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Author Topic: Karambit Vs. straight blades  (Read 32793 times)
Maxx
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« on: May 19, 2008, 11:32:07 AM »

Like the title says. I have heard both sides of the topic on what one is better. I was interested in seeing what people hear thought of either one.
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Jonobos
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2008, 11:44:14 AM »

Without putting much thought into it I would say the straight blade has a clear advantage for someone untrained. Grab and stab, nothing real technical about it. As often discussed this is a very potent use of a blade that requires no real finesse.

A karambit seems like it would take a little more work to do that kind of damage. It certainly could, but not from your average Joe. Grab and stab doesn't seem like it would work as well. With knowledge of Silat or Kali you get a lot of extra control from that hook I would think?

Never had the displeasure of being in a knife fight at all, much less enough of them to judge between different blades... so this is all theory Tongue

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michael
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2008, 11:52:56 AM »

Nothing wrong with a Kerambit, but I like having the option to stab or slash. With a straight blade, it is more effective for stabbing. This can be done with a Kerambit, but it is more difficult. I like the control abilities of the Kerambit, but to me that is secondary and I like the utility of having a regular blade. YMMV.
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Maxx
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2008, 12:10:27 PM »

The problem I have heard with a normal blade is that the attacker does not feel the slicing cuts of a normal blade do to its small cutting surface and if you are not planning on killing someone from just out right stabbing, Slicing your way to freedom might be a more stay out of jail ticket.

I have heard that Karambit cuts are so terrible that a juiced up attacker would feel the ripping cuts of a Karambit.

I don't think it takes much finess to use either. A cave man swing with a Karambit would be terrible to be hit by.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2008, 12:51:08 PM »

Lets throw into the mix the consideration of the Push Dagger, which some people like as a solution for FUTs (A southnark term for "Fcuked UP Tangle").
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Tony Torre
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2008, 02:19:21 PM »

Crafty,

Respectfully.  I think any knife could help in a f.u.t.  wink

Tony Torre
Miami Arnis Group
www.miamiarnisgroup.com
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sting
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2008, 06:05:56 PM »

A lot of blades are manufactured for "intimidation by feature."  A notable example is the gun-knife combination pieces which are neither good at being a gun or a knife.   Armies would outfit their soldiers with kerambits if they had a decided advantage over a straight blade or in anything.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2008, 07:46:29 PM »

TT:

Well, duh!  cheesy

More seriously now, the only one that can help you is one you can pull during the middle of a fight wherein fear of serious bodily injury or death is at risk. Is there a difference between the three categories in this regard?  What technique/grip is best for a FUT? etc etc.

CD



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Tony Torre
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2008, 08:48:22 PM »

When stuck in a clinch I think a push dagger would be very useful.  Think holding and hitting like a hockey fight.  That said a kerambit in a good silat players hands would wreak havoc in grappling range.  A regular knife could be used much the same way the push dagger would be except the grip would be diffrent so visually it would look more like a prison shanking.  The push dagger has the best weapon retention capability of the three although disarming any knife would be difficult and dangerous.

Tony Torre
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« Last Edit: May 19, 2008, 10:41:28 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Hawke
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2008, 12:45:55 AM »

My knowledge of knife work is very limited.

The straight blade - grab and stab

Karambit - harder to disarm.  Very effective slash.  I was told this was used to surprise your opponent, but any hidden blade could do the same.

Push blade - extremely hard to disarm. You can grab and stab.

Generally stabs are more lethal than slashes (but there are of course exception like cutting a major artery).

I am still deciding which knife for an everyday carry.  I prefer to carry at least 2 just in case.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2008, 07:53:04 AM »

Of course legal issues apply here.

The PD solution has much to recommend it technically, but apart from LEOs and military in the field, what jurisdiction allows civilians to legally carry one?
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Green 1
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2008, 08:53:41 AM »

I think it would be hard to justify to a LEO that you were carrying a Karambit for anything other than self defense. I think the Karambit offers superior retention however.
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Maxx
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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2008, 11:09:26 AM »

The Karambit has always been a Favorite of mine. I have a Emerson Combat Karambit and I have been in love with it and I also have a cold steel recon 1 tanto point and I can never really decide on what is better.

 I see the defence for a normal knife being Grab and Stab but the same can be said for a Karambit. You can grab and slash someone up terrible and  my mother who is a nurse said that deep slash wounds that rake across meat and vein are harder to stop the bleeding opposed to getting stabbed. A stab can be plugged up and you can have a better chance to make it to the hospital ( Unless you get stabbed in some major organ) But a deep terrible large surface rending is a large area and can't be plugged up as easy a a stab wound and you have a great chance of bleeding out faster but then again..If someone goes prison style on you with a normal blade that can end up with you spilling out everywhere.

If you are worried about stopping power , I don't think there are many people in the world that can take a Karambit shot to the throat area or right across the gut. I know I can't !!  cry

Many of the known natural predators have natural Karambit hanging/popping out of their body's for a reason. What those reason are, I hope to never find out.

But let's be real. Any sharp blade being swung at you Karambit or normal is not a good thing. lol!
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michael
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2008, 05:46:35 PM »

I agree that either a Kerambit of PD would be much harder to justify legally than a folder that any average joe would carry. Much better to look like a normal tool that was "pressed into use for defense of your life" than something that is obviously carried as a weapon. As an LEO, I am less concerned about that than a citizen would be, even when off, because I am expected to carry weapons to defend myself with. It would be much easier for me to justify it that someone who is a school teacher or doctor. It can be done, but it would be more difficult.

I have seen a lot of people slashed and stabbed over the years, and while slashes are very horrific looking wounds, I have not seen many that resulted in death. I have seen a lot of stab wounds that have resulted in death.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2008, 10:23:37 PM »

A point that hasn't been made: straight blades have a lot more utility than push daggers or karambits. Any blade I carry is gonna be used far more often in a utility role so my strong hand blade is a straight blade.

I like karambits as a hideout/weak hand blade. Get it out in a grapple and there are all sorts of nasty things you can do.

Not a big fan of push daggers, probably because I'm something of a knife snob. PDs don't allow much fineness beyond hockey punching. Karambits and straight blades let you work tip, edge, butt, etc. I like having choices beyond punch 'em a bunch.
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maija
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« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2008, 11:20:18 PM »

A couple thoughts occur, though it's been a long day so I'll keep em short:

Obviously the idea of self defense is to stop the aggressor from continuing (duh), so the issue of what is a 'stopping hit' becomes important.
There is a thread somewhere on this forum where this was discussed a while back. As I recall there is some quote from a samurai about the only cut guaranteed to stop another samurai was judged to be a decapitation ... all else was deemed questionable! Anyway there are many more modern day examples of people not knowing they were stabbed/cut until after the altercation was over, so how does that play into the 'f.u.t' or in the use of any short weapon at close range?

This then leads to the next question: What about targeting? For instance cutting the forehead - blood in the eyes to hinder aggressor is perhaps better with a slashing weapon?

And finally, how about the psychological effect of seeing a certain type of a blade? Is one a better deterrent than another? Our system differentiates between hiding the blade from the opponent and showing/flashing it to catch their attention to create a freezing point (see the 'pre emption and sucker punches' thread on confusing the thought process of a potential aggressor). Both useful skills to have I believe.

There is a famous philosophical discussion about how to design a chair - is it just something to sit on? Or should one be able to use it as a step, a table, to keep the door open, etc etc? Well I think the same could be said for a blade. is it just a killing tool or is it more? I guess I like the fact that I can peel my apple, use it for work (I'm a painter), and also use it to defend myself. Today I used it to remove a splinter from my thumb, and so my vote is for a well designed, practical, flexible design that can adapt to the situation at hand, not necessarily straight, but not too specialized either.
I do not work as a LEO or a bouncer and don't go out late at night any more, so honestly I don't see myself carrying multiple blades as my life is really not that dangerous.

BTW, there is a great story about Maestro Sonny and his creative ability to avoid a fight that I will post on the 'pre emption' thread.


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2008, 06:07:25 AM »

The conversation is percolating nicely now.  Very good post Maija!

"Many of the known natural predators have natural Karambit hanging/popping out of their body's for a reason. What those reason are, I hope to never find out."

If I am not mistaken, the claws typically are used to hold the prey while the fangs are use to insert/thrust.  Sometimes the fangs insertion/thrust severes something important e.g. the spine, other times they are used to hold while vigrous shaking accomplishes snapping the neck(or spine?)

Continuing on a point Maija makes, I have read that often people do not know that they have been cut or stabbed. "I thought he was punching me, but after the fight was over I saw I had been stabbed/cut."  Does this not mean we need to think about the small knife from an impact POV as well?

TAC,
CD
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Maxx
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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2008, 10:17:26 AM »

All the point's you guys are bringing up are really great and I am glad someone mentioned "Killing" I don't really find myself wanting to kill anyone if the situation can be totally avoided.

I was once asked if I was attacked and I had a option of using a stick on a person or a knife what would I use? I said a stick because I don't want to do knife damage on someone. Maybe a good whap across the head would teach the person to maybe change his ways when he sat down to think about attacking someone else. Who knows? A blade only in the most SERIOUS situation..Maybe if Micheal Myers was at the door.

I also like what someone said about maybe having a item that would scare off potential attackers. A buddy of mine has never seen a Karambit but he has seen plenty of normal blades. I pulled out my Karambit to show him and his reaction was  " Oh my god, What is that thing? I said " A Karambit..It's a item from Indonesia and used in both Silat and FMA. He said " Wow, I would never want to get hit with that thing..If someone pulled that out on me I would run away full steam."

Maybe the idea of seeing a item that people are not used to seeing can be enough to make them go the other way or maybe not but I do know that what most people can't figure out, Understand or make sense of something they tend to be afraid of it, Turn away from it or just not want to deal with it.

And to end my post..Both are Terrible items to be used on you or someone else. Both have Stopping power. A well placed Karambit slash across the throat can be pretty terrible and a Knife to the heart could be really bad news.
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JDN
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2008, 09:06:38 AM »

Of course legal issues apply here.

The PD solution has much to recommend it technically, but apart from LEOs and military in the field, what jurisdiction allows civilians to legally carry one?

Actually, a PD is quite legal in California, however the knife, like all fixed blades must be carried
exposed; it cannot be concealed.  Also, note certain cities have length limits, i.e. Los Angeles
is 3".  Now whether a PD is a good choice for self defense, I don't have an opinion.

As for another point, "why" you are carrying the knife, assuming it is carried exposed and meets
length limits etc. is not a legal issue in California.  My answer to a Leo can be to cut to
my cigars, cut rope, or simply "self defense".  Leo's do't like "self defense", but "use" is not relevant.
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Maxx
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2008, 10:20:28 AM »

Of course legal issues apply here.

The PD solution has much to recommend it technically, but apart from LEOs and military in the field, what jurisdiction allows civilians to legally carry one?

Actually, a PD is quite legal in California, however the knife, like all fixed blades must be carried
exposed; it cannot be concealed.  Also, note certain cities have length limits, i.e. Los Angeles
is 3".  Now whether a PD is a good choice for self defense, I don't have an opinion.

As for another point, "why" you are carrying the knife, assuming it is carried exposed and meets
length limits etc. is not a legal issue in California.  My answer to a Leo can be to cut to
my cigars, cut rope, or simply "self defense".  Leo's do't like "self defense", but "use" is not relevant.

I live in California and I was once pulled over and asked why I have a knife on me and I responded "To cut my Belt incase of a car crash" I find funny how L.E.O don't like you to use the word "Self Defence" Like its a bad thing to defend yourself. I guess just more paper work to fill out  rolleyes
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Guide Dog
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2008, 10:51:15 AM »

I have a question for Guro Crafty, relevant to this thread:

Guro, in your tenure as the ringmaster (and as a fighter), have you ever seen a straight blade trainer vs. karambit trainer fight at any of the Gatherings where:

1. The karambit was used in a manner that was unique to the shape/attributes of a karambit?
or
2. The karambiteer (tell me that's not a real term in FMA, because I wrote it just to be silly) immediately dropped down to the ground and you had a bladed standing fighter vs. bladed Silat type ground fighter situation?

Guro, if you have ever seen 1 or 2 in the context of a Gathering, what was the outcome?  Thank you.  GD
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 12:04:26 PM by Guide Dog » Logged

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2008, 08:40:59 PM »

Guide Dog:

I will answer you later.

Maxx:

The issue is whether your intent is for it to be a weapon.  IF IT IS, then X, Y, and Z follow.

CD
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JDN
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« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2008, 10:23:03 PM »


Maxx:

The issue is whether your intent is for it to be a weapon.  IF IT IS, then X, Y, and Z follow.

CD

Actually, INTENT is irrelevant.  There is nothing wrong with telling a LEO that my intent
is "self defense"', period.  Forget the silly excuses, the seatbelts, etc.; tell the truth,
you have the knife for "self defense".  There is nothing wrong with that in CA.  Just use
it wisely.

If the LEO doesn't like the answer, tell him, "too bad, etc."; that's the CA State Law.  LEO's,
and I like most LEO's but they tend to have a power trip; however if you know the law all they can
do if huff and puff.  I hate being told what to do when that person doesn't know what they
are talking about.

I was at Long Beach Courthouse last week.  The Sheriff at the door said my folder was too
long (I declared it) and he was going to confiscate it .  Bullshit; Long Beach has no City Ordinance and
State Law says I can carry a folder of any length.  I asked for the desk Sargent; he looked it up
and agreed.  I admit an apology was not forthcoming, but it should have been.  The original officer was
a fool to waste my time and I told him so in no uncertain terms in front of his Sargent and everyone else.
He was a simply stupid and/or on a power trip.

The key; know the law and note, each City might be different;
LA for example has a 3" limit on exposed blades (all fixed knives must be exposed).
But INTENT is never an issue.

james
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Scott
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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2008, 11:31:01 AM »

"The key; know the law and note, each City might be different"


When I get a catlog from the NRA, they always advertise a book called Knife Laws of the 50 States-it is a great book (I got one as a gift for one of my training partners, seeing as we are a very blade-focused style).  There is also a web page that is not too bad:
http://pweb.netcom.com/~brlevine/sta-law.htm#I-M
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2008, 11:42:25 AM »

James:

It was many years ago that I reseached this, so perhaps I am out of date, but I would love to have some citations for what you say.

Crafty
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2008, 12:08:43 PM »

Quote
If the LEO doesn't like the answer, tell him, "too bad, etc."

How about maybe taking a deep breath and stating your case instead?

Quote
The original officer was a fool to waste my time and I told him so in no uncertain terms in front of his Sargent and everyone else.

Nothing like antagonizing a LEO to get your point across. Was that really necessary?

Quote
He was a simply stupid and/or on a power trip.

Maybe I'm wrong, but you seem a bit bent on proving your point to "clueless" cops. Perhaps you know the law and should be commended for that, but being abrasive about it tends to hinder smooth resolution.
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JDN
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« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2008, 01:04:12 PM »

Quote
If the LEO doesn't like the answer, tell him, "too bad, etc."

How about maybe taking a deep breath and stating your case instead?

Quote
The original officer was a fool to waste my time and I told him so in no uncertain terms in front of his Sargent and everyone else.

Nothing like antagonizing a LEO to get your point across. Was that really necessary?

Quote
He was a simply stupid and/or on a power trip.

Maybe I'm wrong, but you seem a bit bent on proving your point to "clueless" cops. Perhaps you know the law and should be commended for that, but being abrasive about it tends to hinder smooth resolution.

SB-Mig

I did state my case; he didn't like it. 

As for "clueless cops" isn't that a scary thought?  Isn't it their job to be clued in to the law before they assert authority?
I mean they are public servants and all...  Note, I find most cops to be intelligent, hardworking, and polite; I respect them.  But "clueless cops" arrogant cops?  Sorry I have absolutely no respect for clueless/stupid people who abuse authority. 

Crafty,
I will do my best.

California Penal Code 653k       Legal knife stuff.  But note, no mention of length; any length is therefore ok.  Dirks, daggers, fixed blades, folders etc. are legal.  Switchblades, cane knives, etc. are illegal.

California Penal Code 12020     Street Carry Laws...Fixed blades must be openly carried; note any possible weapon, i.e. a screwdriver carried concealed can be considered a dagger and you could be in violation.  Non switchblade pocket knives that are in the closed position can legally be carried concealed or open carry.

California Penal Code 626.10    Basically, don't carry a knife K-12.  However on a college campus while you may not carry a fixed blade, you may carry a folder of any length.

Los Angeles City Ordinance     I am sorry, I don't know the Ordinance, but I do know that LA prohibits open carry (and remember State Law says no concealed carry for a fixed blade) of ANY knife over 3".  This would include folders.  However, if you carry your folder 100% concealed, and it is over 3", this would seem to be legal but...

NOTE, nowhere in any CA Law (in contrast to some other states) is INTENT mentioned.  Intent is not an issue until you use the knife; but that is a whole other discussion.

Crafty, I hope the above helps.

james
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Scott
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« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2008, 01:16:04 PM »

Some reading:

Self-defense

Common law principles

 Deadly force used in self-defense is justified at common law when:  The defendant is a non-aggressor and the defendant reasonably believes that deadly force is necessary to repel an imminent, unlawful, and deadly attack by the other person.  This set of elements also fit the structure of a justification defense, namely: (1) Proportionality – the force used is proportional and reasonable in relation to the harm threatened.  (2) Necessity – the force used is necessary to protect the interest at stake.  Deadly force generally means either force likely to cause death or serious bodily harm.  In order to justify the use of self-defense on the basis of deadly force, you must be trying to repel deadly force in response.  You can use deadly force to defend against potential crimes other than murder.

 At common law, if you act in justifiable self-defense, you’re not guilty of any crime.  Even if you prove all the elements of the crime of murder, if you have a justification, then you’re not guilty.  Even if you have the intent to kill that usually constitutes malice, you may not be guilty of the offense.

 The “aggressor” issue

 You can’t use deadly force in self-defense if you’re the aggressor at the time of the conflict.  In order to find the aggressor, we are looking for an “affirmative unlawful act reasonably calculated to produce” a potentially fatal fight.  Self-defense cannot be claimed by someone who deliberately puts himself in danger.

 “Reasonable belief” at common law

 Say a defendant shoots someone believing they have a real gun when the gun is actually fake.  Under the reasonable belief requirement, even though the person couldn’t or wouldn’t have killed the defendant, the defendant still is acquitted even though what he did was objectively wrong.  However, if, on the other hand, the gun was obviously a toy then the defendant loses the self-defense claim because the belief about the threat wasn’t objectively reasonable.

 People v. Goetz – The reasonable person standard for self-defense as justification is an objective standard.  Goetz felt that the prosecution gave an objective standard whereas the standard should have been subjective based on the statute.  The intermediate appellate court argued that the emphasis in the phrase “he reasonably believes” is on “he”.  That becomes a subjective standard because we’re not interested in what a reasonable person would do, but rather whether the defendant thought he was doing a reasonable thing.

 The thing is that the defendant will obviously think that what he’s doing is reasonable.  But the defendant may be an unreasonable person.

 The Court of Appeals of New York rules that the statute was meant to create an objective standard.  But how objective did the legislature intend it to be?  Who is that reasonable person?

 
How can it be justifiable to kill an objectively innocent person?  We might excuse someone for it, but maybe it wouldn’t be justified.  The common law says, on the other hand, that such an act would not be justified, but rather excused.  Dressler argues that this could create a situation where two people could justifiably kill each other.

State v. Wanrow – The jury may “stand in the shoes” of the defendant in assessing whether his or her conduct was justified.  The basic issue in this case is bringing gender into the discussion of the reasonable person.  What does this case stand for?  Does this mean that a woman who uses self-defense must be judged by the standard of a reasonable woman, or must she be judged by the objective standard of a reasonable person?  The ruling says that the defendant’s actions must be judged subjectively, not objectively.  After this case, case law has clarified this result to mean that they use a “reasonable woman” standard.  The Model Penal Code chooses “designedly ambiguous” language to describe the standard of behavior: “a reasonable person in the actor’s situation”.

State v. Norman – If North Carolina applies the common law, why isn’t Norman entitled to a self-defense claim?  It rests on the meaning of the word “imminent”.  At common law, this term means “just about right now”.  We’re talking seconds, not minutes or hours or days or weeks.  Since that’s not what we have in Norman, the Supreme Court of North Carolina represents the traditional view.  Under the ruling of this case and in most common law jurisdictions, Norman would not even be entitled to an instruction on the justification of self-defense.

 Does syndrome evidence arguably turn a justification defense into an excuse?

 “Self-protection” and the Model Penal Code

 § 3.04(2)(b)(i) deals with one limitation on the use of deadly force: the defendant mustn’t provoke the use of force with the purpose of causing death or serious bodily injury.  The Model Penal Code says that § 3.04(2)(b)(ii) says that you can’t use self-defense if you can retreat, except if you’re in your own home or you’re a public officer.  The Model Penal Code, as well as common law, treats human life very, very highly.  The sanctity of human life is valued so highly that the law doesn’t even want “bad guys” killed unless it’s absolutely necessary.  Thus, it’s very difficult under the Model Penal Code and at common law to win on a self-defense claim.

 The Model Penal Code doesn’t focus on the amount of time before the actor will be killed, rather, it focuses on the actor to figure out if it is necessary now to use deadly force against the victim.

 § 3.04.  This statute uses the word “immediately necessary” rather than “imminent”.  The provision is general.  The deadly force provision is § 3.04(2)(b).  Even if you meet § 3.04(1), there are additional conditions in order for a valid justification to be constructed.

 If an actor’s belief is sincere but reckless or negligent, the actor isn’t justified as far as reckless or negligent offenses.  If the defendant was negligent in believing that a toy gun was actually real, then under the Model Penal Code the defendant wouldn’t be guilty of murder.  The defendant would be guilty of negligent homicide if the defendant was negligent, and the defendant would be guilty of manslaughter if the defendant was reckless.

 What the Model Penal Code does that is dramatically different from common law is that it doesn’t like the “all-or-nothing” proposition.  In the three situations above, the defendant is not guilty in the first case, not guilty in the second case, but fully guilty in the third case.  On the other hand, the Model Penal Code allows conviction for a lesser crime in the third case.

 Necessity

 
Three elements are required in order to show necessity: (1) The act charged must have been done to prevent a significant evil.  (2) There must have been no adequate alternative.  (3) The harm caused must not have been disproportionate to the harm avoided.

 Nelson v. State – There’s a balancing test here between the harm actually caused and the harm averted by the act.  That’s the very definition of necessity.

 The drafters of the Model Penal Code § 3.02 thought the necessity defense was essential because we want to encourage sort of “efficient breach” of the law.  If obeying the law involves greater harm to society than breaking the law, we want people to break it.  This is kind of a belt to keep the legislature’s pants from falling down in exceptional situations.  If the legislature would have said “Yes, break the law in this case”, then we want to let the offender off the hook.  It would be irrational to want people to obey the law if we believed that the legislature in a certain situation would say “do break the law” because that would result in a better outcome for society than obeying the law.

 Although necessity (or the “choice of evils” justification defense) is typically thought of as a utilitarian justification because of its balancing aspect, it can also be viewed in non-utilitarian terms by comparing the moral value of one choice of action against another.

 A defendant must actually believe that his conduct is necessary to avert a greater evil (and not an equal or lesser evil).  The necessity defense doesn’t help you if you recklessly or negligently created the necessity.

 The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens – This is the single most important case in Anglo-American jurisprudence to deal with the following question: is it ever justifiable to kill an innocent person in order to save a greater number of innocent persons?  The court suggests that sometimes the law has to set up standards that we can’t really live up to.  Can we punish someone when we all would have done the same thing?

 If you’re a retributivist, then it is never right to kill an innocent person in order to save a greater number of innocent lives.  If you’re a Kantian, you believe that you must never use a person as a means to an end rather than as an end in itself.  That’s what Dudley and Stephens did with Parker: they used him as a means to an end, violating what Kant would say is a categorical imperative.

 Excuse

 Excuse focuses on the actor, not the act.  Excuse concedes that the act was bad, but there was something about the actor such that we’re willing to let them go without punishment.  When we use an excuse defense, the burden of proof is placed on the defendant.

 Bentham says that an excuse is a defense when their conduct was nondeterrable.  The only use for punishment, in a utilitarian view, is deterrence.  Therefore, if there is no value to punishment and only a net social cost, we shouldn’t punish.

 However, say there are some people who are genuinely undeterrable.  There may still be some utilitarian value in punishing an undeterrable person due to specific deterrence or incapacitation.  What about the general deterrence value in punishing an undeterrable person?  If we excuse an undeterrable person, someone else might get the wrong message.  Someone else might believe that they can convince a jury that they are undeterrable.  Generally speaking, they may be less likely to obey the law because they will perceive it as full of holes.

 Retributivists say that we have excuses because we don’t want to blame those who were not responsible for their actions.  To blame someone who is not responsible for his actions is a falsehood.  It is a matter of justice to excuse certain people even though they have caused some social harm.

 Excuse law is now explained almost exclusively by some sort of retributive theory rather than utilitarian theory.  Even the utilitarian argument has a retributivist aspect to it.

 Our theories of excuse are: (1) Utilitarian theories, (2) causation, (3) character, and (4) choice (personhood).

 Duress

 Duress is an excuse and not a justification.  Most jurisdictions treat it in this way.  At common law, duress is no excuse for murder.  In the Model Penal Code, however, there is no murder exception.

 United States v. Contento-Pachon – There are three elements of the duress defense, according to the court: (1) immediacy of the threat, (2) well-grounded fear of the threat, and (3) lack of escapability from the threat.

 Another way of describing duress as an excuse is that a person will be acquitted of any crime other than murder if: (1) the coercer issues an unlawful threat to imminently kill or grievously injure the defendant or another person, and (2) the defendant was not at fault in exposing himself to the threat.

 The court also says that a necessity defense suggests that there was no social harm on balance.   On the other hand, the court says that duress suggests there was no culpability.  The court therefore implies that necessity is a justification rather than an excuse.

 The Model Penal Code definition of duress is revolutionary compared to the common law.  It’s different from the common law definition in many different ways.  There is a limit to duress under Model Penal Code § 3.02: the threat listed is “unlawful force”.  Only humans can do unlawful things.  The Model Penal Code is like the common law in the fact that it limits the defense of duress to human threats.  However, under the category of necessity, the Model Penal Code would allow either natural or human threats.  The Model Penal Code is well aware of this.  It says that even if § 3.02 applies, § 2.09 may still apply if you’re dealing with a human threat.

 What’s different about the Model Penal Code provision on duress than the common law?  In the Model Penal Code, there need not be an imminent threat.  Also, under the Model Penal Code, a “kill or be killed” threat could work as an excuse: there is no murder exclusion.  Finally, it is a “person of reasonable firmness” standard.  It’s an objective rather than a subjective standard.

 People v. Anderson – At common law, duress was not a defense to murder.  Some intentional killings, if they are the result of provocation, reduce murder to manslaughter.  But this isn’t a heat of passion case.  Adequate provocation makes someone angry which makes them intentionally kill.  It’s a lot harder to control yourself when you’re very angry.  When we’ve very angry, our self-control is undermined.  But we don’t think one’s self-control is fully undermined by anger.  When you’re angry, you could do a lot of things other than kill.  You could vent your anger in some other way.

 Why couldn’t you have fear in place of anger in “heat of passion”?  Fear is an emotion that is like anger in that it makes self-control more difficult.  We may be able to empathize more with fear than with anger.

 Anderson’s point is that if you give a defense for killings caused by adequate provocation leading to anger leading to the intent to kill, then it follows that you should give a similar defense with fear in the place of anger.  Dressler seems to argue for just such a partial defense.

 The Model Penal Code would actually agree with Anderson, although they wouldn’t use duress to get there and they wouldn’t use the “heat of passion” excuse.  You would go straight to manslaughter based on the fact that the homicide was committed under “extreme emotional distress”.  The Model Penal Code necessity defense allows the intentional killing of an innocent person to save a greater number of lives.  In a Model Penal Code jurisdiction, you could have a complete defense.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2008, 01:55:07 PM »

Scott:

I've pasted your post on the Self Defense thread.

Jason:

I've pasted your post on a new thread "Knife Laws"

TAC,
CD
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JDN
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« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2008, 02:00:36 PM »

Scott,

"...In a Model Penal Code jurisdiction, you could have a complete defense."

You succinctly raise many important points regarding "self defense".   Question, I am not an attorney
(I do Fraud Investigation) but to clarify, it is my understanding that California is NOT a Model Penal Code
jurisdiction, the Model Penal Code is simply advisory here.  Rather, it is my understanding that California
Courts usually consult Common Law to determine final meaning.  Am I correct, or???
thank you.
james
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Maxx
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« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2008, 11:17:54 AM »

I am interested to hear what Crafty has to say about the "Karambiteer"  grin Fighting at a gathering.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2008, 01:16:51 PM »

JDN:

To maintain thread coherency, lets take the legal questions over to the Knife Law and Self Defense Law threads.

Maxx:

I'd love to see someone research the Karambiteer at a DB Gathering.  My suspicision is that, being designed more for FUTs than long range dueling, it will have a tough time at long range.

TAC,
CD
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Scott
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« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2008, 11:13:33 AM »

Scott,

"...In a Model Penal Code jurisdiction, you could have a complete defense."

You succinctly raise many important points regarding "self defense".   Question, I am not an attorney
(I do Fraud Investigation) but to clarify, it is my understanding that California is NOT a Model Penal Code
jurisdiction, the Model Penal Code is simply advisory here.  Rather, it is my understanding that California
Courts usually consult Common Law to determine final meaning.  Am I correct, or???
thank you.
james

Sir,
    I live in Columbus, Ohio and just posted that as a most basic reference and to point out some simple (but important) issues with self-defense in general.  I only worked in West Hollywood for about 7 months, so my knowledge of California law is weak, at best (and I am in Forensic Anthropology, so the laws I know most about deal with human remains).
  Have a great day, stay safe and train hard!
     Scott, (Emir/Pencak Silat Sharaf)
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Scott
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« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2008, 11:40:39 AM »

Just my two cents:
  My personal choice is the Karambit, but in the end it comes down to what works best for you and in what situation, of course.  The Karambit does not have the (obvious) tool uses of a straight blade, but I am not looking for a tool, but a weapon.  If the consideration is not "what one multi-use item would you take to a deserted island", then it is safe to assume that I have either a kit to work with that is stocked for the situation at hand or I will not be in a situation that requires my blade to be anything beyond a weapon.  So, utilitarian uses aside, I feel that blocks are more solid and that damage more naturally horrific from a Karambit (whereas a straight blade requires more of a twist, jerk or slash to expound on structural damage).  There is also the advantage of profile when attacking, a greater extended range than what is initially seen and the fact that many people have no clue what a Karambit is.  I find, in practice, that I have better results when I fight Karambit against strait blade, but in the end, it comes down to comfort and experience.
  Lastly, in real life applications, people tend to forget the horror that can come with structural damage to the human body.  When you stab someone, your weapon will become slick with blood (and bile, vomit, urine, etc-depending on the stab and what organs are damaged by the weapon) and the Karambit can be a bit easier to hold on to despite the outside distractions which death will bring.  I also state this as I cannot (personally) see using a blade on another human and have the intention be anything other than complete and instant death of the opposition (This comes from our system being one of Self-Defense through Enemy Elimination, not an innate sense of bloodlust).  I also personally find that a double-edged Karambit is far superior to the single-edged versions.
  These are simply my opinions and I do not feel that one blade is inherently is better than the other-if your enemy is dead at the end of the encounter, then your blade and your training did what they were meant to do.
  Stay safe and train hard,
     Scott (Emir/Pencak Silat Sharaf)
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maija
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« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2008, 06:54:57 PM »

Scott,
You say, quote:
"I also state this as I cannot (personally) see using a blade on another human and have the intention be anything other than complete and instant death of the opposition."
Are you saying:
a) "Complete and instant death" of the opposition is the only desired outcome in a self defense situation involving a blade?
b) The only way to use a blade to defend yourself is to intend "complete and instant" death on the opposition?
c) You would not use a blade in a self defense situation unless you intended to kill?
d) You would not carry a blade because to use it is to kill?

Perhaps I am off the mark in all these cases. Could you clarify?
I am curious because my teacher cautioned us gravely to understand the potential consequences of drawing a blade (because to draw it meant you had to be willing to use it), and a consistent focus throughout the training was deterrent, evasion and escape, blade or no blade.

A couple more thoughts.
The Kukri, the Bolo - Both "utilitarian tools"
A "killing hit" is not necessarily a "stopping hit" - see earlier in the thread.




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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
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Scott
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« Reply #35 on: May 29, 2008, 12:08:06 PM »

Sir,
  Let me start at the end first.  I understand that many weapons are deadly as well as utilitarian.  The Karambit was actually a farming/harvesting implement before being used as a weapon-so it has its tool uses as well.  My point was merely that tool-use is not an issue when selecting my blade.  I do not say that is the only way it should be or that other choices will not work better for others, just that it is not a consideration for me and the situations in which I might find myself.
  I could not agree more that a killing blow is not always a stopping hit!  We teach tactical disengagemnet from all encounters as we are fully aware that muscle spasms, dying thrusts, sheer dumb luck and a variety of other misadventures can cause harm after the fact.  Tactical disengagement is a must, and the assumption that an unconscious foe will stay that way or that a presumed dead foe is not about to reverse that presumption in a most drastic manner can lose the fight in a very final manner.
  I carry blades everywhere I go (usually two blades and an impact weapon).  I will not draw a blade if I do not intend to cut or stab.  I will not cut or stab without accepting the fact that death can follow from even a superficial attack (things happen-and not always the way we want or intend).  I feel that if I judge the situation to need a bladed weapon (as opposed to running away, fighting unarmed or fighting with an impact weapon), then I have prejudged the situation to have a fatal ending.  Do I think every fight should end in a fatality?  Of course not.  I am not referring to bar-fights, brawls, or more common violence.  I refer to a situation that calls for a deadly-force weapon and deadly force solutions.  Much of this comes from the fact that I train in a Combat Art as opposed to a Martial Art, so I am not teaching self-defense as much as enemy-elimination.  If I draw a knife in a fight, I have come to the conclusion that the death of my opponent is the only aceptable outcome.  I would never wish to harm another human being again if I were given the choice-however, If I must enter in to violence I will do so with every ounce of training and motivation and not one moment of hesitation.  I was never referring to a way that I thought the world should work or that anyone besides myself should have that opinion, just the way my experiences in life have led me to look at the world.  I also understand the myriad legal considerations, but again-the situations to which I refer are not ones where life after the fight is considered.  Merely surviving the encounter is what I want from those I teach.  If you have judged the event to have a very final outcome, then the only other possibility was your death.  This is unacceptable on any level.
     Please understand that I am not espousing a return to Bowie Knife duels to settle disputes.  Noting could be further from the truth.  I want a peaceful world with peaceful neighbors and happy endings for all.  I was merely giving an opinion.
     Have a great day, train hard and stay safe!
        Scott/ Emir, Pencak Silat Sharaf
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maija
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« Reply #36 on: May 29, 2008, 07:45:04 PM »

Scott,
Thanks for your answers.
I agree that a lethal weapon, for instance a blade, can potentially cause death whether on purpose or by accident, and that the choice may not be yours in that moment. However I guess I am wondering if the only scenario possible, if you draw a blade, is either that the opponent dies, or you die? Is there no territory in between?
Trust me, I am not volunteering myself to get injured just to preserve the life of someone bent on doing me harm, but in the context of STOPPING an aggressor i.e. I get away and they cannot follow me, are there any other options?
Also this idea that the "life after the fight" is not considered. If one prevails in an encounter, there surely IS life after the fight, and for me the legal consequences are way less important than living with my decisions for the rest of my life.
Obviously this consideration is not going to happen DURING the fight, but how about during training?
One of the reasons why I train is not only to build in a muscle memory and clarity of mind to be able to act without hesitation. but also to be able to engage my conscious mind in what I am doing. That might be a luxury in a high adrenal state, but I see it as one of the higher goals of martial training.

Since you mentioned dueling - I read a couple great books about dueling and also about the evolution of sport fencing from the practice of dueling, and I have to say that many duels ended at the first draw of blood. Many died for sure, but mostly because it did not take much to finish you off in the days before antibiotics and modern triage medicine. Perhaps it's not such a bad way to resolve disputes of honor wink
Also, though I am no authority on the subject, it seems to me from various accounts by Filipino martial practitioners of having to use their arts to defend themselves, the altercation ends on many occasions with something like ..."so I cut his thumb off and he ran away ..." 
...Which brings me back to use of visual deterrents and targeting along with the psychological stuff mentioned in the "pre-emption etc." thread, and so bearing this in mind, why carry a specific type of blade, or one at all?
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Vinyasa
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« Reply #37 on: May 29, 2008, 11:55:41 PM »

Quote
- I read a couple great books about dueling and also about the evolution of sport fencing from the practice of dueling

maija

Would you mind sharing the titles of the books? I'd be interested in checking them out.

Thanks!
V
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maija
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« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2008, 08:47:15 AM »

There are many books about dueling out there, these are the ones I read:
   
Gentlemen's Blood: A History of Dueling by Barbara Holland

By the Sword: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, and Olympic Champions  by Richard Cohen

There are also many books written about dueling technique that are fascinating, the ones listed above are more about the history.
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Vinyasa
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« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2008, 10:21:37 PM »

maija,

Thank you!

V
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Scott
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« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2008, 05:21:37 AM »

maija-
  Sir,  I must agree with what you say in regards to how you train and what you train for.  However, as I mentioned before, we train in a different manner for different situations.  Being a Combat Art as opposed to a Martial Art, we are not training civilians for encounters on the street with someone needing your wallet for their next fix/hit/dose/etc-we are trying to improve the training of Soldiers (and the like) to better survive in a war-zone or similar situation.  We do not at this time even have a civilian curriculum (although we are working on one).  I understand that most anyone that survives employment which takes them in to the line of fire will eventually return to society and take their training with them.  At that point, life after the encounter matters quite a bit.  We are not training, or training people, with that consideration at this point in time.  When we finalize our civilian curriculum, there will be a far different focus on the training and very different approaches to situations than those we teach now.  That is why I had said what I said about why we do and do not focus on certain social aspects of violent encounters.
  Have a great day, train hard and stay safe,
        Scott/Emir,Pencak Silat Sharaf
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pau
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« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2008, 12:01:00 PM »

Some great input this question i asqued Guro Crafty last time he was in mexico but cos of the time we dident have muche time to discus heheh  grin thank to all for you coments
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« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2008, 12:32:37 PM »

maija-
  Sir,  I must agree with what you say in regards to how you train and what you train for.  However, as I mentioned before, we train in a different manner for different situations.  Being a Combat Art as opposed to a Martial Art, we are not training civilians for encounters on the street with someone needing your wallet for their next fix/hit/dose/etc-we are trying to improve the training of Soldiers (and the like) to better survive in a war-zone or similar situation.  We do not at this time even have a civilian curriculum (although we are working on one).  I understand that most anyone that survives employment which takes them in to the line of fire will eventually return to society and take their training with them.  At that point, life after the encounter matters quite a bit.  We are not training, or training people, with that consideration at this point in time.  When we finalize our civilian curriculum, there will be a far different focus on the training and very different approaches to situations than those we teach now.  That is why I had said what I said about why we do and do not focus on certain social aspects of violent encounters.
  Have a great day, train hard and stay safe,
        Scott/Emir,Pencak Silat Sharaf

As a Ex- Soldier, I want to know what you consider teaching to survive in a Combat zone? From your Title it seems silat?  How would Silat help Soliders survive in a Combat War zone?  If that's what you are teaching soldiers..
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maija
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« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2008, 08:18:52 PM »

Scott,
As you say, training for a war is not the same as training for day to day life. Even within traditional martial arts it's interesting to see the difference in focus between military and non military arts  (in a historical context). I would be interested to see in the future how your 'civilian' curriculum changes from the 'combat' curriculum.
I am also interested in the thoughts that you have regarding the eventual return of trained fighters into a civilian society, but I know these are off topic.....
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kumurick
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« Reply #44 on: June 04, 2008, 01:35:48 AM »

A quick story from a mentor of mine who has used his karambit on several occasions.
He told me that the first time he hit bone, coming from his assailants left shoulder at a 45degree angle, when he got to the ribs, the tip of the blade caught in the ribs and he said that he almost broke his wrist.  He went through the jacket, checkbook, fat, & muscle but when he hit that bone about 1/2 way through his stroke, it caught.  It ended up breaking off the tip of his Tarani Karambit.  This made him alter some technique and he began working on tires alot more to get used to the blade catching the way it does, something different than a straight blade.

I carry an Emerson folding Karambit on an almost daily basis.
Either that or my Emerson Bowie folder is my usual.

One of my stable-mates that is ranked under the same instructor commented on his feelings regarding the karambit.
He won't carry one and when he speaks of his feelings about it, it's obvious that he's very passionate about it. 

His position is that the karambit is that of an assassin and not the most functional tool for real "self-defense" as compared to say, my Emerson folder or something similar.  This is why I thought this perspective would be fitting for this thread.

Although it's entirely possible that his views have changed, at the time we talked about this, he viewed the design as one that is best utilized upon unsuspecting victims and that the element of surprise it's biggest asset.  He also took the position that it's historical use and even training methods support this idea.

While I understand the weight of his opinion and his life offers a certain exposure and experience with scenarios that justify his views, I don't agree with the totality of his position that the karambit is "an assassins’ weapon".  I also don't agree that the karambit's ability to be concealed and used as a surprise are it's greatest attributes. 

What I find that I like so much is that when I put my finger through it's whole, I can switch grips with much less chance of being disarmed or even mistakenly dropping it.  Secondly, being able to not loose that hand as a striking tool the way I feel I do when I'm using it to hold a straight blade is an equally important attribute and obviously yet another benefit of its design with nothing to do with an "element of surprise".  Also included in it's positive attributes is the way the blade cuts, as already mentioned in previous posts.

My position is that the benefits I've given outweigh the potential drawbacks of its reduced reach and/or potentially reduced stabbing ability.

With all of that said, I'll close with this.  My friend’s position, although I'm not on board with it 100%, does prove for a useful perspective and one that I've utilized, mainly for my choice of carry on any particular day.  If I know that I'm going to be spending the day in an environment where I know there will be alot of people like say, an amusement park, I'll carry my karambit.-because of all the reasons I listed.  On the other hand, if I know that I may be walking somewhere, on a hike or somewhere outside in the city, then I’ll be more apt to take something that offers more reach where I'm comfortable with wider slashing motions and can utilize it’s distinguishing attributes.

So when I know my environment will be tighter, I take my karambit and when I know I'll have more space, I MAY take my straight blade.  I'd say that my karambit gets about 75% of my average daily carry.

I'm very much enjoying the insight offered in this thread.
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Maxx
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« Reply #45 on: June 04, 2008, 10:35:58 AM »

@ kumurick - So Your mentor hit someone with a Karambit and it almost broke his wrist? Was this something he found to change after he started working on the tires with it? Does he find that he has more wrist power?
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kumurick
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« Reply #46 on: June 04, 2008, 01:52:22 PM »

Maxx,
Just to be clear, as I noted in my original post, it was a slash across the person's body and I'll add that he was using a standard forward-grip with his right side.  This person has been doing "security" work in South America, mainly Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador and in his 20+ years of being employed in this fashion, he's had used knives including karambits before. 

The conversation was struck up by him simply asking if I'm interested in what happens when you're actually cutting through a human body.  He asked if I'm doing any training to prepare for that.  I thought that maybe I had been but as we talked more, I realized that what he was talking about was different than anything that was in my current training regimen - as I type this, I realize that I haven't done the tire stuff in a while...

It's been years since we've talked about it but I do remember him saying that the depth or amount of penetration becomes more critical especially when you're cutting on areas where you can catch something - like the ribs.  I don't recall him noting that the tires neccesarily built any "wrist strength" but that it was a more general mental & physical familiarity with having the blade catch at undetermined spots within the cut.

**note**the first time I tried this, I ruined the cutting-edge of my karambit = REASON - radial tire undecided

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Maxx
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« Reply #47 on: June 04, 2008, 03:40:07 PM »

Maxx,
Just to be clear, as I noted in my original post, it was a slash across the person's body and I'll add that he was using a standard forward-grip with his right side.  This person has been doing "security" work in South America, mainly Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador and in his 20+ years of being employed in this fashion, he's had used knives including karambits before. 

The conversation was struck up by him simply asking if I'm interested in what happens when you're actually cutting through a human body.  He asked if I'm doing any training to prepare for that.  I thought that maybe I had been but as we talked more, I realized that what he was talking about was different than anything that was in my current training regimen - as I type this, I realize that I haven't done the tire stuff in a while...

It's been years since we've talked about it but I do remember him saying that the depth or amount of penetration becomes more critical especially when you're cutting on areas where you can catch something - like the ribs.  I don't recall him noting that the tires neccesarily built any "wrist strength" but that it was a more general mental & physical familiarity with having the blade catch at undetermined spots within the cut.

**note**the first time I tried this, I ruined the cutting-edge of my karambit = REASON - radial tire undecided



I practice straight blade stuff on tires both standing and on the ground but I have not worked any Karambit stuff on a tire. I do have a Emerson Combat Karambit that I do sometimes carry but I mostly have been carrying my Cold Steel Recon 1 Folding tanto.

Did your mentor tell you if the slashing effects of the Karambit made the attacker stop his attack?
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Growling Dog
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« Reply #48 on: June 04, 2008, 04:34:55 PM »

i was just playing on some tires 2 min ago for the hell of it i took a small mantis karambit to the tire, i thought i might get a few larger deeper slices through the tire because of the karambit angle blade, the karambit not only cut deeper i cut thorough the tire walls however i did take the knife and hit the back of the blade and it failed this could be because it is a inferior lock,  have any of you had problems with the emerson lock
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Maxx
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« Reply #49 on: June 04, 2008, 05:26:44 PM »

i was just playing on some tires 2 min ago for the hell of it i took a small mantis karambit to the tire, i thought i might get a few larger deeper slices through the tire because of the karambit angle blade, the karambit not only cut deeper i cut thorough the tire walls however i did take the knife and hit the back of the blade and it failed this could be because it is a inferior lock,  have any of you had problems with the emerson lock

What were you using to cut though the tire? A emerson Knife or Emerson Karambit?

I only have one Emerson item and its the Emerson Karambit and I have never seen the lock fail but I do know if you write emerson and tell him about this he will replace the item from what I have been told.
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