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Author Topic: Respect the knife!  (Read 4313 times)
Frequent Poster
Posts: 75

« on: July 07, 2003, 11:01:41 PM »

Woof Crafty,

When my group does knife sparring we treat the training knife as if it was a real knife, as I hope most people do.  We never hold it by the blade (even when just handing it to someone or picking it up off the ground) or just throw it down when the fight is over.  We try to avoid even exchanges and "knife boxing" during the fights.  It always takes a few sessions to break newbies (and even some experienced people) of the habit of just grabbing their opponent's blade when they get in close.  Similarly, you don't just rush in to get your stab in, completely ignoring the fact that your opponent just slashed you three times before you could get close enough.

When people do close, or any time both fighters are stabbing each other repeatedly, we have them back off and the fight continues.  Again, it takes a little experience to know when to back away in the heat of it all.

Anyway, my point is that at a Gathering, we're fighting a lot of people that we don't usually train with and unlike a stickfight, we're using simulated weapons and it's hard to know what "the rules" are.  Maybe you could just say a little more about this before we start on Sunday.

Power User
Posts: 42548

« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2003, 04:29:26 PM »

Woof Milt:

  Good point, good training habits, and good question.   I would offer the following:

  1) For myself, I assume that my opponent is crazed and thus may well attack in a reckless unsound manner.  Thus I must "kill" and survive, or at least survive despite this.

  2)  The harder and more edged the "knife" the more pain will teach its truth.  Aluminum training blades are the "cutting edge" in this regard wink   A good hacking slash with an aluminum blade can really get the attention of the receiver-- maybe even break small bones.  Of course, even this is not perfect-- a dragging slash will not impose pain, but if it were a real knife the consequences might well be quite serious.
  I am glad you reminded me of this-- there is something I can do/say in my opening talk.  If you would remind me of this on Gathering day, I would appreciate it.

Crafty Dog
Power User
Posts: 290

« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2003, 06:58:46 PM »


Before any sparring sessions, we have everyone stand in a circle and pass a real knife around, then the Edges2 blade. Since we use the Edges2 Fighter, I pass around my SWEET Black Bear Classic, which is nearly identical in shape to the trainer. The same goes for the shorter
training blades. I pass around a Spyderco folder. I ask people to avoid touching the blade of the knife to avoid adding acid/sweat. I suppose you have to own something more than a stainless steel kitchen knife for a while to understand this. If they drop the blade on the cement floor, and it chips or breaks, they owe me another knife. Some of the guys have
a habit of tossing the knife after the bout.

As for cuts, it seems like newbies just like to hit an opponent's
fencing helmet, most often, simultaneously. I suppose that the ring
of the helmet is more rewarding than any other knife cuts. Then,
come the kicks and knife grappling. I'm sure you've seen EXACTLY the same behavior over all of your years of Gatherings. Other targets and strategies seem to require more effort and instruction.

Anyway, although I'm just a spectator this time, I'm eager to catch
the Gathering action on Sunday !


Baltic Dog

Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo (Prof. Richard Lewis)
3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor

Bono JKD/Kajukenbo (Prof. John Bono)
Gentlemen's Fighting Club
Power User
Posts: 87

« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2003, 07:25:28 AM »

A good idea is to show "newbies" (and others) what a real knife can do.  All too often it is assumed that people who train in FMA or other knife-oriented arts automatically know (or care) what damage a blade is capable of.  This is not always the case, and so a cutting demo can be a real eye opener.

At my school, I showed fellow students a 3/4" solid PVC dowel that was wrapped in one of those thick foam "pool noodles".  I used a Cold Steel SRK to slice this thing up.  Aside from the fact that the knife easily cut through about 2 inches of foam, the people were rather sobered by the fact that the SRK also took big chunks out of the PVC dowel itself--and this is not flimsy material.

When students see what a bladed weapon is capable of, they become more respectful of mock sparring knives (if they're smart, at least wink ).

"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2003, 01:33:56 PM »

Hello all,
I love the stuff You all written, it really helps:)
what we do here far away wink is never using rubber knives. for fighting just fencing masks (Your idea, I know:)
we also made steel unsharp knives for training, so the size, weight and shape is the same as knives used everyday.
also we train with sharp ones, but for some people it still seems to be not good idea...
the idea my friend got is to make a kind of psychological test for all new guys, also make the knife group a kind of support group, so they really come together:)
Posts: 8

« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2003, 01:49:53 PM »

it was me:)
sorry, I was not logging in...

reject what is useless
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