Your thoughts on the downward position of a knife...

Ron Kosakowski

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The title of this thread can be confusing.

I am looking to see what you folks out there prefer when holding the knife in what we call Pakal position. I have also heard the term, ice pick, or earth position...I am sure you get the picture. My question is, where do you like your blade cutting edge facing in that position, facing in or facing out? I am curious what most folks are comfortable with or what you were taught in your particular style of knife fighting if you were in one.

This may be an interesting thread.
 

lklawson

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For the knife sizes that I typically deal with (bowies, etc.) I don't like the "ice pick" grip. I lose too much reach and the capacity to parry.

For short knives, I think it's OK because reach isn't as much an issue and parrying certainly isn't. Personally, even with short knifes, I still prefer standard grip above ice pick but I recognize that, at that point, it's a personal preference.

I will add the caveat that Medieval Dagger fighting, which could be every bit as "long" as a bowie, used ice pick grip extensively and had rather sophisticated techiques for defense (including what can only be described as "trapping").

Peace favor your sword,
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jks9199

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I've used it both ways, for different purposes. You can "hide" the knife with that sort of grip, and it can be much harder to disarm because you put the blade in play against the trap. With the blade in (toward your wrist), you can make some very powerful, pulling strikes.
 
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I'd use it either to protect my shielding arm or if I was trying to conceal the knife. Maybe if I was in very close proximity. All uses would have the blade facing out. Holding a knife in an "upward" position gives extra reach and greater control for targeting stab areas.
 

Skpotamus

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I used to do a lot of work with the reverse, edge in grip, but after I made a training drone of my carry knife, I found that I never got a chance to switch into a reverse grip. Half the time during live drills I could barely get the knife into a Filipino Grip. That made me rethink my usage of that grip and pretty much dropped it since it doesn't work with my carry knife. (Cold Steel Voyager, 5" blade).
 

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The title of this thread can be confusing.

I am looking to see what you folks out there prefer when holding the knife in what we call Pakal position. I have also heard the term, ice pick, or earth position...I am sure you get the picture. My question is, where do you like your blade cutting edge facing in that position, facing in or facing out? I am curious what most folks are comfortable with or what you were taught in your particular style of knife fighting if you were in one.

This may be an interesting thread.


Hey Ron! Hope all is going well! Its great to see you posting here! :)

As for your question....in my opinion, I think that both have their value. Personally, I prefer the blade to be facing out. From this position we can stab as well as slash. With it facing in, the slashing is reduced, although you could still strike with the tip of the blade. With it facing in, we could, depending on the technique, use the knife to serve as a pin or trap on a body part, as well as cutting.

An example: the knife could be used in a passing fashion, say against a punch or thrust with a blade. We now have the blade pressing and cutting against the arm. So, this serves the purpose of a pass, a pin and a cut. :)

Mike
 

UrBaN

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Pakal grip, is for close quarter, when saber grip is for any distance. Train both equally.

Edge out, provides slashing in all directions, when edge in doesnt.

When edged in, in an attempt to trap, pain supercharges the speed of the (to be trapped) arm to move and subsequently, doesnt allow it to get trapped.
Edged out, is more effective for trapping.

Edge in, is perfect for intimidation if placed in the back of the opponents neck, pulling towards you (stay away from me, or else), while edge out requires your other arm on his neck to provide the same result.

In case of impact, when edged in, the hand holding the knife can get cut from that knife.

When drawing the knife, or in a rotary movement, edge in, may injure you.

Edge out, may cause slashing your check hand, if your skills are not adequate. With edge in, its less probable.

Use either, according to your strengths and limitations. Again, train both, equally.
Using both left and right, doing either role.
 

Rich Parsons

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The title of this thread can be confusing.

I am looking to see what you folks out there prefer when holding the knife in what we call Pakal position. I have also heard the term, ice pick, or earth position...I am sure you get the picture. My question is, where do you like your blade cutting edge facing in that position, facing in or facing out? I am curious what most folks are comfortable with or what you were taught in your particular style of knife fighting if you were in one.

This may be an interesting thread.


I was taught you could use it any way. Depending upon your intent and desire.

As to comfort level, I have preferences. I like the hammer grip personally, but as we are talking ice pick, I can describe preference there as well.

Ice Pick I prefer the blade out. While I understand the trapping the fillet pull moves on the arms with the blade in, I can personally can accomplish the same thing with the blade out. It just does not occur with the trap. The trap would not have the fillet action combined. . And as mentioned by Mike, it makes the slash much more of an option.

Now if the blade system or portion of the system is dual weapons and the primary hand is Hammer and Secondary hand is Ice Pick, I still prefer the blade out versus the blade in. This allows for some good hooking and trapping and the cross body slash, while the length of the primary would allow for range for attacks and also parry.

But those are my thoughts, and I am just a single person.
 

arnisador

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I used to never use edge-in in reverse grip, but a PTK guy opened my mind to the possibilities and the DTS folks expanded on it! Now I really like it--for a shorter blade, close-in, against someone without a blade or in my second hand. In a knife duel I'd be in saber grip.
 
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Ron Kosakowski

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I used to never use edge-in in reverse grip, but a PTK guy opened my mind to the possibilities and the DTS folks expanded on it! Now I really like it--for a shorter blade, close-in, against someone without a blade or in my second hand. In a knife duel I'd be in saber grip.
I like your answers. It seems sharp edge facing in wins. Of course being Pekiti Tirsia, I like sharp edge facing in.

One thing I find is that most knives do not feel comfortable in Pakal position. I love my Cold Steel Schimitar but in reverse grip, it does not feel right at all. Hard to find one comfortable in both grips. Reverse grip is made for in fighting, more grappling almost. the edge in for no possible counter once latched on. I do prefer standard grip for longer range or just for slashing/thrusting in general.

I reread what I wrote to kick off this thread...man, if i don't edit my own writing, it sounds like crap. Luckily you all just understood what I meant here.
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BLACK LION

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The title of this thread can be confusing.

I am looking to see what you folks out there prefer when holding the knife in what we call Pakal position. I have also heard the term, ice pick, or earth position...I am sure you get the picture. My question is, where do you like your blade cutting edge facing in that position, facing in or facing out? I am curious what most folks are comfortable with or what you were taught in your particular style of knife fighting if you were in one.

This may be an interesting thread.

Despite what some may say in this regard, I for one hold the knife with the blade facing away from me so as to diminish the possibility of slicing myself on a downward stroke. If its double edged then I just need to be extra careful as I dont have a choice. I also press my thumb on the butt of the handle or just to the side of it if there is a sharp striker tip like on my steve cokum first strike. I do not make a fist and hold it like that becuase with sweat,blood, bone, hard muscle fibers etc there is a good chance the knife could slide down the hand and the fingers gets sliced into real bad.
 

Skpotamus

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As a side note, have any of you tried edge in ala Ray Floro? He actually gets almost the same range for thrusts with the edge in reverse grip as he does a hammer grip. Works great when sparring. The edge in seems to work better for clinch range as well. IME at least.

Personally, I could never keep a saber grip on a knife when going hard (training of course), I kept getting them knocked out of my hand when getting in close, so I switched to the "Fillipino grip" michael janich uses. Basically a hammer grip with the thumb indexed on the back of the blade like. Makes for great accuracy and surprising control. YMMV.
 

arnisador

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Personally, I could never keep a saber grip on a knife when going hard (training of course), I kept getting them knocked out of my hand when getting in close

Yeah, I know what you mean--that worries me at times.

so I switched to the "Fillipino grip" michael janich uses. Basically a hammer grip with the thumb indexed on the back of the blade like.

I think I know the grip you mean. You find it helps?
 

Skpotamus

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Arnisador, yeah the grip I'm talking about I'd originally heard as a "butchers" grip, when cutting through something tough you tend to place your thumb on the back of the blade (assuming not double edged) and push. This seems to help with accuracy, on cuts and thrusts, since I'm either wiping my thumb across the target or poking my thumb into it. http://www.takknife.com/training_knives_i0001a9.jpg is a picture from the cover of one of his dvd's with the grip shown.

Retention wise, I've never had the trainers or real knives (cutting practice) knocked out of my hands with the Filipino grip, I'm basically crushing the bejeezus out of the knife ala hammer grip and putting some pressure on the blade, which seems to keep it more steady in my hands. I originally thought that I'd lose the knife easier with that grip, but so far it hasn't been knocked out.... yet. YMMV of course.
 
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Ron Kosakowski

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Despite what some may say in this regard, I for one hold the knife with the blade facing away from me so as to diminish the possibility of slicing myself on a downward stroke. If its double edged then I just need to be extra careful as I dont have a choice. I also press my thumb on the butt of the handle or just to the side of it if there is a sharp striker tip like on my steve cokum first strike. I do not make a fist and hold it like that becuase with sweat,blood, bone, hard muscle fibers etc there is a good chance the knife could slide down the hand and the fingers gets sliced into real bad.

Striking without hitting yourself is a matter of training with the weapon in that position. I play with the Igorot head hunting axe and I found that pertruding pointed end hits my back. I am not used to that particular axe. I later learned they don't load it the same way we do in the other Filipino martial arts. They start higher as the point or origin. my point is the same with the pakal position...its a matter of training. then again, the positions and angles of attack are about the same. that may be more of awareness of where you are slashing or thrusting actually.

As for the thumb in the back in pakal position, yes, that is the proper way to do it anyway. It helps in accuracy, power in thrusting and it can save your hand if the finger guards on your knife are not that protective.
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Brian R. VanCise

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I utilize both forward grip and reverse grip in IRT. This includes training with the edge out and the edge in. Each grip gives one a different advantage. However, if I have a choice in regards to the reverse grip I will have a double edge blade and just negate having to worry about it.
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Ron Kosakowski

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I utilize both forward grip and reverse grip in IRT. This includes training with the edge out and the edge in. Each grip gives one a different advantage. However, if I have a choice in regards to the reverse grip I will have a double edge blade and just negate having to worry about it.
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I hear you there. here I am thinking "legal" when i am on a survival conversation.

I noticed that there are not to many double edged blades in the Philippines. And from what i know about the rest of the SE Asian area, I don't see many double edged knives there either. there are some but not as many that are single edged. Many of the swords have some sort of edge on the spine for certain strategic purposes but not so much the knives. Hmmm, I wonder why that is.
 

BLACK LION

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You know whats funny is that there are alot of well known-well established "reality based" instructors and institutions out there that frown on placing the thumb on the butt of the handle or along the spine of the blade.... this leads me to question the integrity of thier instruction alltogether.

There are a few advantages of having the blade in... one for sure is once the blade has penetrated you can pull down and out and cut through everything in between... or if the blade is blocked you can just deflect the knife down from the force and slice the blocking arm or hand or whatever and come in for something else.... facing the blade away does not afford this opportunity...

cheers gents
Broderick
 

Brian R. VanCise

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I hear you there. here I am thinking "legal" when i am on a survival conversation.

I noticed that there are not to many double edged blades in the Philippines. And from what i know about the rest of the SE Asian area, I don't see many double edged knives there either. there are some but not as many that are single edged. Many of the swords have some sort of edge on the spine for certain strategic purposes but not so much the knives. Hmmm, I wonder why that is.

Absolutely and that "Legal" would always have to be a consideration depending on where you are at or what position you are in.

As to Filipino blades that are double edged? There are a few but you are correct that they are far and few between. Personally I think it has to do more with blades in general being viewed as functional every day tools. though of course I could be off based on that assumption.
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