LEARNING THROUGH COMPARISONS PT 2 DRAWING THE WEAPON



The purpose of this series is to learn how to learn; i.e. the technique of learning something new. One way human beings do this (especially when young) is by learning through comparisons. In this essay we will examine the differences in drawing three categories of weapons; the bowie, the kukri and the hatchet/tomahawk.

 

BOWIE KNIFE:

 

Drawing from carry position 1. This position has the sheath on the strong side hip (My right side).

Three stages dependent on time; close, medium and far ranges.




Drawing from carry position 2. This position has the sheath inside the waistband with the knife concealed.

Three stages dependent on time; close, medium and far ranges.





Why these guards? One of the principles I teach with all weapon work is how not to hurt yourself with the weapon and this starts with the draw.

Low guard: This puts the point on target as early out of the sheath as possible. By bringing your weapon hand to your hip, it helps ensure that the point of the knife is not pointed at your body. Just like you don’t want to point the muzzle of a firearm at any body parts you are fond of, you don’t want to do anything similar with the point of a knife.
This is the fastest guard to deploy and therefore a good choice when defending against a sudden attack at close quarters.


Middle guard: This gives you more control over the weapon, which is useful if you are trying to move a heavy weapon at speed and if your opponent tries to knock your weapon aside.
The left hand on the wrist is there to add power to your cuts, but also to act as a last-ditch bit of protection for the wrist of the weapon hand.
This position is also good during transitions to other guards from the draw, as the support hand on the wrist helps keep the blade a safe distance away from your face. This helps prevent a problem I have seen during sparring, when students hold the knife in a single hand middle height guard (similar to a sport fencer’s).  I’ve seen students in full contact matches pop themselves in the face mask with the point of the training knife, when someone has cut towards the knife and they react by snapping the knife arm back.

High guard: This guard is useful when defending against an attacker at a distance. Having a high guard allows gravity to help you deliver faster cuts (useful when you have a heavy blade). It also gives you a clear battle plan “He is likely to attack below my knife, so I will counter-cut from above.” The less areas you have to react to, the faster your reaction time will be.
The high guard also helps prevent you from cutting your head when you make a backhand cut (something that can happen if your hands are held next to your head while you hold the knife).

Carry Positions 3 & 4 have the knife on the support side (my left) and presume you have a handgun on your strong side. The techniques here are designed to defeat a grab of your handgun. Since I usually show this material to law enforcement and CCW holders during seminars, I will not show it here.

 

KUKRI / KHUKURI

 A Khukuri I purchased in Nepal in 2018

 

Three kukris: (top to bottom) A cheap Indian made copy of the Indian army MK1, an Ontario Kukri in 1095 steel, and a Cold Steel Gurkha Plus Kukri in O1 tool steel.

Note: The English word Kukri comes from the Hindi word for this knife: while Khukuri is the Nepalese word for this knife.

 

Drawing the Kukri from the strong side. As with the bowie, the guard you go to after the draw depends on the time you have and conditions you are in.

 

Drawing the Kukri from the cross-draw position.

 

Comparing the thrust on a straight blade, such as a bowie, and a curved blade, such as a kukri. If you have been trained with a straight blade to do hooking thrusts, you may need to change your technique when using a curved blade.

 

HATCHETS & TOMAHAWKS

(Lt to Rt) SOG Fasthawk, SOG Tactical Tomahawk, Plumb Boy Scout Hatchet, CRKT Kangee Hawk, Cold Steel Trail Hawk, Cold Steel Norse Hawk.

 

SHORT HATCHET

 

COLD STEEL TRAIL HAWK

 

 

SOG FASTHAWK

 

CRKT KANGEE HAWK

 

 

As I said at the beginning of this essay, the purpose of this series is to learn how to learn. Therefore, keep an open mind about all you see here, analyze and evaluate, and above all use this as a tool to help you learn the art of learning.

 

TRAIN HARD, BUT TRAIN SMART,

Tuhon Bill McGrath

My next seminar on this subject will be in Olivebridge, NY in September. Details below.

ASHOKAN KNIFE SEMINAR:

September 23, 24, 25

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LEARNING THROUGH COMPARISONS, PART 1

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CONTROLLED HUMAN AGGRESSION FOR THE MARTIAL ARTIST PART 2

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