Folders: One-handed or Two-Handed Open?

Discussion in 'Misc. Knife Arts' started by arnisador, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    In this post on MartialTalk, Paul Janulis responds to a question in the previous post about wave-like opening mechanisms for a hard-to-open Spyderco knife. There isn't any context about the situations in which the draw and open is made. He writes:

  2. kabaroan

    kabaroan Kabaroan

    I agree. If a knife is easy to open and is of reasonable length when closed, it can be used as a "palm stick", "yawara" or hit all the pressure points similar to a kubotan and be used as a less than lethal weapon. Using it in closed position can end a confrontation (probably not, but you never know) and if not, can be quickly opened with one hand and used if the escalation of force is required.

    Personally, I like the original Chris Carricci designed Benchmade produced AFCK precisely for the aforementioned can be used as palm stick.

    Having said that, I think its best to avoid confrontation unless there is no other option.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2006
  3. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I don't know that one, but I like Bram Frank's Gunting for its similar flexibility.

    Yes, especially when you're talking about possibly cutting somebody!
  4. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    Jeff, thanks for starting this discussion.

    First off, I will disclaim that I don't want to insult anyone here. I know that the common ways taught for folder deployment in knife combatives and martial arts are mostly one handed methods. I also don't expect everyone here to fully understand the exact method that I am promoting because it is proprietary to Tulisan Company. That is not to say that 2 handed methods haven't been used by others in the past, or that they won't be promoted by someone else in the future. It is just that we developed a specific two-handed method, it is what we prefer, and at the moment other knife combatives sources aren't promoting these methods (that I know of).

    So, that said, I expect most people to disagree with me, and prefer 1-handed openers.

    Also, this is much better shown then typed about. Maybe at some point I can put something on tape and offer a clip for FMA talk, martialtalk, or my own site if I can ever get that together; but it isn't high on the priority list at the moment.

    So, all that said, I will do my best to explain the development of this method, and where we came up with the crazy idea that a 2-handed method is better then 1.

    It started with some local seminars I had been teaching years ago, before Tulisan Company had even been established, called the EDC knife series. EDC stood for "every day carry." In this seminar we dealt with the issue of knife deployment. I talked about the importance of deployment, I showed a few opening methods, and I focused on the one-handed methods that everyone pretty much does. Most of the people in these seminars had previous training, and were familiar with these methods.

    Then, I had everyone stand in a fighting platform (fighting stance) facing themselves in the mirrors with their knives placed wherever they prefer to carry them (pocket clip, belt loop, etc.). Then at the count of 3, with no surprises, I would say draw ("1...2...3...Draw!). All they had to do was deploy the knife and present it. Hands had to start up and open. We started at slow speed, and worked our way up to full speed.

    I had done this with a few different groups. Even at the slow speeds, people were dropping and flinging their knives with the 1-handed methods. And, this was without combat stress. No one was in front of them trying to hurt them, yet with the simple stress of me yelling 1-2-3-draw, knives were everywhere. Now, not everyone dropped them, but enough people did for this to be a concern. Plus EVERYONE had to exert a fair amount of concentration and speed regulation to NOT fling or drop the knife; something that WILL NOT happened in a fight, no matter how trained the fighter is.

    I realized from teaching these events that this was a REAL PROBLEM with a much needed solution.

    My advice at the time was for them to practice drawing every day, 10 minutes a day, as I did for months and months. And, I will admit that repeated practice does help, even though it doesn't make it perfectly reliable.

    Well, we messed with this for a long time, realizing that folding knife deployment under combat stress is a real problem that needed a real solution. What we came up with was the 2-handed opener. Here is the important aspects of it:

    1. TECHNIQUE: With knife in palm between thumb pad and fingers ("plam ready"), the live hand (hand not holding the knife) grips the blade edge between thumb and forefinger. If you have distance between you and the threat (attacker), then the blade hand leads with elbow up towards threat, the live hand grips back blade edge and the knife hand extends forward, opening the knife and placing the point of the knife towards the threat. If you don't have distance, meaning the threat is right "on" you, then the knife hand is back and your live hand leads with elbow up towards threat to cover, you grip the knife the same way, but you "pop" the knife hand downward while the live hand stays up, thus opening the knife with the knife hand back but with the point towards the threat. The key to the method is that once the knife is in a palm ready position, it can be deployed in one sweeping motion.

    Now, lets discuss WHY it works.

    2. You need TIME and "no action" for deployment. For ANY type of knife deployment, you need the time to put the blade into the fight. For ANY type of folder with ANY type of opening method, you need significantly more time then other weapon options. If it is a predictable incident where you can have the blade palm ready and are essentially expecting to use your blade, you only need about 1 second give or take a few tenths to deploy. If it is a spontanious incident, the fight will start WITHOUT YOUR KNIFE. You CANNOT DEPLOY YOUR KNIFE IN THE MIDST OF THE FIGHT, regardless of what opening method or type of knife you use. You will have to fight knifeless until you can buy yourself time to deploy. You will need a 3-5 second break in action for this to happened. This is what we have discovered through stress testing scenarios.

    Because every opening method and type of folding knife requires both time and a break in action for deployment, this means that you can afford to use both hands to open the knife in an incident.

    3. Benefits to the "old fashion" two handed opener.

    a. You don't sacrifice speed with this method. When done as I explained, you can deploy your knife just as fast or faster then the other one-handed opening methods. The only folder that is faster are autos and spring assists, depending on which make/model. In some ways, the old fashion method can be faster because it immediately puts the knife on point in one sweeping motion, verses some of the multiple motions needed with the one-handed openers.

    b. It is the most reliable method available. With the two handed opener, you KNOW that your folder is open, and are less likely to accidently not open the folder all the way, or to drop the folder.

    c. It is as gross-motor and simple as you can get. Other methods often require some use of fine motor skills, or complex motor skills for knife deployment. They require significant grip adjustments, or fumbling with thumb holes, studs, levers, or what have you. They require complex motions like wrist flicks and pops that may take practice. These skills tend to break down under combat stress. This is why I have witnessed so many dropped knives. The "old fashion" method doesn't require these complex skills.

    d. The "old-fashion" method is universal. It works with almost any folding knife you pick up. Many of the one-handed knife industry openers will only work on certain types of designs. The two-hander works well on practically every type of design.

    Limitations of the "old fashion" method:

    The only real limitation between this method and the other one-handed methods are that this method requires two hands. On the surface, this limitation seems to be a major one, until one studies all the factors further. In reality, this limitation is reduced to not really being a problem at all. If done as I explain, your live hand is only occupied for a short moment, and you are well protected during this moment. Plus, because of the need for TIME and NON-ACTION for all methods, this factor of two hands being occupied for a second is greatly minimized as being an issue, making it practically a non-issue all together.

    Conclusion: For reasons I already mentioned, I don't expect everyone to drop what they are doing to do our method. I do expect everyone to at least respect the "old fashion" opener as a valid method, for the reasons I have explained. Also, understand that this method has been well researched, and therefore the statements I have made aren't just speculation.

    That all said, the only need for a one handed opener, in my opinion, is if you only have one hand. Except for the case of auto's and spring assisted knives, we have moved almost exclusively to the "old fashion" method, and have been quite happy with the results.

    Paul Janulis
  5. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    Typing all of this has made me excited to put this on film so you all can see what I am talking about. It looks pretty smooth. Once you SEE it, and it is fairly simple to replicate from watching, you will want to add this to your toolbox. I think it is probable that many will favor the "old fashion" method over others if people see this in action; at least that is what I guess.

    Do you think I would be able to get the video up here or on martialtalk if I sent it to someone as a digital file?
  6. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Thanks, I understand much better now! It sounds well thought out and practical. The concern about the dropped knife is very valid. I like the method for corto. It sounds like you give up some ability to control the opponent with your palm but still have some protection and a surer open. That seems a reasonable trade-off to me. The largo method I would not want to use unless the opponent was far enough way that he couldn't grab my blade hand--how much distance do you ask for here? Given a small amount of distance, it makes sense.

    The person to whom you responded on MartialTalk said his knife was so stiff that it simply could not be opened one-handed (at least by him). Would you say that that's still a problem since one-handed open might possibly be necessary, or no?

    I imagine we can put up the file, if it's not too large...try posting it yourself and if it doesn't work, e-mail it to me or Apollo.
  7. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    I would say about the individuals height in distance (so, if your 6 feet tall for example, the threat should be about 6 feet away). And I would agree with you that this is best accomplished when the threat is further rather then closer. It's intended to put your blade in your lead hand and close a gap if needed; probably best executed before the attacker is closed in on you, but when you know an attack is enevitable.

    I would also say that the "corto" version is probably more applicable, even though I really like the "largo" version.

    Well, you want the blade to be as pliant as you can have it without creating a safety issue, so I would say that he should oil it up if it is so stiff that he can't budge it with one hand. I see no good reason for a blade being that stiff, and I could see that as being a problem even with the "old fashion" opener.

    However, I kind of interpreted that persons post to mean that the blade design was not condusive of a kenetic opener (basically pop or wrist flick the knife open) because the particular model he had was not designed to be opened that way. My favorite carry knife for awhile was a Spyderco Persian which is not designed to kenetically open, no matter how greased the mechanism is.

    If the mechanism itself isn't stiff or defective, but the knife just isn't designed to be "popped" open, then I would say that this shouldn't be a problem at all. You can two-handed open in almost every case, again, unless you lose the function of one hand. In that case, I can't see the kenetic opener as being that helpful because you would be injured and in shock at that point, meaning more likely yo drop the knife with a kenetic opener; so I would say just use the thumb hole when you get time if it got to that point.

    Cool....I'll see if I can film this weekend! :)

  8. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    I just filmed a 3 minute 20 second clip explaining and demoing the "old fashion" 2-handed opening method.

    I am dead-nuts serious about the effectiveness of this method, and I want to get it on the web so that people can download it, see it, and assimilate it in their knife training. The concept is so important and revolutionary, in my opinion, that I am willing to give it up for free (rather then including it for sale as a part of a seminar, or book or video for sale later on). I want people to "copy" this method. I would like to see this turned into a household method for knife people within the next few years or less.

    It is just that I believe that this method could potentially save a life or two out of the people who carry a blade as a possible self-defense option, so the more people who know about this simple tactic the better, in my opinion.

    I will be in contact with martialtalk and fmatalk administration soon to see the best way to get this video from my digital video camera to the web.

  9. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    Update: This may take awhile. My clip is 69 mb and I have no idea yet how to edit it down, and I don't have time to mess with it until this weekend. Grrr.

  10. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    That's a mighty big file...but still, I would like to see it. (I guess I can just ask you to show me in Buffalo in June.) Especially with the in-close method, I wonder if there's a chance of you receiving a tip cut as you open and then clear the blade. Yet, the point about dropping the knife is well-taken, and it seems like a reasonable approach. I'd like to be able to play with it!
  11. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    We'll definatily play in Buffalo with it, but I still would like to get it online because I believe in it that much. To edit the file down, I would need special software that I currentl don't have. I am working on that though and I hope to get it up within the next week or two.

  12. Ron B

    Ron B Junior Member

    I am looking forward to seeing it on video as I should have a better understanding on what you are talking about than by just reading about it.
    thanks for sharing it with us
  13. Jimmy Janulis

    Jimmy Janulis New Member

    send me the clip paul and i can use my skills and cut it down for you
  14. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    Bro, your awesome! I'll copy it to disk and mail it this week. We'll see. Worse case is I can bring it with me when I see you at the end of the month.
  15. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    Well, it looks like between working on my website (which should be up soon; just waiting for Bob to work his magic), marketing materials (note my new logo as my avatar, among other things), and ad for a local publication, and so on has taken up my time and energy on this.

    So, I'll be saving it to a disk and maybe my brother or Bob and I can mess with it and see if we can get in online.

    It's happened eventually.....darn-it! ;)

  16. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Looks great!

    Mr. Janulis did indeed demo. this for me in Bufalo, and my concerns about a tip cut were indeed misplaced. This is a very sensible approach. Mr. Janulis executes it with impressive speed and reliability, of course, but it's simple enough that it would work for anyone, and addresses the fumbling-the-blade problem.

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