We might agree the thing about history is that it is a collective effort to correct.
No one individual has the complete and accurate accounting of an event or series of events. Just their moments of seeing these events occur through their individual prism at the moment. If we spark each other with our postings with the intention of furnishing a more accurate and interesting account of, in this case the Warrior knife design/concept, then we are succeeding.
Love your insight!
Yes, the original sheathware was designed for carry on the traditional U.S. military load bearing harness of that time.
Much as the initial Cordura/plastic inset sheath for the Spyderco Warrior is designed for similar carry today.
The widest projected consumer market (the U.S. military) was necessary to appeal to and that's what Al did. Sal is doing no differently with his rendition. Quality leatherwork was likewise expensive but it was an aspect of the total product Al did not cut corners on. Again, it was Al's funding capability that fueled the project and that funding - as with any business investment - needed to be recouped as swiftly as possible once the knife became available. The Warrior is very much a niche knife -as opposed to the original SERE fixed blade, for example, that became an enormous seller and paid for itself from the onset.
Best of all Al ensured Randy and Bob were paid a royalty.
Yes, there was a huge frustation with Taylor/Wanner regarding U Sakai's European distribution and sales of the knife. I was privy to that mess via Al and later Ann. Al was both blessed and cursed with his association with Sakai. For example, when Al would visit Japan he would often help aspiring knife designers with observations and sketches. He did not ask for or recieve a fee for these "open houses with Al Mar". He later discovered Sakai made it a practice of sending "aspiring designers" whose task it was to ask Al questions and encourage him to draw his thoughts on paper for them...which they dutifully turned over to Sakai upon leaving.
Certainly orders for custom Kydex scabbards coming in from Europe, for example, gave a reasonable accounting of perhaps how many bootleg Warriors were streaming directly from Japan to markets other than Al's U.S. clients. The Warrior was not the only such AMK product done wrong in this way - and there were knives bearing the AMK "chop" Al had no design involvement in. He was bedeviled with this problem up until the time of his death.
Note: Today mainland China happily knocks off anything and everybody with little recourse for those whose designs end up on the cloning table. For example, I saw knock off Warriors in downtown Baghdad in '04 at street stalls selling all sorts of bladeware. Saw it again in Irbil, Kurdistan (that particular knock off was of pretty nice quality!). A close friend of mine with multiple tours in Afghanistan has seen it there. China makes Japan's sleight of hand overseas sales pale in comparison and will continue to do so.
Tex Shoemaker had long been Mar's sheathmaker of choice when it came to leatherwork for his many designs, folding and fixed blade. It would be natural for Shoemaker, through AMK, to offer a follow on sheath system for the AMK Warrior if asked to by Al or Ann, the latter who took control of the company after Al's sad and unexpected passing.
You are absolutely correct in stating the high ride sheath was not user friendly pistol belt wise.
Given all that was packed on an infantryman's LBE the tight and, in my professional experience awkward / uncomfortable position of the high ride (near any high ride) sheath, did not encourage this option. If you went through the challenge of getting it on to the pistol belt to begin with. The immense width and length of the knife with the truly massive and angled pommel piece dug into the rib cage when running, crawling, jumping and other activities associated with the infantry. It was not swift in the draw due to its high ride, overly tight body positioning.
Gerber Knives sheathed the Mark II in a drop sheath with pistol belt hook (like the original 1911 .45 auto military holster) for just this reason. Even that early leather sheath could be mounted on the shoulder harness comfortably. The introduction of the Bianchi clip system as seen in the M9 military holster eased large knife mounting on LBE/LCE later on.
Frankly, both Bob T and Randy W were very, very fortunate Al took the project on. For all the behind the scenes "unhappiness" with this, that and the other thing sent in Al and Ann's way throughout the course of the effort I don't know if the unneeded and unwanted excessive frustation was worth it for Al, in particular. Bottom Line Up Front - Taylor/Wanner needed AMK at the time - AMK did not need the Warrior Knife.
When the Gaijan proto became available Taylor sent me one. I loved it and told him so. When he needed it back I sent it to him ASAP. I covered REKAT and its products quite a bit in Fighting Knives Magazine - and favorably - a carry over from the Warrior's production beginnings with Al. I loved the Hobbit and it showed in FK's coverage. As a matter of fact I believe we featured a Hobbit on a cover once - that's my recollection at least. REKAT sales and the company's positive promotion did not suffer under my editorship and FK broke ground for additional coverage elsewhere.
That, too, is part of the Warrior's history.
Finally, I apologize for getting your first name wrong. Thank you for correcting me