31
May
07

A Tactical Blade…

Well hello there! On today’s issue of Phyreblades “Why is that?”, we will be looking at a particularly sinister little dark knife. I found this while trawling one of my favorite sword haunts.

Striking Talon

Striking Talon Knife
[view full size]

Now this blade is actually quite reminiscent of the saber claws I blogged about earlier, in that it resembles some form of tooth or talon. Incidentally I have a hypothesis about why I seem to like claw, bone or tooth like weapons. I kind of think that blades that have shapes that mimic naturally occurring weapons, such as animal teeth and or claws, always tend to invoke some sort of primal response. Me likey this response. Thus, me likey weapon.

Now as a side note, this blade is in fact described thus: “Double Edge Full Tang Striking Talon Knife w/ Tactical Ring“. Which brings us to the “Why is that?” section of this blog. Specifically, what makes the ring on this blade “Tactical”? For that matter, what makes any blade, or weapon, for that matter, “Tactical”? Is there some top secret list of criteria that something must meet in order to be qualified as “Tactical?”

Websters dictionary defines “tactical” as follows:

1 : of or relating to combat tactics : as a (1) : of or occurring at the battlefront <a tactical first strike> (2) : using or being weapons or forces employed at the battlefront <tactical missiles> b of an air force : of, relating to, or designed for air attack in close support of friendly ground forces
2 a : of or relating to tactics : as (1) : of or relating to small-scale actions serving a larger purpose (2) : made or carried out with only a limited or immediate end in view b : adroit in planning or maneuvering to accomplish a purpose.

Now it could just be me, but based on the rather nebulous definition above, doesn’t it seem like, by very definition, every weapon known to man has, at some point in it’s lifetime, served some “tactical” purpose? So “WHY IS IT” that some arbitrarily selected weapons get to become specifically and mystically endowed with the label “tactical”? Like, what is a “tactical” nuclear missile. You know, as in “tactical” nuke? What? Is it more selective than other nukes? Does it spare civilians and only bomb combatants? Are the others simply “general purpose” nukes? I feel like Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Someone throw me a bone here!

But overused words and primal caveman tendencies and instincts aside, this blade is pretty cool. Apart from being black and stealthy, it appears to be a fairly formidable weapon, and the big old ring does add an air of exclusivity to it’s design, though I suppose I am not sufficiently inured into the blade arts to fully appreciate any functional advantage it may provide. Nonetheless, seeing someone approach menacingly with a pair of these in a reverse grip should be sufficient to elicit the appropriate primal response… Flee. Flee! FLEE FOR YOUR LIFE!!!

Full Tang Striking Talon Knife – [True Swords]

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13 Responses to “A Tactical Blade…”


  1. June 19, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Here’s your bone you asked for…’Tactical’ sells knives. Just like ‘New and Improved’ (How can it be improved if it’s new?) It’s just a marketing term that has changed into a STYLE of knives. If it looks like a military man might use it it’s called tactical. Take any knife, make it black and put in some serrations and you have ‘tactical’ …tacky huh?
    The knife is a modern version of the Karambit. Your index finger is put into the ring for stability and for a ‘brass knuckle’ type of punch. The blade is held in the reverse grip for a ripping action. Here’s what Wikipedia says:
    The kerambit (also karambit or korambit) is a knife found among the cultures of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In all of these cultures it may have been used as an agricultural tool as well as a weapon. It is said that the shape of the kerambit is related to animist beliefs about the power of tigers, and thus the kerambit is in the shape of a tiger claw. In fact, there is also a non-bladed version of the weapon that is made of wood and is clearly shaped like a claw.

    The kerambit is characterized by a sharply curved, usually double-edged, blade, which, when the knife is properly held, extends from the bottom of the hand, with the point of the blade facing forward. In Southeast Asia kerambits are encountered with varying blade lengths and both with and without a retention ring for the index finger on the end of the handle opposite the blade. However, in addition to being held blade facing forward and extending down from the fist it may also be held blade to front extending from the top of the hand.

    The kerambit has attracted interest in the West recently as a martial arts weapon. Most kerambits produced in the West for use as weapons are based on the small Filipino variety, which features a short blade and index finger ring. Both fixed blade and folding (generally single-edged) kerambits are produced by a number of makers, including Emerson Knives, Cutters Knife and Tool Bengal, and Strider Knives. Martial artist Steve Tarani has done much in bringing the Kerambit to the United States.

  2. June 19, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    LOL Yeah, the whole “tactical” thing is rather irritating, Obviously, as you can see from many of my posts, I’ve never been a fan of all the silly marketing motivated lingo.

    However, I appreciate the additional info on the knife design! I actually didn’t make the connection with the kerambit, most kerambits I’ve seen have been a lot smaller, but the shape and relationship to a tigers claw should have made it obvious. And that information on the animist roots of the weapon makes all kinds of sense… Muchas Gracias!

  3. June 19, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    I always liked the Bagh nakh. Tigers claw knives. Another thing I’m gonna have to make one of these days

  4. June 19, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    Now those are also very cool. Ya know, now that I think about it, I may posses some latent animist tendencies… I tend to like natural or animalistic type weapons, and I read ICHC, which is a prime example of anthropomorphic behavior… Things that make you go Hmmm…

    Anyway Bagh Nakh are kinda the same idea as ninja Neko-te, which, imho, are a little better designed. Modern Neko-te incorporate a better wrist/hand support mechanism. However the Bagh Nakh look a lot cooler. It would be pretty darn cool to try and combine the two… I may have to give that a shot too… If I ever decide to get up off mah great beeg bahookeh and Just DO EET… LOL

  5. June 19, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    I’m at work and thinking about ‘tactical’.
    Now, as a style ther are things that will consitute a tactical knife. Heres some of my ideas:
    Non-shiny blade: Black, camo, matte finish-needs to NOT reflect light.
    Strong: it must stand up to heavy abuse and still work well. ie: Fixed blade
    Multiple functions: a wrench hole, wire cutting, compass, saw teeth, widow breaker, prying ability…must do more than just cut.
    Choice of carry options: Gotta be able to change it up.
    No embelishments: If it’s not needed it’s not there.
    Quality Handle material: Micarta or carbon fiber- Natural materials will break down and fail before modern composites.

    Well, breaks over so I must go, but that’s a good list on what a tactical knife should have in my opinion. The above picture of the Karambit, I’d say no. it’s not a tactical knife. But a damn good defence weapon.

  6. June 20, 2007 at 8:52 am

    Hey, my mistake. I ment to write BichHwa Bagh Nakh. The Tiger Claw with the curved knife blade or two. Badass weapon. There is a movie called Kama Sutra and a lower class sculpter has to fight a prince in a duel and they use claws. Cool fight!
    I agree about the Bagh Nakh being like the Neko-te, but I think it’s more like the Shuko.
    A Neko-te (as far as I know)is just a handle with claws coming out, they used a very big version of this in the X-Men movies for Wolverine’s claws. A handle with blades, where a Bagh Nakh is more like a brass knuckle object with claws.
    Now the Shuko, thats the ninja climbing claws. Those have palm and wrist support but in every version I’ve seen but one the supports are made out of ‘seatbelt’ material. And that suck!!
    I bought a pair of hand and foot claws when I was about 13. Try and climb with those claws and because the supports are fabric as the claws dig in the band that goes around your hand digs into the back of your hand so painful that you have to stop.
    Now if they were made like the one set I saw on a master in one of my ninja books, all metal, they would work great. You want all metal not only for climbing support, but the hand claws were used to catch sword blades. You would want the part over your wrist to be covered in metal, at least I would.
    I weld at night and we have alot of scrap ss steel, some of it is in strips 1/8th thick by 1 1/2 wide. Now that I think about it, I get done early once in a while a have a few hours to kill at work. I might start building a pair, welding them together on my lunch. I think I’d use claw like blades insted of curved spikes. The support bar would just be another metal strip welded on. Hmmmmmmm Do I want a metal wrist strap or leather that I can put buckles on????? I think if I build a pair I might put some claws coming off the top too.

    What I’m wondering is…is the palm handle with claws and the over the back of the hand claws BOTH considered Neko-te??? And if I’m not wrong, above you said the Neko-te has wrist/hand support mechanism…I think thats the Shuko.
    If you do a search on the internet the name brings up both. I wonder if that is just a basic name for claws.

  7. June 21, 2007 at 12:47 am

    Well I did a little digging on this topic and found out that Neko-Te (Cat Hands) may actually be the finger-mounted claws used by Kunoichi (female ninjas) The kind of thing catwoman might have used. Whereas Shuko (tiger claws), are used to describe palm out claws. So it seems that Neko-Te and Shuko are not the same, and you are right about Shuko being much closer to Bagh Nakh in construction than Neko-Te.

    I still favor the modern Shuko design over the Bagh Nakh though. Bagh nakh are designed to be supported by your palm, and fixed on your thumb and pinky. The Shuko utilizes the palm, the back of the hand and the wrist. Much stronger support points. While I’ll grant you that your average shuko aren’t going to be comfortable tools for climbing, I’ll bet you a sprained thumb and broken pinky you wouldn’t try it with a Bagh Nakh.

    I do happen to know that the Japanese name for back-of-the-hand claws is Tekko-Kagi. Wolverine claws are closer to Tekko-kagi than either Shuko or Neko-Te. That would make the Wolverine blade props used in the X-Men movies a Bagh Nakh/Tekko Kagi hybrid, since they used a palm bar connected to thick wires going through the fingers to the blades over the hand.

  8. 8 Niccolo
    April 26, 2008 at 2:04 am

    Now, my relative inexperience with bladed weapons notwithstanding, but there is another use for that funny loop. And that is twirling. Yes, twirling.

    If your knife is sheathed, you only need one finger to draw it, twirl it around and grab it in a reverse grip. It serves nothing more than to set the opponent back a step as they go “whoa!”. Circular motions are inherently scary, since twenty thousand years of human experience says that circular motions are formed from swinging sharp things around.
    Then there’s the added advantage that – as Sinza noted – your finger will already be in the ‘brass knuckle’ slot, thus you don’t have to waste time putting it there.

  9. April 29, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Regarding the quick draw, the fastest draws are ones where you you can palm the grip of the blade exactly as you would while fighting, and draw it in a single motion. Reverse, hammer, doesn’t matter. So long as you can draw and correctly grip in a single motion, that is a fast draw. Fast Ring draw…? I dunno…

    Unless your hand will be in exactly the right position you want it to be when drawing the weapon, or close to it, it is not a quick draw, because you will have to readjust your grip afterwards, and you won’t exactly be in a position to use it to block or attack while you are doing so…

    And the twirling thing… OK, even if I buy the “twenty thousand years of human experience makes people fear large circular motions” bit, that doesn’t exactly apply to a trained combatant. Me personally, I’m of the school of economy of motion. When sparring, I try not to make any extraneous motions that may give away my style, or intentions. In fact, I watch my opponent for habits that may give me an opening. Like pointlessly twirling stuff…

    I’m just saying… 😛

  10. 10 ChroniclerLoki
    September 28, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Me thinketh something stinketh, oh wait, it is the poor logic of trying to twirl a blade at an enemy more likely to stab strait through your arc of motion and thus score a hit on an unprotected vital area while you are otherwise distracted. Come on people, think proper real life fighting techniques not annoying Mortal Kombat moves.

  11. October 5, 2008 at 2:30 am

    But Mortal Combat is fun!! I mean, wouldn’t you love to be able to rip a mans spine right out of their body? Come on!

  12. 12 ChroniclerLoki
    October 5, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Greusome entertainments aside, yes actually that would be fun and therepudic when it comes to some of my coworkers, I was simply stating the flaws of physics and battlefield actions in twirling a blade when an enemy can come at you from the side or the rear (What’s that? You say I’m dirty minded? What does that say about the state of your mind that you call me dirty minded when I make a simple statement that could be taken several ways and yet you DECIDED to take it in that direction?) and stab you in the vitals or give your head a tour of part of the battlefield without the cumbersome weight of the rest of your body. Kano may have discovered the secret of performing such an action without an enemy’s attack getting through, but in real life, which is what I was judging by and you yourself have tried to follow at times with some of your posts phyreblade, such an action leaves you open and vulnerable in far too many ways.

  13. October 12, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Agreed. I was recently watching a vid of this MA Tourny on Youtube, and there was this amazing swordsman, had all kinds of fancy moves, throwing the sword in the air, spining it like 3 times, and catching it again, yadda, yadda, yaddd… Looked cool as all get out.

    Only thing was, I kept thinking “This video could be the instruction manual for exactly the kinds of things you wouldn’t want to be doing on a battlefield…” Lo and behold, someone had made the same statement in the comments… LOL


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