Thursday, November 08, 2007

Boker Plus/CLB Designs MPT

A review by Terry Trahan

Boker Plus/Chad Los Banos MPT Knife Review
A little note: I know it is highly unusual for an employee of the company
to review one of its own pieces. But I was impressed enough through the process of this knife that I had to. I usually limit my reviews to books, videos, and custom knives, but had to make an exception for this one. Thanks.

Technical Specs:
Steel: AUS 8
Blade Length: 3 3/4" OAL:6 4/5
Weight: 3 oz Sheath: Zytel

The newest design from Chad Los Banos to be made under the Boker Plus line
is the MPT,(Multi Purpose Tanto), model number 02BO591 for the plain edge,
gray finish, and 02BO592 for the partially serrated, black finish.

This is an interesting new design that solves a few of the problems presented when
one chooses to carry a fixed blade over a folder, which happens to be my preference.
First, the blade shape, and grinds are strong enough to handle anything a knife this size should, and stronger than most knives in this category. It is a fairly thick blade as well, making making it handy for outdoor and survival chores, as well as for the urban carry role it was designed for.
The blade shape offers a great mix of the tip strength of a tanto, with the cutting power of a recurve edge in the same knife. It makes for some great snap cuts as well as being very good at fine cutting, both in the kitchen, and in the warehouse at work.

The most obvious feature of the knife is the handle. This, in my opinion, makes the whole package come together. It is also the part of this design that solves the carry problem mentioned earlier. With the short handle, it can be carried in multiple positions without the handle biting and digging. Yet the handle is thick enough, and textured to provide a solid grip. If your hands are a little larger than average, you can do as I did, and add a lanyard or fob to the handle, and your grip is even more sure.
The sheath also helps with the carry possibilities, as it has multiple attachment points for any carry you can think up. I have used the following means of attaching the knife, and have not had any problem; Small TekLok, Large TekLok, G-Clip, J-Clip, Static Cord, and a Bro Clip from HAK. I have carried it in the following positions also; appendix carry, both 1 o'clock and 11 o'clock handle up and down, IWB strong and weak side edge forward, 11 o'clock appendix carry with the edge up/handle down, ala the Clinch Pick, and have not had one problem with any of the combinations I have tried.

To me, it is obvious that this knife was designed with urban/SD carry at it's heart, and I cannot help but think that the design succeeds at this. It runs through the flow drills like a dream due to the balnce and weight. As mentioned, the grinds and edge are excellent, and it pierces and cut everything I have put in front of it. The handle provides a solid, comfortable grip in reverse grip edge out, forward grip edge down,
and forward grip edge up. It is not as comfortable in reverse grip edge in, but it will perform in that grip.
All in all, Chad has designed a very good knife, and the price point makes it available to anyone who needs a good, solid blade.

Terry Trahan

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Street Knife by MAA James A Keating

A review by Terry Trahan

The newest DVD release from MAAJAK is Street Knife, featuring Mr. Keating,
and Pete Kautz from Alliance Martial Arts and Modern Knives.
I would like to echo MAA Keatings words here before I get into more of the review;
this is a core DVD to add to your library. No matter if you are a beginner to the knife, or an old
player, you will learn from this. If this is your first time delving into the knife arts, this DVD will
serve you very well.
Ok, onto the review.
The DVD opens, as all of MAA Keatings do, with an overview of what he will be teaching. I find this
very helpful, as you already have an outline of the material in your mind, and can "file" it appropriately.
After this, the teaching begins. After a brief talk about the responsibility involved in carrying a knife for
self defense purposes, and the reasoning behind the Street Knife curriculla, Mr. Keating briefly covers some basics
on carrying and opening of a folder, and positioning the carry of a small fixed blade. I agree that not much time should
spent on this in a video presentation, it is a personal responsibility to teach yourself this. With the points presented, it
will be an easy task for the beginner to find the best way for them to proceed.
Next comes the instructional meat and potatos.
Basing this course around the simplicity required of a true Street Knife course, all the drills and skills are based off
of four motions. Two low line, and two high. Variations and logic chains are built off these basic positions.
As Mr. Keating points out, this is application, not art, although it is skill. It is a simple, easy to learn series of logical
movements you can count on in the high stress that occurs in a real assault/fight. I do have to say that the first low line
response is my favorite, but all are well thought out, demonstrated, both in drill form, and with a demo of the dynamics
involved in a real deal jam. This last point to me is a gem. To often, drills are presented, and the impression given that
you will do them in a "static" drill format when using them in the real world.
After the drill portion, we come to a segment on skill development. With an eye to the fact that alot of people must train
alone, or only have infrequent partners, MAA Keating tilts his skill development to solo trainers.
I will not give it away, but the tool used in the first segment on skills development is conceptual thinking at its best.
Many will watch it and be dismayed or dismissive, and not try it. This would be a big mistake on their part.
It developes skill, and rapidly. It has been added to my kit, and it is affordable as hell.
Next, a segment on misdirection/stage magic is given by Mr. Kautz. In a visual continuation of the "Magic Trilogy"
hosted on Alliance Martial Arts, and with credit to the authors, MAA Kautz brings you through two misdirections
that are easily applicable to knife work. Pay attention to this part!!!! If you work the concepts taught, it will add to your skill
level immensley, as well as help with survival. As MAA Kautz points out, it may help score a date as well. Hey, who says conceptual
knowledge is not univeral in application.
I highly recommend this DVD. If you have Street Knife and Hellbows, you are well on your way to combative proficiency, if you train the
Thanks for reading.