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  1. Permalost is offline
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    2/14/2009 5:47pm

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Bowie attributes

    I thought about this in the bowie grip thread, but it seems that generally everyone agrees that a saber grip works best. Now, what dimensions and properties would you have if you were designing a perfect bowie to facilitate the best technique? Blade length? Blade width? Geometry? Guard style and size? Handle shape? What are your thoughts on getting the right balance between all of these things in regards to making it the best knife for fighting? I ask here rather than the armory because I think people that train with the Bowie will have a different perspective than someone who justs makes knives.
  2. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/14/2009 7:05pm


     Style: Bowie

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    Quote Originally Posted by CodosDePiedra
    I thought about this in the bowie grip thread, but it seems that generally everyone agrees that a saber grip works best.
    Well, that's not really settled for me. A lot of the grip depends on the handle too. Sometimes the saber grip doesn't work on a given handle, usually because of the length of the handle to grip and the presence (or absence) of a functional guard. Picture a knife with a 4.5" grip and a large guard. No ROOM to put the thumb along the spine of the grip.

    Now, what dimensions and properties would you have if you were designing a perfect bowie to facilitate the best technique? Blade length? Blade width? Geometry? Guard style and size? Handle shape? What are your thoughts on getting the right balance between all of these things in regards to making it the best knife for fighting? I ask here rather than the armory because I think people that train with the Bowie will have a different perspective than someone who justs makes knives.
    Depends (again).

    Depends on what I want at the time. If I want to focus more on thrusting then a more narrow blade, such as the Hell's Belle works. Still enough belly and a back edge to be a bowie but it's obviously more thrusting oriented.

    If I want to focus on slashes, then more belly. So more "width".

    Snap-cuts would work better with a knife with more mass. So more width and thickness of the blade.

    I'm not as avid a fan of the of the "catching" guards on the Belle though they work OK - I find that the sort of blade engagements that make that trapping work well don't happen as often with a bowie. Personally, I like several inches of T style guard or a gently insweeping C style guard. The "traditional" S guards are OK but nothing special.

    I like a bit of length to the handle. 5 or 6 inches so that I can switch between the Saber and "universal" grip as the mood strikes me.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    2/14/2009 7:11pm

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I was thinking of a hammer grip when I said saber grip, but I digress. Anyway, I've never experienced the utility of the catching style guard. Have you been able to make use of the pitchfork shaped guard in a useful way? It always seemed too small to really make a big difference against a knife. Also, does anyone have any experience with the crossada by James Keating? I've heard its the best knife ever, and I've heard its a bunch of marketing hype.
  4. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/14/2009 9:49pm


     Style: Bowie

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    Quote Originally Posted by CodosDePiedra
    I was thinking of a hammer grip when I said saber grip, but I digress.
    Oh. Easy mistake. But the hammer grip isn't the "universal" either. The "universal" is sort of the saber grip but instead of placing the thumb along the spine of the handle, you let it slip to a loose wrapping of the handle. Kinda a cross between saber and hammer grips.

    Anyway, I've never experienced the utility of the catching style guard. Have you been able to make use of the pitchfork shaped guard in a useful way? It always seemed too small to really make a big difference against a knife. Also, does anyone have any experience with the crossada by James Keating? I've heard its the best knife ever, and I've heard its a bunch of marketing hype.
    Most people can't seem to make the catching guard work in live sparring of like-vs-like (when they can find a way at all to more or less safely full speed live spar with catching guards and blades close enough to real to be vulnerable to the catch).

    The exception is when using the catching guard against a longer weapon, such as a saber or rapier. If (and I do mean IF) you can manage to catch a parry along the blade and "funnel" it back to the catch, then you can get a rather smart disarm, or at least a handy immobilization of the sword. I don't think I need to explain to anyone the difficulties in facing a saber or rapier with a bowie.

    As far as the Crassada, from what I can tell, it's about half hype and half real deal. Like the catching guard of the Belle/Fortress, if you can manage to slide-parry a blade down into the catch, a quick twist of the wrist will play merry havoc with the other fella's blade. Getting that parry is the hard part. With bowie-to-bowie work, parries don't tend to have that level of blade engagement. A bowie may be practically a short sword, but the emphasis in that two-word description should be on "short" not "sword." When taking the bowie against a longer weapon, well, they'd have to be a fool to use cuts instead of using the advantage of length to thrust. Yes, you CAN parry a thrust, but it's darn hard, when the distance and length of weapon favors the other guy.

    When the odds against a longer weapon start to go up is when you can use two weapons. But if you have a sword, then the style is on the sword and your bowie with the catching guard becomes nothing more than a rather well understood "Left-hand Parrying Dagger." Bowie+'Hawk makes a fun two-weapon combo against a sword, but even then, someone who knows how to thrust well can make your chances of parrying and "passing the point" a lot slimmer.

    Nothing against Keating, mind you. I've seen some of his material and, additionally, people I trust who've worked with him say he's got the goods. Between the two, I'm satisfied that he, personally, isn't "all hype."

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    2/15/2009 12:04pm

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

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    what sort of trainers would you use to explore using a catching guard? Do they sell trainers for that online?
  6. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/15/2009 12:26pm


     Style: Bowie

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    Quote Originally Posted by CodosDePiedra
    what sort of trainers would you use to explore using a catching guard? Do they sell trainers for that online?
    Keating sells an aluminum model of the Crossada. Bring your wallet.

    http://www.jamesakeating.com/MjkLa.html

    If you have a hacksaw, grinder, and access to suitable sheet/bar aluminum (try asking at a local metal shop), you can make your own aluminum trainer of any type you want such as a copy of the Bagwell. You'd have to make the catchers thicker to account for the strain, and the results may not be pretty, but functional is more important.

    You might also be able to explore using Sai or Sai techniques.

    There's at least one laser cutting house on the internet that will cut out your DXF designs (for a price). I've considered using them but, as of yet, have been too cheap to pony up the cash for it. Probably won't for a good long time, if ever. I'm still trying to get enough mats for our Club.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    2/15/2009 1:56pm

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

    --
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    Dang, I used to have some sai but I gave them away several years ago because I didn't really have any plans to use them for anything. Maybe I can try and get them back. They seem pretty dangerous for some real sparring even though the edges are rounded (they're still steel and heavy)

    Do you happen to know why the crossada has the two guard things perpendicular to the blade? I can't figure them out.
  8. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/15/2009 3:30pm


     Style: Bowie

    --
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    Quote Originally Posted by CodosDePiedra
    Dang, I used to have some sai but I gave them away several years ago because I didn't really have any plans to use them for anything. Maybe I can try and get them back. They seem pretty dangerous for some real sparring even though the edges are rounded (they're still steel and heavy)
    They would be. But you could do some drills with them.

    Do you happen to know why the crossada has the two guard things perpendicular to the blade? I can't figure them out.
    They act as an additional guard mechanism, and, so I've been told, can operate in a manner similar to the nail on a Messer.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk

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