The "GENGHIS" has a new wicked little brother (pics)

Oct 4, 1998

I just previewed the first finished out prototype of the most vicious of all small knives I have ever held in my hand. I am in love … I can't seem to put it down.

The "Palm-a-hawk" is one wicked little ripper ! I am soooo pleased !

As the name implies it is a small palm handle hawk bill blade designed for devastating cuts. Overall it measures 6 7/8". It has a full tang with marcarta scales. The handle is oval shaped and provides a solid natural in the palm grip. The blade steel is ATS-34. The hawk bill blade style was chosen because I was looking for a powerful cutter in a small package. With a short blade it is my opinion that nothing beats this shape for devastating cuts. Alan Folts has been assisting me in the best geometry and steel combinations for strength in the blade tip while not losing anything in the cut. I think we have what we are looking for as I have made several dozen striking cuts at a heavy rolled up cardboard target with no damage to the blade tip and no noticeable loss of the cutting edge (still shaving my arm hair). The whole project came about as I was looking for an effective fixed blade knife smaller than the "Genghis" for my wife. The "Genghis" is a full 10.5" and more knife than my wife cares to hide on a warm day in NC. She has been carrying a Spiderco Ednura but we both feel that a fixed blade carried in a quick draw Kydex sheath is a better choice. However, now that it's done I think she will have to wait for 002. Because I really like this little … I mean I have to do some more testing … dear, honey, sweetheart.

Pics should be up later tonight. I will post a URL as soon as available.

Hi Scott!

As a hawkbill blade fan I have to tell you that I love it!!!

Are you going to make a kydex sheat for it?

If so let me know where, 'cause I have a fixed blade that me and Reese designed with a hawk blade and I need a kydex sheat!!

Again... Neat little package!! (and mean looking too)

Joel Pirela
Graphic & Knife Designer
Thanks. Plans absolutely include a Kydex sheath system. Requirements for the rig include the ability to quick draw into a strike and a cancelable, comfortable carry. At the moment I'm thinking the sheath should be "Mini-Paddle" compatible. This arrangement will also make the rig usable with the "Micro Harness" or as a simple neck knife. However, any suggestion anyone has for a carry system is appreciated. Hawk billed blades provide a particular challenge in sheathing effectively but we have made several styles in the past that have worked well. It will be a few weeks before I can get to the sheath on this one but I'm looking forward to it.

In a phone conversation with Scott discussing The Outsider I broached an old idea of mine, for someone to sell a "complete turnkey tactical package" marketed at the women's rape-defense market. Not just a knife and sheath, but the total mounting system, a trainer blade and at least a two-hour video discussing carry, concealment, surprise draw/slash/run sequences, the works.

I think this little Hawk would be the ultimate blade for such a package. You might want to do the grip slabs just a bit thinner, do informal ergonomics studies of a variety of smaller-size lady hands.

I think one good carry rig would be a kydex sheath attached to a neoprene "dive suit material" wristband as a sleeve-rig?

But regardless of carry, remember that when you sell a knife and sheath right now you (and EVERY other maker, production or otherwise) is relying on the customer to apply "tactical mindset" to it's mounting and carry and use. If prior "tactical thinking" just ain't there, you're not going to make the sale unless you supply those elements too - this is what nobody's doing yet, and it could explode open a huge market if done right.

Jim March

[This message has been edited by Jim March (edited 29 November 1998).]
That's one impressive piece of work. The indexing hole (I assume that's what it is) is especially a nice touch. In a natural grip, I've always held this theory that you can retain a blade by hooking on to the edge of a handle scale if they are thick enough. What is the specific fighting strategy of this blade, and its accompanying tactics? I'd love to hear it in detail.
I agree that your total package concept is a winner! What is lacking for me to make it a reality is a video and book. To make the package first rate the video and book should be using the specific knife and rig that comes in the package. Who would you suggest as an expert instructor for such a video?

The knife is designed to be drawn from a sheath, using the reverse grip, immediately into a strike.

How the knife is deployed depends on if the user of the knife has a gun or not?

If the user has a pistol the knife is in support of that weapon and carried on the offside. The pistol is primary and the knife is there to assist in retaining the firearm or to create space necessary to use the firearm should the bad guy be to close. GAF-MU strikes (Get Away From Me "U")

If the user of the knife is without a firearm then the knife is primary and is carried on the strong side in a rig that allows for a fast draw into a strike. The offhand is used to block, distract or direct the opponent. The off-hand may be enhanced by a second knife, an ASP baton, a belt, a coat, a flash light or just about anything else.

As far specific tactics that's a lot for here. I would suggest that overall tactics for this knife should be a strike that is a surprise. This creates a stunned hesitation in the BG (an opportunity). Strikes should be in sequence or in combination taking maximum advantage of the shock produced by the initial strike. Goals of the strike combinations should be to 1.) Create opportunity; 2.) Remove the opponents ability to use his weapon; 3.) Eliminate his ability to pursue. Ideally the BG is neutralized unable to pursue before he realizes that you had a knife.

The "Palm-a-hawk" blade although small posses tremendous penetrating and cutting qualities. The palm handle again is small but makes for an extremely firm grip. Any target is appropriate for this knife if you are attacked however; some targets may be more venerable to this blade style than others in stopping the BG. Some such targets might include: eyes, neck area (horizontal strikes), armpits (Vertical strikes), forearms, torso (vertical or horizontal), groin (vertical), back and side of knees, and so on.

Bottom line: The "Palm-a-hawk" is a small, fast, powerful cutter. I would be interested in your thoughts (or anyone else for that matter) on the uses of this knife in self-defense. If you had one how would envision deploying it?

[This message has been edited by Scott Evans (edited 30 November 1998).]
Thanks for filling in the gaps, Scott. I've always been especially drawn to personlly-designed knives because it speaks spadesful about that person's personal fighting style and philosophy. That's where the good stuff is to me.

The first thing I think of when I see a Hawkbill blade design is Graciella-Boggs' MoD folder. The hawkbill design seems to work predominantly in reverse grip. Well, anyways, I've had very little exposure with hawkbill blades. And so, I have a few nagging questions I am hoping that you folks can help me answer. Uh, for example, doesn't the tip of the blade produce a high amount of drag during slashes? (Not slashes that start with the base of the edge, of course, but ones that you find yourself gouging across someone's chest for example.) Also, aren't the tips from these blade designs relatively weak?

I hope I didn't give the wrong impression as this is a very impressive knife.
Scott, Ms. Graciella-Boggs would be the ultimate person to team up with on a "total package". #1, she's a she, #2 she's recognized as a personal defense instructor and #3, she's already a fan of hawksbill blades - see also her MoD knife, a folding hawksbill.

Hilton Yam would also be qualified; your little pup here is close enough to an Indonesian "Kerampit" that a good instructor in Silat or a variant should be very comfortable with it. Or heck, you're the one right next to a marine boot camp, right?
Ya should be able to dig somebody up?

Something else: take the specific case of "lady grabbed from behind". Correct me if I'm wrong, but a forward grip from a sleeve rig would make it easy for a person with minimal training to filet an arm and when he loosens up, spin and run it right across his throat.

What I keep getting back to is "plotting a knife ambush" versus teaching "knife fighting". Try and teach somebody to go from "helpless victim" to "prickly disaster" in about .5 seconds flat; skill and strength won't matter as much as speed and determination and that implies a very simple gameplan that can be repeated in private and perfected at "muscle level".

(Note: I am *not* qualified to help on this. Might be my idea, but I'm a lot of years away from billing myself as any kind of Sensei.)

Jim March
SB to answer your Questions:
If the blade is sharp it dose not drag at the tip. However , striking cuts should be made in an effort to plant as much of the blade as possible. As the blade strikes the target the tissue it contacts begins to compress along the edge. As this compression takes place the tissue slides and is forced toward the center of the blade along the radius. This sliding of the tissue along the edge of the blade produces the cut.

The tip or point on any knife can be weak if not properly designed or if the steel / heat treat is a poor combination. Proper blade geometry combined with a quality steel that is effectively heat treated makes for extremely durable blades in this configuration. I absolutely wanted to avoid any problems with tip strength so I consulted with Alan Folts. He did a superb job in bring strength and function to this concept. How the knife is used is also a factor. In the cut the strength is abundant, however, if your using it as a screw driver then…
Remember it's designed as a GAF-MU fighter.

Would you have an e-mail or web site for Ms. Graciella-Boggs? I am not familiar with her background.


The only things I know of her is the "biography profiles" in a magazine article on the blade series when it first came out.

I'll post some queries on rec.knives, rec.guns and, somebody will know.

Jim March
Pulled from the Masters of Defense Website,

<TABLE BORDER=0><TR><TD ALIGN="LEFT" VALIGN="TOP" WIDTH="200"><IMG SRC="" WIDTH=200 HEIGHT=295 BORDER=0 ALT=""></TD><TD ALIGN="LEFT" VALIGN="TOP"><FONT SIZE="+1">Graciela Casillas-Boggs</FONT>, Black Belt Hall of Fame inductee, "Woman of the Year," has earned international acclaim as one of the worlds top martial artists, and as teacher of the art of self-defense. Casillas formerly held the World Karate Association Bantamweight title and the International Worlds Boxing Association Bantamweight title. After retiring undefeated with a record of 31-0, 18 KOs, she spent the following years
developing her eclectic art of Shen Chun Do, "the way of the warrior spirit."</TD></TR></TABLE><TABLE BORDER=0>
<TR><TD ALIGN="LEFT" VALIGN="TOP">Casillas-Boggs has been training for 24 years and is a certified Defensive Tactics Trainer who specializes in working with the "small" officer and in teaching women's self-defense. She is a court approved expert witness in issues relating to edged weapons, a graduate of Security Executive International (ESI), Lethal Force Institute(I,II,and III) and NRA Home Firearm Safety, Personal Protection, pistol and rifle instructor. She is also certified to teach the Franco method of Defensive Edged Weapons and Within Arms Reach (W.A.R.)

Graciela was the first woman to be certified to the advanced instructors level in Serrada Escrima, (a close quarter combative system which utilizes a 21 inch stick) under the late Grand Master Angle Cabales. She also holds black belts in jujitusu and kenpo. Devotion to the martial arts, coupled with an advanced degree in education, has led Casillas-Boggs to dedicate herself to the promotion of the art as a teacher and writer. </TD></TR></TABLE>

She's nice too, I had the chance to meet her and the rest of the Masters of Defense at the 1998 Blade Show...


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for

Insert witty quip here

[This message has been edited by Spark (edited 05 December 1998).]