Another Awesome Hossom Fighting Bowie!!

Oct 19, 1999

Folks, I just finished doing an initial evaluation of Jerry Hossom's- next generation Millennium Bowie, and I am so impressed that I had to let you all know about it right away.

First, the pic. in no way does this knife justice. It is drop dead gorgeous! My head nurse, who is very right-brained and artsy, absolutely hates weapons, and is appalled by my obsession with blades and MA, exclaimed when she saw it, "My God, that's absolutely beautiful!" That pretty much says it all.

Jerry has been working very closely these last several months with Matt Draper, Don Rearic, Guru Jason Silverman, and myself to develop a new line of fighting knives and swords that are tailored specifically for actual knife and sword "players"- designed with only combat in mind, each thoroughly tested and refined to maximize its fighting effectiveness. This bowie is the first of this new Millennium Belt Series- which Jerry is determined to be the finest fighting knives and swords on the planet. And let me tell you, if this bowie is any indication, he is right on target! Read on and you'll see what I mean.

The bowie's specs are as follows:

OAL- 18"
Blade length- 12"
weight- exactly 1.00 Lb.
Steel- ATS-34, 3/16" stock, heat treated by Paul Bos to Rc. 57-58 and cryogenically stress-relieved to -300 deg.
Bolsters- stainless steel
Handle Scales- linen micarta

Next, the handle- it's fantastic! Now, as I'm sure most of you are aware of by now, Jerry is known for the great ergonomics of his handles, but this new handle shape is even a step above his usual work. He and I co-designed this handle to:

1. Provide better protection for the fingers from an opponent's blade.
2. Provide a more secure grip in both forward and reverse grips.
3. Facilitate twirls, spins, and hand to hand exchanges.
4. Facilitate punyo-skull crusher-strikes.
5. Provide a more comfortable grip over long hours of training with no hot spots, etc..

All with the goal of optimizing the overall fighting capabilities of the knife.

Well...let me tell you that this new handle exceeds all expectations. It feels like it was genetically engineered and organically grown to fit my hand. My hand feels absolutely locked into it whether forward or reverse grip. Full power thrusts into my training dummy, witiks, redondos, abanicos...all no problem. The grip is perfectly secure and extremely comfortable even after two hours of training. Outstanding!

Next, handling characteristics- Jerry's bowies are known for handling like lightening, and this one is no exception. This bowie is 18" long. In reverse grip, the point extends beyond my elbow. Yet, it feels and moves like one of my 6" fighters. It only weighs 1 Lb. and the balance point is right at the ricasso. Absolutely amazing!

It is wicked fast during karrenza(shadowboxing), and against hanging targets- hanging tennis ball, bungee-cord hung roll of exam room paper, De Cuerda( horizontally hung 36" length of 1 1/2" dia. manau rattan, with aluminum training blades duct-taped to each end and two tennis balls strung along the rope above it at heart and eye level),etc..

The point and punyo are perfectly aligned, allowing me to hit 1/4" dots on a cardboard box at will with thrusts or punyos.

Next, cutting ability- Jerry and I wanted the new Millennium Bowie's blade profile to optimize its slashing ability while maintaining the legendary Hossom thrusting capabilties. And Boy did Jerry do the job right! This new blade cuts even better IMO than his original bowie- and don't forget that Don Rearic slashed through 9" of a hanging shank of beef with one of those original blades.

I used the bowie to cut a variety of targets, including:

1. A single hanging sheet of paper- cut it clean through at various angles without any tearing or turning of the cuts. The cuts were perfect.

2. Cutting tree- my cutting tree is a Wing Tsun dummy that I've wrapped in 4" thick "10 year" mattress foam and then wrapped that, in turn, with several layers of duct tape. The bowie absolutely shredded it! Witiks(snap cuts), slashes, and thrusts all penetrated cleanly to the dummy's wooden core. The gaping size of the cuts were very impressive and better than anything I'd ever achieved with other long blades. I next wrapped an arm of the dummy in denim- same result. Cut right through the denim, the duct-tape skin, and through the dense foam to the wood.

3. Vertically hung roll of exam room paper- this stuff is high quality and very tightly rolled. The bowie cut through it like water. Slashes, witiks, and thrusts all the way through 2 1/2"! of paper to the cardboard core- in some cases cutting the cardboard down to the rattan stick underneath! That's cutting ability.

4. Freestanding empty beer can- This is normally a test of the cutting ability of fine Japanese swords, but I like to try it with my knives. Most won't cut the can at all, they just smash it across the room. A few will nick it. With this bowie, I was able to cut halfway through three different cans. That's fantastic. And remember that I've only had the opportunity to become barely acquainted with this knife. I think that with some practice, I will be able to cut a can cleanly through with it.

Later today I am going to buy a shank of meat with the bone in place. I'll let you know what happens. Heh Heh Heh...

Finally, impact resistence- There has been much discussion on the Forums as to whether or not ATS-34 is an appropriate steel for a long knife due to it supposed brittleness compared to say A2 or CPM-3V, for example. I must admit that I myself was a bit worried about how the ATS would handle impact in a blade this long. Jerry assured me that he had discussed this at length with Paul Bos. They were confident that heat treating the blade to an Rc. of 57-58 as opposed to the usual 61-62 for ATS-34, and then cryogenically stress-relieving it, would produce a blade with enough toughness and flexibility to be perfect for bowies and even swords, while retaining its edgeholding ability.

Well...the tale is in the tape, and I warned Jerry that I was really going to whack this blade around.

So, first I slammed the flat of the blade against the edge of an old oak bureau several times. No problem. Next, I executed full speed slapping blocks and witiks- edge, spine, and flat of the blade- against the arms of my training dummy over and over again while I was "sparring" with it. Again, no problem. Finally, the ultimate test- the DREADED DE CUERDA with its 1 1/2" thick rattan stick with aluminum blades on each end. This device swings very rapidly when it gets going, and has snapped the blades of other knives like twigs in the past. I attacked this thing full-speed, full-power with Jerry's new bowie. I blocked and parried both the rattan and the blades with the edge and flat of the blade constantly while I slashed and thrusted at the hanging balls. The blade felt fantastic.It never showed any signs of stress- no resonance frequencies, no scary pinging, nothing. It has that wonderful tight springiness of a really great swordblade. And on examination afterwards, not a rolled edge, nick, scratch, or other blemish anywhere on the blade. It was pristine. And, it still cut effortlessly through a sheet of paper. IMHO this pretty much answers the question of whether ATS-34 is a good choice for long blades. In the hands of a master bladesmith like Jerry Hossom and a master heat treater like Paul Bos it certainly is.

Tomorrow, I'm getting together with my friend, training partner, and awesome knife player Guru Jason Silverman of Executive Edge Martial Development- We will put this puppy through some two man flow drills and sparring.Heh, heh, heh...:0 I'll let you know how it goes and what he thinks of Jerry's latest beauty.

In closing, I have to say that so far this is hands down the finest fighting knife I have ever had the pleasure to play with. I would carry it into a knife battle without hesitation- if I got killed it certainly wouldn't be because of the knife.

Bravo Jerry...Bravo!


Tuvo muy mala callo en mi cuchillo.

[This message has been edited by Gaucho (edited 01-07-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Gaucho (edited 01-07-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Gaucho (edited 01-07-2000).]
Gaucho -- I'm green with envy. What a blade. I have a Millennium Fighter on order and your review is ruining my patience. Enjoy the blade.
Hey Bill!

Yeah waiting is the pits isn't it?! But at least Jerry works his a** off to get his blades to people in a timely fashion.

I hope you enjoy your fighter. Just think how incredibly fast that fighter is going to be in your hand if one of Jerry's 18" bowies moves like the one I'm testing!

Be sure to let us know how it works.


Tuvo muy mala callo en mi cuchillo.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who loves these knives! I received one very similar to the one pictured above, and I'll do my own review of it when I'm finished testing it. All I can say for now is that I'm absolutely floored by this knife. A friend of mine who's a kali instructor almost wept when I showed it to him. These knives truly are a wonder.


Waxes Eloquent, Leader of the Terrible Ironic Horde and Sarcastic Brain Spewer
AARRGGHHH!! I also have a Hossom knife on order, and seeing the review of yours is making me CRAZY!!

Waiting is the pits...waiting is the pits...

My knife is a Millennium Black, in CPM-3V; Jerry sent me a pic after he profiled it
Talk about a sexy blade! This one's sexy with a capital X baby!

Waiting is the pits...
Mr. G,

Wow, you're having Jerry make you one of the Millennium Blacks in CPM 3-V?! That's awesome. Jerry thinks that because of 3-V's increased toughness in comparison to ATS-34, that he'll be able to create an even lighter, faster knife that is not just as good as, but actually stronger.

I'm seriously envious. If your Millennium Black turns out as good as we think, then I guess I'll just have to have Jerry make me one as well!

Keep us posted.


Tuvo muy mala callo en mi cuchillo.

I gave up on large fighters a long, long time ago...Jerry has changed that. Working a large knife can be a task, not so with the Millennia I have encountered, anything I could say at this point would mimic Gaucho! I have to make me one of them-there double-ended rattan targets with trainers attached to each end. Good idea.

The power of these knives is truly awe inspiring...I cannot say enough about them. You will be seeing something special written in the coming days...
That "De Cuerda" training rig sounds interesting. Can you give me a detailed description on how it's made? Is it as easy to make as it sounds? Thanks.

K. Williams
Modern Arnis Student

Good morning!

The De Cuerda is made as follows:

Obtain a 36" length of 1 1/2" dia. manau rattan(don't try to use any other hardwood, fiberglass,etc., etc., I've tried them all and they just shatter the first time you whack them hard).

Drill a hole large enough to thread a length of paracord or climbing rope through at the exact midway balance point of the rattan and thread some thin paracord, climbing rope, or cable through it- remember that the rattan has to hang perfectly horizontally. Tie some knots in the end of the rope below the rattan so it won't slip off.

Screw an eyebolt into a bare expanse of ceiling. Hang the rattan horizontally at belly height. Make sure that there are no light fixtures, etc., on the ceiling within the swing radius of the rattan that could be broken. Also, the ceiling must be smooth so the rattan can bounce off it without getting snagged in exposed pipes, etc..

Next, drill holes through and through two tennis balls just large enough to thread through your rope. String your tennis balls along the rope at heart and eye level. Tie knots in the rope above and below each tennis ball to hold them in place.

Finally, take two aluminum training knives and duct tape them to each end of the rattan stick. Make sure that you tape in such a way that the rattan ends up hanging perfectly horizontal once again.

Then just take your weapon(s)- single or double sticks, single or double knives, Espada y Daga, single or double swords- and attack the thing! Force yourself to stay within its strike zone. Use your upper body mobility, footwork, as well as parrying and checking to avoid the blades while you attack the rattan "arms" and the tennis balls. Its wicked fun!!

Just be CAREFUL! The De Cuerda swings very rapidly, and will knock you out and/ or slash you a good one if you are not paying attention. It will also easily break your fingers. So wear some protection at first until your skills improve enough to "fight" it without armour. It has also snapped several lesser blades and sent them flying accross the room over time- so no observers nearby!

I just love this device. I train with it all the time to maintain my weapons sparring skills. It comes closest to reproducing the ebb and flow of realtime combat of any solo device I've discovered in 30 yrs of

Enjoy it!


Tuvo muy mala callo en mi cuchillo.

Who cares about the Decuerdas rig (just kiddin' by the way)!

Tell us about the .... SWORDS !!!!


P.S. A friend of mine made a surpise visit to our class on saturday and made my day by bringing a real, honest to goodness filipino sword from his collection. It was beautiful and a rare treat to play with. It had a spirit that seemed to speak to me.

Thanks for the description!

K. Williams
Modern Arnis Student