Blade Basics

Knife pic

The knife has been one of mankind’s greatest inventions. Most people have a visceral fear of blades, and this aspectalone may be used to your advantage when defending
yourself. A knife or blade can be a discreet but incredibly effective weapon for self-defense, when used properly. In terms of selection, it may not necessarily be
the size that matters, but rather the deployment that matters even more. There are several aspects to carrying a knife or blade that need to be considered and training in its usage is highly recommended!

There are basically two types of knives: the folding blade and the fixed blade. Lets look at the attributes of each.
Folder
1. The folder is easier to conceal and keeps the sharp
edge of the knife safely “folded” into the handle.
2. The folding knife needs to be opened before using.
3. The folder is usually carried in a pocket with a clip.
4. It comes in a variety of sizes and blade types.
5. Left or right-hand clips are available.
6. Generally not as durable as a fixed blade.
Fixed
1. difficult to conceal because it has to be carried in a
sheath.
2. can be used as soon as it is out of the sheath.
3. sheaths are available in different types and
materials.
4. It comes in a variety of sizes and blade types.
5. Can be worn/carried in many different
configurations.
6. Generally more durable than a folder

No matter what type of blade or knife you decide to carry, each type requires a lot of practice to become proficient in using. There are many aspects to consider when
choosing a blade for self-defense.

1. First of all, a blade is a touch weapon and requires
little to no strength to be effective. This is advantageous
to a woman.
2. Getting your knife from how it is carried to be ready
for use is paramount and requires training and practice.
3.An equal amount of instruction and practice go into
actual “cutting”. Repetition and speed is highly important
when it comes to effectively using your blade to defend
yourself.
4.Targeting is another aspect which must be considered
when protecting oneself with a blade. Unlike impact
weapons such as batons, sticks, clubs and bats which are
most effective when striking bone or hard targets, you
will want to direct your counter attack toward soft
targets. Skin parts immediately when it comes into
contact with a sharp cutting instrument. It happens so
quickly it usually takes time before the person who has
been cut may even realize it.

So how do you get started?
To get started, visit a store that has a large assortment of knives to choose from. Next, you will want to put some handles in your hands. Handles, like knives, come in as wide of a variety as blades. Just like hands, some fit together better then others, so try as many as you need until you feel comfortable with the fit of your hand in the handle. There are many ways to hold onto your knife and a seemingly unending amount of opinions. Many experts will tell you which ways are right, and there are just as many that will say they these ways are wrong. A large part of my weaponry background is in the Japanese sword, so my preferred way of holding a knife (or very short sword)is the same. The easiest way to explain it without a demonstration is this: Have a friend shake your hand and relax your grip. Have you friend remove their hand from yours and replace it with the knife, handle blade facing away from you. As you train and become familiar with holding onto something while you cut with it, you will see that there are many other ways to hold it and can practice those grips as well. Once you have a knife that fits your hand and you are comfortable holding it, the next thing you need to do is become proficient in deploying it. Decide how and where on your person you will carry you knife and put it there. If there is a “training” blade for the model of knife you are going to carry, get one to use for practice. It would be bestto practice with a dull blade. Start slowly, and practice drawing or opening your blade. Do not worry about speed. Speed without multiple repetitions can result in accidents. Accidents teach you how easy your blade will cut. Unfortunately it will be you getting cut! So take your time, and draw your blade a thousand times. Then you will start to have a good feel for it. Then, do it a thousand more.
Once you are comfortable with your knife and practiced in getting ready to cut with it, then it is time to learn touse your knife for its intended purpose. To cut!
I will walk you through this part, but I strongly encourage you to practice this with a good teacher.Written communication is not up to the task to explain my way of cutting, so without physical instruction, we will have to do as best as we can. First, decide what you want to cut. I recommend plant matter; it has good resiliency to the cut, and replenishes itself. Hanging what is going to be cut by a cord is my preferred method for holding what will be cut. Now that your target is hanging in front of you, draw/open your knife and prepare to cut. Put the same foot forward as hand your blade is in and prepare to cut. If
you can, imagine how a chainsaw blade runs along the top of the bar until it gets to the end. It runs along a short arcing curve, and returns along the bottom of the
bar. You should make your cuts as close to that as you can, and as your blade starts its path back after the short arcing curve, this is when and where you want the blade to contact and cut through the target. You should feel little to no resistance, and the cut should pass through the target. Now, do it a thousand times, and you will begin to have a good feel for it. Then do it a thousand times more. Remember to train safe. If you train with a blade, eventually you will cut yourself. Have a first-aid kit ready. Be cautious and careful but never afraid. I hope this cuts through some of the mystery!
-DR
Dan Ronin

Dan Ronin
Dan Ronin

Read published article on p. 34 here

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