Retaining the Knife.

Discussion in 'Misc. Knife Arts' started by arnisador, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Many years ago--before he even began training in martial arts, I believe--Mr. Hartman and I were examining a truly intimidating-looking knife that had brass knuckles for a grip and a small spike on the punyo. This was a weapon! Still, I thought then as I do know: It could be hard to disengage myself from that weapon if I needed to do so. The thought came back to me as I played with my recently acquired kerambit folder: It would not be easy for someone to attempt a disarm against it, but if they did, I'd have a finger stuck in the hole. I've heard of people getting their fingers injured in the trigger guard of a pistol when it was taken from them, so I know it's a possibility. In addition, it might happen that I might need to disengage from an edged weapon quickly for some other reason; perhaps the blade has become stuck between the opponent's ribs but another opponent is coming at me.

    I don't feel good about not being able to rapidly release the weapon if needed. Yet, I've also had a knife come out of my hands in knife sparring sufficiently often to make that a concern too. As a practical matter, I feel I'm more likely to lose the blade when I want to retain it than to be stuck in it when I want to drop it, let alone the dangers of the hand running up the blade on a stab, and so I feel some sort of retention device is probably sensible if it's a small-to-medium knife. (With a large knife I can get a healthy, sword-like grip that allieviates some of the retention problem.) It's so easy for a small knife to be twisted nearly out of one's hand if it comes up against something that resists it while slashing. A lanyard, to be wrapped around the wrist or in the hand, seems sensible to me, striking a balance between weapon retention and ability to discard the weapon.

    I don't actually do that, nor do I worry too much about the kerambit leading to a broken finger in a disarm...but, the nagging thought of it is there. What do others think about the need to be able to disengage your grip?
  2. Buwaya

    Buwaya Senior Member

    Sounds like a WW2 trench knife.

    An old method to maintain your grip on your baston is to have a cord wrapped tight around the base of the baston and have it looped around one or two of your fingers. Krishna Godhania in an article mentions it went out of vouge because your fingers could be dislocated in a disarm. I've seen a few of these bastons handled fondly by old maestros.

    There are notable training methods regarding grip from one of the systems on this forum, but I'll let a practitioner speak up about that.

    From one piont of view, if someones bypassed your kerambit to get in a posistion to disarm it, they deserve that finger:) .
  3. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    That's exactly what I was thinking about. I have seen it done too--like a police officer's club in a 1950s movie, being swung by a looped cord at the end. But indeed, it's got both rewards and risks.

    Heh. Well, we don't always get what we deserve I suppose!
  4. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    I agree with you Arnisador that having some type of retention device
    is good, but what if you need to draw another weapon such as a
    handgun. Then you are stuck or you are just going to take to
    long! For people who carry more than one tool, a retention device
    might not be the best altenative. If you only have one tool then a retention device can be a good idea. That's my take on your

    Brian R. VanCise
  5. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

    My problem with the loops on blades including most (* Older style *) swords that have such, is that my finger does not fit. It is too big and it is a hard fit into the retention devices.

    I have this problem with small blades as it does not fit my hand and I feel uncomfortable with them. I like something I can hang onto.
  6. ryangruhn

    ryangruhn New Member

    Do you find one useful for when you are drilling disarms?

  7. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    I like the idea of being able to release my knife if needed, but retention devices can be useful too. On a forward grip fighter, I really like this design:

  8. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Nice knife...but at $340, it's out of my price range! Is there a cheap version of it?
  9. ryangruhn

    ryangruhn New Member

    Also don't forget that a knife that is easy to open for you is also easy to open for an enemy. I folder is easy; a sheath knife is even easier (obviously). One of the reasons I don’t carry either.

  10. blindside

    blindside student

    So you've disarmed yourself on the possibility that your opponent can take your weapon away from you and possibly use it on you?
  11. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician


    I know I'd be pig pilled by knife design "purists" for saying so, but I love cold steel..... :)

    That is about as wise as people saying that they don't carry a gun because of the likelyhood of it being turned against them... :uhh:

  12. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Other peope love cold steel as well! :) I have lots of one of a
    kind custom knives but I still love certain models by other
    companies due to their ability to function well and withstand

    Brian R. VanCise
  13. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    My recollection is that it was a German military knife from WWII, but I wasn't sure then and certainly am not now! It didn't seem to be made for bayonet use but rather as a fighting knife. I wish I had a better recollection of it.
  14. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    OK, I've put my tiny little Buck knife on my keychain. Let's see how that helps!

    Attached Files:

  15. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    I also have concerns about weapons retention.

    I have a question...this picture was posted by Rick English, who posts as Rick Wade on MT. He is on active duty, and says that this knife was designed for the U.S. Special Forces by Mr. Mike Pick. Rick trains in Kenpo under Mr. Pick and has a knife that he designed for his Kenpo curriclum, which is very similar.


    My question for you all...having read the do you suppose the leather loop on the end be used? Around the fingers/hand? Or around the wrist?
  16. monkey

    monkey -== Banned ==-

    Retention Of The Wepon!

    My Caps Are Locked! So (sorry) If It Looks Like Im Yelling!
    90% Of Retention Is Not From A Cord That(can Be Tangled Or Cut Off Circulation)
    Go Back To Training With The Wepon!redondos Fast-hard & Long!
    Use The Eagle Claw Grip Device Or Others Simualr To Retain
    Muscle Tention In The Grip!
    Also Use Devices That Have You Twist & Grab With Weights!
    To Make It Stronger --better--less Comberson!
    Granmaster Never Used Any String Aorund His Hand!
    Why Entertain The Idea Of Confinment?
    Inovation Of Grips & Training Are Superior To Binders!
    Disreguard The Useless & Espand The Practicale!
    Mabuhay & Balisalamet!
  17. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    I'm mostly curious to know if anyone has seen how such a loop has been used. I have never seen anything quite like it.
  18. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I've seen them before. Usually when used in a fight the cord wraps around the back and palm of the hand rather than the wrist. It's great...until the other person tries to disarm you! Luckily, that's rare.
  19. Silence_sucks

    Silence_sucks New Member

    Apart from that it could also limit your dumog techniques/ stick chokes that involve switching hands from one end of the stick to the other if you are inclined towards them.

    Concerining retention though the slight curve back hilts you find on some barongs krises and filipino based blades helps to an extent.

    Thats a nice knife by the way Carol, i wouldnt use the string but i like the locks curve on the blade!
  20. Guro Dave Gould


    Hi guys,

    I hope that everyone is well and that all are keeping challenged by their training. Great topic of conversation, I hope that you all will not mind if I jump in on this thread.

    Weapon retention is a very important aspect of combat. Regardless of which type of weapon is being used the ability and resolve to maintain control of ones weapon is detrimental to ones ability to survive any combative confrontation with positive effect.

    In Lameco Eskrima Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite (My Teacher) taught us that if we relinquish more than a second of control of our weapon hand to our opponent that the weapon could be stripped of our person. So to counter this any time that the weapon hand was touched, grabbed, or controlled to any degree we were to immediately gain a release.

    In the Lameco Eskrima curriculum we have 25 variations of such releases designed to free our weapon hand quickly once held so that we can gain a release and continue our attack while resisting additional attempts of being disarmed. As well there are countless sensitivity exercises that we use to support these releases and we always train non-compliance so that the releases which we gain are not given to us by our training partner but rather successfully performed against a non-cooperative training partner trying everything in their power to disarm us at what ever the cost.

    As well when I trained with Pendekar Eddie Jafri in Silat Pangian Lanka Empat he had similar views as Punong Guro Sulite concerning knife retention and disarming possibilities. He simply felt that if your opponent had control of your weapon hand for more than a second than the knife was his, so the only way to counter was to make sure that you never relinquished your weapon hand to anyone for more than a second by implementing non-cooperation principles or quickly responding with releases designed to free your weapon hand post haste once grabbed or controlled.

    When I trained with Tuhon Leo T. Gaje in Kali Pekiti-tirsia his views as well were similar, but he is quick to tell you that no-one can disarm him of his knife if he decides not to give it to them. And he has offered that challenge to many well known Masters who inadvertantly never took him up on the challenge.

    Quite simply we all need to redefine our understanding of disarms; frankly speaking disarms will work on certain people and quite honestly they will not work on others. For those that can be disarmed of their weapons it is possible to end a situation peacefully without incurring much collateral damage. For those whom can not be disarmed of their weapons the only choice is to go back into thrusting or slashing where the chance of a fatal outcome becomes increasingly greater.

    As far as a leash, finger grooves and rings go they may make it difficult to disarm but they will not prevent it from happening in and of themselves. There has to be some direct action from the fighter resisting attempts of being disarmed by using releases once held or prevent being held at all cost there by only becoming susceptable to incidental disarms at best which just incidentally happens in combat as a direct course of indirect action.

    It all comes down to the way that we train. If we train with weakness and compromise both of these things will follow us into combat. To remove both weakness and compromise from our combative abilities we must first remove them from our training environment. The way that we train directly reflects the way that we will fight once confronted on the street. To be effective in combat at some point in time our training has to brush up against reality. So for us to truly be effective our training must resemble as close as is possible to the very thing for which we are training. If we are training for combat than combat must become the model and set the standard for our training. Anything less will leave our abilities "less" than compatible with what we would expect to confront in combat. When we train as if our life depends on it we will fight as if it does too.

    Go well guys, ciao.

    Guro Dave Gould

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