Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Weapons

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-06-2010, 09:55 PM   #1
Gorgeous George
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 464
United Kingdom
Offline
The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

When I trained at a shodokan aikido dojo, I was told that the correct way to hold a knife during practice was with the blade facing up - i.e., if you held the knife horizontally, the sharp side would face the sky, and the dull side, the floor; the isntructor said that if you see somebody holding a knife this way, then 'they really know what they're doing'.

But i've never seen anybody else do this; so what is the correct way to hold a tanto, and why?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 04:10 AM   #2
niall
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
niall's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 394
Japan
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

Hi, Graham. I don't know much about knife fighting but if you are interested there are some related threads at the bottom of the page and this is some background on the various grips:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knife_fight.

The normal grip for a tanto is with the blade cutting edge down (from what's called a hammer grip in that article). So you handle it like your right hand grip of a katana. Like a katana you grip a tanto from your little finger and your forefinger should be very loose. I was taught shomen uchi and yokomen uchi suburi for a tanto in Japan many years ago.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats


aikiweb blog|wordpress blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 04:11 AM   #3
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
Malaysia
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

The probable reasoning is the dull side up might catch into the bones of the rib cage and get stuck there, but if you're poking your knife there in the first place...

A lot of combat fighters have the edge downside when using a foregrip because the knife is both a slashing and a thrusting weapon. Go figure.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 04:41 AM   #4
JJF
 
JJF's Avatar
Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 780
Denmark
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

I am by no means an expert, but should I happen to be in a situation where I should use a knife (I hope not) i would always hold the blade horizontal with the edge pointing 'out my fingers' so that I can cut either left or right just by turning my wrist. As it said above.. just like holding a sword.

I think the 'opposite' grib is especially for special ops forces that need to slice your abdomen from below, but if you face one of those guys it dosen't really matter how he holds the knife anyway....

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 06:53 AM   #5
Mark Mueller
Location: Louisville Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 161
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

The correct way is to hold it by the handle ;-)
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 07:41 AM   #6
Rabih Shanshiry
 
Rabih Shanshiry's Avatar
Location: Boston/MA
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 197
United_States
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

Quote:
Mark Mueller wrote: View Post
The correct way is to hold it by the handle ;-)
+1

This video has been posted before on these forums but at 4:40 he starts talking about the "proper" way to hold a knife. It's pretty much what Mark said.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk-EVLyIpts

(The whole clip is worth a look. I think it puts aikido tanto training in context).
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 07:50 AM   #7
Nick P.
 
Nick P.'s Avatar
Dojo: Sukagawa Aikido Club of Montreal
Location: Montreal
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 639
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

Quote:
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
When I trained at a shodokan aikido dojo, I was told that the correct way to hold a knife during practice was with the blade facing up - i.e., if you held the knife horizontally, the sharp side would face the sky, and the dull side, the floor; the isntructor said that if you see somebody holding a knife this way, then 'they really know what they're doing'.

But i've never seen anybody else do this; so what is the correct way to hold a tanto, and why?
1. Ensure pointy end/slashy edge is towards ennemy. Most important.

2. Sensei Kashimura Yoshinobu of Sukagawa, Japan, has also instructed me in the same manner of holding a knife, so your not alone.

  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 08:03 AM   #8
grondahl
Dojo: Stockholms Aikidoklubb
Location: Stockholm
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 550
Sweden
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

I have been taught the following:
for tsuki: edge up.
for yokomen and slashing: edge outwards
for shomen uchi: edge downwards.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 08:55 AM   #9
Russ Q
Dojo: Shohei Juku Aikido Gibsons
Location: Gibsons BC
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 193
Canada
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

I've been told by Suganuma sensei that it is cutting edge up....when you do tsuki to the midsection and the knife penetrates, you can then easily pull up to disembowel your...."partner". If the cutting edge is down then you will hit pelvic bone....I thought I noticed a wry smile during this lesson but that may have just been me. He also didn't spend much time on that..., just a quick explanation (as some of us were holding edge down) and then onto tsuki kotegaeshi.

Cheers,

Russ
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 10:22 AM   #10
ninjaqutie
 
ninjaqutie's Avatar
Dojo: Searching for a new home
Location: Delaware (<3 still in Oregon!)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,003
United_States
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

In our dojo we have the blade up or down and change the type of grip depending on the type of attack.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 10:31 AM   #11
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
United_States
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

Single edge knives like the ones you find in the kitchen... should be pointed edge towards bad guy....

Most of the combat knives that I like are double edged. If your bad guy is holding one then hopefully you'll have a bigger one.

If you don't know how to hold a knife then don't get all ninja viking pirate on us... Just hold it as you would when cutting steak or chopping celery. Slashing and cutting is 90% of what you'll use it for... not thrusting.

William Hazen

PS I HATE when someone says to me "That's how they do it in REAL LIFE" LOL
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 11:03 AM   #12
Dan Hover
Dojo: Bond Street Dojo/Aikido of Greater Milwaukee
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 132
United_States
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

Quote:
Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
+1

This video has been posted before on these forums but at 4:40 he starts talking about the "proper" way to hold a knife. It's pretty much what Mark said.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk-EVLyIpts

(The whole clip is worth a look. I think it puts aikido tanto training in context).
++1 for you I think it puts not just Aikido tanto training in context but a whole bunch of other arts in context too, i.e. the crescent kick at the forearm knife disarm.

Have integrity in your training and place all your training into proper context.

Dan Hover

of course that's my opinion, I could be wrong
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 11:05 AM   #13
WilliB
Dojo: Minato Aikikai
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 144
Japan
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Single edge knives like the ones you find in the kitchen... should be pointed edge towards bad guy....

Most of the combat knives that I like are double edged. If your bad guy is holding one then hopefully you'll have a bigger one.
If the thing is double-edged, isnīt it called a *dagger*?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 12:09 PM   #14
Jeremy Hulley
Dojo: Seattle School of Aikido Shinto Ryu/Seattle Icho Ryu
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 135
Online
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

It all depends on what I'm going to do with it.

I was taught edge up in my first dojo.

Now it depends largely on what we are training.

Jeremy Hulley
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
Tuesday Night Bad Budo Club
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 12:20 PM   #15
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,711
United_States
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

When you slice (not stab or hack) your meat, how do you hold the knife?
There you go.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 12:33 PM   #16
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
United_States
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

Quote:
Willi Brix wrote: View Post
If the thing is double-edged, isnīt it called a *dagger*?
You may call it anything you like.

William Hazen
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 12:39 PM   #17
Amassus
 
Amassus's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Musubi Ryu/ Yoshin Wadokan
Location: Hamilton
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 305
New Zealand
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

What a great clip...thank you for alerting me to it.

Dean.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 12:53 PM   #18
Gorgeous George
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 464
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

Quote:
Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
+1

This video has been posted before on these forums but at 4:40 he starts talking about the "proper" way to hold a knife. It's pretty much what Mark said.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk-EVLyIpts

(The whole clip is worth a look. I think it puts aikido tanto training in context).
HAHAHAHAHA! This guy's fucking brilliant!
Thanks a lot.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 01:06 PM   #19
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

I don't know about anyone else, but I hold the blade down or inward. Think about the mechanics of how your hand works and what else you are concerned with in a hand to hand fight with a knife. The way your arm and hand ,works, cutting across your body...well it makes the most sense IMO to have the blade facing the way you can use it. Cutting back across, you rotate your hand over to cut in that direction.

It makes no sense that I can think of to have the blade facing up on a single edged weapon, it limits the use of that weapon IMO.

  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 01:24 PM   #20
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

This is just a very simple example:

Picture an opponent's right fist tsuki to your solar plexus area. Freeze time for a second while the opponent has stepped forward and his arm is extended forward.

Picture you moving 45 degrees (opponent is 12 o'clock) to the 10 o'clock position. Your right hand holds a knife. Just before you move, think of these scenarios...

1. You hold the knife with the point towards the opponent and the blade down. As you take that step, your right hand goes inside the opponent's right arm. The blade contacts the inner wrist and you peel the flesh from his arm from his wrist all the way to his bicep as you take your step. This is if you have the timing down such that your opponent isn't immediately retracting his arm.

2. You hold the knife point forward and blade up. As you take that step, your right hand goes inside the opponent's right arm. The blade contacts the opponent's bicep and as he retracts his arm, you peel the skin from the bicep down to the inner elbow and possibly all the way down to the inner wrist.

3. You hold the knife point back and blade down (reverse grip with blade away from your flesh/arm/wrist). As you take that step, your right hand with the knife stays outside the opponent's right arm and you flay/peel the opponent's outside arm as you step forward, then follow the progression and cut the neck.

4. You hold the knife point back and blade up (blade towards your flesh). As you step, you use your wrist/knife reverse grip to hook your opponent's arm/wrist. Doesn't much matter where because no matter who moves, the opponent's arm gets cut/peeled/sliced/etc.

There are a myriad ways to hold a knife. There are a lot of ways to cut/slice/dice/core/flay/peel/stab/etc a person. A really good knife fighter will be able to transition or change the blade in mid movement while retaining control of the knife. There is *no* correct way to hold a knife. There are pros and cons of each and it is best to know them *all* well.

You want to learn them? Find a good arnis/kali/escrima/silat school. Find a good knife fighter. Find a quality school that teaches how to use a knife. But, quit thinking inside the box about "correct" or "proper" ways to hold a knife. That can get you killed.

IMO,
Mark
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 01:28 PM   #21
grondahl
Dojo: Stockholms Aikidoklubb
Location: Stockholm
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 550
Sweden
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

I think thatīs there is a big difference between "the correct way" to hold a knife and "the best way".

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I don't know about anyone else, but I hold the blade down or inward. Think about the mechanics of how your hand works and what else you are concerned with in a hand to hand fight with a knife. The way your arm and hand ,works, cutting across your body...well it makes the most sense IMO to have the blade facing the way you can use it. Cutting back across, you rotate your hand over to cut in that direction.

It makes no sense that I can think of to have the blade facing up on a single edged weapon, it limits the use of that weapon IMO.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 01:30 PM   #22
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,549
United_States
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

Different styles do different things. Like Mark said, if you really want to get into it, the Filipino arts have extensive techniques.

All that said, in Japanese arts the "correct" way to hold a knife to attack still depends completely on context of the overall style of "tantojutsu" being employed (to keep it focused in Japanese arts). In forays into koryu stuff I've learned mostly the so-called "hammer grip" (or Saber Grip if you're letting the thumb float more) and the so-called reverse edge out grip.

Another grip you'll sometimes see is the so-called "icepick" or what we only somewhat jokingly call the "crazed, jealous wife" grip. That's a reverse grip, edge in. Think "Psycho" with the knife stabbing down repeatedly.

FWIW some of the "best" knifework I've seen has been those who use the "standard" grip with finesse (Toby Threadgil does some amazing stuff at an incredible speed from this grip) or in the reverse edge out (see Toby again for this stuff).

Anyway, the point is that "correct" is generally contingent on a larger framework. Many arts have "mirrored" empty hand and tanto arts where the same overall movements are used in order to have an efficient means of skills transmission. As such that can affect the answer as to which grip is correct even within different techniques.

Bottom line is that used well any grip can be deadly and very difficult at best to deal with. So it is good to train in a variety of attacks.

As an aside, years ago I went to a seminar in a style of Aikido not my own. The instructor called me up with a tanto. I reflexively grabbed it into reverse edge out grip in my right hand and stepped up, left foot forward. He smiled and said "Ah, you've done knife work before." He told the seminar that if you see someone carrying a knife like that and they move toward you, run... He then had me change to a right hand hammer grip for a standard "Aikido" tsuki.

  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 01:57 PM   #23
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,781
United_States
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

Quote:
Mark Mueller wrote: View Post
The correct way is to hold it by the handle ;-)
you read my mind. of course, unless you want to throw it at the person.

but then, my knife is a meat cleaver. when folks see a knife, they might not be as worry. however, a meat cleaver just touches the primal fear in most folks. being trying to set up an aikido meat cleaver gang, similar to the Axe gang (without the cool music and dancing).
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 02:44 PM   #24
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,933
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

Quote:
Mark Mueller wrote: View Post
The correct way is to hold it by the handle ;-)
In the right hand, with the fork in the left.
or, however Sensei shows you....

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 04:39 PM   #25
Gorgeous George
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 464
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: The Correct Way to Hold a Knife

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
But, quit thinking inside the box about "correct" or "proper" ways to hold a knife. That can get you killed.

IMO,
Mark
It's cool: I wasn't thinking any such way; I just remembered what this dude had said, and how i've never seen that again (from what I recall, he was referring to having the blade pointing skyward, when attempting a tsuki) - and he was the world champion of aikido, one year.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Non-cooperative tanto-dori (Discussion) xuzen Techniques 99 03-30-2007 06:44 PM
knife defenses Bogeyman Weapons 58 02-13-2005 12:29 AM
Knife Work fatebass21 Weapons 28 02-01-2005 03:10 PM
Systema Seminar with Vladimir Vasiliev, Part 1 aikibaka131 Seminars 2 07-22-2003 12:45 PM
It wasn't about the knife Paula Lydon General 29 06-24-2003 01:22 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:18 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate