Hock Hochheim's Combat Talk Forum

General Category => Knife Combat => Topic started by: Hock on July 18, 2013, 03:15:59 PM

Title: Training knives
Post by: Hock on July 18, 2013, 03:15:59 PM
Training Knives? One or All? Why?

In the big picture, if you are into this knife training subject, a serious knife practitioner needs all types of knives - a whole set of trainers. Fixed-blade trainers. Folder trainers. For starters - he or she needs a real knife to work with when alone and on training devices like a wooden post. Nothing replaces working on a vertical or horizontal "war post" with a real knife. They should also have a dull, metal knife in their collection for certain, interactive training, if only for the brain to subliminally get use to the idea of flashing around a "real-steel" knife. Touching metal on enemy skin, getting a bit "cavalier" about it, if you will. They might even fool around a bit with the over-expensive, Shock Knife at times, for when that particular training message needs to be conveyed (like some times in knife sparring or some times in knife ground fighting, not all the time -just sometimes). Then a "half-hard/half-soft" trainer for the usual, interactive work. Then a really, super-soft knife shape for the really ballistic, hard contact in scenarios. Who-some-ever makes these knives and sells them, I don't care.

Through time they all get chinged and pitted up and, or break, chip, rip - whatever. Like most tools, they eventually need replacing. (I would love to see a soft-blade folding knife made for training, especially for stress, quick draws and various close-contact drills, ground fighting, etc. Someone PLEASE make one!)
Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: Canuk on July 18, 2013, 04:54:49 PM
Hock, you really think there is a market for a soft folding trainer?
Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: Hock on July 18, 2013, 05:13:19 PM
Oh yeah.
So you can really stab away at someone, unlike with a metal one.
Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: Canuk on July 19, 2013, 02:58:01 PM
Ok, i think i can do this. It would need to be something that "springs" back into shape and tough enough to be put through the wringer. Ill work on it
Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: JimH on July 24, 2013, 10:52:55 AM
Instead of a material that needs to spring back,why not a folder where the blade when opened slides back and forth in the handle.like an expandable baton
When you stab the blade goes back, as you withdraw the blade slides back out
Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: Benjamin Liu on July 24, 2013, 12:03:41 PM
My dentist used to give things like that out after appointments when we were kids.

They had plastic handles with a spring inside and a soft plastic blade so when you "stabbed" someone it would appear as if the blade actually went into them.  It was sort of like a toy OTF switchblade.

Since these were given out free they must have been cheap.
Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: Benjamin Liu on July 24, 2013, 12:56:16 PM
I found a similar toy but it appears to be made of hard plastic:


Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: Hock on July 24, 2013, 01:32:52 PM
Yeah, that's a classic toy. It looks like someone is stabbed but the blade (on a light spring) is really pushed back in the handle.

Folks need to be able to open a folding knife under stress and use it forcefully.
Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: RevBodhi on July 25, 2013, 08:54:20 AM
The closer the actual training tool is to the real tool being carried and deployed under real conditions, the better it is for the individual. Gimmicks and coolness in the device does not substitute well for the real thing.

I would like to see serious tactical knife makers construct steel trainers of their actual tactical blades, as both sides of the training paradigm need to know "real" steel even if it is dulled.

At DCAS we simply make steel replicas of the blades we carry, using the very same carry rigs for the trainers that we deploy, tactically. Otherwise the procedural memory(incorrectly labeled 'muscle memory') created will NOT mimic what is needed for real.

People will argue, "Well, the slight differences won't matter." I guarantee you that those differences will matter.  Whether it pertains to the draws under dire duress being fouled when a rig is but a half/inch off from what is regularly practiced, or minute differences in the weapon system being deployed, these differences matter. Change a basketball hoop height a mere 1/4 an inch and NBA Pros miss every time at the free-throw line, at least until they eventually habituate to that change, for example.

The weapon must mimic in training, exactly what is done in real time or "fumbling" will ensue, without exception.

I am not a fan of any soft material edged/impact weaponry for training purposes when we are dealing with actual tactical realities involving lethal force issues.  They may be fun for a game purpose, but their utility for real world tactical deployment is severely limited, creating a misplaced sense of security in both user and receiver, creating inaccurate procedural memories.
Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: Kentbob on July 25, 2013, 12:01:10 PM
The biggest flaw in your logic I see is comparing us to NBA or any other professional athletes.  Some of us are skilled, very skilled, but we are not quite at that level to have practiced a free throw enough that a change in a quarter inch will throw everything off.  Pocket knives very rarely go in the pocket the same way twice, especially if you wear different types of pants. 

What NBA players do that allows them to perform at a high level in a demanding game is practice and master the fundamentals of the game in a variety of situations.  This is what lets them adapt and improvise when the play isn't going as practiced.  Mastery of the basics more than anything is what has gotten people out of a jam in a self-defense situation. Focusing on the minutia of where the knife is carried and how closely a knife matches the actual working knife detracts from the focus on the basics of self-defense, which is to say actually using the knife.  I still maintain the slight differences won't matter.  Otherwise, differences in slings and load carrying equipment would really ruin a soldier's day when transitioning from one unit to the next.

This is something that can be seen in the UFC too.  Not too many UFC fighters finish a fight with a whiz-bang technique, they use something basic that they've practiced a bazillion times, because it has a high probability of success.  I recognize that is not exactly what you are getting at, Rev, but I feel that it is relevant.

Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: RevBodhi on July 25, 2013, 01:58:19 PM
Wow, Kentbob, you really missed the entire ball court on this one.  Did you actually read what I wrote? I was making no comparison of any kind. I was offering an analogy of a given scientific fact of motor learning. Please show e how I am comparing who you are to NBA athletes?

I just spent a year (why I deactivated my account here and since been able to re-activate it--I am wondering about that now) working with a group of former Marine and USArmy Combat veterans (Vietnam/Iraq/Afghanistan), delving into the science of creating feasible future training paradigms for what will be the next stage of development in training men for killing combat in realms they will be deployed to which G-3/S-3 bean counters. These entities were not overly thrilled in hearing what we had to say either.

Funny, we even quoted a mentor, the venerable Col. David H. Hackworth, Deceased, to offer a more colorful and solid verification of training specificity based on raw experience, other than the scientific evidence of training specificity, motor learning parameters and the adverse aspects of duress influencing cognitive, emotonal and motor functioning. Col. Hackworth, in his infinite wisdom (p.308 ABOUT FACE) states: "The only way to prepare men for battle is to train them in conditions as close to the real thing as possible...The average 2 percent training casualties (not injuries--casualties) we had, to my mind, were a small premium for an insurance policy that could cover a whole unit when the real shooting started." This was not well received either. This was dismissed, waved away, calling the Colonel's hard-earned wisdom: "a cracked pot and rogue operator unfit for recognition."

I am wondering if you even read what I wrote.  Change a small variable in what has already become procedural memory/habit, a new procedural memory/habit must be learned. The neural pathways are highly specific. Change where your car's accelerator and brake are located and see what happens--especially under duress of an oncoming MAC Truck about to hit you head on.  OOPS.

Oh well...live and learn, or not.
Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: Kentbob on July 26, 2013, 10:50:51 AM
Whoa dude, let's take it down a notch okay?  I'm not attacking you.

I will point out that the brake pedals in each model of car and truck are all differently shaped and in different locations, not to mention that each one takes different amounts of pressure to actuate.  What really throws me off is when I get into a car that has no clutch.

If you're not comparing us to NBA or other professional athletes, then where did this come from?

Change a basketball hoop height a mere 1/4 an inch and NBA Pros miss every time at the free-throw line, at least until they eventually habituate to that change, for example.

I still maintain that a pistol, a knife, a baton, for civilians, will sit differently depending on the pants and shirts that one is wearing, and that these differences are so insignificant that they are able to be ignored.  What does change things is major changes, like changing the location of a pocket knife, or moving the clip from one side to another.

I'm not debating the "as close to combat as reasonable", as I completely agree.  Sparring, scrimmaging, training, eventually they all seek to replicate the real thing in order to properly prepare the athlete/soldier/fighter.  What I am getting at is we can make a better choice as to how we use our energy, rather than seemingly obsessing over how closely a training knife matches our carry knife.

Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: RevBodhi on July 28, 2013, 06:06:46 AM

First off, to clarify: What is a comparison? From the Latin: comparare--to match, to liken, to examine for similarity or dissimilarity

What is an analogy? From the Greek: ana-logos for partial similarity between things that are somewhat different

I apologize. I was not specific enough in my example. To clarify the science without any confusing examples except from the scientist himself offering such in the following example: From Richard A. Schmidt's MOTOR LEARNING AND PERFORMANCE a book Mr. Hochheim recommends, states on page 47-48 Costs Versus Benefits of Automaticity: Automaticity allows people to process information in parallel, quickly, and without competition from other information. When, for example a pattern of action in a volleyball competition produced movement patters that usually accompany a spike to the left--and then executed a play that went to the right, the defender's automatic processing of the pattern would lead to a quick decision and response, i.e. a block, but it would fail to achieve the desired goal--stopping the ball--because the actual spike was hit to the right...automatic processing has its drawbracks...although very fast processing is advantageous for people performing in environments that are stable and predictable, it can lead to inappropriate responses and errors at the last moment. This automatic movements would appear to be relatively more effective for closed skills than open skills. Closed skills would be analogous (and I am not comparing you to volleyball players) to repetitive knife drills on a two dimensional learning plane between two partners practicing, say: one is to deploy the folder and cut while the other is to block being cut--predictable and stable learning environment.  Killing combat, on the other hand represents an environment fraught with open skills expression.

You make the example of how different automobiles have different sized pedals for their accelerators in different places. All left-handed steering column vehicles made in the USA have the clutch, brake and accelerator in the same positional arrangement, relative to the steering column: clutch on the far left-brake to the immediate left of the accelerator and the accelerator to the far right--steering column above.

I don't know about you, but whenever I get into a new vehicle I have never driven before, I fumble with the controls until I have habituated to the differences and you admitted this yourself when you mentioned about a vehicle not having a clutch. Now just think what would happen when we got into a vehicle for the first time where the accelerator was in the middle of the two, the brake and accelerator have changed places.  Now image as we pull out to drive and we are about to be hit head-on by that MACK truck? Hmmmm.

My example of the automaticity and procedural memory of the basketball hoop was no more comparing you and who you are to NBA athletes than Schmidt is comparing his audience to volleyball players. I was merely reporting about the results of a specific scientific report demonstrating the specificity of neural pathway learning and how deeply ingrained this automaticity becomes and how it is a drawback at times. I apologize for not being able to remember the actual report. It goes way back during my college years in Kinesiology 101 after I returned from my overseas tour of duty and discharge from military service exactly 40 years ago, now that I think about it. I do remember the report was about the facilitation of automaticity of relevant and non-relevant secondary tasks. My aging brain forgets a lot.

To further the importance of wearing the same tactical clothing, the same gear in the same places when deployed in high risk environment (killing combat) if you don't agree with me, then I guess you also disagree with the well known and venerable Paul R. Howe when he writes in his book: THE TACTICAL TRAINER: TRAINING FOR THE FIGHT pages 96-118: Another important point is that students see that I can perform the drill in my tactical gear. They also see how I rig and structure my equipment for success, which never changes...

Howe goes on to stress the importance of arriving at a single, simple, CONSISTENT format for managing high stress environments that work across the board where upper level cognition remains active for target discrimination and simple destructive knife handling skills. This is covered over and over again in all three of Howe's manuals. Train specific to the environment, using simple, direct and consistent motor skills which become ingrained in our procedural memory.

The positive thing with the majority of many civilian trainees, for example, is that the vast majority of such souls will never need to prepare for anything more dangerous or vigorous than their training class, which is fine for them.

My concerns in training, rehearsals and instructions have and always will be about what do high risk operators need in the worst environments to not merely survive but prevail. With this mission statement I am biased toward what is best for said environment. This is not applicable for the majority of civilian trainees until they, too, are faced with lethal force issues--be it needing to avoid this environment, verbally de-escalate the issue or engage in physical motor skills to off-set explicit physical violence.

Science and hard-earned personal experiences demonstrate over and over and over again--the closer the training environment mimics the actual playing field the greater the chance the operator has to prevail in this AO. The further away the training environment moves from this actual operational environment chances to prevail are diminished, and this diminished capacity is measured in as Mr. Hochheim likes to say, in milliseconds and millimeters.

Your identifying quote that follows each of your post entries, states:specialization is only for insects needs to also be placed in proper perspective, least we lose the entire effect of what Heinlein actually stated about human skills, something that often occurs when only a part portion of a quote is made to offer some hint or clue of status or preference. The full quote is:A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. What allows man to do all the above?

Certainly not the mere ganglia brain stem of an insect, but the very complex, three tiered brain and CNS of man, where each of the above processes Heinlein believes man must acquire and perform to proficiency requires very SPECIFIC MOTOR AND COGNITIVE LEARNING ABILITIES AND SKILLS.

Actually my two favorite quotes from Robert Anson Heinlein are: One can judge from experiment, or one can blindly accept authority. To the scientific mind, experimental proof is all important and theory is merely a convenience in description, to be junked when it no longer fits ...And:
How can I possibly put a new idea into your heads, if I do not first remove your delusions?
"Doctor Pinero" in Life-Line (1939)

Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: RevBodhi on July 28, 2013, 08:42:26 AM
This entire diatribe between Kentbob and myself has gotten too far of the track of Training Knives. For that I apologize. I am old and cantakerous.

The bottom line with training knives, as with any equipment, is asking, what am I training for and what kind of equipment will I need to learn to deploy for whatever I am training?

When dealing with a general population of civilian trainees or law enforcement restricted with departmental procedures, who are interested in maintaining some degree of familiarity with personal protection and rarely engage in serious high risk environments (it is possible--not probable), variety becomes imperative for creating a solid learning experience.

Training these sectors is fraught with liability and safety issues, for which all serious trainers/instructors must heed and master, or not remain in business for long. Also in these two training realms, simple enjoyment of the training experience becomes paramount for both instructor and trainee. Fun and fitness are two very important training goals, here, along with the need for developing familiarity with self protection.

Herein, I agree fully with Mr. Hochheim in offering a variety of training equipment for different training experiences, through a full-spectrum of training scenarios of different levels of training intensities. This keeps variety in movements, scenarios and equipment utilization primary, which is a must for these kinds of training environments.

The soft, deployable weapons, for example, provide an idea as to how hard and fast one must accelerate and perform said movements safely. This experience is needed if one wants to prevail for real. People are not going to pay good money to get hurt and injured, and LEOs cannot afford such training injuries. All have to go to work Monday morning.

Training tools need to allow some kind of stimulus that mimics real world duress, but for a commercial and law enforcement training standpoint, where safety and liability are always major concerns, the only way to achieve this is through the smart and innovative use of a variety of training tools, at different levels of intensity, under specific scenarios of deployment.

The further one moves from this civilian/restricted LEO sector, the closer one moves to a hardcore realm of operating in high risk environments as a manner of daily operational work. Here, that 2% casualties rate in training is acceptable.  But the training goals in such clandestine and covert venues are on the other end of the training spectrum, and just are not suitable or acceptable for a civilian/LEO training population.

This FACT is something I often lose track of as my mind has been prejudice to this extremely high risk environment, and not the general population simply wanting some familiarity to violence for helping one become more aware of personal dangers, establishing a sense of self protection. For that lack, I apologize here, publicly.

As Mr. Hochheim implies throughout his beginning post, a variety of tools are necessary and they help present a variety of training (intensity) experiences, which scientifically is essential for achieving open and variable training templates, safely.

This does help develop the individual's familiarity for managing real world scenarios, whereas using a single training tool in a contrived environment creates a more predictable and stable learning experience, not conducive to what occurs in the unpredictable real world.

So, in effect, addressing training for the civilian and law enforcement personnel saddled with strict departmental procedures, such training goals demand a variety of training tools that can be used safely, through the full spectrum of force-on-force training intensities.

Those civilian and LEOs who choose to carry folders as tools for potential personal protection, therefore, need a variety of said tools to engage the full-spectrum of training intensities, safely.  Otherwise, their training becomes incomplete.

A single hard, steel trainer will NOT suffice for these two learning groups and their specific training goals. It may for High Risk Operatives, but here what is open and variable training delves into that extremely high risk training realm (live-fire, full force-on-force with full tactical gear and hard tools where real injury and death does exist) and is inappropriate for either civilian or LEO trainees.

Summary: What are my specific training goals and how do I achieve them? The SMART analogy works well here: SPECIFIC to the actual need--know that need; MEASURABLE, overtly to this need (am I meeting the goals?); ACHIEVABLE-challenging but still available with 'my' hard work without getting injured in the process; RELEVANT TO THE SPECIFIC NEED A HAND (don't want to be learning a knife kata when I need to learning how to deploy my knife or avoid being stuck by one, for example): AND TIMELY-all done within the time I have available to train.
Title: Re: Training knives
Post by: Hock on July 28, 2013, 09:37:55 PM