Saturday, September 11, 2010

Garrison Fighting Knife

I got into a brief and polite discussion on FaceBook about the Garrison Fighting Knife, pictured above. These run about three hundred bucks, and as you can see from the picture, look kind of like really nasty frog gigs. There's a video on YouTube with the creator of the blades demonstrating a four-point drill using the thing. If you have time, take a look and see what you think.

They are designed for combat, and that's what the guy who created them says upfront. I can see them for the military, but I have trouble with the idea that there is much of a civilian market for them, past the Star Trek-y cool factor of playing with one.

First, they are essentially double-bladed daggers, and as such, at the top of the can't-carry-concealed lists in pretty much every state knife law. (No hidden dirks, daggers, or bowies.) So you'll have to wear them on a belt and make sure your jacket or shirt doesn't hide them to haul 'em legally. And, not all states even allow belt-carry of double-edged knives, something I discovered when I started fiddling with kerambits that came that way.

No, it doesn't make any sense that a four-inch dagger is illegal but an eight-inch Bowie isn't. Knife laws are arcane -- my nephew and I spent an hour online researching California viz carrying a pocket knife, and even with the statute right in front of us, deciphering it was like trying to read Navaho code -- the law is full of double-negatives. What we came up with was that you could carry a pocket knife of about any length as long as it was folded. Switchblades had to be less than two inches. No gravity or flick knives at all. Nothing open or fixed concealed at all. And I wouldn't bet much we got it right.)

Second, this Garrison ain't no Girl Scout pocketknife, it has no utility uses, as specified by the maker. It's a fighting weapon, and when the jury at your criminal and subsequent civil trial get a look at this critter, the prosecuting attorney and the one for the plaintiff's family are going to have orgasms watching the looks on the jury's faces. Whatever status you had as a victim is going right out the window as you morph lycanathropically into hitman assassin right there ...

I am no expert, but I also don't see much the demo shows with this knife that can't be done with a single-blade dagger, or even a single-edged blade, as least insofar as being able to pass an attacker's blade.

I'd be interested in what other folks who play with knives think, though. Am I missing something?


Edwin Voskamp said...


Travis said...

I disagree with your post, particularly, "I am no expert".

Tim said...

Naw, you're not missing anything. It looks like one of those "Hey, wouldn't it be neat if..." ideas that didn't really pan out.

The tool's overdeveloped, and it's the person wielding it that counts anyhow.

Dan Gambiera said...

If they really were that much better we would have seen things like them before. Aside from some differences in materials pretty much everything with a point or edge that can be used to kill people has been invented and used. Generally several times.

Other than the Japanese Frog Crotch arrowhead where do you find something like this? Nowhere, near as I can tell.

Stan said...

It seems like the design is going to more than double the likelihood of your blade being deflected, hitting a bone or being twisted on impact.
Plus, wouldn't the design diminish your thrust by spreading it over a wider area?

Anonymous said...

"I have a milling machine, and I'm not afraid to use it!"

Dan Gambiera said...

I watched both videos. I can't see anything he did with the Garrison knife that he couldn't do with a regular knife. The blocks, checks, passes and finishing moves seemed pretty standard.

Bobbe Edmonds said...

The drill they're showing is a Filipino flow drill called "Palisut". That Rocky Twitchell is in the video kind of tells me something right off the bat.

I made a mock-up of this knife and tried it out in my school before posting here - it's a difficult wield, particularly against smaller blades. That Y-split works great against like-sized weapons, such as a bowie or even an ASP collapsible baton. Against a smaller, straight edge knife - and a medium-sized kerambit - a skilled practitioner is faster on the inside cut than the Garrison.

Having said that, it's a fighter, pure and simple. If those pronged bastards got ahold of your arm, kiss the tendons bye-bye. That hook acts like a can opener around the collarbone, the armpit, the kneejoint. Reverse grip is way more fluid than the forward, in my opinion.

Had a student jab for the neck of another, and the results were UGLY. A skilled person could probably make good use of the strange shape, but still...Too ungainly in combat for me.

Also; if I'm going to carry illegal - as I frequently do - it will be something small, easy to conceal or dispose of, and fast on deployment. Not something that I will have shelled out big bucks for, only to have to toss it in a lake somewhere, or something you can see coming a mile away.

Justin said...

Yeah, I'm not really digging it, either. I mean, it's essentially a four-edged dagger. Hard to wrap my mind around that.

The second "head" is basically doubling for what your off-hand would be doing in parries and deflections -- which is good, because then you don't need to risk that off-hand getting cut. It's like a built-in X-parry. It also makes good use of the reverse grip...I suppose. And in video #2, the fillet cut is nice. Wouldn't worry as much about slippage.

However, it doesn't seem as smooth for any of its movements, and definitely lacks aerodynamic shape. I wonder how that affects speed. I don't like how his thrust defense basically brings him closer to the attacker's blade, and I don't picture that sweep outside motion working at full-speed. I'd take a regular grip, regular knife and use block-to-stop.

I guess if the attacker comes with a forehand slash to stomach there's no defense? After all, that's a very common strike to just ignore...

I would imagine anyone with knife experience would feel like they have two left feet using it, meaning you'd have to be a total n00b to start off with it. But then, I don't see a novice grasping the concepts well enough to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Ok lets take a look at this knife as a fighting weapon, which it is. The first thing I noticed about it right away, aside from its strange design, is that there is no transition from the draw. That is to say you never have to redirect the blade after it is drawn. No matter if you are a righty or lefty you maintain the optimum grip and blade position. Being that the main striking face of the blade is crescent shaped, used in the reverse grip, can trap a persons body part out entirely. That is to say when the blade is directed at a body part that body part cannot avoid its attack. Can these things be achieved from far less aggressive looking, smaller blades... Yes. But if you want to end a fight quick you really could do a lot worse. Really learning that 4 point defense flow as demonstrated in his video is all you need to know in order to take full advantage of it. It is what it is, and it is for sure a very deadly blade.

Steve Perry said...

If I wanted to end a fight quickly, I'd prefer to use a gun, which I can carry legally. This knife is a double-dagger, and as such, illegal to carry here.

On a battlefield, maybe. As a civilian? Not a good choice.

Use it, and you will have to explain the thing to a jury. People look at that, they are apt to assume you were looking for a chance to use it. I would, and I know maybe little more than the average postal worker who will get snagged for jury duty.

Patrick Ferrari said...

Klingon paint scraper. I can see it's potential but blade speed and versatility are lacking.Meh.

roger blackburn said...

The knife looks to sci-fi to bring fear into anyone. There are much cooler fighting knives here

M. Teague said...

From a more modern standpoint, it looks weird and clumsy, even sci-fi.

From a European Rennisance combative POV in the modern world, this is a deadly, ugly tool for one purpose: counter blade fighting. For starters, the center is good for catching weapons. This is a concept in CQC weapons that has been phased out. It was something you could do with a handguard on a sword, dagger, or polearm but in a rapid knife fight today, not so much. That IS something a regular knife cannot do. You can't punch an enemy's combat blade and then 'catch' it.

One poster was correct on deflection but you don't deflect with this you catch. The outer edges are for counterattack offense, the inside of the Y is your main defense.

You can punch with it, gouge eyes, hook a limb, grab the throat with a thrust, and the double shape gives you two points of attack, like a second chance. No knife gives you those options. If you stab at the eye or side of a face, there is a chance you will get a glance off or only a slice. This instead is supposed to purposefully get caught when stabbing so you can aim for the bridge of the nose and no matter which way your opponent turns you are inflicting heavy damage as the weapon doesn't skid on target.

It won't thrust deep but that's not the goal of the weapon for damage, its supposed to leave your opponent mangled and disabled while rapidly bleeding out. Even a bayonet thrust to the heart and your opponent will still be capable of fighting for a few minutes (you can see evidence of this other man who is stabbed in the heart in a knife attack and manages to win the fight but dies afterward funny video).

That type of shape guides a target area into the center of the Y rather than a knife which has a tendency to slide or slice away so you turn a glance into a deep shredding cut.

A knife also doesn't let you punch weapon into a throat or limb directly for a slashing attack, instead you have to draw the blade around and across the surface area, which is a longer and more complex attack compared to a direct thrust which makes it faster in technical usage.

So the same damage it takes to use a, say 6" blade to be slashed in an wide arc across a throat or wrist is instead accomplished by a quicker thrust or backhanded jab depending on your grip.

Steve Perry said...

Still has a lot more minuses than pluses -- if it is illegal to carry, that is a serious one. There are a lot of weapons you can haul around that will serve as well, and sharp steel doesn't need to used in a wide arc to do serious damage.

Might be fine to carry into battle, but civilian use is going to be severely limited by the nature of the beast. It seems like a cure for which there is no disease.