em out! Knife fighting techniques from Folsom Prison call the hammer grip the hit grip. This is how he describes it. HIT Grip. The hit grip is primarily for penetration. It is the preferred grip for serious business. The hand is wrapped around the handle into a fist, with the blade extended from the top of the hand, between the thumb and index finger. Your thumb is the key element for a secure grip.

Why do acknowledged experts in military knife fighting, FMA and prison knife fighting all advocate the hammer grip? Could it be because it provides the most secure grip you can have on a knife without a guard, or an improvised weapon with an inadequate handle? Could it be because it is an instinctive grip that doesn't require a lot (or any)training to make work? I have been taught by multiple instructors that to combine a hammer grip with a locked wrist essentially creates a piston with a blade on the end. If you are doing point-oriented knife work, a hammer grip makes a lot of sense.
Hammer & Filipino grip all the way, depending on the handle type or size of knife.
 

Rich Parsons

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THE HAMMER GRIP​

This term was coined by the late Col. Rex Applegate in his classic work Kill or Get Killed. To assume this grip, simply make a fist around the handle of the knife with the blade extending from the thumb side of the hand. Curl the thumb down and squeeze the hand tight.

The hammer grip is a very strong grip that is great for weapon retention and management of impact shock, and many knife practitioners use it exclusively. However, its focus on strength can sometimes compromise speed and maneuverability.

Get a Grip!: A Complete Guide To Knife Grips - SWAT Survival | Weapons | Tactics The above description is written by an acknowledged expert, Michael Janich. I train regularly with one of his instructors and have met and had face to face discussions with Mike Janich. As he mentions, the term was coined by Rex Applegate, a legend in the military combatives, shooting and knife worlds. I have trained with a direct student of Rex Applegate.
I have trained off and on for the last twenty years with Craig Douglas. He also advocates for the hammer grip, often in the reverse grip, or icepick configuration.

Don Pentecost, author off Put 'em down, Take 'em out! Knife fighting techniques from Folsom Prison call the hammer grip the hit grip. This is how he describes it. HIT Grip. The hit grip is primarily for penetration. It is the preferred grip for serious business. The hand is wrapped around the handle into a fist, with the blade extended from the top of the hand, between the thumb and index finger. Your thumb is the key element for a secure grip.

Why do acknowledged experts in military knife fighting, FMA and prison knife fighting all advocate the hammer grip? Could it be because it provides the most secure grip you can have on a knife without a guard, or an improvised weapon with an inadequate handle? Could it be because it is an instinctive grip that doesn't require a lot (or any)training to make work? I have been taught by multiple instructors that to combine a hammer grip with a locked wrist essentially creates a piston with a blade on the end. If you are doing point-oriented knife work, a hammer grip makes a lot of sense.
o_Oo_O

Data ?!?
References ?!?
Links ?!?

I am confused, I don't know what to do.

** End Sarcasm **

Yes the Hammer Grip is wonderful.
Yes some in the FMA and other places like the Ice Pick grip which is pretty much a similar grip in a different orientation on a knife.

:cool:
 
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F

frank raud

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o_Oo_O

Data ?!?
References ?!?
Links ?!?

I am confused, I don't know what to do.

** End Sarcasm **

Yes the Hammer Grip is wonderful.
Yes some in the FMA and other places like the Ice Pick grip which is pretty much a similar grip in a different orientation on a knife.

:cool:
You left out two decades of experience. Which doesn't make me the most experienced person on this board, but by now I have figured out the pointy end goes in the other guy. Won't make THAT mistake again!
 

geezer

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The "hammer grip" is a basic fundamental, but it isn't the only good way to hold a blade.

A lot dependes on the type of blade and handle, and how you are trying to use it. Here's an article that explores various grips. I in a rush, need to get back to work, and I'm far enough down the ADD spectrum to admit that I haven't read it all yet, but I do like the pictures!

 

Dirty Dog

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The "hammer grip" is a basic fundamental, but it isn't the only good way to hold a blade.
It's not, but it's one of the best, if not the absolute best, for most of the sort of blades we're talking about today. Basic folding pocket knives.

With the rapier, a fairly loose grip is common. It helps with point control. But your hand is behind a guard of some sort, and you typically have at least one finger through a ring in the grip.

I certainly wouldn't use that with any of my carry knives.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Does anybody hold knife this way?

knife_hold_1.jpg
 

Dirty Dog

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Does anybody hold knife this way?
Sure. That's the ice pick grip. I will add that, among untrained people, this grip is far more common for women than men. When people show up in the ER with stab wounds, women typically stab down and men typically stab up.

Also, when people say "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach", they lie. It's the 5th intercostal space along the midclavicular line. Best to have the blade parallel to the ribs.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Sure. That's the ice pick grip. I will add that, among untrained people, this grip is far more common for women than men. When people show up in the ER with stab wounds, women typically stab down and men typically stab up.

Also, when people say "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach", they lie. It's the 5th intercostal space along the midclavicular line. Best to have the blade parallel to the ribs.
I believe the "ice pick grip (or reverse grip)" is used to cut the belly and throat. You cut your opponent's belly first. When he dodges, you cut his throat. That's the famous dagger "S cut".

 

Dirty Dog

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I believe the "ice pick grip (or reverse grip)" is used to cut the belly and throat. You cut your opponent's belly first. When he dodges, you cut his throat. That's the famous dagger "S cut".
My comments, as I stated, were about untrained people (which I'm sure you will agree accounts for a majority) and how they use the knife.

Trained people can certainly use a knife in the ice pick grip the way you described, as well as approximately 47,893 other ways. Approximately. There might be 47,894, come to think of it.
 

tkdroamer

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o_Oo_O

Data ?!?
References ?!?
Links ?!?

I am confused, I don't know what to do.

** End Sarcasm **

Yes the Hammer Grip is wonderful.
Yes some in the FMA and other places like the Ice Pick grip which is pretty much a similar grip in a different orientation on a knife.

:cool:
Agree. The ice pick grip completely depends on what you are doing with the knife.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I'm the farthest thing from an expert. The Marines taught the hammer grip for knife fighting and the ice pick grip for killing from behind someone, usually slashing the neck. I didn't practice enough to become proficient, and I never used it against anyone. I did get stabbed once, in the back. It was an ice pick grip used in an overhand motion.
 

Dirty Dog

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I'm the farthest thing from an expert. The Marines taught the hammer grip for knife fighting and the ice pick grip for killing from behind someone, usually slashing the neck. I didn't practice enough to become proficient, and I never used it against anyone. I did get stabbed once, in the back. It was an ice pick grip used in an overhand motion.
Just to clarify, I like the post. Not the fact that you got stabbed. That part sucks.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Just to clarify, I like the post. Not the fact that you got stabbed. That part sucks.
It didn't end up doing much damage. I was on my knees attempting to put hand irons on a drunken bleeding Marine who had stumbled into concertina wire and then attempted to run away while trailing blood, and his buddy came up behind me and stuck me with his bayonet in my flak jacket. Didn't penetrate far, made a little triangle hole in my shoulder. My partner put the habeus grabbus on him.
 

punisher73

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As others have said, your grip depends on the knife and what you are doing with it. I think it is very important to also understand that Fairbairn's method also used a SPECIFIC knife that was taught to the soldiers. The knife was designed for mainly stabbing and also for using the butt of the handle to smash as well. The hammer grip was the best grip for how his knife was to be used.

Fairbairn Knife.jpg
 
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