ARK Training


May 18, 2015, 12:57 PM
Got to take a training lesson on how to use the ARK by Spyderco from one of the designers, our own John Shirley, who along with Sam 1911 designed the knife.
It was an enlightening lesson by a skilled trainer. We worked on defensive and offensive moves. Many of the moves were transferable to other knives
we also worked with canes and that was also enlightening.

If you enjoyed reading about "ARK Training" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
May 18, 2015, 01:31 PM
Thank you, Doc, I'm glad it was useful.

Sam and I have already shot video of a variety of simple defensive moves. I'm just waiting on the final factory ARK - which I should have tomorrow - to finish the video. :)

Doc, when you have a chance, would you post a pic of the ARK trainer next to a common Spyderco for size comparison? I think that will help members get a grasp of the size of the thing.

May 18, 2015, 02:54 PM
What is this ARK i have been hearing about?

May 18, 2015, 02:58 PM
It's a defensive knife Sam and I designed. Spyderco is shipping them currently. :)

Link here (

May 18, 2015, 03:02 PM
It's been on my list to get when it comes out.

May 18, 2015, 03:46 PM
THR members in the area are welcome to attend a close-range knife and gun seminar in Laurel, MD on 27-28 June.

>No prior experience necessary
>No live weapons

Price is very reasonable, but space is limited. Sam, Doc, and I will all be there. PM for more info.


May 18, 2015, 05:33 PM
I tried and failed to get pictures up from my tablet I will try later from the desk top

I will also be at the training session.

May 18, 2015, 05:34 PM
You'd be impressed what a small knife can do defensively when you're trained how to use them.

May 18, 2015, 06:59 PM
Card and LW Manix 2 LW for scale.

May 18, 2015, 09:48 PM
Just picked one up on Blade HQ . Should be here in 4 days. Congratulations to all on bringing the design to production!

May 18, 2015, 11:37 PM
Thanks for the kudos, guys! We're really happy to get this in folks' hands, though we hope no-one ever really needs it.

May 19, 2015, 11:30 AM
That looks like it would be really handy for general use as well as defense. I'm getting one to hang on my neck when fishing, one more option to cut rope or line off of me in an emergency. If it is comfy as I'm expecting, I'll probably wear it a lot more.

I've never owned a kydex sheath. Will the retention hold up well if used a lot?

May 19, 2015, 03:31 PM
yes, my several neck knives with kydex sheaths have held up over time.

May 19, 2015, 03:46 PM
This is actually a thermoplastic sheath, not kydex. The sheath weighs more than the actual knife.

RS, I'm planning on taking one with me on a sea kayaking trip next month.


May 19, 2015, 05:42 PM
I've been using one if my santo blades as a neck knife every day for about maybe two years now and it is as tight as ever. I know the production ARK sheath isn't myxedema but I expect it will hold up as well.

May 19, 2015, 06:51 PM
Frankly? This is perfect.

May 19, 2015, 09:54 PM
I'm getting one to hang on my neck when fishing, one more option to cut rope or line off of me in an emergency.

I had the same thought. It looks really useful. Nice design.

May 19, 2015, 11:13 PM
It is extremely lightweight, and rides very flat.

Bartholomew Roberts
May 20, 2015, 08:08 PM
What kind of angle did you go with for the edge? Did you play around with different edges any? With H1 being so corrosion resistant (corrosion typically kills the edges on my Moras much faster than use does), it seems you could probably do a fairly fine edge.

May 20, 2015, 08:20 PM wife just checked. Spyderco themselves only have three left in stock as of 8:15.

Guess they're selling!

May 20, 2015, 08:22 PM
What kind of angle did you go with for the edge? Did you play around with different edges any?
I haven't measured the production model. One of the changes Spyderco went with was to go hollow ground instead of full-flat like I'd done. We played with a number of different steel thicknesses and I always set the final grind to as low an angle as I could get, practically, given the steel thickness.

But Spyderco went another step thinner, and then hollow! So...very, very slicey.

May 20, 2015, 08:48 PM
They were out of stock quickly at blade hq and I saw it in stock at knife center with a good description of it's reason/purpose and development. Should get mine tomorrow!

May 22, 2015, 09:54 PM
Well got mine today. Nice. Small, thin flat profile, sharp and very pointy. Very light and easy to manipulate with my big hands. I am going to try to keep it on as long as I can. Kind of put it on and forget about it until needed. :)

May 23, 2015, 09:14 AM
I'm glad you're happy with it. Yeah, the design goal was to make a knife with a shape that was easy to grip despite the knife being as minimalist as possible. I carried the ARK for a couple days underneath my body armor on the job I just quit without a problem.

I should be able to shoot the last piece of the video tomorrow.

May 26, 2015, 07:56 PM
Been wearing the ARK for over three days now and except for showering I have not taken it off. Easy to forget it is there. Working in the yard (it was hot Monday), going in to work, going to church, parade, no probs. Couple kinds of shirts, cant see it. It lies flat. Loving it so far. :) Going to put a different chain/lanyard on it to make it longer.

May 27, 2015, 03:50 PM
Be sure to keep it on a dog tag type chain, so it will break away if snagged. Two standard dog tag chains can be joined, and the excess snapped off to meer your ideal length.

You can keep the ARK on in the shower, too. :)

May 27, 2015, 07:01 PM
Depending on the vendor, it's "Always Ready Knife", "Already Ready Knife", or "Active Resistance Knife".

Who named it, and what was it actually originally called?

May 27, 2015, 07:38 PM
John named it and it was originally the "Active Resistance Knife."

I know it predates this thread from 2012, but I'm not digging deeper at the moment. Rationale explained herein:

However, Spyderco had a different idea for the name, and they're making the production model, so:

May 27, 2015, 09:05 PM
Spyderco decided to call it the Always Ready Knife, and I thought that was a better, much less grim choice than what translated to "If you try to rape me, I will fight" knife.

June 5, 2015, 01:23 PM
I just ordered 2 on Amazon last night. Excited to get my paws on them soon.

Dirty Bob
June 5, 2015, 11:16 PM
I also ordered one last night. I hope John and Sam have benefitted financially from this venture. It was obviously the product of experience, talent, and hard work.

It looks like an excellent compromise of size, weight and shape. I applaud the steel choice: a knife that is highly corrosion resistant is more likely to be taken along at times when it's really needed, in knife-hostile environments.

I also like the not-too-tactical appearance. I use my neck knife to cut up kiwi fruit and other foods at lunchtime. A benign appearance is a plus for me. I'm glad it doesn't have "Mall Ninja Uber-Tactical Katana" -- or something like it -- etched on the blade.

My current necker is a CRKT Ringer 3 with a tiny "skinner" blade and two rings for a handle. The ARK is larger, but the shape and weight should keep it from being a burden.

Well done!


June 6, 2015, 12:01 AM
So, I just read a little about H1. Is it really rust proof? Nitrogen in lieu of carbon, huh.

What are its other characteristics? How long will it hold an edge, etc...

June 6, 2015, 02:49 AM
H-1 "work hardens". It should be able to take a sharper edge after you've used it a while.


Carbon (C) 0.15 Chromium (Cr) 14.00-16.00
Cobalt (Co) -- Niobium (Nb) --
Copper (Cu) -- Manganese (Mn) 2.00
Molyb(Mo) .50-1.50 Nickel (Ni) 6.00-8.00
Nitrogen (N) 0.10 Phosphorus (P) 0.04
Silicon (Si) 3.00-4.50 Sulphur (S) 0.03
Tungsten (W) -- Vanadium (V) --

June 6, 2015, 04:46 AM
im just very glad this knife made it in to production.

I know what it is for, why it was made, and the end result is superb.

I'll be getting a few to offer in the store soon.

June 6, 2015, 06:32 AM
They're flying out of the Spyderco booth here at Blade!

June 6, 2015, 12:55 PM
Love Mine!

June 6, 2015, 12:56 PM
:) Very glad!

June 7, 2015, 05:55 PM
JShirley, was wondering if you have any more info on ARK training video you were shooting. Will it be accessible to the public when done?

June 7, 2015, 07:08 PM
I'll post it on YouTube. Had the DVD, and was so tired and sick I left it at the dojo last week.

June 19, 2015, 11:26 PM
Got both of mine in. Very pleased. Perfect size, and really comfy on the neck. Wife put hers in an inside pocket of her purse with just the handle protruding, she can pull that sucker pretty quick.

Really enjoyed the write up on the paper inside. Proud of you guys! Nice to be part of a forum with mods who can do what they talk about.

June 19, 2015, 11:29 PM
Thank you. I'm glad you're finding it useful.

I do have the video now. Hoping to cut out a little dead space, and some redundant footage, and have it posted by Sunday.

June 21, 2015, 05:21 PM

Sorry about the long delay. Here it is.

June 21, 2015, 08:46 PM
Been waiting. Good video and new insight into using this very capable small knife in defensive situations. Thank you both!

July 1, 2015, 04:34 PM
Every one needs to watch that video.

July 3, 2015, 09:47 AM
Ummm a Happy Birthday gift for the Gals to get the Grayman.

July 3, 2015, 03:28 PM

The ARK has already gone to two NCOs (one male, one female) I worked with on my last deployment. They are deploying again.

If you enjoyed reading about "ARK Training" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!