The Cobra Fighting Knife By Peter M. Reiff Sr.

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The Cobra Fighting Knife
By Peter M. Reiff Sr.
Recently through one of the strange co-incidences I learned of a successor to the Rekat Hobbit Warrior knife. A request for some of my Hobbit Warrior photographs from notable knife scribe Dmitry Samoylov writing for “Prorez Magazine” resulted in obtaining to a Cyrillic proof copy of the article discussing a new edged weapon called the Cobra Fighting Knife. I was intrigued enough to follow up with the acquisition of a test and evaluation sample.

The Cobra is a MUCH smaller evolution of the notable Al Mar Warrior/ REKAT Hobbit Warrior knife and intended for use in differing environments that may require an armed professional to have a primary/secondary/tertiary concealable fixed blade edged weapon.

The Cobra and all of its related somewhat exotic kinfolk are purpose designed for counter-offensive/defensive usage. While I suppose they “could” be used as a utility type knife the blade and handle profiles are specifically for reverse grip combatives against an aggressor.

This knife is the brainchild of Personal Security Consultant/ Martial Artist David Decker and shares a number of revisions to the original knife design for those who may prefer to wear something tastefully discrete. David like many martial artists desired a knife that would provide features not commonly found on US made “tactical” knives. As with anything else there were a number of evolutionary modifications made to the Cobra prototypes and the supplied photo at the end of the article gives you the quick visual idea of the subtleties involved with perfecting the Cobra.

Mr. Decker believes that a tactical folder is an oxymoron, and I concur on the subject with the vast majority of the marketed genre tactical knives. The vast majority of these mega market knives have blades, handle profiles, and locking and opening features have nothing to do with the reality of getting to, or using a knife quickly under stress. But they look, Cool!

It’s pretty much a given that NO tactical folder can be as fast to deploy from a sheath or clipped in a pocket as a similarly set up fixed blade. Some common causes are:

  • Failure to index knife correctly due to poor draw technique, or design ergonomics.
  • Failure of blade opening due to the mechanism, or faulty hand indexes
  • Is the knife fully locked open when drawn and deployed?
  • Will the locking mechanism truly work, or dismally fail under EXCQC conditions?

The Cobra is just about ideal for those who may require/desire a smaller fixed blade for concealed carry. The Cobra test knife provided is significantly smaller than my Every Day Carry waved Emerson CQC-8. (Note: The extensively field proven CQC-8 is also rumored to be yet another Warrior/Hobbit Warrior inspired design).

In late 2005, or early 2006 the Cobra prototypes were conceptualized by Mr. Decker and then sent to New Zealand custom knife maker Brent Sandow. Originally made of Swedish Sanvick 12c27 steel (until reliable steel source suppliers in Kiwi country dwindled), the Cobras are now made from good old reliable D-2 steel.

The Cobra Knifes abbreviated dimensions and profile are near perfect for a discrete belt/neck knife! The rough textured green linen Micarta scales provide an absolutely positive purchase in the bare hand, or while wearing a thin glove. I did find the rough scale texture a bit too abrasive when carried deeply concealed layered with only a tee shirt between my hide and the handle. This can be eliminated by ordering optional smooth scales at the time of purchase.

The .187” thick Serpentine type blade is a total grip to tip length of 4 ¾” and has a free cutting length of 3 7/8” on the “open side. The closed or spine side features a cutting length of 3 ¾” and the teeth are of a straight inline variation as opposed to the alternate sided teeth of the Rekat Hobbit Warrior. As in the prior W/HW versions the teeth are not for general purpose sawing, but purpose designed for Filipino and Indonesian type knife techniques at which they excel (indigenous variations of trapping, hooking and tearing maneuvers).

The Cobra handle ergonomics are such that changing from a forward to reverse grip is natural feeling and permits the blade point to come “on line” exactly with the center of the heel of the hand. I had two experienced fellow edged weapons Martial Artists experiment with the Cobra knife; one found the scales too small (very LARGE hands), and the other with extensive training thought the scales made the Cobra too rear heavy for his light & fast blade tastes. They were both very impressed with the overall handling of the Cobra within the design and use parameters. Both of these “grip gripes” can be alleviated by Mr. Decker with various optional scale materials. My druthers would be a “white” Cobra blade with slightly thinner smoothly radiused light colored scales & neck sheath for discrete wear under lighter colored business or summer/“leisure” type clothing.

4 The rough textured linen Micarta scales
Mr. Decker notified me just prior to publication that an aluminum Cobra trainer will soon be available for dynamic one on one training drills. Coincidently, I had just made one for myself from a scrap of aluminum flat stock and attached a pair of “quick and dirty” hand checkered red oak scales. One of my semi professional hobbies happens to be the construction of custom training knives so fabrication only took a couple hours.

This was done to add some more training variations to this review, and enhance my ongoing long term knowledge of the Cobra knife dynamics when used with the FMA/IMA tools I have been shown over the past decade. A decent knife trainer is MANDATORY if you really want to enhance and fine tune your motor skills.

The Cobra knife was strapped onto my belt and a number of Draw and Strikestatic exercises conducted to test the handling of the knife during concealed carry. I was able to draw and strike with a “picking” type technique VERY quickly. The combination of holster angle and grip profile allowed the knife to naturally position into the center of my palm. The tip of the Cobra knife blade naturally aligned centered with the heel of my hand while running through a number of Pencat Silat Djurus.

Many defensive scenarios also call for Draw and Slash type counterattacks to be utilized and this was extensively tested, including “combinations” with a number of standard handgun retention sets. When tested the Cobra performed flawlessly within the intended “Mano y Mano” and Corto knife application ranges.

Concealed carry test and evaluation: I carried the Cobra daily both at work, and in my limited spare time for a three week period. Numerous tests for draw speed from both strong and cross draw/weak hand scabbard positions in various standing, supine, crouched, kneeling, and seated positions were conducted. The sheath positively retained the Cobra yet allowed for quick access. For the non Duty belt wearing user this sheath is about ideal and can be worn either strong side leading edge forward, or cross draw by simply reversing the scabbard(rough hide side out). Since the sheath is placed “under” the belt friction tensioning the Cobra worries about retention are slim to none. This gives the user an identical draw index position for the “Pakal” or reverse grip from either side of the waist.

I will be honest and say the smaller sheath slots are designed for a slim “dress up” belt and my lack of a more rigid small width belt slowed my draw tests somewhat with belt flexing during the draw strokes. Once again should you desire a wider belt slot modifications Mr. Decker can oblige your personal requests.

6 (L – R) Rekat Hobbit Warrior, Cobra knife, Emerson CQC-8
Future carry options for the Duty belt wearing user, or plain clothes operative may include either a well designed neck sheath, or specialized sheath to discretely fit into a jacket/suit coat pocket. If you have the need for a compact fixed blade knife for defensive purposes I strongly suggest that you look into the Cobra Fighting Knife.

Overall Length: 7 7/8”
Handle length: 3 7/8”
Blade: Serpentine type profile (Heat Treated D-2 steel- Rockwell Hardness approx. 58), 3.5” OAL - strong side sharpened, Combination sharpened point/inline serrated toothed spine
Scales: Green Linen Micarta ground with rough textured surface (affixed with four flat head hex screws), custom exotic wood and other scale materials available as options
Sheath: friction fit hand sewn Cowhide leather (1 3/8” slots on test sheath), available colors-Natural, Dark Brown, Black
Price: $325.00
Source: Mr. David Decker c/o White Shadow Security, 60 Steuben Street, Addison, NY. 14801
Email: website:

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