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Duelling Knive's?

Jul 20, 2000
I've been looking around the web and have seen a few knive's designed for "dueling". (Black Cloud Lightning UUK, & Szabo Jaws more specifically)
I was wondering if anyone knows anything about live blade knife fighting and of specific knive's designed for that purpose?


Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn my god do you learn.
C.S. Lewis
I'm not pleased about this thread. You have the right to collect anything, but being an idiot and jamming a shiv into some other idiot ain't the hobby I want.
But if it's blood you want, dial up a search engine in Wisconsin and seek Governor Tommy Thompson's effort on welfare reform that is called W2 in my area. The liberal news predicted riots. But, it was the first time in years welfare mothers actually quit watching Oprah and got off of the couch. Still, lives were in jeopardy. Now, that's my idea of blood sport.--OKG
I am emotionally inclined to agree with the Old Knife Guy, but knowledge of our history forces me to say that we need to accept and appreciate that knife duelling is a real part of that history, especially in the old southern states like Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Remember that the infamous Vidalia Sandbar was below the Natchez, Mississippi bluffs, out in the river, and that the famous Duelling Oaks were just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. Also that one of our most famous knives was named after a knife duellist, James Bowie.

That said, perhaps it would be well to remember that learning to duel with a knife is also learning how to use a knife to survive. James Keating, of Comtech, offers a number of tapes in knife combat, including a number in Bowie Knife Combat. He uses Bill Bagwell's Hells Belles which are now available in a production form fron Ontario. A.G. Russell is selling them quite reasonably, the 10 1/4 models for $150. This is reasonable enough that you and a friend might consider buying two to convert into dulled practice weapons by removing the edges and the points. Then you could buy Keating's tapes and have fun. Or, perhaps, Keating sells practice knives. I do not know, but I am putting Comtech's URL below, along with AGRussell's.

I have to say that this is NOT my cup of tea, but neither is steel on steel sword work, which many here and elsewhere do practice, so, why not?



Well, well, I looked in on the Comtech site and they sell a training Bowie for $30.00, designed to work with their training tapes.

Walk in the Light,
Hugh Fuller

[This message has been edited by FullerH (edited 12-06-2000).]
I don't know of any existing groups that practice "live Steel" knife dueling, and I'm ASSUMING (praying may be a better word)you actually mean dueling with BLUNTS.
There are several Martial Arts Suppliers that offer excellent rubber training knives and one that offers aluminum copies of some basic knife designs.
Remember that even with blunts it's VERY easy to hurt yourself or someone else, and I recommend you NOT try this unless you have the benefit of an Instructor who can provide the credentials to convince you he knows what he's doing. I suggest checking with some of the more reputable Dojos in your area. In the larger ones, there's often at least one Instructor who teaches weapons.
My Live Steel (blunts) fencing group has the benefit of a true English Swordsmaster.

BTW, I'm the big ugly one on the left.


I cut it, and I cut it, and it's STILL too short!

[This message has been edited by Ken Cook (edited 12-06-2000).]
You may enjoy looking at the website of The Historical Armed Combat Association for more information about groups who engage in 'live' combat. This organization is mostly focused on historical armaments, primarily swords, but I think you may be able to find more info about knife dueling there.

Also, don't forget to check out forums here like the Filipino combat Arts and Practical tactical forums at BFC in the Tactics and Training section.

King Tut is probably just wanting to find out what these "fighting" knives are all about. I doubt if he has a dark purpose in mind.

Though actual knife dueling is for all practical purposes a thing of the past, there are a lot of people now days who train in bladed personal combat systems for both self defense and for personal development (fun, in other words).

Go to the Tactics and Training section of these forums and you should be able to glean a lot of information in a short period of time.

Hey Ken, is that blood on the pavement behind you?
(hey, nice drawers.

[This message has been edited by Steve Harvey (edited 12-06-2000).]
I still smile when I think on the account I read about the drunk who accepted a challenge from an obvious better--upon sobering up, his choice of weapons? "...Smallswords at twenty paces."

My personal favourite, though? Cream Pies at six feet in a room with strobe lights!

Spinach-filled rubber chickens in the sauna? Silly string on tricycles, a la Jousting?!? Yo-yos while bungee jumping! Sweaty Baritones in Leiderhosen at arms' reach, while the band engages in melee with Pastries and Aspic?

When did I start channeling VG???


Vaya con Queso!!!
For knife duelling, I'd recommend one of Remy Presas students in Modern Arnise or one of the other FMAs. For duelling banjos, nobody in particular comes to mind. However, I do remember a good movie staring Burt Reynolds.
Well, at least I'm convinced I'm not losing my mind--today, that is. When I left my first response, I thought, gee, that seems harsh. Young stupid kids should have the right to jam hot metal pruning hooks into their eyes, just like we did. I guess it was the word 'duel' that got me. I eat meat, some living thing had to die. I gag at the idea of a 'field of honor.' Some bozo slighted your wife, some gang-banger tagged over your incomprehensible paint smear. Oh, goody, I need one of those dueling knives! Before you gush over these pieces of metal that look like knives, I'd say purchase and replace the soul that deems them worthy of commemoration.--OKG
While I have come to more greatly appreciate the knife as a 'tool' as people here use the term, my background has been in martial arts and the knife was previously just another 'weapon' to me. I now have a better understanding of and appreciation for the knife as a tool but seldom use one in my daily life and so when I look at them I compare the qualities that appeal to me which are the ones that make a knife 'lethal'. Anyway, to give you some information that is in a bit of a different direction......

Do a search for 'Congress Of American Knife Fighters'. This is a group, I believe, started by W. Hock Hocheim and is similar to martial arts groups. They have ranking, ability to move through ranks, aquire certification for teaching and they have 'sparring' or 'dueling' in which I'm sure they use blunt or some other knife but it simulates a real knife fight and there are judges who will score, determine if a limb has been injured beyond use and determine the winner by points or 'kill shot'. He has two books out that I have read and are excellent. Try:


It was listed in one of the books but has a new 'land' address pasted over it so the site may be no good. Just a different perspective on knives and not meaning to damage the knife community in any way but this is the information I find interesting so maybe it will help out other like minded individuals. Hope this gives you some good info Rick.


"The difference between being a Coward
and a Hero is not whether you're scared,
it's what you do while you're scared."

[This message has been edited by Emanym Ton (edited 12-06-2000).]
Why would someone pursue competence in a field such as dueling, be it with sword or knife?
I don't know about others, but for myself there are several factors.
One is the ability to test yourself against another in individual "combat." On that level, it's just another "extreme" sport.
Yes, I consider it extreme, because my insurance company considers it such and charges me a higher rate because of it.

Our "Group" is a (poorly) paid professional Living History group. We reenact the time of the Thirty Years War, specifically, Northern Europe in the year 1634.
Our fights are never choreographed, there is no "stage" fighting, it's all real dueling with slightly modified technique for safety's sake.
While we fight with rapiers, our technique is more accurately that belonging to the Cut and Thrust sword, relying more on the draw cut than the thrust, but still using the thrust when it is possible to execute it against your opponent with a modicum of safety. (Seldom happens)

I do NOT reenact the 30 Years War from a desire to glorify it, nor do I wish I could jump into a time machine and go BACK to that era. (Some do.)
I am an entirely modern man. I belong to the 20th Century and soon will belong to the 21st.
I reenact that period for the purpose of showing people what a completely nightmarish world it was, a world in which a soldier could kill a farmer for the bread on his table, where women were chattle to be used, abused, traded, or discarded as the mood struck.
So many today lament how far our society has fallen, and this is purest historical fantasy. Our world is better today than it has ever been.
Yes, we have problems, but we'll fix them.
(I hope.)
Sorry for sounding so preachy, but as you can tell, this is a "pet" subject to me.

No, that's not blood on the ground it's carpenter's chalk.
We oil our blades and then heavily dust them with red chalk and fight bare chested.
Any "hits" are thus undeniable, and the "severity" of the blow is easily determined.
It DOES look pretty cool though!

I cut it, and I cut it, and it's STILL too short!
King T, the specific knives you mention augment/emphasize certain duelling strategies and techniques. Basically, some knives specialize in cutting, others thrusting and other factors like concealed carry. And for some the look and design of fighting knives looks real knice...eh nice.
To Ken Cook: Before you disregard me, know this, I was on the 1969 UW of Wisconsin fencing team, under the direction of former court judge, Archie Simonson. I paticipated in foil and sabre, I guess epee was too slow. I got 'cut' from the team.
First, like IPSC combat target shooting, you can strive to create a combat situation, but unless you know one of the entrants is going to be killed, everyone knows its a game. I get the same rush playing Duke Nukem.
If you truly wish to honor those who have come before you, work to make sure wars are a thing of the past. No more 'aspirin factories for popularity points.' Or join a Civil War reenactment organization and show kids history coming alive.
What sizzles my cajones is guys that surround themselves with weaponry for the vicarious purpose that these implements have in the past, or could, kill people. Case in point, several years ago I saw an advertisement for some wannabee club called "The Riddle of Steel." Lead picture was a toothpick of a guy, resplendant in more tatoos than VG, and armed with a Bowie wider than his forearm. This poser could not have survived going through the buffet line at my wedding. I'll bet most of the kids that saw that ad believed he'd survived dozens of street fights and a shiv contest or two in prison. However, even the most esteemed author on weaponry, Ofc. Massad Ayoob, has never been in a shoot-out.
Admit it, some guys like the 'dark side' of any sport. To me, they are not knife collectors.--OKG
Disregard you?
Not at ALL!
You make a valid point, I merely wanted to make the point that there are a lot of other people out there besides the Collector and the Ninja Wannabe.
Myself? I consider myself a User. While I own several rapiers, it's not for the purpose of owning a collection, it's for using them. I also own an epee and a very sweet little spanish foil. I use those very seldom because they mess with my timing with a full weight blade.
Wanna have some cheap fun sometime? Take an epee against someone with a blunted rapier!
It's hysterical watching the poor guy try to keep up!

I fully understand your point about IPSC, which is why I put the word combat in quotations. I know the difference between mock combat and real combat, having experianced both, and for me, the BIGGEST difference is that REAL combat while very "exciting", is not FUN!
What I do every saturday morning, however is GREAT fun for me, and for everyone else at practice. No one gets seriously hurt and everyone goes home happy.
I have no use for the Ninja Wannabes either, but just because some fella asked how to get started in a Martial Art doesn't mean he falls into the heavily pierced-tattooed-Goth-Skater-wannabe-death commando catagory either.
BTW, as you can see from the above pic, I've got a few tats myself, (only the chest is visible in the shot) that I picked up in my travels around the world courtesy of Uncle Sugar, and I even have a pierced ear. I normally wear a diamond stud in it, but replace it with a gold hoop for period reenactments. I don't take offense at your statements, as I don't think you meant any.
(lemme know if I'm wrong, willya?)

Lastly, yes. I'll admit it. There ARE guys who like the "dark side" of any extreme sport. Give'em time, maybe they'll learn.
Destruction is easy, any monkey can do it.
Being creative requires a lot more intelligence.
I derive great satisfaction when some gambit of mine comes off as "pretty" or "elegant" and take great pride in that. (If you notice my build, you'll not be surprised to learn that I'm seldom accused of either, except during the course of the duel.)
That's why it's called Art. Fleeting though it is, it's still art.
Enough, I ramble.
Please rest assured that I had no intention of "disregarding" or dismissing you.

I cut it, and I cut it, and it's STILL too short!
There´s a live blade fighting tradition still alive with some right-wing traditional ultra-conservative university student´s fraternities in Austria. These fraternities have a long (and actually quite interesting) history and tradition, basically dating back to the civil uproars of 1848 and the time before. Usually it´s highly ritualized sabre fencing where only parts of the face are used as the target, that´s called Mensurfechten (mensur fencing). They use specially manufactured light sharp sabre blades called "Schlaeger" blades (the special sabres used are called "Schlaeger"). Mensurfechten serves as an initiation rite. Members of these fraternities are easily recognized from the typical scars on their cheeks.
Although the live blade fencing is strictly regulated and kept within the fraternities, I know of two incidents that resemble historical duels. One was a live blade duel fought along traditional dueling rules in the town of Innsbruck (happened sometime in the late 1980ies, don´t know exact date).
The other incident was in my hometown Graz: A friend of one of my friends was at a restaurant that is usually frequented by fraternity members cause their fraternity´s club rooms are in the same building. They found out that the guy sitting at the table next to them was a very good sports fencer, and challenged him to a live sabre duel. The guy of course refused, but was forced to fight against one of the drunk fraternity guys. He broke the challenger´s wrist with his first strike, a hit with the blunt spine of the sabre. Duel over.
Sounds really insane, but dueling still exists in my part of the woods.

"Peace is not without conflict; it is the ability to cope with conflict" - Leo Giron
www.messerforum.net - the premier German language knife-related web board

[This message has been edited by judge (edited 12-07-2000).]
It's an old tradition, I'm afraid. Right before the Nazi's assumed power, they were looking for 'fearless' officers. What was known as a 'Heidelburg' fencing scar was thought to show courage because the fool wouldn't back up. Bikers in my bar call that 'leading with your face.' It's not a compliment.
I notice that your post ends with drunken injuries. That proves my point.--OKG
I spent a fair amount of time with a Burschenschaft in Heidelberg (not as a member, but as an often-invited guest & friend)- & the guys I knew there were not at all "Right Wing" although others from some other organizations (Corps, Landsmannschaften) that I will not name were. Mensur has a rich tradition & those who still practice it are often misunderstood. It has sadly become "Political".
Alles Gute & Gruesse aus NYC-

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" (Celtic Proverb)
AKTI# A000107
OKG: you have been being somewhat prejudicial in some of your comments regarding bladed combat lately. It is quite possible for good people to have an interest in bladed personal combat. I consider myself evidence of that fact, and so are all of my training partners. Why we are interested in classical Filipino Martial Arts is an interesting topic, but really beside the point that I am making here, which is that good, kind, friendly, responsible members of society do find bladed combat fascinating and worthy of study.
Hallo Rugger,
that whole Burschenschaft/Verbindung/Corps stuff is a funny mixture of history, tradition, religion (especially with the Catholic Verbindungen), politics, social function and booze. There´s lots of fine nuances and differences throughout the traditional fraternities; some are more political than others. All Burschenschaften members I know are politically conservative, some are right, but mostly in a refined "upper class" mode.
In my family, there were some Burschenschaften members, one of them even co-authored one of the two books that are considered the "official" dueling regulations ("Ritterlicher Ehrenschutz" by Busson et al., Verlag Franz Pechel Graz 1907 - very hard to come by nowadays)
Anyway, one thing not to forget is that a good part of the fraternities started as purely political organizations 150+ years ago. See ya at messerforum.net.

"Peace is not without conflict; it is the ability to cope with conflict" - Leo Giron
www.messerforum.net - the premier German language knife-related web board

[This message has been edited by judge (edited 12-21-2000).]