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Martial Arts Topics / Re: Knives for good
« on: January 19, 2007, 11:26:35 PM »
Greetings Crafty,

I believe this article fits your criteria, though not surprisingly, the British authorities don't see it that way. :roll: 

Best regards,



Police Officers Aided by Mystery Man Wielding Samurai Sword
Tyneside Cops Surprised by Sword-bearing Bystander Who Helped Stop Robbery, Save Officer
By Wanda Leibowitz

A mystery man wielding a samurai sword came to the aid of two detectives last night, as the police officers faced off with a gang of thieves attempting to commit a robbery. The outnumbered, unarmed detectives were in the midst of a violent confrontation with the robbers when a mystery man came to their rescue, brandishing a 3-foot samurai sword.
The scene took place in the Laygate neighborhood of South Shields, a town in the Tyneside region of England.

The two police officers had apprehended the criminals as they were about to break in to a house, and were engaged in hand to hand combat with the gang, who wielded chains and hammers. One of the thieves suddenly pulled a knife on the police officers, apparently intending to further escalate the violence. It was at this point that the mystery man suddenly appeared.

The anonymous man ran forward, wielding a samurai sword and shouting "Leave him alone, he's a police officer!" The mystery man then charged at the criminals, slashing his samurai sword wildly back and forth, and wounding at least one of the robbers.

The surprised and disoriented gang of robbers panicked and began to disperse. The police officers were able to arrest three thieves amidst the chaos, including one whom the mystery man had trivially wounded on the arm during the samurai sword attack. The mystery man and his samurai sword disappeared as soon as the gang started to break up.

The police officers gave this description of the mystery man: Caucasian, mustachioed, in his 40s, of medium build, and height approximately 5' 10". No information, such as suspected origin or place of purchase, has been released about the samurai sword.

Although the mystery man was helping the police, local Detective Inspector Peter Bent, of South Sheilds CID, said that he did not condone the actions of the mystery man. Brent said "There is no doubt this person assisted the police," but added that "It needs to be said we cannot condone vigilantism or people running around with swords or weapons. It will be up to the Crown Prosecution Service whether they see his actions as justified or going beyond reasonable force."

The three apprehended robbers, who were aged 29, 42, and 43, have been charged with aggravated burglary. One is scheduled to stand before South Tyneside magistrates on an additional charge of attempted wounding with intent to resist arrest

Deadly pocketknives become a $1 billion business

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

By Mark Fritz, The Wall Street Journal

A decade ago, Jim Ray brought together a champion martial artist, a former Navy Seal and a police-weapons specialist to draft designs for what he hoped would be the perfect pocketknife.

But the high-tech knives the team created were never meant to whittle sticks. Instead, the team produced knives whose blades could be flicked open with one finger faster than the widely outlawed switchblade -- but were still perfectly legal. "Nobody wanted to call it a weapon" at the start, says Mr. Ray, a former proprietor of a North Carolina tourist shop. But eventually, he adds, "that changed." And soon Mr. Ray and the company he formed, Masters of Defense Inc., were marketing the blades' utility when "shooting is just not appropriate."

Mr. Ray was a pioneer in a technological revolution that has transformed "tactical" knives -- originally used in military combat -- into a $1-billion-a-year consumer business, aimed at just about anyone in the market for a small knife. These 21st century pocketknives, with their curved, perforated or serrated blades and ergonomic grips, can inflict deadly damage, but they are also compact, easily concealed and virtually unregulated.

In March, a monthly FBI bulletin alerted law-enforcement agents nationwide to "the emerging threats" posed by the knives. Though there are no statistics on how many crimes have involved tactical-style knives, the FBI says knife-related crimes have edged up, to 15.5 percent in 2004 from 15 percent in 2000. In that time, violent crime in general dropped 4.1 percent.

The knives' popularity has been a boon to some retailers. Mike Janes, owner of Second Amendment Sports, a hunting, fishing and camping superstore in Bakersfield, Calif., says that knife sales have been climbing an average of 25 percent a year in the past decade and that 75 percent of the pocketknives he sells are tactical. "Are you tacti-cool? That's what we say down here," Mr. Janes says.

Dave Vanderhoff, who runs U.S. Martial Arts in Clifford, N.J., recently taught a knife-fighting class that included a judge, a banker, a nurse, a young woman with a belly ring and a French chef from Manhattan. And Spyderco Inc., for example, makes a tactical knife that, when folded, masquerades as a credit card.

But the marketing techniques for some of the new pocketknives aren't so mainstream. Cold Steel Inc. makes the 3/4-ounce "Urban Pal," which has a 1.5-inch blade. "The Urban Pal should be standard equipment for survival in today's urban jungle," its Web site says.

Lawyers for the tactical-knife industry have persuaded government officials that even minor manual movement -- no matter how enhanced by levers and springs -- separates the knives from switchblades, which require pressing a button on the handle to flip open the blade. "We have to resist the application of the 1950s switchblade laws to the new technology," says lawyer Daniel Lawson, a knife collector in Pittsburgh who represents the tactical-knife industry. Thirty-seven states now outlaw switchblades, partly because they developed a cult following among teenagers in the 1950s. But, says David Kowalski, a former knife magazine editor and a spokesman for the industry, tactical knifes have remained legal because "the laws across the U.S. are a mishmash because (legislators) really don't know anything about knives."

Modern tactical knives are rooted in the 1980s, when some martial artists in the U.S. became practitioners of a Filipino style of knife-fighting. An early innovator was Ernest R. Emerson, a martial artist and custom knife builder. In 1995, Oregon's Benchmade Knife Co. collaborated with Mr. Emerson to mass produce the Closed Quarters Combat 7 knife. It opened quickly, locked in place and could be closed with one hand.

Mr. Emerson, 51 years old, says he insisted on selling that knife for $159, believing the high price, performance and custom look would give it cachet. The knife was a hit, and competition got hot. Mr. Emerson formed his own company in 1997 and says annual sales rose to about $10 million last year from $800,000 at the start.

Worried that they might face regulatory scrutiny, makers of the new-style pocketknives formed the American Knife and Tool Institute. The trade group credits U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, with persuading U.S. Customs in 2001 to stop seizing shipments of one-hand-opening tactical knives that some investigators considered switchblades. A spokesman for Sen. Wyden, Andrew Blotky, says he can't confirm the senator's involvement.

Soon the upstarts who dominated the self-defense market were jolting the traditional knife industry. Buck Knife Co., a staple among sportsmen; W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery, famed for its collectible pen knives; and Leatherman Tool Group Inc., which makes pocket-sized tool kits, have all introduced tactical knives since 2003.

"It's a testosterone thing," says Buck's chairman, Charles "Chuck" Buck, 75 years old, who estimates the retail market for tactical knives at $1 billion.

Leatherman Tool Group jumped on the tactical-knife bandwagon in 2005, introducing a full line of tactical-type knives. The most prominent feature on its knives is the "Blade Launcher" mechanism, which lets the user flip a menacing-looking blade out of its handle with lightning speed. Yet it also has a bottle-cap opener, a nod to Leatherman's heritage.

Not all makers of tactical knives agree on how to market them. Buck, for example, boasts in marketing materials about the "stopping power" of its tactical knives and bills its "Bones" knife as "bad to the bone."

But Tom Arrowsmith, chief executive of W.R. Case, accuses competitors of "weaponizing" the pocketknife and says it's an approach his company won't take. He does concede, though, that customer demand has prompted his company, a 117-year-old maker of pretty penknives, to offer a line of one-hand-opening knives with tactical features.

The blades on most of the new pocketknives are less than four inches long, the maximum length that passengers were permitted to carry onto U.S. airlines before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In 2004, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks concluded that the hijackers in those attacks used short knives -- not box cutters -- to seize control of the planes. At the Pennsylvania crash site, 14 badly damaged knife parts were collected, and at least half have tactical-knife characteristics. But the FBI cautions that it can't be sure those parts are from knives that belonged to the hijackers.

Technology has made blade length almost irrelevant. The city of Atlanta prohibits people from carrying pocketknives in public with blades longer than two inches. Yet, in a widely publicized case, ex-Marine Thomas Autry used a two-inch blade in May to kill one mugger and wound another when he was confronted by five assailants armed with a shotgun and a .38-caliber pistol.

"Clearly we are seeing wounds you would expect from a bigger blade from what victims say was a small knife," says Andrew Ulrich, a Boston Medical Center emergency-room doctor.

Mr. Janes of Second Amendment Sports is one of several retailers who have added knife training to their businesses. He says "this large influx of people carrying 'tactical folders' didn't know how to use them."

Best regards,


Well it looks like somone has picked up the story and has given it a different slant.


Fight club draws techies for bloody underground beatdowns
By JORDAN ROBERTSON Associated Press Writer

(AP) - MENLO PARK, California-They may sport love handles and Ivy League degrees, but every two weeks some Silicon Valley techies turn into vicious street brawlers in a real-life, underground fight club.

Kicking, punching and swinging every household object imaginable - from frying pans and tennis rackets to pillowcases stuffed with soda cans - they beat each other mercilessly in a garage in this bedroom community south of San Francisco.

Then, bloodied and bruised, they limp back to their desks in the morning.

"When you get beat down enough, it becomes a very un-macho thing," said Shiyin Siou, 34, a Santa Clara software engineer and three-year veteran of the clandestine fights. "But I don't need this to prove I'm macho - I'm macho enough as it is."

Inspired by the 1999 film "Fight Club," starring Brad Pitt and Ed Norton, underground bare-knuckle brawling clubs have sprung up across the country as a way for desk jockeys and disgruntled youths to vent their frustrations and prove themselves.

"This is as close as you can get to a real fight, even though I've never been in one," the soft-spoken Siou said.

Despite his reserved demeanor, he daydreams about inflicting pain on an attacker. "I have fantasies about it," he said.

In recent months, police in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have broken up fight clubs involving teens and preteens who posted videos of their bloody battles online.

Earlier this month in Arlington, Texas, a high school student who didn't want to participate was beaten so badly that he suffered a brain hemorrhage and broken vertebrae. Six teenagers were arrested after DVDs of the fight appeared for sale online.

Adult groups are more likely to fly under the radar of authorities.

Menlo Park police hadn't heard about the local club and said they wouldn't be likely to take action because the fights are on private property between consenting adults. That could change if someone complains or is sent to a hospital, police said.

Gints Klimanis, a 37-year-old software engineer and martial arts instructor, started the invitation-only "Gentlemen's Fight Club" in Menlo Park in 2000 after his no-holds-barred sessions with a training partner grew to more than a dozen people. Most participants are men working in the high-tech industry.

"You get to be a superhero for a night," Klimanis said. "We have to go to work every day. We're constantly told to buy things we don't need, and just for a couple hours we have the freedom to do what we want to do."

The only protective equipment used is fencing and hockey masks. Several fighters have suffered broken noses, ribs and fingers.

Men involved in fight clubs often carry bottled-up violent impulses learned in childhood from video games, cartoons and movies, said Michael Messner, a University of Southern California sociology and gender studies professor.

"Boys have these warrior fantasies picked up from popular culture, and schools sort of force that out of them," he said. In these fantasies, "The good guys always resort to violence, and they always get the glory and the women."

There is also a sadomasochistic thread running through underground fight clubs, said Michael Kimmel, a sociology professor at Stony Brook University in New York.

"Real-life fight clubs are the male version of the girls who cut themselves," he said. "All day long these guys think they're the captains of the universe, technical wizards. They're brilliant but empty.

"They want to feel differently. They want to get hit, they want to feel something real."

Five-year fight club veteran Dinesh Prasad, 32, a heavily tattooed Santa Clara engineer, said he once broke a rib in a match but never complained to his fellow combatants. He also recently skipped his first wedding anniversary to attend a fight rather than drive to Los Angeles, where his wife is finishing law school.

"I came here to get over my fear of fighting, and it's working," he said. "I'm much tougher than I was five years ago. I'm not at the level of these other guys, but if things were to get tough, I can get tough, too."

2006-05-30T04:15:30Z l

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / More British Knife Hysteria
« on: April 17, 2006, 11:05:50 PM »
"Terror weapons" my ass.


THESE horrifying knives have been taken off the streets of Coventry in the last 10 days

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / Weapons Sparring Club on CBS, Monday Feb. 27 at 11pm
« on: February 28, 2006, 10:04:28 AM »
Thanks for posting the links.  When I saw the print ad in the Chron, I knew who it had to be.  Well done.

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / new knife sparring game
« on: September 28, 2005, 04:45:34 PM »
Here's the new electric training knife.  Must admit its pretty cool looking.

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / new knife sparring game
« on: September 03, 2005, 11:12:34 PM »

Fake blade, but real painCop invents training aid

As Jeff Quail slid the blade of the Shocknife across a reporter's extended right arm, the cut felt deep, very deep, but there was no blood.

Instead of a sharp edge for cutting, the Shocknife emits an electrical charge -- up to 7,500 volts from a nine-volt battery.

For the demonstration, the voltage was set to a rather minute 600 volts.

The knife is the brainchild of Quail, a former instructor at the Winnipeg Police Academy. Quail and partner Rory Bochinski hope to market their device to police departments across the world. . . .

More here:

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / Staff from around the world
« on: August 08, 2005, 10:19:12 AM »
This is another page of staff related links:

There is a lot of overlap with the excellent list assembled by Stickgappler, but it also has some links to manufacturers.

Best regards,


This is the first essay I've read challenging the factual basis for the recent anti-knife hysteria sweeping the UK.


Article16 December 2004
Knife culture? Cut the crap
There is little evidence for a 'rising tide of knife crime' in Britain.
by Brendan O'Neill

Is Britain in the grip of a 'knife culture'? According to the Home Office, the Department for Education and Skills, the Association of Chief Police Officers and just about every front page of every newspaper, it is.

The police speak of a rising tide of knife crime, where everyone from misguided schoolkids to inner-city hoods are apparently arming themselves with flick knives, pen knives, machetes and swords. The last thing David Blunkett did before stepping down as home secretary was to propose new measures to 'tackle knife crime', including banning under-18s from buying them and allowing headteachers to frisk pupils for anything with a sharp edge (in the event, however, Blunkett failed to turn up to yesterday's launch of the 'fight against knives', instead leaving it to his junior Home Office minister Caroline Flint). In effect, as one report put it, the government has decided to 'wage war on knives' (1).

It started with dire warnings from the cops. In November, London's Metropolitan Police expressed 'fears' about a worsening knife problem in the capital (2). The Met had already unveiled Operation Blunt, a campaign against the menace of knives, which included trialling a metal detector at Hammersmith bus station in west London in an attempt to catch out knife-carriers. Also in November, following claims that more children are bringing knives into school, then education secretary (now new home secretary) Charles Clarke said airport-style X-ray machines might be introduced in schools too, if he thought it was 'the only way to tackle knife-carrying' (3).

In December, the relatives of stabbing victims - including the parents of 14-year-old schoolboy Luke Walmsley, who was murdered in a school corridor in January 2003 - launched a campaign called 'Knives Destroy Lives'. They called on the government to introduce a five-year minimum jail term for carrying an object with a blade longer than three inches, and a six-month minimum jail term for carrying a blade shorter than three inches. They also warned, according to the Independent, that there could be 'civil unrest' if the government didn't do more to tackle the problem of knives (4).

It didn't take the government long to get involved. Blunkett announced a raft of proposals to tackle knife crime (even though he admits that 'the number of incidents involving knives remains low, [but] I share the concern of the public about this issue'). The Metropolitan Police and others are organising a conference to cast a 'Spotlight on Knife Culture in the UK', because 'the time has undoubtedly come for the government, law enforcement agencies, schools and social services throughout the UK to come together and formulate strategies to reduce knife violence and prevent further tragedies from occurring.' (5)

Eventually even prime minister Tony Blair expressed concern about Britain's 'knife problem', telling ITV1's This Morning that: 'You now get a mandatory five-year sentence if you carry a gun. And I think some of these people are switching to knives, which is why we are now looking at how do you make that tougher.' (6)

What's going on? How did knives become the biggest issue in British politics? There have been various knife panics over the past 10 years - but now, in the space of six weeks, knives seem to have been fully transformed from everyday objects that we use at home and work into evil things, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake and potentially threatening civil unrest. Yet the evidence for a 'rising tide' of knife crime is thin indeed. The anti-knife campaign, it seems, has little to do with fighting crime, and much more to do with launching a moral crusade against something, anything, that can make the authorities feel useful and perhaps even a little virtuous.

When it comes to the facts and stats of knife crime, the authorities can't seem to keep their story straight. The furore over the so-called knife culture was triggered by London's Metropolitan Police at the end of November. The London Evening Standard reported the police's concerns about the knife culture 'spreading in London', claiming that '361 incidents involving knives' are recorded every week in the city, representing a rise of 13 per cent from last year (7).

Yet a Met spokesperson tells me that, 'There has been little fluctuation in the number of offences involving knives over the past three years'. In the year April 2001 to March 2002, there were 18,854 offences involving knives in London, accounting for 1.78 per cent of all reported crime. From April 2002 to March 2003, there were 19,107 offences involving knives, 1.77 per cent of all reported crime. The latest figures, covering the 10 months from April 2003 to January 2004, show that there were 17,362 offences involving knives, 1.96 per cent of reported crime.

So where did that claim in November come from, of 361 knife offences taking place every week in London representing a 13 per cent rise on last year? 'I don't know where it's from', says the spokesperson. If one does the sums, it seems that, if there are 361 offences involving a knife in London each week, that is actually little different from previous years. The 2001/2002 figure of 18,854 offences involving knives works out at 362 offences a week; the 2002/2003 figure of 19,107 translates into 367 a week. So 361 seems fairly ordinary, rather than evidence of a 'spreading knife culture', or even a 13 per cent rise.

What's more, the Met's category of knife offences apparently covers everything from cars being scratched with a knife to assault and murder with a knife. Even more strikingly, for all the headlines and handwringing about knife-assisted robberies and murders, it turns out that a 'knife offence' does not necessarily involve the use of a knife. According to the Met spokesperson, the Met's stats on knife crime include 'all offences where a knife has featured in some way'. 'Many of the offences?do not involve the actual use of a knife. [It] includes offences where a knife has been discovered by police during the investigation of another offence - for example, a knife discovered on a person arrested for shoplifting'. So stealing from a shop can become a 'knife crime' if the shoplifter had a knife somewhere on his person but didn't use it.

Is a breakdown of these 'knife' offences available, to show how many are minor, how many are major, and how many involved the 'actual use of a knife'? Apparently not. We do know, however, that of the 18,854 knife offences in London in 2001/2002, 70 were homicides, and of the 19,107 knife offences in 2002/2003, 67 were homicides. In both years, the other 18,000-odd offences cover everything from car-scratching to threatening behaviour to assault to offences not actually involving the use of a knife but where a knife was later discovered.

The Home Office, which compiles crime stats for all of Britain, not just London, likewise seems to make conflicting statements. In the year 2002/2003, a total of 1,007 homicides were recorded across all of the UK (this is higher than most years because the 172 victims of Dr Harold Shipman, Britain's first serial killer GP, were added, although they were murdered at various times over the past 20 years). In November 2004, according to one report, Home Office minister Hazel Blears claimed that of these 1,007 victims, 272 were killed in knife attacks. But a Home Office spokesman tells me it is misleading to refer to these as knife murders; they are categorised under 'homicide by a sharp instrument', which includes not just knives but 'broken bottles and glasses'. Perhaps the government should consider banning bottles as well as blades.

In a population of 60million, 272 killings with a sharp instrument a year seems a fairly low figure. Of course we'd all like it to be lower still, but will metal detectors in bus stations, more stop-and-search laws and the regular frisking of schoolkids do anything to tackle knife killings? Those suggesting such measures overlook one fact: at least as many murders, and usually more, take place in domestic settings as they do on dodgy street corners.

Of the 1,007 murders by all methods in the UK in 2002/2003, 410 took place in a domestic setting, between family members, friends or acquaintances, compared with 414 listed as 'stranger' murders - and it should be remembered that in 2002/2003, the stranger category included, as usual, murders where the relationship between the perpetrator and victim was unknown and, unusually, Shipman's 172 victims, where the relationship was classified as a 'commercial, business or professional relationship, where the suspect killed a customer or client in the course of carrying out their occupation', which also falls under the 'stranger' heading. In most years, there are more family or acquaintance murders than stranger murders (8).

And according to one Home Office report, which analyses the Scottish experience, around 60 per cent of murders with a sharp instrument take place indoors, usually in a domestic setting. The logical conclusion, then, if restricting access to knives is seriously seen as a means of reducing the murder rate, is to make all of us empty out our kitchen draws and ban knives from the home.

In other parts of Britain, the apparent rise in knife crime is itself the result of the authorities' obsession with knives. At the end of November the Scotsman reported that 'Knife crime soars by 50 per cent in four years'. The paper said: 'The number of people caught carrying knives and other deadly weapons in Edinburgh has risen by 50 per cent, shocking new figures today revealed?. A total of 430 crimes involving possession of weapons were recorded last year, compared to 283 in 1999 - an increase of 51.9 per cent' (9).

But there seems a simple explanation for this: Scottish police have prioritised searching the general public for knives, above just about anything else. As a spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said, the 50 per cent rise is the result of the police being more 'proactive'; for example, they have 'extensively used stop-and-search powers' on the streets of Edinburgh and elsewhere in their war on knives (10). They went looking for knives, and they found them. Surely, this is less evidence of 'soaring knife crime' than of a soaring obsession with knife crime. It also suggests that talk of a knife culture can become a self-fulfilling prophecy - the more knives are seen as a great evil, the more the police look for them, and the more the police find them, the more we are told we face a great evil. We will no doubt see a similar effect in London when the Met rolls out Operation Blunt to cover all boroughs.

What of the claims that more schoolchildren are carrying knives? Here, too, reports have been heavy on hysteria and light on evidence. Media reports have quoted from two surveys - last year's Youth Survey 2003, conducted by the polling company Mori for the Youth Justice Board, and this year's Youth Survey 2004, again conducted by Mori for the Youth Justice Board. Both surveys have been quoted out of context to paint an unrealistic picture of flick knife-wielding schoolkids.

The first thing to note is that the Youth Survey is just that - a survey of young people's experiences, where around 5,000 school pupils aged between 11 and 16 self-complete questionnaires on their experiences and perceptions of crime. So it needs to be read with the usual rider that young teenagers, for various reasons, don't always tell the whole truth and nothing but.

Despite the fact that the Youth Survey 2004 was published in July, some have chosen to quote from last year's survey - perhaps because its figures for the number of schoolchildren who claim to have carried a weapon appear that bit higher. The London Evening Standard reported that, 'A Mori survey last year found that 29 per cent of secondary schoolchildren admitted having carried a knife' (11). Guardian columnist David Aaronovitch repeated these claims on 13 December, writing that 'in a Mori survey for the Youth Justice Board, 29 per cent of 11- to 16-year-old school pupils admitted to having carried a knife - a figure that rose to 62 per cent of pupils excluded from school' (12).

In fact, that part of the 2003 survey is not of secondary schoolchildren in general but of secondary schoolchildren who claim to have committed an offence. The survey interviewed a total of 5,549 school-attending and excluded pupils, 1,692 of whom claimed to have committed an offence. And of these 1,692, when asked 'What offences have you committed in the last year?', 29 per cent of school-attending pupils and 62 per cent of excluded pupils said 'carried a knife'. Yet this response of a sample of schoolkids who claim to have committed an offence has been transformed by some into a snapshot of the knife-carrying habits of all schoolkids everywhere.

The reporting of this year's Youth Survey has been equally dubious. The Daily Mirror claimed that 'a Mori poll has revealed that 28 per cent of 11- to 16-year-olds carry knives'; the paper claimed that some 'arm themselves with penknives' while others 'admitted they had flick knives' (13). Yet one of the Mori pollsters who was involved in checking and signing off this year's Youth Survey for the Youth Justice Board tells me that the press coverage has been 'massively misleading'.

In a section titled 'Possession of potential weapons' (note the use of the word 'potential'), it is true that 28 per cent of young people in schools said they had carried some kind of knife 'in the last year'. But 25 per cent of these young people said they had carried a penknife, a fairly harmless device which has been beloved of schoolboys in particular for generations. The Mori pollster tells me the figures have been 'dramatically taken out of context': 'It doesn't mean they are walking around with a knife everyday, it might only have been once. And the vast majority are penknives! They might be going whittling for all we know.' As the Youth Survey itself stated, in a passage that funnily enough was not quoted amidst all the claims of school pupils 'arming' themselves with penknives: 't should be noted that a large proportion of the knives being carried by young people?are penknives, which are, of course, used for a wide variety of innocent purposes.' (14)

Knife culture? What knife culture? The Met can't seem to make its mind up over whether there has been 'no fluctuation' in knife crime in the past three years, or a steep rise. Scottish and other police forces are finding more knives largely because they have made it their job to find more knives. And while there may be isolated incidents of violence, schoolchildren are not, whatever the headlines might say, turning up to class armed with machetes and bad intentions.

Today's anti-knife frenzy is bizarre. Ask yourself - why knives? Why not fists and feet, which have been known to cause serious injury and even murder if used inappropriately (in 2002/2003, 160 people were murdered through 'Hitting, kicking, etc')? Why not 'blunt objects', which were used in 47 murders in 2002/2003? Why not newspapers, which as every football hooligan knows can be folded up to form the 'Millwall brick', hard-edged enough to smash anybody's face in? Or ropes and scarves (there were 68 murders by strangulation in 2002/2003)?

There is little logic to the war on knives, because it has little to do with knives themselves. Rather, this looks like another attempt by the authorities to attach themselves to a cause in a desperate bid to appear caring and right-minded. In the absence of any political vision, or much of a political programme, the government is a sucker for moral crusades, where everything can be reduced to a simple clash between good (those who express concern about knives) and evil (knives). That's one reason why the campaign snowballed so quickly, from the Met's comments in November to the launch of the victims' families campaign in December to Blunkett, Blair and Clarke getting involved; government officials always on the lookout for seemingly simple moral issues were not about to let a campaign against evil knives pass them by.

And if it meant putting a dagger in the heart of rational debate about crime and society, so be it.

(1) First we need to find the knives, David Aaronovitch, Guardian, 14 December 2004

(2) Met fears growing 'knife culture', London Evening Standard, 30 November 2004

(3) School X-ray checks possible, BBC News, 21 November 2004

(4) Knives as deadly as guns, say stab victims' families, Independent, 13 December 2004

(5) Addressing Knives and Violence, Capita conference, January 2005

(6) Blair talks tough on crime, Guardian, 14 December 2004

(7) Met fears growing 'knife culture', London Evening Standard, 30 November 2004

(8) Crime in England and Wales, Home Office, 2004

(9) Knife crime soars by 50 per cent in four years, Scotsman, 19 November 2004

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / Transporting sticks?
« on: June 17, 2005, 09:48:57 AM »
You won't have any trouble from the airline if its in checked luggage.     No need to declare.  

Can't say whether Japan customs will have any issues.

Best regards,


I believe some DB fighters spar here:

I can provide some leads for Serrada and Sayoc training in SF if you are interested those arts.

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / Humor
« on: May 24, 2005, 03:19:38 PM »
As long as we are on the topic:

An old man was a witness in a burglary case.

The defense lawyer asked Sam, "Did you see my client commit this burglary?"

"Yes," said Sam , "I saw him plainly take the goods."

The lawyer asks Sam again, "Sam, this happened at night. Are you sure you saw my client commit this crime?"

"Yes" says Sam, "I saw him do it."

Then the lawyer asks Sam, "Sam listen, you are 80 years old and your eye sight probably is bad. Just how far can you see at night?"

Sam says, "I can see the moon, how far is that?

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / Getting into Shape
« on: May 20, 2005, 04:43:18 PM »
Oooh Ooh.  I've got one:


Dear Diary, For my fiftieth birthday this year, my wife (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me.  Although I am still in great shape since playing on my college football team 30 yrs ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.

Called the club and made my reservation with a personal trainer named Belinda, who identified herself as a 26 yr old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. My wife seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

MONDAY: Started my day at 6:00am. Tough to get out of bed, but it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me. She was something of a Greek goddess -- with blonde hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile.

Woo Hoo!!!!! Belinda gave me a tour and showed me the machines. She took my pulse after 5 minutes on the treadmill. She was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attributed it to standing next to her in her Lycra aerobics outfit. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today.

Very inspiring, Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!

TUESDAY: I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air, and then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Belinda's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It's a whole new life for me.

WEDNESDAY: The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.

Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members.  Her voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying.  
My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other shit too.

THURSDAY: Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late; it took me that long to tie my shoes.  
Belinda took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the men's room. She sent Lars to find me, then, as punishment, put me on the rowing machine -- which I sank.

FRIDAY: I hate that bitch Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic little cheerleader.. If there were a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it.
Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps. And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the *&%#(#&**!!@*@ barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.

The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition
teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

SATURDAY: Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.
SUNDAY: I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over.  I will also pray that next year, my wife, will choose a gift for me that
is fun like a root canal or a vasectomy.  

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / Two Thumbs Up
« on: May 17, 2005, 10:33:51 AM »
Now while I had the pleasure of being one of Corey's training partners this weekend, I know for sure he wasn't talking about any "sweet moves" learned from me.   (I on the other hand learned a lot from Dog Corey, though some of that learning was more sweat than sweet :lol:)

As an outsider to DBMA and a middle-aged desk jockey (an FMA "practitioner" as opposed to "fighter" in DBMA lingo)  I just wanted to chime in and say what an excellent two days of training Crafty put on.   He assembled a great group of students, kept the information flowing, and provided real-world applications for the techinques being taught.  All-in-all a terrific  and fun experience, and one I would heartily recommend to any one who trains in combative arts.

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / Sayoc Kali Training near San Diego
« on: May 16, 2005, 10:11:16 AM »
You might want to check out and ask on their forum.  As far as I know there are no schools teaching Sayoc in Southern California, but there are training groups in LA and Long Beach.

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / new knife sparring game
« on: May 08, 2005, 02:24:17 PM »
Quote from: Greenman
If this thread ever gets the attention it deserves, you know it'll be 6 months before some enterprising tactical wanna-be kinda guy comes out with a stungun on a knife handle and charges $400 bucks!  Remember

Sorry Dude, your idea has been done before by Kevin "Mad Dog" McClung, I believe.  Some kind of blade trainer wired to a very serious battery to deliver shocks.   I know others who spar using burning incense sticks for added motivation.

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / Training for "puppies"
« on: April 19, 2005, 10:53:46 AM »
Quote from: tom guthrie
Woof Guro Crafty, Iam sure this has probably come up on more than one occasion and i looked for a specific thread pertaining, but could not find one.
I have had this burning question. To nut shell it .....What does it take to make "DOG BROTHER"?
I know that there are progressive ranks along the path IE:dog, c-dog and dog brother.
Iam under the impression that fighting in the gatherings IS a requirement please correct me if iam wrong......I however dont believe this is the onley requirement.
What else do you look for in choosing and advancing guys along the path of becomming a full on "dog brother"
Hope this is taken and asked in the respectful manner in which it was intended. TIA for your time and consideration.

I found this information (and more) at


QUESTION: What does it take to become a Dog Brother?

Although many of the Dog Brothers have come out of DBIMA or DBMA instructors, this is NOT necessary in order to become a Dog Brother. If you wish to become a Dog Brother, fight at some of the Gatherings, let the Brothers get to know you, and find someone in the group to present your name to Crafty Dog, Top Dog, or Salty Dog-- by biological reality, the "council of elders"-- and they will take it from there.

The first level is "Dog" one is accepted into the tribe. The next level is "Candidate Dog Brother". At this point, one is showing the level of realization in fighting that we expect of a "Dog Brother". A name is tentatively given. Typically, we look for this level to be maintained for at least three Gatherings. Then one reaches the grand exalted status of "Dog Brother".

Hope that helps.

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / Umali sentenced to 17 years in prison
« on: February 16, 2005, 04:40:07 PM »
Umali update:


February 16, 2005, 5:04 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) _ A Queens man was sentenced Wednesday to 17 years in prison for fatally stabbing a Manhattan nightclub bouncer who was trying to enforce the city's new public indoor smoking ban.

State Supreme Court Justice Bonnie Wittner sentenced Isaias Umali, who was convicted of first-degree manslaughter on Nov. 16, 2004, in the death of Dana "Shazam" Blake on April 13, 2003. Umali, 33, faced up to 25 years in prison.

Wittner, a judge for more than 20 years, said the 6-inch serrated knife Umali used on Blake, 32, was "the deadliest knife I've ever seen in a courtroom. There can be no other purpose (for the knife) but to injure or kill somebody."

Umali, who was born in the Philippines and lived in Jamaica, Queens, told Wittner that his fatal stabbing of Blake had "devastated" his own life and he has tried to come to terms with the fact that he killed someone.

"I never intended to kill Mr. Blake or even to cause him serious injury," Umali told the judge. "I want to tell the Blake family how deeply sorry I am. My prayers go out to the Blake family."

The dispute that led to the stabbing inside Guernica, a Lower East Side nightclub, began when Blake told a group of Umali's friends that they could not smoke. One kept puffing, and Blake grabbed him to escort him out.

During his trial, Umali testified that he was afraid for the life of his friend, Jonathan Chan, because Blake had Chan's neck in his grasp.

Umali, a student of a Filipino knife-fighting technique called kali, admitted he then stabbed Blake in the groin. The knife thrust pierced the femoral artery, a major blood vessel, and Blake bled to death.

Harold Blake, a brother of the victim and the administrator of his estate, has filed a $550 million lawsuit in Manhattan's state Supreme Court against the nightclub, Umali and the smokers with whom Blake had the dispute.

The smoking ban _ one of the strictest in the nation _ went into effect on March 30, 2003, two weeks before Blake's stabbing death. It prohibits smoking in about 13,000 bars, restaurants, offices, pool halls, bingo parlors and bowling alleys throughout the city,0,742882,print.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork

From previous news reports I was under the impression that the murder weapon was never recovered, so I am not sure what knife the judge was refering to.   My guess had been a Cold Steel folder, anyone know?

Best regards,


Martial Arts Topics / Umali Found Guilty in the First Degree
« on: November 16, 2004, 10:11:11 PM »
Martial arts expert guilty in bouncer death
Staff Writer

November 16, 2004, 8:40 PM EST

A Queens martial arts expert was convicted of first-degree manslaughter yesterday in the death of a bouncer at a bar in Manhattan's East Village last year.

Isaias Umali, 32, looked shell-shocked when the jury in State Supreme Court declared him guilty in the killing of Dana Blake on April 13, 2003. The panel deliberated less than half a day.

At the time, the incident in the club Guernica grabbed headlines largely because it occurred shortly after the city's ban on smoking in bars took effect.

Blake, 32, got into a dispute with one of Umali's friends, Jonathan Chan, about a cigarette, and Blake grabbed Chan around the neck. Umali, a computer network administrator, stabbed Blake in his upper thigh with a 6-inch-long fold-up knife used in kali, a Filipino martial art that includes knife-fighting.

Umali's defense was that he was trying to stop Blake, who was 6'6" and weighed 366 pounds, from choking Chan.

"He was choking to death, so I ended up going through the crowd, taking out my knife," Umali testified during the trial. "I flipped it open and I stabbed him in the leg. I just wanted him to get off Johnny. Just let him go. I was aiming for his leg."

In his summation, defense attorney Michael Shapiro called Umali "noble" for stepping in to save the life of his friend. His defense was justification. Assistant District Attorney Christina Chuliver told jurors that Umali was "far from noble," instead branding him "a coward."

Prosecutors argued the choking explanation was exaggerated. Chuliver asserted that Umali intended to cause Blake's death by trying to expertly move his knife in a way that would cut arteries.
"The hardest thing was to find out what was in his mind," one juror, an engineer, said after the verdict. "We could not know if his intent was to kill Dana Blake. But we do know he intended to do him harm."

The juror, who did not want to be identified, said he believed Blake had his hands around Chan's throat but that Chan's life was not in jeopardy.

State Supreme Court Justice Bonnie Wittner set sentencing for Dec. 20.

The Rev. Tony Blake, the victim's brother, said justice was served. "My soul is elated with what happened. ... I feel my brother's soul can rest in peace."

After he was found guilty, Umali was allowed a brief visit in the courtroom with his parents before guards led him away.

"I told him, 'You're still young,'" his father, also named Isaias Umali, said afterward.

The father vowed to appeal if he could find the money to mount a defense, and Shapiro said he believes there are many issues for appeal.
Copyright ? 2004, Newsday, Inc.,0,7732379,print.story?coll=ny-nynews-headlines

Best regards.


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