General Category > Knife Combat

tip up? or tip down?


Is there any Tactical advantages to carrying a
folder  tip up or tip down..?
There seems to be alot of people that prefer tip up..
I havnt really given it alot of thought since i only
own 1 tactical folder..

Your thoughts  ???

Mr. Barnett:
Good day Rob,

Carrying your folder tip up or tip down really is determined by your draw, and the scenario in which you draw.  Personally, I carry 2 folders.  One on the left and one on the right.  Both are configured with the clip on the rear of the handle, thus a tip up configuration when it is clipped to my pocket.  When drawn on the right, i can open it quickly into a sabre grip.  On the left, i can quickly open it to a reverse grip.  that's just me, and everyone is different.  If i draw both blades for a skermish, and i am successful at both draws, i wind up with one in reverse and one in sabre grip.  I practice drawing both knives with both hands, single-like.  This is preparation for when one hand it out of service. 
Your carry is your carry, and each of us has our preference depending on use.  Some Law Enforcement carry thier folder in thier shirt pocket.  This carry is nice for many reasons, but is not often seen by citizens who carry.  Again, find your draw, and become accustomed to it, and use Hock's taught methods of manipulation to become proficient.
hope that helps Rob,

All of my folders are "tip up". However, this is an issue of personal preference. All of my "carry" folders also have the Emerson "wave" opening design.

The key isn't "tip up" or "tip down", rather it is consistency. If you are alternating between several different knives, which vary from tip up to tip down, thumb hole, stud, disk, liner lock, axis/rolling lock, lockback, etc. the fumble factor increases incredibly fast. Every time I pull a folder from my pocket, I know exactly how it opens, locks/unlocks, and what the orientation of the blade is going to be, for either hand. Because all of my knives are "alike" (in these characterstics) I only have to practice two basic openings (i.e. the knife is "waved open" or flipped open [wave didn't work...rare but it happens]) instead of a cutlery equivalent of Russian Roulette mixed with juggling.

The importance of consistency as much as possible became very apparent to me one day when I was teaching a class. We were doing the "snakebite" drill where two individuals are fighting in a "ground" scenario and the "good guy" has a tactical folder which he chooses to deploy. One of my students was pinning me down pretty good, but I managed to extract the "deployment trainer" from my pocket (homemade "tactical folder" featuring a wooden handle with pocket clip and flexible leather blade with thumbstud) without any problems. Using the motor memory from many hundreds, if not a few thousand draws of my "carry" folder (at the time a Gerber A/F Covert...great little knife, especially when you sharpen BOTH sides of the blade!), my thumb reflexively went for the thumbstud -- there was nothing there. Frantically my thumb searched in vain for what it expected to find. Meanwhile, my student was starting to get the better of me. My stress level went considerably UP as I finger flipped and rolled the closed folder in my hand until I finally got it into the familiar orientation I had practiced so many times. It seemed like an eternity, but it was probably only 5-10 seconds longer than it should of been, but still I learned a valuable lesson that day. The "deployment trainer" I was using was "tip up" (I probably made it that way because I was planning on buying some tip up knives) but the knife I was carrying daily and using (for normal cutting tasks) was "tip down". Had that drill been a real attack, the time I spent fumbling with my knife could of gotten me killed.

Everyone has to occaisionally make alterations to their carry sites and "tools." The more combinations of carry sites and deployment characteristics that you face regularly (i.e. you carry your gun in a holster on your strong side on duty, but off duty it is in a cross draw holster on your weak side, but sometimes in a shoulder holster and in the summer in a fanny pack...) you could end up grabbing air or slapping yourself silly trying to figure out where you put the weapon you are looking for. Once you find it and get it drawn, having consistent operating characteristics is only going to make you faster and smoother (and more effective, I think) than if you are trying to remember if the safety flips off by pushing "down" or "up" with your thumb, SA/DA trigger pull, "tip up" or "tip down", "wave"/"no wave", etc.

Consistency is a virtue...



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