Archive for the 'Talons' Category


A Fearsome Claw…

Of the various kinds of blades I have come across, I think that finger-mounted blades are the rarest. And for good reason. The human finger, as a general rule, is one of the weakest appendage that we have. We just can’t generate a lot of power from our fingers. And because of their relative frailty, they tend to break if stressed in the wrong way, and at stresses far beneath what a fist, wrist or arm could handle.

But that being said, they are not entirely useless as a bladed weapons platform. They can be used to hold light blades or points for low impact/low stress applications. And with this next weapon, I could see someone making use of their finger power to full effect. Plus it gets extra points for just looking mean:

Iron Reaver Claw
Iron Reaver Claw - Black
[View Full Size]

This claw, is essentially a finger mounted blade, much like Neko-Te only bigger. And meaner. And more than likely, much more lethal. This weapon is actually two finger claws in one. At the tip of the fingers, you have a sharp point, and on the back of the base of the finger band, another, larger blade is attached.

This method of support, using the whole finger, and having two points and one blade, gives this an advantage over Neko-Te in the lethality department, and having that large blade on top at the base of the finger means that you could leverage the lateral support of the other fingers by forming a sort of “Tiger Claw”, holding the fingers together.

Though you would have to be careful not to puncture your palm with the sharp point at the fingertip, This would allow for some significantly more powerful thrusts and slashing attacks with the larger blade of this weapon, on a level that could not be achieved by a set of Neko-Te.

And the aesthetics aren’t bad either. The overall design is quite interesting, looking for all the world like the claw of a dragon. And the fact that this comes in a black blade as well as a polished one doesn’t hurt. It would be interesting to see how intimidating this would look if someone were to get a set of six of these, and wear 3 on each hand… Wicked…

Iron Reaver Claw – [True Swords]


Oni Battling Fun…

Went roaming the old haunts today (as usual), and ran across a sword that I always intended to write about, but never actually did.

The Sword of Oni

The Sword of Oni
[view full size]

This sword is from the video game, Onimusha 3: Demon Siege, and is a single reproduction the pair of swords used by the games protagonist, Samanosuke Akechi. What really caught my eye about this sword were the colors used, and how they were used to bring a great deal of contrast to the weapon. The bright orange and black makes the sword look kind of tiger-like, A feature that is always a big plus in my book.

And the theme of the clawed cross guard and bright orange accent on the rear of the ricasso is quite eye catching. However, for all of it’s great flashiness, I found several things to nitpick about it. First off, the tip is somewhat lacking. Rather than have a good solid tanto point, it kind of has a shallow, almost flat bladed tip to it. This would definitely not be the best thrusting weapon.

In fact this general softening of the edges and points has been done all over the sword. The points on the front and rear of the ricasso at the point where it transitions to the blade, has been smoothed out somewhat. And the claw motif of the guard has also been given the same treatment, looking more like cones, than curving, sharp, menacing, talons.

In addition to that, though I thought that, though the colors certainly popped, I felt that the sword should really be a much darker weapon than is portrayed in the reproduction. The bright oranges should have been black or some other dark color. In essence, the sword was kinda “nerfed” (as we say in gaming parlance), by the designer.

Perhaps It is unfair to compare it to game art, but since they did have that model to work with, it should have been possible to get it that much closer to what it the swords in the accompanying picture looked like. That’s not to say that the sword is bad. As i said before, the overall theme is great, and quite vibrant. And many of it’s characteristics are reminiscent of the Reaver sword, which I really like.

So long as you’re not hung up on video game accuracy, like the nerd that I am, this should make for a great addition to anybodys’ sword wall… Even if I think it would have been uncompromisingly cool if it had been made with black accents instead… Yes I know I say that about everything, but come on. This time it would really make a difference. No, really. An albino tiger theme… with black accents… Yeah… Think about it…

Onimusha 3: The Sword of Oni – [True Swords]


The Truth About Cats And… Tigers.

Today I thought I’d talk about hand claws related to animals other than Wolverines… Yeah. No more Wolvie. Unless I find something new. What can I say. Oh Come ON. Just let it go…

Anyway, many ninja hand weapons are often confused with one another and incorrectly described, so I thought I’d take a crack at sorting them out. Let me formally introduce: the Bagh Nakh, Neko-Te, Shuko and Tekko-Kagi. Just a quick warning before you dive in. You may want to grab a cup of coffee…

Bagh Nakh
First off we have the Bagh Nakh, also sometimes called the Wagh Nakh, whose heritage is the least obscured, but whose name is often incorrectly used to describe Tekagi. The Bagh Nakh is a weapon of Indian heritage, intended to replicate the damage that a tiger would inflict on your average unsuspecting jungle meal.

Bagh Nakh

A Bagh Nakh
[view full size]

Anyway, as you can see, it is essentially a set of claws attached to a bar with loops for the fingers. The version above with the knife blade attached is called the Bich’Hwa Bagh Nakh. In contrast to how it is often portrayed, (and it seems to be portrayed and described incorrectly in a lot of otherwise reputable places) it is not a set of over-the-hand claws, nor was it likely to have been worn with the claws out over the knuckles.

Rather, I believe that is held in the hand, supported by the thumb and pinky, with the claws facing outward from the palm, and the basic traditional designs all appear to confirm this to be the case. If you look at the various forms of Bagh Nakh, you will see than it includes a few different forms, many with a blades that extend laterally out from the side of the weapon, in addition to the claws.

Two Different Bagh Nakh Designs

Left – Bich’wha Bagh Nakh. Right – Regular Bagh Nakh

Bagh Nakh 1Bagh Nakh 2
[The Forest Hermit (Japanese site)]

This tells me that they the bar was intended to serve a dual purpose as both the knife handle and the claw holder, and would therefore be held in the palm of the hand. Not to mention that many Bagh Nakh designs are near impossible to wield with the bar over the knuckles. From this we can assume that it was used with the claws projecting out from the palm. The same grip would likely have been used for both forms, with or without the original blade.

A simple Bagh Nakh

A Simple Bagh Nakh
[view full size]

The Bagh Nakh is an excellent weapon for open hand clawing or raking attacks, as well as open hand slaps, and is very effective at tearing flesh. The best targets for this weapon would be the eyes and face, though any soft target would work.

Next up is the Shuko. Shuko, or “Tiger Claws” is the Japanese equivalent of the Bagh Nakh, and is one of the trademark weapons of the Togakure Ryu, which is believed to be the oldest school of Ninjitsu. This weapon employs a similar claw design, except for the way it is held and supported. Much like the Bagh Nakh, this name has also been used, incorrectly, to refer to Tekagi or Neko-Te.

Ninja Shuko

Ninja Shuko - Tiger Claws
[view full size]

Unlike the Bagh Nakh however, it is supported by a steel band that goes around the entire hand, as well as a strap that fastens it to the wrist of the wearer. This extra support mechanism allows it to be used in ways the Bagh Nakh cannot, such as for climbing walls and trees, where it was usually used in conjunction with Ashiko or Ninja foot spikes. My guess however would be that commercial versions would be lacking and many would have to make a pair custom fit to your hand size, and appropriately padded, in order to comfortably use it for wall climbing duty.

Wearing Ninja Shuko

Wearing Ninja Shuko
[view full size]

It would, in theory, also allow for much more powerful raking attacks to harder and tougher targets, like boney parts of the body and ligaments. This hand weapon is also often incorrectly referred to as Neko-Te, (even I have been guilty of this) but as I found out, the Neko-Te is a completely different weapon.

Neko-Te, or (literally translated) “Cat Hands” are traditionally small steel blades attached to the fingers using a band, usually of leather. Another weapon that is often confused with the Shuko and Bagh Nakh, these are actually steel claws designed to become clawed extensions of the fingertips of the wearer. Much like cat womans claws.


Neko-Te -

The most common references to Neko-Te are as the favored claw weapon of Kunoichi (female ninjas). They were primarily used for distraction, but could be made lethal by poisoning the blades.


Neko-te -
[view full size]

The use of Neko-Te would be almost exclusively limited to soft targets such as the eyes, throat, groin, etc. Especially since finger strength would be a limiting factor in the amount of power a Neko-Te user could generate.

Last, but certainly not least, we have the Tekko-Kagi (or Tekagi), which I talked about in my first Wolverine post. This is the only verifiable example I could find of a hand claw that employed claws located above the hand, like Wolverines claws. Most versions of this weapon are supported by both the wrist and the hand, and would have been used with the fist closed, either as a punch blade type weapon, or closed fist rake, depending on the claws configuration.


Tekko-Kagi - Over the hand Claws
[view full size]

It was generally used to attack and disarm sword wielding opponents. Of the weapons here, this is the only one that could have been used against hard targets, and I believe it could have been built strong enough to handle the amount of force required to even punch through light armor, (not to mention it is the closest design to good old Wolvies’ claws, making it one of my faves) though sadly, I have not seen any evidence that it was ever used in this fashion.


Tekko Kagi - Warrior Quest Armory
[view full size]

And thats about the size of it. I often see these names used interchangeably, however after doing a lot of reading about each of them, I realized that they each refer to a completely different weapon, and thought I’d share… Hopefully your head hasn’t exploded…

Bagh Nakh – [Brighton & Hove Museum]
Bagh Nakh – [The Forest Hermit (JP)]
Bagh Nakh – [Therion Arms]
Bagh Nakh – [ (IT)]
Shuko – [Ninja Dynasty]
Neko-Te – [Warrior Quest]
Neko-Te – []
Tekko-Kagi – [Mark C. Barrett]
Tekko-Kagi – [Iga Ninja Museum]
Tekko-Kagi – [Warrior Quest]


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]

August 2019
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