View Full Version : Anyone been to a Cold Steel knife fighting course?

February 18, 2002, 11:58 PM
I am looking into the "cut and don't be cut" seminar at Cold Steel. Has anyone been to their knife fighting course? Opinions?


February 22, 2002, 03:15 PM
Well, into this sea of well informed opinions I will venture to add what little I know of Cold Steel. (And it is very little, and about 15 years old.)

I met the founder on a few occasions. I found him to be an arrogant know-nothing. A wannabe with good marketing skills. I lost all desire to have anything to do with Cold Steel.

As I said, that's old and not exhaustive information. YMMV.

February 22, 2002, 11:46 PM
I believe TFTT teaches a knife fighting class in Sacramento. www.tftt.com

February 23, 2002, 01:38 AM
Lynn thompson is a blowhard. I am by NO means an expert on edged weaponry, but I have enough knowledge and common sense to know he is really really full of himself.

However, Cold Steel knives are decent knives and most are priced reasonably well.

His knife courses? I imagine they're like the product- reasonable stuff, somewhat drowned in BS.


February 23, 2002, 01:12 PM
Glad to have my assesment confirmed, Mike. A person in his position gets credited with a lot of knowledge just because he runs a knife business.

Doesn't mean anything.

As to the knives, the 'tanto' blade is pure wannabe-ism, in my book. It's not authentic Samurai, I've been told by some who are REAL experts.

But wheter the knives are good or bad, there are better out there, and life is too short to do business with obnoxious people.


February 23, 2002, 05:09 PM
I don't know anything about their course, but it seems that for the longest time most of the knife mags give Cold Steel and Lynn Thompson almost zero coverage: new products, new knife locks, new self defense courses, etc. Think about some of the aforementioned that get written about in knife mags regarding lesser known knife production companies. This is certainly more than a coincidence, and I believe has a lot to do with the personality of Cold Steel's owner (who I have never met). geegee

February 24, 2002, 12:29 AM
That's not hard to figure out. Real knifemen (Randall, Loveless, etc.) are artists, or at the least, fine craftsmen. They LOVE their work. No, they are PASSIONATE about their work.

Cold Steel is about selling products.

It just isn't the same world. He's not one of them, and probably never will be.

February 24, 2002, 12:31 AM
life is too short to do business with obnoxious people.LOL. Yeah, that's pretty much my philosophy, too.

Ever read a Cold Steel catalog? Jeesh. Talk about BS so thick you can cut it with a ... well, you know what I mean.


February 24, 2002, 06:11 AM
Hasn't Cold Steel made a tape called "Cutting through our BS?"....:rolleyes: ....available for $19.95...:p geegee

February 24, 2002, 05:12 PM
Ever read a Cold Steel catalog?

No, but then, I don't read the National Enquirer, either. :D

I'm not on a crusade against them. They aren't endagering my freedom like S&W or Ruger. They're just obnoxious.

I just take my money elsewhere.

Joe Demko
February 27, 2002, 09:25 AM
For the price of some of Lynn "Tanto" Thompson's high end stuff, you could get a Randall. Thompson piles up the BS so fast you need wings to stay above it. The main thing to remember is that Cold Steel manufactures nothing. Everything in their catalog is manufactured for them, under contract, by cutlery makers. Cold Steel is not enough of a player in the industry to command things like special runs of "secret formula" steel. The actual manufacturers have changed steels over the years because THEY didn't have enough influence on the steel industry to have certain alloys produced in the relatively tiny amounts they use.
If Thompson's workshops are like his knives, he'll have somebody else instruct it, hype the shytte out of it, and charge too much for it.

March 1, 2002, 06:16 PM
I just took the course last weekend. My background is a black belt in Shotokan Karate, Judo, and about 5 years of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Lynn is the primary instructor. As some have pointed out, he is opinionated and speaks his mind. But, I kind of respect people that will tell you what they really think. He did not bother me. He had two assistants, Ron and Felix. Real sharp guys. The class had 10 people. One of the more motivated students was the American Airlines pilot. Easy to understand why.

He starts with his philosophy that you absolutely can not afford to be cut. Even a 2" pocket knife can do damage beyond your wildest dreams. Later in the class he demonstrates this on a hanging slab of beef. It is enough to put the fear of the knife
into you. He doesn't say you won't get cut. Or, that you should expect not to be cut. You have to keep fighting.

They build the fighting strategy from the ground up. They start with basic footwork. Lots of movement drills. He drills everything extensively. How to hold the knife, how to keep your non-knife hand out of the way, defensive blocking, parrying, cuts, stabs, combination attacks, ect... The key was to drill every concept extensively. At the end there was controlled sparring with the instructors. There was nothing esoteric or fancy. Basic concepts. Attack your opponents weaknesses, minimize your weaknesses. Move and cut.

Will this class make you a world class knife fighter? No. But, you will be much better off than the street punk who has not trained. My 10 years of Karate made it very easy for me to absorb what they taught. The basic principles are the same. I think everyone will learn something. To me, the class was worth it. It was common sense drilled for two days.


Jody Hudson
March 1, 2002, 08:10 PM
I can not comment on the class.

However, the Cold Steel largest Voyager, in plain edge and clip point is my favorite large pocket knife, and the one I carry and use every day and have for several years since they came out. I have used two of them soooo much that I sharpened the blade down to about half width... I use it on anything and everything; like a carpenter does a hammer, and I treat it no better than a carpenter treats a hammer.

The knife is acceptable steel for an acceptable price. It is very light, very thin, very strong, and takes a good edge with a modest effort. The handle is easy to grip, the lock is good, and the handle is not much larger than the blade, an important design element for me. The largest Voyagers have been discontinued recently, so I purchased two extra ones, just in case it remains my favorite knife for the rest of my life.

As far as knife fighting, I learned enough from working with migrant workers, who had knife fights weekly, that I KNOW for a fact that I will do anything to stay out of a knife fight.

I also learned from living in Washington DC, near the Civic Center, where they have World Championship, Martial Arts competitions more than once a month... I learned that the street thugs had great fun beating the crap out of the world champions of all styles of martial arts... just for fun. And, they didn't even consider that they needed a knife. Never heard of them cutting a world class martial artist; however they left dozens of them on the sidewalk who went to the hospital. Then they would go to the championships with buddies to show the injured world champion they had beat the crap out of...

Not me... I don't want to fight anyone who has made a life, however short it may be, out of street fighting. The ammount of pain they are used to getting and giving and the techniques they use and have used on them... are not what I want to be involved in... no matter what course and no matter how expert the instructor is.

My big Cold Steel knife is a TOOL.

March 1, 2002, 09:31 PM
Jody, of course what you say makes sense. No one volunteers for a knife fight. HOWEVER, you could have one thrust upon you. Contrary to what people say, you can't always run from a knife fight. You may be in your home with your family inside. You may be walking to your car with your two small kids. In California, I can only legally carry a knife. If I have to fight with it, I will. But, I don't want to.


Jody Hudson
March 1, 2002, 11:14 PM
Understood Dave. When I lived there, I carried a very stout cane. I also carried the knife, but I took lessons with the cane as it has more reach, etc. But, I know what you mean. I just have too much personal experience, to consider a knife fight unless I simultaneously consider it as a posibility of DIRE consequence. But, I know what you mean.

March 2, 2002, 01:51 AM
If I had the time and resources I think this is where I'd seek training related to knives.


March 2, 2002, 09:42 AM
Welcome aboard, Ryder. Tell us what you know about them.

April 1, 2002, 09:03 AM
Only what I have read on thier web site. I first visited the site a couple years ago. It has changed over that time span. They used to have (still do?) more descriptive articles on thier techniques. I was able to pick up quite a bit just from those articles, which is perhaps why I can no longer easily locate them?

Like all martial arts they practice specfic moves over and over to master them thereby training thier reflexes and instincts. The individual techniques were well thought out and convinced me that they would be highly effective.

They have localized groups which congregate for training in many parts of the country and are not limited to only the United States. There is a message board and from the tone of that I'd say their philosihy of using this skill for honorable/justifiable self defense stands up to scrutinization. There is some involvement in the training of police and special armed forces, though I can not say that is on a contractual basis.


April 1, 2002, 09:24 AM
Clicking on the AMOK! link from the main page will get you close to a description of thier techniques.

These are not the same articles which I originally viewed before this revised website. The old articles were more like training instructions.