How do you prefer to grip your Bowie?
First off, congratulations for the foresight to create a Western Martial Arts forum. Brilliant! Now:
So, bowie knives are typically trained with in the saber grip (blade up), with the icepick grip (blade down) taking a secondary place in importance. This is quite the opposite of how one would prefer to hold, say, a rondel dagger when practicing more medieval and renaissance versions of dagger play. A bowie knife is far more suited to the slash than a rondel dagger, though it retains a fair stabbing ability.
That said, some prefer to hold the knife with the sharp edge of the blade facing towards the user. Some reasons seem valid, others, a bit trite. On bowies built with a brass strip down the back edge of the blade, the softer brass could catch a sharp edge sliding down, hopefully disrupting an attack. The top edge of the blade near the tip was often sharpened, and this slightly recurved section would be used in a short hacking or chopping strike. And, by holding the edge towards you, you would parry with the thicker spine of the blade, saving your edge from knicks and other such damage.
The other grip is more conventional, holding the edge towards the opponent, to take advantage of its cutting ability in the shortest distance possible. If the top edge was sharpened, it would be used in reverse strikes and slashes.
Does anyone here on Bullshido have an opinion on how they prefer to hold their bowies? Do you prefer a saber grip, or icepick grip. Do you prefer edge in, or out? And, I guess most importantly, have you ever been in a position to say, "That's not a knife...."?