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Good article on defensive knives

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by AdamSean, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. AdamSean

    AdamSean Well-Known Member

    I got this in an email from the Personal Defense Network. Its a really cool article on EDC folding knives for defensive purposes. Its a good read. I picked up a SOG Sogzilla today for cheap and and cut the wave mod and added a paracord lanyard. It works good! Now I am going to get me a Benchmade Griptilial and do the same so I have one of the best defensive knives out there.

    Here is the article:

    Here is my modified Sogzilla:

  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    I've never heard of Mr. Fry as a knife instructor, but he has some good, and not so good, advice in the brief article.

    I've never seen a magazine pocket carrier used for a folder, but I don't know why someone hasn't pointed it out before now. It would keep the knife oriented and less obtrusive riding inside the pocket. Great idea.

    The use of lanyards/fobs on folders is a well established technique for enhancing access. He does point out that there is a risk of snagging the fob or lanyard and having your knife pulled out of your pocket. This is the case whether it is a shopping cart, a clown in the line at the mini-mart or the guy with more sinister intent. Keep the fobs/lanyards short.

    I've carried folders with clips for many many years and never had any trouble drawing one from the pocket. The use of grip tape on the outer side of a pocket clip doesn't seem to contribute anything while leading to damage to clothing, carried items and objects you would brush up against.

    I'll state now that I don't like the Wave. It tears up pants and doesn't always work. Other's are true believers in it and find it to be something they'd bet their lives on. I'll make one point, if it were the ideal solution to rapidly deploying a blade why wouldn't it be on every Emerson? That said, any thumb hole opening knife can be Waved by cutting the hole open OR attaching a zip tie to the hole. I wouldn't have as much confidence in the strength of a blade that had the structure altered by opening the top of the thumb hole so if the idea intrigues you I recommend trying the zip tie modification first.
  3. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Too "jargony" and sometimes just plain incorrect. Even fixed blades do need to be deployed (deployment means to move something to the battlefield), the user just doesn't have the additional step of opening them. I share most of hso's thoughts, too.
  4. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

  5. AdamSean

    AdamSean Well-Known Member

    I like the wave. It works well for me. I plan on getting an Emerson one day when I have a couple hundred dollars to just drop on a knife. Until then, a modified knife will work just fine. As I will be using this knife for defensive purposes, the structural weakening will not be enough to worry about since it is soft tissue that it will be cutting, not hard substances. Also, the Sogzilla thumbhole is split anyway so it really doesn't cause any difference.
  6. RatDrall

    RatDrall Well-Known Member

    I was a fan of waved knives, until using a trainer in some force on force and realizing how difficult it is to open from the pocket while being attacked :uhoh:

    As far as "optimizing" a defensive folder, the more I learned about fighting with a knife the more I began to focus on optimizing myself, and my knife changed from a very nice and expensive Spyderco Military to a full flat grind Endura or Delica.

    :cuss: Grip tape on a knife clip is just too much effort in the wrong direction.
  7. glistam

    glistam Well-Known Member

    Only thing that stands out to me in this is the use of a mag holster. This isn't the first time I've heard of that. In James Loriega's Sevillian Steel, he related that the elder knife fighting instructor he trained with in Spain used this carry method, though with an open-topped holder clipped to the belt. Don Santiago, a man who had killed several people in defense over his lifetime, used a mag holder long enough and of a shape that could hold the knife both closed and already open (albeit not very securely). He had sufficient awareness that when he expected trouble or entered a dangerous area, he would surreptitiously take his navaja out, open it, and put it back in the holder blade down, like a sheath knife. I have a fair bit of respect for the Sevillian knife fighters, who's system is focused on folders that requires two hands to open.
  8. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    I've seen carry of knives in mag carriers before, but am not certain of their utility in a pocket.
  9. conw

    conw Well-Known Member

    It's not my thing but I assume the mag carrier is just to facilitate access of a folder without the need to clip it into the pocket.

    And while I wouldn't choose it, I can see the utility of using griptape on a knife-clip to enhance concealment (it would blend a lot better with pants than many knife clips) and using the "slap, grip, draw, index, open" type of standardized procedure, I think it would greatly enhance the grip/draw portion.

    Full disclosure, I've trained with (not under) Chris Fry at a Southnarc class before. He is a very solid, knowledgeable, and actually to be honest scary (in a good way) guy. I personally think he has written some higher quality knife articles than that one, and a lot of his other articles are also good reads too. He operates a training facility in upstate NY called MDTS training and he upholds the paradigm of being well rounded in martial arts, shooting, and use of contact weapons.

    Not a plug, just a testimonial that even if you disagree with a few things he says, he should be regarded as a credible source.
  10. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Well, I appreciate the personal insight, but he works too hard to sound knowledgeable. It interferes, for me at least, with what good he may have to share. It's especially an issue when (as with "deployment") he misuses a word. If you don't understand what a word means, you should avoid using it definitively.

  11. conw

    conw Well-Known Member

    I decided to be the word geek I am and check out what you are discussing (because I didn't really notice it before).

    The phrase in question:

    Small fixed-blade knives have become extremely popular because they eliminate the need to “deploy” the blade in-fight.
    Emphasis added, quotation marks were already there.

    a : to extend (a military unit) especially in width
    b : to place in battle formation or appropriate positions
    : to spread out, utilize, or arrange for a deliberate purpose <deploy a sales force> <deploy a parachute>
    I can see your argument, seeing as how those definitions - especially 1b - might lend credence to the idea that one still has to deploy any weapon. On the other hand I think it was pretty readily apparent from the context clues and the use of quotation marks what he meant.

    Since he was obviously not using them to attribute the word deploy to another author, he probably intended that the

    quotation marks... suggest to some people that you are using that word in a special or peculiar way and that you really mean something else (Source)​

    emphasis added. Poor writing? Maybe... but not inconsistent with the message he intended to convey.

    Finally - and I post all of this in a grammar/word geek way, not in a confrontational way - there is a very solid bit of evidence on M-W that that particular usage of deploy is acceptable:

    Origin of DEPLOY

    French déployer, literally, to unfold, from Old French desploier, from des- dis- + ploier, plier to fold — more at ply
    First Known Use: 1616​


    Emphasis added.
  12. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Hee. Sabers at dawn. Bring a second. :D

    It would have been simpler, and more correct (in my opinion) to just say "open": Small fixed-blade knives have become extremely popular because they eliminate the need to open the blade in-fight, eliminating an extra step when you most need simplicity and speed. My point was that he worked too hard to sound technical, and the words he used got in the way of the message I think he meant to give. Good writing seamlessly passes on a idea, instead of leaving the reader wondering, "why the hell did he use that word?"
  13. rjrivero

    rjrivero Well-Known Member

    Man you guys are touchy.

    Chris Fry, and MDTS, gets my thumbs up. He's a good teacher. I will train with him again.

    You may not like his writing style. The tips he has in that particular article you may or may not find useful. He did say, "One of these upgrades may be useful, or a combination of several working together may help you optimize your personal protection EDC folding knife. Consider each option carefully."

    Good to see that folks ARE looking at this stuff critically. That will make him happy.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  14. conw

    conw Well-Known Member

    Glad you took my geekiness in the right spirit John :D.

    Man, we grammar guys get no love :(. People don't call engineers debating merits of suspension bridges touchy, people don't call cooks discussing smoke point of oils touchy, people don't call metallurgists discussing % carbon touchy... but you bring a bit of diction into the discussion and you are all of a sudden some sort of overly sensitive, introverted, milquetoast.

    I think I'll find a corner in which to situate myself and a tissue into which I shall shed my tears...:D
  15. ChrisFry

    ChrisFry Member

    Hi All,

    I appreciate the constructive criticism of this article. Upon reading comments here and considering, I can see how it would have been better to have stated certain phrases in a simpler way.

    In regards to the pocket mag holder, my main emphasis of this carry method is for better concealment of the folder (IF that is what I have to carry). Many times the visible pocket clip gives away information to those interested. Just my take. I prefer, now, to provide as little info as necessary about my preparedness status.

    Thanks for reading.

  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member


    Do you find the grip tape provides that much utility in drawing and gripping a folder?
  17. ChrisFry

    ChrisFry Member

    Hso - under pressure I find that the grip tapes stickiness makes drawing the folder from the pocket easier and when in the hand while simply opening the blade it provides a more positive grip. I look at it like this, the more friction (which the grip tape provides) less chance of the folder dropping or being knocked out of the hand. This is just my take based on seeing hundreds of close range pressurized training evolutions.
  18. conw

    conw Well-Known Member

    I haven't played around with this yet but another way of looking at it is this:

    With most folder drawstrokes 4 of your fingers are potentially (all at once, or nearly at once) in contact with the clip, while only the thumb is in contact with the scales.

    Most scales are rough to facilitate retention once drawn, but as the thumb presses them (to some degree) into your pocket lining, that friction is actually making the drawstroke more difficult.

    By adding potential friction to the clip IMO you are making the most delicate or second most delicate (depending on the knife - could be second to deploying, I mean opening...) part of accessing it much more robust.

    Also, while "opening" may be a bit more of a fine motor skill than drawing from the pocket, proper opening is predicated on a stable and consistent grip on the knife. Come to think of it, when my folding knife deployment has failed, it is typically a mixture of inconsistent draw from the pocket and a fumbling before/during the opening part.
  19. BCCL

    BCCL Well-Known Member

    I shy away from lanyards on folding knives that are carried for SD, because I've more than once pulled the knife out of a pocket just to use it for a normal cutting task, and went to flip the blade open and found the tip "snagged" on the lanyard cord, keeping the blade from opening.
  20. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member


    I hear what you're saying, I just haven't experienced it in my training. A knife that was slippery would be replaced by one that wasn't. I'm spoiled in that respect and I can understand wanting a $1 mod to a $100 trade out.

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