Knife Training

Apr 30, 1999
After doing all the reserarch I can mostly through this sight, I'm gonna get off my ass and get some knife training. I don't have much training time (most of what I have goes to bjj/sambo/judo), so I'm gonna have to start with videos. I know this is less than ideal but it's better than nothing. I'm gonna start with Keating's ABC's since they have been recomended to me several times. I'm also thinking of going to a Kni-Com seminar. I'm in the greater Baltimore,MD area so Kni-Com in Fredricksburg,VA wouldn't be too far to drive for a weekend seminar. I genraly like Kasper's writing in Tactical Knives, he seems to address being unexspectedly atacked by a knife, the draw,ect. I would later like to go to a Riddle of Steel,money permitting. Anybody been to either of these? I've heard nothing but good things about Keating, so I'm looking mostly for info/exsperinces with Kasper.
I'm going to the Kni-com seminar this weekend. I'll let you know what its like afterwards.
Damon, please do post more here after the seminar. I posted a thread over in the tactics forum, looking for knife training (more specifically FMA type) down here in So. MD (western shore) where I live. The nearest training facilities were up in Arlington, I think, except for maybe just some martial arts (empty hand) down here. However, I would be very interested in possibly attending a seminar over a weekend, like Kni-Com sounds. Where does one get more information on Kni-Com?

Live fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse, it's the only way to win.

Thanks JimSix. That sounds exactly like what I need in the short term. Still would like to get into a long term knife or empty hand discipline, but I guess it'll have to wait.

Live fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse, it's the only way to win.

Root,don't feel bad about videos, that's how I got started. Look at my vid collection

I hope you don't get the impression that one knife art is better than the other. FWIW, I use both Euro and Asian moves but honestly it comes back to cut, move, stab etc.

Bram Frank is also a friend of James Keating and has nothing but good words about him.

The Black Cloud Knives site has some Riddle Footage.
Root, if I lived within driving distance of Bob Kaspar sem I would not hesitate. Whatever you learn is not going to be as some would classify for the "moment" but instead will be what you need to survive should the worst occur. Regarding tapes, I like the Comtech Knife Craft series and will be soon procuring the ABC as well. Bram is a good bet for tapes as is anything by Natural Spirit (Kelly Wordon) There really is no secret to this stuff, only common sense Okay there is a lot of knowledge that would seem common sense after you study it for a while and not a session goes by when I do not feel as though an epiphany has been realized.

Short take, Kaspar, Keating, Frank et al, all are worth doing, but Kaspar is right there for you. Start with him and progress.

I just completed Kni-com and I am tired. Its a very good seminar with practical training. It starts on a Friday night and is mainly drills for most of the program with very little classroom. Saturday and Sunday are pretty full days. Basic skills covered are six thrusts, six slashes, and thrust-slash combinations. These were close range techniques similiar to Philippine Martial Arts. Long range techniques covered were snapcuts. Defensive techniques included checking and startle cuts. Some defenses to grappling attacks like bear hugs were practiced too. As a bonus some empty-hand techniques were taught for use in fend and draw drills. If you read his column in Tactical Knives, it covers most of the drills. Attend the program so you get the hands-on practice. A lot of practice to deploy or draw your knife. I practiced with a folder because its a harder skill to develop, but both fixed and folders were used in the class. There were twelve students with three instructors, so they were able to give each student plenty of attention. This was useful toward the end of the day when everyone was tired. I think its a very good program and would recommend that anyone interested in knife fighting take it.
Like most physical skills, in knife fighting you need practise, practise, practise. On the other hand you want to avoid injuries, injuries, injuries. When a friend and I were developing a multi-discipline urban fighting discipline, call "Run Foo", I devised a practise knife as part of our full contact practise equipment.

The "knife" is easy and cheap to make in almost any length. It is a bit oversized in the handle, but it even allows thrusts to the face without injury. You simply go down to your local home improvement center and buy foamed synthetic rubber Armaflex (TM) pipe insulating tubing and duct tape. As I recall the tubing I used had about a 1.5" OD. Cut the tubing to the desired overall knife length (blade plus handle). Stiffen the structure by adding a couple strips of duct tape on opposite sides of the tube from butt end up to 1-1/4" from the blade tip. I intentionally leave a gap between the strips of tape to expose around a .25"-wide strip of black foamed rubber. If I want a little more stiffness I make the tape strips two layers thick.

The practise knives are stiff enough to thrust and slash without flopping around. The unreinforced tip is soft enough to allow thrusts to the face with relative safety. We put soft gymnast's chalk on the tip and the exposed rubber 'edge' strip. We would spar wearing thin black sweatshirts and blue jeans that showed chalk well. It settles many arguments when your opponent has a telltale 1.5" diameter chalk doughnut mark on his solar plexus at the end of the bout. It is very instructive to practise with short knife against long knife.

Favorite move: Feint straight towards the eyes and when opponent twitches upper body back slash just above the knee and run like hell.
Run-Foo, where do I sign up? Jeef Cooper of Gunsite once said that a 350 v-8 beats a .45 auto any day for either fighting or running away...
OK Gentlemen: check out the SAYOCS..they teach real cutting. Seminars are held in NY City, New Jersey, and MD..sometimes Virginia.. Tuhon Chris can cut and the seminars are a blast..If you cannot get in tell the SAYOCs that Bram said you should try them out..
The Riddle is the Riddle is the Riddle. Keating's game is #1 in town. There are several types of Ridles these days and the JumpGate Riddle was last weekend. 4 days of knife work. Bowie Riddle coming up in July.
Check it out on COMTECHS web site!
Jerry Van Cook sponsers Southern Steel in Oklahoma and John Saucier runs Southern Steel of Arkansas...
Kelly Worden runs water n Steel natural Spirit camps in Tacoma washington..slam n jam action with blades as well.
Ron Balicki lurks out there but you have to read and look for his seminars.
Black Belt Magazine and Inside Kung Fu list the seminars each month in their seminar section.
Prof Presas will teach knife this August in North Carolina outside Raliegh..
I am working on doing a seminar tour with Mike Janich and Graciela Casillas.
Can't find a seminar? Try sponsoring one of the knife guys into your town. Bring training in, educate others and yourself, earn some money and have a great time...
Learning while earning is a good deal!
Bob Kasper is really cool, Michael DeAlba can be found if you look carefully...
You guys live in the era of knife instruction..look and you'll find. As I said if you can't find, hook up some guys from the pages in your area and sponser a seminar!
Bring the training to you!
Tapes work well and then allow one to truly understand the seminar for one has a connection to the instructor!
OK, please forgive my ignorance, but what is "the SAYOCS"? Is there a web site? Or are they only in magazines?


Work hard, play hard, live long.