Look what arrived in the mail last weekend – my new aluminum training knife.
This training blade comes from Keen Edge Knives and more closely models a real world knife – a pocket folder – than my current training blade. The knife is 8.5 inches long with a 3.5 inch blade, which is the same size as Keen Edge’s other training knife (shown below). Most of my CTS friends have the trainer below with different colored cord handles to differentiate among their blades. I chose the Raptor design to distinguish my training blade. (Note: Training knives are roughly 1/4 inch thick with rounded edges; they are not sharp instruments.)
This is what my first training blade looks like; I picked this blade up at a Dan Inosanto seminar in the late 90’s. It is much bigger than the pocket knife that I carry around with me. If this were a real blade instead of a dull aluminum one, it would be illegal in the state of Missouri and probably most states. This blade is longer than the legal limit and double sided. (In Missouri, the legal length is under four inches.) This blade worked for the beginning knife drills, but again, it didn’t correspond to reality. I plan to keep this knife handy for future training.
A training blade is an essential part of the Counterpoint Tactical Systems curriculum. In CTS, we study the Pekiti Tirsia methods of knife defense. We learn various partner training drills throughout the CTS journey to develop sensitivity and reaction attributes. For the drills, we use aluminum or wooden training blades to provide the stiffness for disarming; for sparring, we use rubber knives to protect our training partners, but this makes disarming difficult since the rubber blade bends out of the way.
Master Whitson has said that we should learn the drills to the point we can turn them into play. I’m attempting to transition from drill to play with the knife material I’ve learned thus far. Spontaneity and creativity become important to further developing the attributes that are necessary for Pekiti Tirsia knife. As the CTS practitioner progresses in knowledge, either the knife feeder or the defender can start adding in strikes, disarms, locks and advanced footwork.
In Counterpoint Tactical Systems, the knife is introduced early at the second belt level in Pekiti Tirsia empty hand versus knife level one. At this level, the student is taught concepts to form a foundation for the advanced CTS material and advanced knife defenses. I am currently working on Pekiti Tirsia empty hand versus knife level two as part of my training; I’m integrating the body positioning, footwork and principles from level one with the advanced concepts and strategies. This new training blade is going to see a lot training time.