Interesting thoughts on a self-defense spyderco

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Episteme
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Interesting thoughts on a self-defense spyderco

Postby Episteme » Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:21 am

I was wondering if the following line of reasoning had crossed anyone else's mind:
When looking to choose a spyderco model for self-defense purposes, many look to a blade that is at least 3 inches long, preferably 4 inches long. However, it seems that according to this line of reasoning, one of the very charactoristics of an efficient self-defense folder that make it effective (blade length) seems to count as a disadvantage in today's legal and political arena. So, with this in mind, I reason along the following lines:
When we look at the sort of horrific damage a sub three inch blade can inflict with relative ease on a human (a scalpel, a box-cutter, an exacto, a razor), I begin to question if even a 3 inch blade is necessary or even an advantage if one is looking for a self-defense folder for MBC. As an example, take the Spyderco Spin model- it is a wharncliff blade under 2 inches, with a secure handle that can be improved with a simple lanyard. It can be razor sharp, and is legal to carry in nearly all of the US jurisdictions. Furthermore, the legal ramifications may be mitigated if one would need to use this blade for self defense.
It might be objected that the small blade of the Spin might be a disadvantage as far as reach goes (you would have to get closer to your assailant). I respond by pointing out that the difference between the Spin's reach and say an endura's reach is really not that much in a real world, dynamic defensive encounter (just my unsubstantiated speculation). It would be the equivalent to saying that a boxer with an arm 2 inches longer has an extreme advantage, an assertion that I wont to consider a negligable advantage.
Therefore, since carrying a knife like the Spin would be a definite advantage from a legal aspect, and if my reasoning is correct, holds little to no relevant disadvantage insofar as inflicting sufficiant cutting in a defensive situation, then it would be preferable to carry a Spin rather than a Civilian for self-defense in the midst of today's legal and political atmosphere. I know that this conclusion is rather counter-intuitive, and perhaps even blasphemous to recommend a Spyderco Spin as a primary self-defense tool, but if my reasoning is at all correct, then maybe we can revise our thinking?
Mike
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Postby Mr Blonde » Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:15 pm

For me it's not so much the actual bladelength, rather the overall size of the folder that comes with it. Sub 3 inch bladed folders are, in me experience, much harder to open quickly and consistently, while you're trying to hold off a sparring partner, much less a real opponent. The Spin seems a wonderful little MBC-sih blade, but how easy is it to draw?

The Dodo is a great exception though, but mainly due to the oversized handle.

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Postby Joe Talmadge » Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:31 pm

Here's a test you might try ... get the biggest meanest guy you know. If you know a guy who weighs 230 pounds and is full of prison tatoos, that's perfect. Now, have him act angry, like he's about to charge you. Keep in mind if he gets to you he'll probably not just punch your face, but through it! This is life-threatening -- you stop him fast, or die (otherwise, you wouldn't be justified to use the knife). Hold the spin in your hand ... feel confident that you'll put him down fast with it? I'm not asking if you're confident you can put a big ugly slash in him; I'm asking if you can do enough damage to STOP HIS CHARGING ATTACK before he pulls you apart. Is the Spin still your baby?

Now, if you have the bucks, dull one of your Spins into a training drone, and attach the lanyard as you suggested. Clip it to your pocket, as it will likely be at the beginning of a real criminal assault. Have your aforementioned friend "attack" you, just using controlled punches, and you spend 20 seconds blocking him and grappling him (do this as a drill, he shouldn't really hit you hard or take you down, I just want you putting forth a lot of energy dealing with him). What I want is for you to have your heart thumping, as it would be in a real criminal assault, before what's coming up next: you will disengage from the big guy, make about 5 feet of space ... but here's the rule, as soon as you make the space and start grabbing for your knife, he's going to charge you, and if you don't get that knife out and jab him with it, he gets to thump you in the chest. Did you manage to get that little handle and lanyard positioned right in your hand in time?

What I"m trying to do, of course, is raise the stakes a bit by introducing some reality. When you're in your living room, casually putting the knife in your hand, it may feel secure with the 2-fingered grip plus the lanyard. But during a panic draw, when your heart is thumping so your minor muscle coordination is compromised and you're scared because your training partner is going to thump you if you DON'T GET THE KNIFE OUT RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND, that's another thing entirely . And if having your big partner charging you is scary, up that feeilng by 10 when it's a real-live bad guy who really wants to hurt you. That's a reason many of us want big secure handles and the most optimizied ease-of-draw possible. We also want stopping power ... the ability to stop a criminal assault, where failure to stop the assault very quickly could mean you or your loved ones could die. Stopping him is the key ... cutting him doesn't help if he doesn't respond to the cut until after he's killed you and your daughter, right?

I'm not saying that if all you have is the Spin, you don't use it. I'm saying, though, that you shouldn't significantly decrease ease-of-draw, security, and stopping power for some theoretical marginal legal advantage, if you're truly talking about surviving a life-threatening criminal assault.

Joe

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Postby smcfalls13 » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:26 pm

Get some good running shoes, and don't ever wear sandals or flip flops, they're difficult to run in.

Joe pretty much nailed it.

Another thing you want to think about, in order to stop someone fast, you need to relieve them of enough blood to lose consciousness, or hit a major organ.

The fastest way to exsanguinate someone is to sever the carotid(neck), brachial(joint of the elbow), or femoral(back of the leg) arteries. Not all of which are easy to get to when your 320 pound angry guy is charging you.

Heck the best would be the femoral artery, because it's so thick you'll bleed out in seconds.

That being said, your only feasible option is to hit a major organ, and you need to have a long enough blade to to hit them. Can you hit the heart or liver with a 2" blade? Possibly, but probably not.
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Episteme
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Postby Episteme » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:43 pm

Thanks for the replies. Although I must begin this with a caveat in that I cannot proclaim to be any authoritative figure in these matters, I believe that according to what Joe and smcfalls wrote, a 4 inch folder may not provide a substantial enough difference from a 2 inch wharncliff to stop a large, aggitated aggresor bent on doing harm. As such, the only viable blade that would have enough cutting power and / or stabbing penetrative abilities (according to this reasoning) would be a full sized fixed blade, or a very large folder (Cudda Maxx), which would have the potential of amputating a limb in one pass.
However, I can say this. A fellow who I knew in highschool (was never freinds with him) was stabbed at my college a few years back (Rutgers) with a 3-inch pocket knife when he and two other of his "thugs" attacked a Rutgers student after a party. Eye witness accounts state that the aggressor was stabbed in the chest and neck area,yelled "stop, stop" (referring to the counter attack from the student). The aggressor was in fact a very large guy, and had a reputation of being a "hardened thug". He died shortly after the fight from blood loss, and the Rutgers student was aquitted of all charges.
From this, it seems that the 3 inch pocket knife that the student used to defend himself seemed more than adequate to not only stop the attack, but also unfortunatley stop the attacker for good. I understand that every situation is different, but it seems from this isolated story alone, a smaller pocketknife was more than sufficient to cease the attack.
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Postby Episteme » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:48 pm

And in spite of my continued inquiry into the effectivness of micro-spydies for primary defense, my daily carry has been a g-10 SE Civilian, occasionally accompainied by a SS Police in PE.
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Postby Joe Talmadge » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:59 pm

On a side note, I went to Rutgers too, New Brunswick...

You don't have to convince me that 3" can be an effective stopper. We're talking about probabilities, not certainties. And remember, when you're talking about the Spin, you're not talking about a pointy 3" blade with a full handle (like the delica), you're talking about a not-so-pointy 2" blade with a 2-fingered handle. Hard to draw, hard to hold onto, thrusting effectiveness is greatly compromised because of blade shape. There's a world of difference between Spin &Delica, IMO. If you'd started the conversation with the waved delica 4 instead of the Spin, I would not have had any of the concerns about whether you could draw it and hold onto it ... though of course an extra inch is an extra inch and I'd prefer bigger, but 3" of pointy blade on a full-sized handle is enough.

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Postby gabo » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:50 pm

While in NYC last week with family, I felt very secure with the Dodo serratted and a can of Fox. No problems getting into the Met. ( they dont look hard, just into bags as such) The Dodo is easy to deploy, and has a great handle. The advantage, IMHO, is the short stout blade with the excellent grip makes for very powerful slashes and retention.

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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:05 pm

Joe's Test is a good one....I feel you have to train for such a circumstance like that described by Joe on almost a daily basis to be able to use any folding knife effectively against such a threat...You must remember It takes time to open a folding knife, even if you use inertia...when someone that big is on full charge at you...you must first engage him or avoid and then find space and distance to draw a defensive knife....chances are that this type of attack might come as a total suprise when you least expect it...it is for this reason that I carry two sheath knives always on my belt....easy access from either side with either hand.... nothing to open...plenty of blade lenght for penetration while thrusting....and yes in such a situation you will be thrusting!....as someone mentioned before the Waved Endura might even be a better choice as far as a folder choice for the simple fact once grabbed it opens on the draw....If time permitted I'd love to place a Chinook or Yojimbo in my hands for defense...but chances are I will never get to them in time when clipped to my pocket when someone decides to suprise me with an attack...I train for it....but I don't count on things happening the way I would like them to be....if your concern is for your saftey in a SD situation for real...let me be the first to say forget about a folding knife regardless of size, blade design, or company producing it....find a good sheath knife and practice.....Doc :D
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Postby ceya » Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:14 pm

Erik Remmen's Delica Clip It class back in the early 90s. It was how to use the Delica as a defensive weapon,tool or whatever name you choose. The Delica is a 2 1/2 inch blade.

It was a good course too bad he is not teaching it.

The first Spyderco trainers came out of classes. he was a strong advoate with lefty made blades too.

S/F,
CEYA!

p.s. a good write up of the class. http://www.krtraining.com/KRTraining/Archive/remrep.txt

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Postby Halfneck » Sat Aug 05, 2006 12:29 am

I always wanted to attend one of Mr Remmen's courses. By the time I had the cash, he had stopped though.
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Postby dete » Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:25 am

Episteme wrote: When we look at the sort of horrific damage a sub three inch blade can inflict with relative ease on a human
I pretty much agree,
under 3inches is fine, I recommend a fork blade because if I can stab and create
a wide insertion quick without shoving the blade in deep, it is a plus, and also
I want to move their arm off of me.

I designed a folder like this, problem was people said it looked too weird.

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Postby cdf » Sat Aug 05, 2006 6:33 am

I think it has a lot to do with handle design . A Dodo would work , a spin would be near impossible to index and retain under stress . Daywalkers Lava might be very interesting .

Chris

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Postby Havatoo » Sat Aug 05, 2006 10:38 am

Just a few thoughts. I agree with the "longer is better" view but at the same time I think speed and the ability to hold onto a knife during a confrontation is even more important. Thats why I like knives which are fixed and contain a finger hole even though I also carry a folder.
There are certain drawbacks to a knife, using for SD. Blood, i.e., the danger of contracting disease, and that, I think, it might be hard to immediately stop a determined opponent with a knife. From what I've heard from police, when they come to a crime scene where edged weapons are used, many times people who are victims of them are still up walking around.. Whereas if blunt instruments are used, the victims of them are laid out cold. I know this is a generalization but I think its something to consider.

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Postby Joe Talmadge » Sat Aug 05, 2006 10:55 am

Havatoo, all reasonable points. Presumably, though, if it were legal or convenient to carry a big impact weapon around, the edged weapon would be secondary. Unfortunately, it's usually not convenient and often illegal.

ceya, delica most assuredly has a 3" blade, I just measured mine to check for the zillionth time. Still agree that it's a fine self-defense piece, though also feel that bigger is better.

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Postby Havatoo » Sat Aug 05, 2006 11:22 am

[quote="Joe Talmadge"]Havatoo, all reasonable points. Presumably, though, if it were legal or convenient to carry a big impact weapon around, the edged weapon would be secondary. Unfortunately, it's usually not convenient and often illegal.
Mr. Talmadge-absolutely I agree. There are some states where smaller impact weapons are legal and other states where they are misdemeanors or even a felony. The laws against these types of things are not laws I agree with, but unfortunately we have to deal with them as best we can. It's not a bad idea to familiarize oneself with the state, county and local penal codes where one lives, and even ask a D.A. or a Public Defender on top of that. Fortunately for me in Washington state it's not illegal in most parts of the state to carry things like saps or batons. YMMV

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Postby jerseybounce_42 » Sat Aug 05, 2006 12:06 pm

Havatoo wrote:
Joe Talmadge wrote:Havatoo, all reasonable points. Presumably, though, if it were legal or convenient to carry a big impact weapon around, the edged weapon would be secondary. Unfortunately, it's usually not convenient and often illegal.
Mr. Talmadge-absolutely I agree. There are some states where smaller impact weapons are legal and other states where they are misdemeanors or even a felony. The laws against these types of things are not laws I agree with, but unfortunately we have to deal with them as best we can. It's not a bad idea to familiarize oneself with the state, county and local penal codes where one lives, and even ask a D.A. or a Public Defender on top of that. Fortunately for me in Washington state it's not illegal in most parts of the state to carry things like saps or batons. YMMV

Years back a fishing license was sufficient justification for carrying a pistol in some locales of Oregon and perhaps Washington.

The way things are today it seems those who are concerned about their personal safety have few choices. They include becoming an important person (like Mayor Bloomberg or Senator Lautenberg), thereby being afforded protection not available to the ordinary citizen or breaking the laws espoused by the Bloombergs and Lautenbergs and carrying a cannon wherever possible when forced to be exposed to a dangerous environment. One of our second shift computer operators at a NYC (WTC) office was illegaly strapped for over ten years. People who think they can protect themselves from a gang of thieves with a blade have been watching too many kung foo movies. The choice is simple- exposing oneself to the need for a lawyer or an undertaker. I'd lean towards a small frame revolver, a kevlar vest and only visiting dangerous areas in cold weather. When I was on leave from Fort Benjamin Harrison, I was forced off the road by some wise guys. My .45 ACP Goldcup motivated them to flee the scene. Don't think a Delica would've done that. Even miles back on a logging road in those wonderful west coast National Forests has the potential of being a dangerous area.

As witnessed by the 'there are 11 million of them, we can't enforce that law' bs with the illegal aliens , if enough of you wusses would carry you wouldn't be talking about self defense with a blade under 3". Any of you Jungle Jim's acquainted with thrust, buttstroke, slash? Note that slash is the last choice. The whole matter is a last choice, a bullet being the first. This country needs to bring back the draft and a 21 year old age requirement for voting.
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Postby cornelis » Sun Aug 06, 2006 4:09 am

There's nothing to fear but fear. Anyway, most people won't use their
knives if it comes to it, in a real chips-down situation.
Be hounest and ask yourself, would I ?
There are so many macho types who yell : "I'll rip them to pieces".
Usualy these a the scared boys who whistle in the dark.

I think that the aggression by some people in this thread is frightening.

Cor
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:52 am

cornelis wrote:There's nothing to fear but fear. Anyway, most people won't use their
knives if it comes to it, in a real chips-down situation.


I think that the aggression by some people in this thread is frightening.

Cor
Cornelis: Thank god most people is a dying race....secondly I disagree that the people posting in this thread are agressive or frightening...maybe you shouldn't think ;) that way you won't scare yourself .....Doc :D
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Postby Michael Cook » Sun Aug 06, 2006 12:27 pm

cornelis wrote:There's nothing to fear but fear. Anyway, most people won't use their knives if it comes to it, in a real chips-down situation.
:spyder: Most chronic victim-type people perhaps :rolleyes:

Staying with your poker metaphor chips down is not an appropriate time to use lethal force for self protection. Lethal force comes in after they accuse you of cheating after winning your chips back, block the exit, surround you and shout "KILL HIM!"

I'm not concerned with fear, it's a survival mechanism. It's rape, murder and mutilation that concerns me. That, and carnies. Little hands, smell like cabbages. :spyder:
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