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'In The Big Empty'
Discussing Martial Blade Concepts with Well Read Ed

This system, led by Michael Janich, seems to be an effective method for those that are limited to folding knives. Having studied it for a couple of years, I know that it only takes a small alteration of the targeting strategy to make it far more lethal than it is intended to be. Plus, out here in The Big Empty, choices are limited.

I would be interested in your take since you are a bladesman of long experience.

WellRead Ed

This is an excellent question, Ed.

Michael Janich was a technical director or editor of instructional DVDs at my publisher Paladin Press when he contacted me by letter and let me know that there was a request for The Logic of Steel from a major knife manufacturer. He complimented me on the book but did point out that he disagreed with some of my "tactical deductions." I don't know what these were but guessed it had to do with my thoughts on folders, particularly the balisong, which he is an expert with.

The problem with me as a knife person is I favor the sheath knife mostly because I can't open a folder with my mashed up right hand and that I fence with knives for sport and research into earlier periods. I'm more interested in using junk objects and available tools for defense than carrying a small weapon. By Janich's standards I'm a crude dude.

I read two of his articles and have adopted a modified version of his rear-hand guard, with the elbow blocking the heart trust, the back of the wrist and hand blocking the neck slash and the heel of the hnd covering the right handed pronated thrust to the throat. I use this guard against Charles and incorporate it in my shadow boxing, speed bag work and survival drills. I slide my hand up like this during work tasks, etc., and have put it in my muscle memory because I know it works. Two boxers I know accidentally blocked knife slashes in the dark [out side of clubs, working as bouncers] as they were sliding their left hand up into an MMA shell guard, to cover against what they thought was a punch.

Janich doesn't look "cool" like some knife hotshot in this guard, but it works. The fact that he would employ something so ugly and effective in a market addicted to flash and fancy flow suggests that his folding blade methods should be utilitarian, which is always good and often ugly. Other than that I really know nothing about Michael Janich and his methods, assuming they are effective based solely on the impressions stated above.

Thriving in Bad Places

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