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Lynn Thompson's Navaja

Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by The Whip, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. The Whip

    The Whip

    587
    Jan 28, 2007
    At roughly 2:55 in the following video, Lynn Thompson refers to a navaja that he made himself in Japan in 1983 or 1984.




    So we finally have clarification on the origin of this knife first exhibited in the now-defunct Cold Steel Forums.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    It may be "very crude" compared to an Espada, but it's pretty impressive for an early attempt at a handmade knife!

    -Steve

    P.S. - If that video doesn't make you want an XL Espada, I don't know what will!
     
  2. Mike Sastre

    Mike Sastre Custom Crafted Concealex Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 23, 1999
    Thanks, Steve, nice post. I jumped on the Espadas as soon as they came out. From doing a few seminars on Navaja techniques with James Loriega, I recognized this as an American version of the famous Spanish knife. I've seen some authentic Navajas that dwarfed an XL Espada. These were the peasant's "equalizer" in the times that only the nobility were allowed to carry swords.
     
    Kiteman72, nephron, jux t and 2 others like this.
  3. The Whip

    The Whip

    587
    Jan 28, 2007
    Thanks, Mike. Mr. Loriega's knowledge of the navaja is indeed quite impressive.

    [​IMG]


    In fact, he's never failed to impress me with his serious approach to whatever topic he addresses. I'm envious that you've been able to attend his seminars!

    [​IMG]


    Unfortunately, I didn't share your instant attachment to the Espada. I loved the navaja's history, but the design never appealed to me that much, and the traditionals that I'd seen struck me as flimsy. When I first saw and even held the Espadas, I recognized that they were anything but flimsy, but the odd shapes initially just rubbed me wrong.

    Well, enter about a year of consideration for what Lynn and Andrew were attempting to accomplish with the design, along with repeated poring over pictures of those beautiful polished versions. I ordered a large model, and all of a sudden I was hooked! What initially felt like an awkward handle shape now seemed remarkably comfortable and masterfully designed. The previously "exaggerated" blade shape (my early assessment) became beautiful in both its historicity and functionality. And the defensive potential for the design was undeniable.

    I discovered that the Espada was truly a masterwork in the concept of form following function. Now, it is not only one of my favorite Cold Steel knives, but one of my favorite folding knives, period.

    By the way, for those pondering the knife: The G-10 versions are excellent and an amazing value. But you owe it to yourself to try out the polished models. The differences in sturdiness of construction and comfort in the hand are truly astounding and, in my opinion, make the price difference worth it.

    [​IMG]


    -Steve
     
    Kiteman72, nephron, DocJD and 2 others like this.
  4. Mike Sastre

    Mike Sastre Custom Crafted Concealex Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 23, 1999
    Agree with you on the polished aluminum versions, Steve. I definitely prefer the feel of them. Many of the Navaja techniques also work quite well with a big Bowie ... no big surprise. James Loriega is a very serious individual, and no matter how much someone prepares you, he is even shorter in person, .... but don't mess with him.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
    nephron and The Whip like this.
  5. Mike Sastre

    Mike Sastre Custom Crafted Concealex Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 23, 1999
    While we are talking about Navajas, before the advent of the Espada line, I always considered the X2 Voyagers as American Navajas because of the similar shape and applications. Some screen shots off the video I shot of one of the seminars.



    with Trainer copy.jpg

    closed guard.jpg

    Sevillana.jpg

    MML.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  6. nephron

    nephron Gold Member Gold Member

    625
    Aug 3, 2017
    I see what you mean about their being a larger Espada XL(it looks almost as tall as him), must be an XXXXXL version.
     
    The Whip likes this.
  7. Cold Steel Knives

    Cold Steel Knives Moderator Moderator

    Apr 16, 2013
    Ding ding ding.
     
    The Whip likes this.
  8. Kiteman72

    Kiteman72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    Ok, you got me. Dang ol Bladeforums enablers! :mad:

    Probably my first new CS knife in 20 years and I cant wait to check this baby out! :thumbsup:
     
    The Whip likes this.
  9. The Whip

    The Whip

    587
    Jan 28, 2007
    I'm sorry, CS, but this won't do! I appreciate the confirmation, but we need more information than what little I've pieced together! What's the story behind that knife? What circumstances led to Lynn's making a navaja in Japan in 1983/4? Has Lynn tried his hand at crafting other interesting historical bladeware?

    Inquiring minds want to know!


    Ha! Glad to oblige! So, which model did you get?

    -Steve
     
    Kiteman72 likes this.
  10. Kiteman72

    Kiteman72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    I ordered the XL G10 model. Big as it gets, haha. :thumbsup:

    Many of my usual retailers didn't have these. I really wanted the fancy version but wanted to save the cash Should be here tomorrow, fingers crossed.
     
    The Whip likes this.
  11. WValtakis

    WValtakis Hand Engraving, Anodizing and Embellishment Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 29, 2004
    Prepare to giggle like a schoolgirl :D

    Screenshot_20190911-193818_Photos.jpg
     
    jux t, The Whip and Kiteman72 like this.
  12. Kiteman72

    Kiteman72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    Man, that's awesome! Sometimes I like to get knives that are just fun or interesting or whatever.

    Not everything has to be my new EDC. Of course, I will carry it for at least a few days, I'm sure. :D

    ETA, that stonewash finish is just great.
     
  13. DocJD

    DocJD

    Jan 29, 2016
    :) Still my most carried pair , after many years . Both the old AUS-8 , but have held up fine . Large Espada and XL Talwar . :cool::thumbsup::thumbsup:

    [​IMG]
     
    RickyBobby and The Whip like this.
  14. Kiteman72

    Kiteman72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    I'm not sure I'll own up to giggling like a schoolgirl, but I will grudgingly confess to involuntary laughter of some kind.

    I'm going to call it an evil chuckle crossed with a weird cackle. The thing is just way more knife than a person is expecting. :):thumbsup:

    ETA: And did I say something about not EDCing this thing? I take it back, this thing is going everywhere with me for a while at least.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  15. DocJD

    DocJD

    Jan 29, 2016
    :) I did actually carry the large Rajah for a good trial period . A month or more , IIRC . I discovered that it was right at my limit for a routine carry folder .

    So never even bought an XL Espada , though I have regretted not grabbing one back when they where cheap . Just to play with ! :p:thumbsup:
     
  16. Kiteman72

    Kiteman72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    I'm so impressed with my new G10 XL Espada! I'm sure I'm going to end up with the deluxe version.

    I've been carrying so many Spydercos lately that I didn't realize how much of my thumb stud toughness I had lost. Thumbing this thing open takes a little bit of effort!

    Big thanks to @The Whip for the OP! :thumbsup:
     
    The Whip likes this.
  17. Kiteman72

    Kiteman72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    In a usual demonstration of perfect timing on my part, Knifecenter has a huge Cold Steel sale this weekend!

    So, on the one hand, I kinda overpaid for my XL Espada, I did save a little on my incoming Large Espada. :)

    Plus I wanted to give the CS forum a little heads up that a sponsor was having a sale.
     
    jux t and The Whip like this.
  18. lonestar1979

    lonestar1979

    Mar 2, 2014
    Cold steel should make a more traditional version of navaja too,it would be awesome.btw old voyagers should be back...some of best folding knives ever
     

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