View Full Version : Should I Carry a Knife for Self Defense?

Gary H
September 11, 2000, 03:55 PM
I am 47 years old and in good shape. I live in the SF bay area and the chances of getting a CCW are nill. My Rekat Sifu
should be arriving tomorrow. Now, I have a gym in my house and work out on a punching bag. Truth is that I have no real training in hand to hand self-defense. When I purchased guns, I sought training and I practice. I am concerned that should I need the knife, I will not have the proper training to use it. I know enough not to hold the knife point out, but that is about it. What training is available that can be entered into with a limited amount of time? I want to have skill, but not make it a second profession.

September 11, 2000, 05:40 PM
Hey how are you.

You stated you know not to hold the knife with the point out. are you referring to grip style, or edge distance to threat. The grip with the point forward has its advantages depending on the situation. with thet point forward and having room to move, you will now have a few more inches of reach toward your target. Revese grip applications, personally, I only like if things are really close and my body position is right. I like the potential of being able to trap (capture and cut limbs/shoulder/neck) with it. I use a double edge fixed fighter in addition to other's.
You can go the martial arts route, but the blade work there is usually not applicable to the street. In california, try checking out Massad Ayoobs "lethal force institute", or LFI. He will have good classes and instructors. :cool:

Gary H
September 11, 2000, 05:52 PM
Yes, grip style. Thanks for the suggestion regarding Ayoob. Does anyone know of a local (Marin, Alameda county) instructor?

September 11, 2000, 07:13 PM
Suggestion...Go to your local yellow pages or go to your bookstore and pick up Black Belt Magazine or some M.A. magazine, then check out your local school. Also check some of your local YMCA's may have some short programs. Also pick up one of your favorite gun magazine and look up some of the courses being taught in your area.

Otherwise, go to your local gun range and ask the folks over there.

Then if you really, really have to...just ask the TFL'ers in the knife section.

Good luck!

George Hill
September 11, 2000, 07:14 PM
Gary - Your doing pretty good.
I suggest GUNSITE's Edged Weapons II video which you could order for not too much - but will be of tremendous value to you.
I also suggest a smaller knife as a companion to the big one - and the Sifu is BIG.
A Spyderco Native or the like will be good day to day carry knife... your Use knife vs your Weapon knife. I would hate to see you at the post office opening a letter with the Sifu!

[This message has been edited by George Hill (edited September 11, 2000).]

Gary H
September 11, 2000, 08:26 PM
I purchased the knife after reading a number of posts. I should get it tomorrow and then the size will probably stun me.

Part of what I am asking is this: What martial arts program / style is most appropriate to real world self defense when modestly trained? I can't see myself devoting my free time to intensive training, but I can see a once a week class over a number of months.

I'll check out the video.

Gary H
September 11, 2000, 08:33 PM

I read into your post that the second video without seeing number one is the way to go. Give me the word and I will order it. Thanks

September 12, 2000, 01:05 AM

I've studied several different forms of martial arts. From what I have encountered, jujitsu is by far the most effective "real world" fighting style. My professor teaches all sorts of weapons, especially if you ask him. He really loves the knife and machete. The best way to judge an instructor is to observe his students. My advice is to look around at several local schools and see which one has the most adept pupils.

I don't wanna start a "which martial art is best" discussion here, that's why I said "from what I have encountered." But you asked for opinions, so there mine is =)

September 12, 2000, 01:38 AM
Filippino martial arts such as Escrima, Kali and Arnis center around the use of blade or defenses against it.

Most of the "big" names in knife-fighting and defense derived their training in a Filippino system or two.

These are folks like Paul Vunak, Hock Hocheim, Marc McYoung, etc. Of course, I should add that a majority of these folks teach "simplified" or more "functional" knife-fighting rather than the artistry of more traditionally-minded FMA instructors.


For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

September 12, 2000, 11:52 AM
I know enough not to hold the knife point out

Actually that's largely irrelevant. Different holds simply provide different options.

If you have the resources, go to LFI (www.ayoob.com) or Gunsite (www.gunsite.com). Those (and a few others, like Riddle Of Steel) will provide excellent short-term training.

For long-term training, find a school that teaches Kali (Philipine stick & knife fighting).

Important: study the knife laws in your area. Such laws vary widely between various states and cities. Assume anything that anyone tells you about knife laws is wrong (one of my conclusions from trying to summarize the knife laws for half the states).

September 12, 2000, 12:31 PM
While I have not taken any knife Martial arts, my boxing/mauy thai instructor taught me a few simple things which really improve the use of a knife - although this should not discourage you from taking better courses.
Try practicing this with a freind - and a fake knife!!!
1) peeling the apple. Basically, when someone blocks/traps your knife, simple pull back, cutting the arm in the process.
2) switch hands. -Playing around, you find people grabbing and holding your knife arm. Switch hands when that happens, and cut.
Again, practicing these are no substitute for real training, but can make the knife much more effective till you can get the training.

Hope this helps - and for those trainied people out there, if it's bad advise, please let Gary and me know

From the Committee to Use Proffesional Politicians as Lab Animals
She doesn't have bad dreams because she's made of plastic...
bad Kiki! No karaoke in the house!
Larry Flynt is right. You guys stink!!!
Peter McWilliams - Murdered by the DEA

George Hill
September 12, 2000, 01:05 PM
The first video is so very basic as to be just plain boring.
The second video is much better even for a novice... and taught by an instructor who you just can't question his credibility. I talked to him for a little while at SHOT 2000 and I must say - I would not want to mess with him!
To use the Gunslinger's phrase "He knows the face of his Father."
Order #2 - skip #1.

September 12, 2000, 01:55 PM
If your looking for videos... Check out Combat Technologies, ran by Master-At-Arms James Keating. He's a certified bad mo-fo :)

Check out the Knifecraft series. Good stuff there.

Gary H
September 12, 2000, 02:41 PM
Received my Sifu and George you were right. That is one very large knife. Unfortunately, it was shipped without the black blade and the blade finish is awful. My Boker is beautiful whereas the Sifu is ugly, but scary.

I'll pick up some videos. Watched my first Jet Li movie last night, "Romeo Must Die". Not bad. Some of the fight scenes were amazing. I would be really impressed if it weren't for the editing room antics.

George Hill
September 12, 2000, 08:23 PM
Beauty holds many definitions... In the Sifu's main purpose - its form follows its function - in that sense - it's gorgeous...
Just dont try to compair it to a Randall.

September 13, 2000, 05:59 AM
Found some good legal info on bladeforums.com on laws in kali, that is state not local and with the whole pre-emption thing don't know if local are differnt or not, I carry one anyway.

Gary H
September 13, 2000, 08:49 AM

I don't understand your post. What did you find? My research indicates that California law does not restrict either concealed, nor revealed carry of knives.

September 13, 2000, 02:25 PM
First of all I am usually a lurker here, but you will find yourself in a heap if you carry a fixed blaed concealed!! Period. Read the laws. Do a internet search for california laws and then search the laws for knife info. It is there and pretty straight forward. Fixed blades are illegal, unless in a sheath hangning from the belt. Folders are legal concealable in any length. Thats the basics but please do check out the laws!! Thanks, and take care. Jim

Gary H
September 13, 2000, 11:39 PM
I forget about fixed blade. Never had one and never thought of buying one. Thanks for the correction.

September 14, 2000, 09:11 AM
Your in CA right? Try contacting Gabe Suarez's Halo group http://www.thehalogroup.com/
they use James Keating as guest instructor for blade stuff on occasion I believe.

For a good basic book try Michael JAnich's Knife Fighting: A Practical Course you can get it from http://www.paladin-press.com
the ISBN is 0-87364-740-8

September 14, 2000, 01:21 PM

Is there a FOLDING Randall that compares to the Sifu, or are you comparing apples to oranges?? :)

September 14, 2000, 06:19 PM
California Penal Code section 12020 prohibits any person from carrying a concealed dirk or dagger, defined as "a knife
or other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of
ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury
or death." I berlieve this commonly refers to a knife with a blade 4" in length or more.

The section also provides that "Knives carried in sheaths which are worn openly suspended from the waist of the wearer are not concealed within the meaning of this

Just for fun, check this out:

12001.1. (a) Any person in this state who commercially manufactures
or causes to be commercially manufactured, or who knowingly imports
into the state for commercial sale, keeps for commercial sale, or
offers or exposes for commercial sale, any undetectable knife is
guilty of a misdemeanor. As used in this section, an "undetectable
knife" means any knife or other instrument with or without a
handguard that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may
inflict great bodily injury or death that is commercially
manufactured to be used as a weapon and is not detectable by a metal
detector set at standard calibration.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, commencing January
1, 2000, all knives or other instrument with or without a handguard
that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict
great bodily injury or death that are commercially manufactured in
this state that utilize materials that are not detectable by a metal
detector shall be manufactured to include materials that will ensure
they are detectable by a metal detector set at standard calibration.

Regards from Kalifornia,


Gary H
September 14, 2000, 11:51 PM
Does "dirk", or "dagger" refer to fixed blade, folders, or both??????

George Hill
September 15, 2000, 09:32 AM
No - there are no folding Randals...
Your right - I should have made a better comparison...
Would a LOVELESS do?

September 15, 2000, 10:58 AM

Please check out this link, if it works, it is the California Penal code search for knife info that I did. Code 626.10 deals with knives at schools. Code 12001.1 deals with manufacturing undetectable knives. When looking at the codes use your browser edit button to look for the word knife. It will save a lot of time. Code 12020-12040 give the most information. I hope this helps everyone.

Here is the penal codes definition of a dirk or dagger.
12020 (24) As used in this section, a "dirk" or "dagger" means a knife or other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death. A nonlocking folding knife, a folding knife that is not prohibited by Section 653k, or a pocketknife is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death only if the blade of the knife is exposed and locked into position.

Section 653k pertains to switchblades.

September 17, 2000, 09:48 PM
training is a big thing. there is a great article in either this months or last months black belt magazine on tactical knife usage.

as i am not old enough to carry a firearms legaly the knife is it for me.

i have not been to any real training or read any books or anyhting like that, but i need to. most of the things i use in practice and would use in real life i have picked up and then modified for me.
most of what i know, and i feel it is a good amount, was picked up over at www.knifeforums.com (http://www.knifeforums.com)

yes bladeforums.com is sister site to this, but i dont get along with several over there, including the sys op kevin(spark). and the attitude is negative, i mean really really negative.
it is totally different at www.knifeforums.com (http://www.knifeforums.com) so check it out.

as far as laws go i am not a legal expert, i think my carry folder, emerson commander, is illegal to carry concealed in some citys near me, however i feel that it is better to be a living law breaker than a dead law abider.

seriously i would rather lose a good,expensive knife, and maybe a little time off my life, and maybe some money than i would die.
it is a choice u have to make, will a legal knife be exactly what i need? or do i need to risk it and go with one thats illegal"
compromise, and saying well it will do doesnt work for self defense matters.
u make the choice and then get the proper training for the choice u have made.