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Old December 3, 2001, 11:12 AM   #1
KSFreeman
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Basic Knife Review: Joe Truncale

Usual Disclaimer: I am not a gun writer, thus everything I say is true. I do not own a flowered shirt, take photographs of me pointing guns at myself, or jump out of helicopters with a knife clenched in my teeth, and have never been a member of RLI, Selous Scouts, SF, Danger Rangers, SEALs, SAS, Australian SAS, the German combatswimmers, or the Luxembourg Royal Mounted Honor Guard. Unlike most members of my gun club who are or were members of these units, I sit behind a desk and talk on the phone all day.

This weekend I had the opportunity to take "Basic Knife" with Joseph J. Truncale in Glenview, Illinois. I have always carried a pocketknife of some sort. However, it is mostly a totem of the gun culture (sort of like that photo vest look). One cannot be caught without some sort of clippy, tactical/practical knife at Thunder Ranch, Gunsite or other firearms schools. Such a fox paw!

I have studied the baton, the various bos, and cane in Ha Ki Do. However, since most of my experience with the knife comes from opening boxes from Potterybarn, I decided to take my own advice and get some formal training.

INSTRUCTOR: Joe Truncale first studied unarmed fighting in the USN in the early `60s. After discharge he became a police officer with the Glenview, Illinois PD and began to study and teach unarmed fighting--Judo, Karate, Jujitsu, and Kobudo. Eventually opening his own academy. He is very involved with the education of police officers in various weapons and has written extensively on these topics. As Andy Kemp said, "this is the guy for this knife stuff." He may be contacted at www.samuraiway.com.

CLASS: The class was 9-3 on Saturday, December 1, 2001. It was held at a Park District (I think it was a county park) in sunny, scenic Glenview, Illinois. It was hosted by the Midwest Training Group.

Joe started with a lecture on the type of knives. Just as the firearms instructor all say, the person, not the gun, Joe was just as blase about knife selection. Training trumps equipment. Joe did mention the Spyderco Endura as one of his favorites. Joe prefers ones without clips as he keeps them (he carries more than one) in his pocket so they remain out of sight. Any folding knife should be able to open with both hands.

Joe then spoke as to justifications for using deadly force with a knife. He mentioned that not necessary to use knife as deadly weapon while open. However, if you get in a knife fight, you will get cut. Thus, do not get in a knife fight--plan avoidance, call foir help and escape and evade.

We then started Joe's modified knife drills. Joe showed us different grips, hammer, Fillipino, and reverse. We then made thrusts at various parts of the body at various angles. For example, "three four" means three thrusts (or slashes) at four different angles--front, left, right, and back. We then did "six, four" and switched hands. As always getting the drill was hard for my backwards thinks mind, but I eventually caught up. Joe was patient as he must work with dyslexic people prior to me.

Joe then covered unarmed defense vs. the knife (shoot now!). We then, with rubber knives, did various tactical situational drills, choke holds, head locks, etc. Then we did "free sparring." If this does not convince you to never get in a knife fight, nothing will. Aggressiveness is the key in knife fighting. You want to get close to the threat. With a pistol your reaction is to move away and let your marksmanship guide bullets to critical areas. Not so with the knife. However, as a wise man in the Republic of Tejas sez, if the threat is in range, so are you.

I was glad I spend 30 minutes on the treadmill a day after the sparring. It was terrifying. Gerald, my partner, had an artificial hip; however, I still had to close to get to him. Oh, yeah, I stuck him, but he stuck me (once knocking my knife away). At this point, in real fight, I could not even run away for all the blood on the cement.

Joe then showed us how to defeat the knife. My suggestion is a motor vehicle driven away in the opposite direction. We studied the use of the baton to "defang the snake", break the arms and helmet. We also used folding chairs (being the smart guy I could not help thinking about the WWF; I kept the comments to myself for once). Be sure to hit them high, as when I tried to jam Gerald's pelvis, he simply pushed it down and stabbed me. (Gerald can bench press an entire Chicago suburb though).

We then did practice drills with two knives and a knife and a baton--"flow drills." The key was to be relaxed. This helps you focus and to hit harder.

All in all, a worthwhile class, especially for the total novice such as myself. Joe teaches a myriad of weapons and is a patient, knowledgable instructor.

The Midwest Training Group put this on and brings various instructors to the Chicago area and to Bloomington (Illinois). They can be reached at www.midwesttraininggroup.com.
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Old December 3, 2001, 01:03 PM   #2
Coronach
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Quote:
Usual Disclaimer: I am not a gun writer, thus everything I say is true. I do not own a flowered shirt, take photographs of me pointing guns at myself, or jump out of helicopters with a knife clenched in my teeth, and have never been a member of RLI, Selous Scouts, SF, Danger Rangers, SEALs, SAS, Australian SAS, the German combatswimmers, or the Luxembourg Royal Mounted Honor Guard. Unlike most members of my gun club who are or were members of these units, I sit behind a desk and talk on the phone all day.
Dear God, that is funny.

Good review, too.

Mike
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Old December 3, 2001, 01:52 PM   #3
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Great read!
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Old December 3, 2001, 04:38 PM   #4
C.R.Sam
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Nice critique. Now more bumfoozled than before tho.

"Any folding knife should be able to open with both hands. "

Does this imply that folding knives have hands ? If so, two ?

Or that the user should not have to employ a third hand ?

Sam
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Old December 3, 2001, 05:05 PM   #5
KSFreeman
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Wow, tough room.

Sam, insert "should be able to be opened with either hand."
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Old December 4, 2001, 10:15 AM   #6
Erich
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So, counselor, what are you now going to do differently as a result of Mr. Truncale's training?
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Old December 4, 2001, 11:39 AM   #7
LBC
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Reminds me of the one day class I took at the Smith & Wesson Academy taught by a crazy Irishman named Robin "Brownie" Brown. Lessons learned: Strike first if possible. Carry two knives that can be easily accessed and manipulated. Unserrated blades are preferable to serated blades. You don't need more than a 3.5-inch blade. If you cut your opponent's arm, and he grabs the wound, stick him in the chest. Then run like hell. Oh, and any idiot can kill you with a knife. It takes very little skill.
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Old December 4, 2001, 01:07 PM   #8
Jake 98c/11b
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Nice article, especially liked the intro but weren't you a member of the 173rd Space Ranger Brigade in the scout section? I thought I saw you in the group photo of class 8, I was in class 10. Could have sworn that was you.
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Old December 4, 2001, 02:08 PM   #9
KSFreeman
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Jake, you could be thinking of my picture from my Selous Scout days. I was the only 9 year old in the outfit.
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Old December 5, 2001, 03:19 AM   #10
madgrad
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Good Info

Sounds like a seminar on knives I took a year ago.
The Info you relayed was correct. If I'm ever in the area I gotta take a course from this guy.
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Old December 5, 2001, 04:50 AM   #11
Jake 98c/11b
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No, can't be. I was training with the Mossad those days. Must be somewhere else we crossed paths.

Hey! I thought you said you were never in the Selous Scouts.
Something isn't right here.
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Old December 5, 2001, 10:19 AM   #12
Erich
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Hey Kirk,

FYI - Chris Caracci is going to be giving a tomahawk class in Indy on the 15/16th.\

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...hreadid=179462

And wouldn't that get you a funny look at the Tippecanoe County court house?
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Old December 5, 2001, 06:29 PM   #13
KSFreeman
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Thanks, counselor. C.C. is the real deal. I get enough funny looks in court as it is.
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Old December 5, 2001, 06:52 PM   #14
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Great post.
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