The Matador Thrust

Flying Crane

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Just for fun! Here is the Hollywood version of the "hip-hike." Too bad Carradine didn't know the Matador Thrust! ;)

Funny, Carradine was resheathing a clean Bowie at the end, after stabbing the other fellow. Oops!
 
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KPM

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Funny, Carradine was resheathing a clean Bowie at the end, after stabbing the other fellow. Oops!

Yep! And somehow he magically shifted his knife from his right hand to his left hand just before he stabbed his opponent! o_O
 

lklawson

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This is for a knife-fight. If someone is making a deep lunge to try and thrust a knife into your belly, you don't have to really worry about them stomping on your locked out knee. ;)
You can slip the front foot as easily as rocking back on the heel and it allows a stronger, deeper riposte.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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lklawson

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For me personally, I am not a fan of it.

First, this is set up as a "knife duel" the way you describe it and your actions about blade placement in case he keeps coming forward. You have your hands and blade lower already. A knife fighter is not going to enter with a deep lunge or slash because that pathway is already closed. You are going to get probing flicks or a way to work past your blade first because the mindset is different than if the other person is unarmed.
Bowie knife. They're big knives. Very nearly short swords in some cases.

Next, I see this as kind of an "ohh crap" defense since you are placing yourself in a position that allows no immediate follow up without a body shift/change. I would teach it as such if you were unarmed and not ready and then follow up with getting out of dodge.
Rocking back on the heel? Yes. That's not how I was taught the matador.

Peace favor your sword,
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lklawson

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Thank you for clarifying that. I must have missed it (bad speakers).

But, again a trained knife fighter isn't going to lunge in like that because you are moving around. A trained fighter is going to remove your blade and/or hands before going in for the kill with a low thrust to the body.
That depends on how and what he's trained in.

This defense is much more applicable if you are unarmed and the other person is armed. Duels completely change the psychology and dynamics of an encounter.
No. I don't really like the matador but that's now how it is used.

[qutoe]If only one person is armed, they are going to take more chances with the blade than if they are facing a person with a blade. Techniques and strategies have to take that into account. Again, unless the premise is that you are trained knifefighter against a complete untrained fighter who may be desperate it needs to be a very specific scenario.[/QUOTE]Sorry, but I don't think that your basis of understanding extends to the systems employed by classical western blade methods.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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lklawson

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The Japanese sword arts with which I am familiar dictate taking the arms if you are engaging with the short sword, which is essentially what this is. We are taught to not cut or thrust at the body unless you are already grappling as it leaves your opponent too many openings. There are much better responses to the scenario that has been painted, in my opinion.
Do the blades have honking S-guards or quillions? Bowie knives regularly do and they make parrying cuts to the limb much easier. Further, there is a systemic difference in fencing theory between the Japanese methods and the European methods, even as applied to the curved sabers. Much of it is influenced by crossguards, shell-guards, and complex hand/basket guards. Blade engagements are practically encouraged with western systems and very much discouraged with eastern ones. Surely you must have noticed this?

I've done friendly sparring matches with cutlass wasters v. wakazashi and bowie knive v. large tanto. The cross/shell-guards definitely change the game.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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lklawson

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Jim Keating has been teaching the Passata Sotto and In Quartata methods with the Bowie Knife for 20 years. I haven't put those on video yet. John Steyers taught them as part of his knife-fighting method for Marines in the 40's/50's. These come from Italian Rapier. The Matador thrust was intended to counter something like the Passata Sotto or a direct lunge. In western swordsmanship, especially the Rapier, the lunge to the mid-section was a major technique.
Passata sotto is a major element of navaja as well. I kinda hate the drop-knee version of it. It's hard on my knees. :)

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lklawson

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LOL.

Not at all. The reason a machete is so awesome is because it is a long end weighted heavy but thin blade, designed for slashing. Contrast this with a hilt weighted thick blade designed for stabbing, which is what a Bowie is.
Some bowies, some times, in some cases.

And even then the claim that they're not good at slashing is wrong. Crap, I've seen rapiers and arming swords do terrifying slashes, tip slashes, and draw-cuts, and those things are all about the thrust!

Peace favor your sword,
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lklawson

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And this was exactly one of the biggest complaints about his method back then as well by other knife fighters. It was based on "dueling" from fencing and not life or death knife fighting. There is no direct correlation that I have come across that the knife methods he taught were ever used by him in combat and were passed on like they were in the FMA's for example.
By "him?" You mean Jim Bowie? Crap, we know next to nothing about his knife-fighting skills or technique. His dad (and brother) were military men and likely were taught saber or short sword styles which might have been passed on to Jim. Beyond that we know for an absolute FACT that standard european fencing methods were directly applied to bowie knife training, particularly in New Orleans. It is also highly likely that Spanish Navaja methods were applied. In most cases, when there were big knife fighting styles "from the Old World" available for instruction they were directly applied to the bowie knife.

The rapier is a completely different dynamic and weapon because of it's range than a knife with a blade about 8-12 inches versus 39 inches.
And yet the Maestros in New Orleans applied european Cut-and-Thrust methods directly to the bowie knife when they taught. Apparently so did El Rubio Bravo, at least according to his own writings. But he was kinda a douche.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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lklawson

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I pointed out factually, that many people in Styers time criticized what he was training the Marines on because it was based on his use of the word "dueling" and not based on life or death. It is not "ridiculous" to ask if Styers ever had occassion to use the methods he taught while in combat, many of the early combatives instructors did use what they taught. For example, Col. Applegate's combatives were used by him and his men in Shanghai and that is what was passed on as working techniques. I referenced the FMA's for knife techniques that had been used successfully by people and passed on.
That doesn't explain away Biddle (or the fencing masters of New Orleans). And Applegate was using a much smaller, two-edged dirk, not a bowie knife. And I've read Applegates stuff a number of times. He wasn't teaching "knife fighting" either. He was mostly teaching assassination ("sentry removal"). He also liked the "convulsive" grip. You lose most of your wrist mobility with that grip.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

lklawson

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Instead of the Matador Thrust, would it be more effective to simply slash down across the top of his forearm? seems to me you would be in position to do so, with higher liklihood of success than thrusting back trying to hit his shoulder or torso that is fairly far away from you.
Depends. Sometimes yes, some times no. For a committed, deep, lunge, a inquartatta or intagliatto will work. A single-time counter thrust works great, ala Destreza style. For a less committed thrust, the retraction/recovery of the arm often puts the arm out of target pretty quick.

As far as the hand scooping/redirecting of the blade with your palm, we had some similar knife defenses in the Tracy Kenpo that I used to train. Honestly, Im very very glad that I never found myself in a situation where I would need to test the viability of such a move. I think its a hazardous strategy.
Yeah, it's in pretty much everything. :)

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Kirk
 

lklawson

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Therein lies the crux of my question. You are the one that posted a video of your methods. Since you are the one that posted it, it is automatically your position to prove that it is worthwhile,
I don't think that's necessarily so. If his goal is to document or illustrate what he does then, no. He doesn't have to prove its value to anyone any more than a Tai Chi player has to prove that their stuff is "effective on the street."

Nevertheless, that certainly seems to be the default belief of most folks today. Too bad too. Can't people just learn something because it has an interesting or historic context?

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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lklawson

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Just going to say. Knife on knife is generally dueling.

I have seen people pull weapons. Had it done to me. And I have never seen people when you have a knife and they have a knife just rush on in there.

It is two people trying to stab each other while also trying to stay as far away from each othe as they can.
The Lunge (punta lunga) isn't "just rush(ing) on in there." It's a specific method for delivering a fast linear thrust, covering a ton of distance very quickly, while presenting a threat which MUST be dealt with, simultaneously minimizing danger to the thruster, by forcing a defense, presenting on a small target (the weapon arm), and keeping that behind the blade and guard of the sword. It's actually elegant in its deadly application. At one point in history it was sort of considered a secret super technique, back when thrusts were more often made on the pass.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

lklawson

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Didn't mean sound flippant before. I was just a bit surprised by this statement. Not sure why anyone would conclude that a Bowie knife was designed for stabbing. I read one author in a historical context....can't remember if it was an old magazine or newspaper article....anyway, he concluded that the Bowie knife was designed for stabbing because it featured a cross-guard. This was someone who clearly didn't understand how a blade is used. The longer a blade is, the more likely you are to have "blade on blade" contact. When you have "blade on blade" contact, there is a real and likely danger of the opponent's blade sliding down and cutting your hand. That's one thing a cross-guard protects against. When doing a thrust and meeting resistance, there is a real danger of your hand sliding forward from your handle onto your own blade. That's the other thing a cross-guard protects against. Military sabers are NOT designed for thrusting, and yet they feature cross-guards. So that old article's author was clearly mistaken.

Historically in the past, any big knife carried around for fighting or self defense was called a "Bowie knife." Design features could vary pretty widely. Some didn't have a cross-guard at all. One version was double-edged and essentially a big dagger. It was sometimes called an "Arkansas Toothpike" as well. I would tend to agree that this one was designed primarily with thrusting/stabbing in mind.

But over time a "Bowie" knife was really seen as a knife with a pretty classic design. It had a deep belly, a clip point, an off-center tip, and a cross-guard. That deep belly combined with the curve in the blade to that off-center tip was meant specifically for slashing and snap cuts. The clip point was meant specifically for back cuts. That off-center tip was meant for thrusting from wider or curved angles. It was true fighting knife design meant for multiple aspects of the fight....not just thrusting.
The definition, historically speaking, of a Bowie Knife is all muddled and confused. A lot of that can be placed at the feet of the news media. Even back then, as now, the scary things were what got written about. In the 19th Century a "Bowie Knife" was their "Assault Weapon." Every big knife was a "Bowie Knife" by the time the newspapers wrote about it, regardless of its shape or configuration.

I've spent a lot of time reading old news paper accounts (my research on Slungshot). Then, as now, you really have to sift the material. There NEVER was such a thing as "journalistic integrity." ...ever.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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lklawson

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Here's a bit more about the guard on a Bowie knife. Clearly the slash and not the thrust is being emphasized here.

That's awful. They're stupidly close. Did neither of them read Silver?

About what I've come to expect of Thompson. I respect all he's done to promote western martial arts, but I would not go to him specifically for instruction.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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lklawson

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That stuff is pretty cool, good on them for creating a knife fighting style specific to that sort of knife.

But at the same time, I'm not sure the people that created it we're using it like that. I'd imagine it was mostly used for butchering and skinning as well as self defense vs wild animals.
You would be wrong. The bowie knife was often a utility weapon, but it is terrible for skinning. Maybe some of the heavy butchering. There are plenty of accounts of bowie knife used for fighting, as a secondary weapon beside the tomahawk and/or rifle, and for dueling.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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You can slip the front foot as easily as rocking back on the heel and it allows a stronger, deeper riposte.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

Yep! That is the "pendulum step" or called "Lutang" in Kali Ilustrisimo. I consider the "Hip Hike" more of an "oh crap!" move than the pendulum step. In other words, something to do when you don't have much else you can do! ;-)

 
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