16 November 2012

Spartan Blades USA CQB Tool Trainer- most versitile imapact weapon?

It was at last years Ohio Classic Knife Show that I picked up my CQB Tool and Trainer from Mark and Curtis from Spartan Blades.  What first drew me to it was the simplicity of design of the tool itself.  Designed for the military to be carried COM (center of mass), making it deployable with both hands, made perfect sense.  But, I have not worn full Battle Rattle for almost six years now.

 As I always do when I pick up something new, I started thinking about the applications for different people, mostly concerning myself with law enforcement and the average citizen.  After some pressure testing, I have decided that the CQB Tool is hands down the most effective fixed blade back up weapon that an officer could have.  My reasoning is that unlike other knives, the finger hole would allow the officer to retain his pistol and the knife at the same time.  This ability is only afforded by one other knife, the Emerson Combat Karambit worn reaction side in reverse grip.  The CQB Tool allows deployment from the center line using both hands, ideally placed behind the mag pouches or cuff case on the front next to the belt buckle.  Whether or not bosses and the media agree, does not change the fact that deadly force is deadly force.  If you are in a fight for your life and for some reason cannot get to your pistol, you are just as justified in stabbing your attacker.

As some have rightfully pointed out, the main issue for citizens and the CQB Tool is that many jurisdictions prohibit daggers or symmetrical blades.  This brings me to the advantages of the CQB Tool Trainer.  Regardless of how much I enjoy all things related to knives, my experience and research has led me to believe that you are just about as likely to have the time and opportunity to use a knife for self-defense as you are to shoot someone point blank with a sniper rifle.  It could happen, but if we use history and reality to drive our training, then the ability to use a knife, especially in a "knife fighting" context, is at the bottom of the training to-do list.  Enter the CQB Tool Trainer.

At 6 3/8 inches long with a 2.5 inch (blade), the 6016 aluminum instruction of the tool has it weighing in at a diminutive .83 oz.  Colored blue to immediately identify it as a training tool, the trainer is designed and marketed as a training tool for the live blade.  For this reason, the "blade" is completely rounded off and blunted.  Because it has no sharp edges, it does not require a sheath (none is provided with the trainer, but is with the live blade).

Those familiar with me have read my writings on Combative Anatomy, for those who are not familiar I will briefly explain.  Basically there are three ways to cause trauma to the human body; cut, crush, and burn.  For our purposes, we will only discuss cutting and crushing since they are the causes of trauma during interpersonal conflict.  Weapons can therefore be divided into two groups; edged and impact.  One of our body's natural weapons, except for our teeth, are impact weapons, as are most things we could possibly pick up or carry as purpose built or improvised weapons.  Even a bullet is an impact / edged weapon hybrid that goes really fast.

Causes of recordable injury or death during interpersonal conflict can, for our purposes, be narrowed down into three basic types; Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord), Structural System (bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons), Circulatory System (heart, arteries, and veins).

When discussing the use of edged weapons and firearms, most deaths are related to exsanguination or bleeding to death (disruption of the circulatory system).  A simple metaphor would be puncturing a hose or a bulk tank on a closed system.  The time it takes a person to experience hydraulic failure is dependent on several factors including ; preexisting conditions, drugs, alcohol, adrenaline, and severity of injury.  Although this is likely to cause eventual death, it can be one of the slowest ways to stop someone.  We think of the circulatory system as the body's plumbing.

Getting back to the CQB Tool Trainer, because of the variables when it comes to Circulatory System, we train to attack the Central Nervous System (electrical) and Structural System.  It is my belief, based on my personal research and that of Col David Grossman, that most people would have a very hard time plunging a knife into another human being.  This inhibition could be diminished by using impact weapons which allow for a measured response.

The CQB Tool Trainer allows for two basic grips; Ice Pick (blade protruding from the bottom of hand, with pointer finger through retention hole), and Forward Grip (blade protruding from top of hand with little finger through retention hole).

First we will discuss the Ice Pick grip, which also works with a pen or Kubaton.  The one issue with this grip is that the tool in this grip, coupled with your Natural Protective Response and that of your attacker's, will have you attacking and your attacker defending high around the chest and face.  This can remove your ability for cyclic stabs to the face, neck, and chest.  Instead, bring your thumb to the middle of your chest and go back and forth between your chest and the face, neck and hands of your attacker.  If you happened to be grabbed, smashing the trainer into the offending hand will likely force the attacker to draw back, hopefully exposing their face/neck for subsequent strikes.  An airway/blood choke is intensified by using your thumb and the retention hole, however this same choke is possible with the Forward Grip.

For my purposes, the Forward Grip is preferred with all Kubaton type tools.  The reasoning is that it allows you to take advantage of Inverted Edge Tactics, our bodies are poorly protected from the ground up, and our defense slow and lacking.  With the forward grip, you can drive the tool into soft targets such as the groin, ribs, and solar plexus, as well as execute the aforementioned blood/airway choke, which is done in combination of slamming your attacker backwards into a wall or vehicle.

Another large part of what we do is "hooking" or using only our two middle fingers for control of the neck, elbows, wrists, traps, hip bones, back of knees, and Achilles tendons.  We do this because we are 30% stronger pulling than pushing.  Taking the outside two fingers out of the grip insures a concentration of force, and taking the thumb out of the grip insures that you are always pulling back towards your center which insures control.  Beyond striking, we use balance manipulation, and the way the CQB Tool Trainer becomes an extension of your skeleton significantly increases leverage.

Using the trainer not only complements open hand combative movements, but it also does it's intended job of allowing you to train realistically to use the live blade.  To me, this is the best of both worlds.

Here is some video of the CQB Tool in action

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