Civilian/Matriarch

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
User avatar
Halfneck
Member
Posts: 1732
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:51 am
Location: Calhoun, Georgia.

Civilian/Matriarch

Postby Halfneck » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:35 pm

Tried doing a search and pulled up nothing.

So I understand that the intent behind the design of the Civilian (and to a degree the Matriarch) is Self-Defense. From the unique design there was obviously a specific technique. My question is how were they to be used in that capacity?

If I were to guess I'd say disabling attacks that would allow you to create distance to either get away, access a firearm, or get help. I'm thinking along the lines of "Defanging the Snake" as in FMA, or Comma Cuts as taught in MBC.

Mr. Glesser or Michael Janich - any insight?

User avatar
Stuart Ackerman
Member
Posts: 1848
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:39 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby Stuart Ackerman » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:15 pm

James Keating once said in his video of the Civilian, words to this effect:

"When you show them the slab of meat you sliced off their forearm, they tend to stop wanting to hurt you."

Mr Janich might echo that paraphrased statment?
It has being years since I saw it, and I am old and doddery... :)

User avatar
Stuart Ackerman
Member
Posts: 1848
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:39 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby Stuart Ackerman » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:25 pm

He did use a Comtech Civilian Trainer in wood ( maybe Koa), and sometimes two...

User avatar
Halfneck
Member
Posts: 1732
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:51 am
Location: Calhoun, Georgia.

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby Halfneck » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:01 pm

Stuart Ackerman wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:25 pm
He did use a Comtech Civilian Trainer in wood ( maybe Koa), and sometimes two...
There was also some made out of a hard white plastic/resin. No idea of the company that made them, I just recall using their trainers (and buying 2 based on knives I had at that time) at the Riddle of Steel.

User avatar
Stuart Ackerman
Member
Posts: 1848
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:39 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby Stuart Ackerman » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:04 am

Someone offered me a copy of his DVD for the Civilian.
I appreciate the offer, but I do not steal someone else's intelectual propery...

I have just found a link for a legal Civilian DVD from Comtech for $30.00 ex postage.

If Sal is happy, I can post the link?

James Keating is a member here known as as maajak...Short for Master At Arms James A Keating, but has not posted for years.

User avatar
The Deacon
Member
Posts: 25212
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Upstate SC, USA
Contact:

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby The Deacon » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:30 am

May be wrong, but I believe the Civilian was originally designed to be a maximally effective last ditch "flail away and pray" weapon for Federal law enforcement officers who where not well untrained in knife fighting. The Matriarch was originally made at the request of Spyderco's South African distributor (RAMCO?) for similar use by women there as an anti-rape/anti-kidnapping defensive weapon at a lower cost than the Civilian.
Paul
My Personal Website ---- Beginners Guide to Spyderco Collecting ---- Spydiewiki
Deplorable :p
WTC # 1458 - 1504 - 1508 - Never Forget, Never Forgive!

User avatar
Stuart Ackerman
Member
Posts: 1848
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:39 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby Stuart Ackerman » Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:33 am

You are right, Paul...
Marc Ager of Ramrod asked Sal for the Matriach...
Ramrod is now called Lite Optec Group.

Michael Janich
Member
Posts: 1615
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Longmont, CO USA
Contact:

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby Michael Janich » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:16 am

Hey, All:

The Civilian was developed to cause maximum damage with minimal skill. Sal created the Reverse "S" blade shape to replicate the mechanical function of an animal's claw--piercing with the tip and drawing the material to be cut into the concave of the hawkbill section. One disadvantage of hawkbills when cutting limbs is that they can hook on bone, stopping the action of the blade. The "belly" near the heel of a Reverse "S" cuts aggressively, but also "fills" the base of the edge's concave curve. If you make contact and start the cut there, it pushes bones away and feeds the material into the hawkbill section.

During my service with Spyderco, I've had the honor of meeting two people who used the Civilian for "serious" purposes. One was a law enforcement officer who was ambushed by a suspect who tried to take his gun. The officer, to his great credit, had trained for that contingency, maintained control over his gun while drawing his Civilian and killing his assailant with it. The other was a U.S. Army soldier who used it in the context of providing critical medical care for a fellow soldier wounded by an IED in Iraq. Both men assured me that the cutting power of the fully serrated Reverse "S" blade is incredible.

Although designed to be effective with gross motor skills, James Keating took the design and maximized its potential through his in-depth knowledge and skill. His video on the Civilian was actually one of the first to show karambit-inspired technique, long before karambits became fidget spinners for knife guys. James is brilliant and his depth of knowledge on the esoteric aspects of the martial arts is unparalleled.

Back in the day, COMTECH sold Civilian trainers made from exotic wood that were hand crafted by Rob Langford--a COMTECH instructor and one of Jim's primary training/demonstration partners in his early videos. The plastic trainers were molded from resin in rubber molds. The molds were often created by taking real knives, building up the edge thicknesses with clay, and then coating them with silicone. This was done by Edge Molding Company, a partner business of James and COMTECH. Sadly, EMC betrayed James and disappeared.

If you're looking for a bit more history on the Civilian, Matriarch, and their variations, here's a link to an article I wrote for Small Arms Review magazine: http://www.smallarmsreview.com/display. ... icles=3091.

I hope this helps.

Stay safe,

Mike

User avatar
sal
Member
Posts: 13026
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Golden, Colorado USA

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby sal » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:30 am

Thanx Mike for the info and the article.

I guess there is a lot of Spyderco History.
Stuart Ackerman wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:04 am
Someone offered me a copy of his DVD for the Civilian.
I appreciate the offer, but I do not steal someone else's intelectual propery...

I have just found a link for a legal Civilian DVD from Comtech for $30.00 ex postage.

If Sal is happy, I can post the link?

James Keating is a member here known as as maajak...Short for Master At Arms James A Keating, but has not posted for years.

Hi Stuart,

Postng the link would be fine. That's how I first met James.

sal

LouisSeacamp
Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:17 am

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby LouisSeacamp » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:44 am

Koa's one thing, the real deal is another "once bitten twice shy"!

Image

Image

User avatar
curlyhairedboy
Member
Posts: 1892
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:01 am
Location: Southern New England

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby curlyhairedboy » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:29 pm

This thread has me wanting another matriarch....
EDC Rotation: PITS, Shaman, CF S90v Shaman, Ikuchi, Amalgam, CruCarta Shaman, Lil Native, Sage 5 LW, Ouroboros, 4V Shaman, Watu
Always in Pocket: Hawkbill Dragonfly 2 H1
Special and Sentimental: Southard, Smallfly G10, Squarehead LW, Calendar Para 3 LW, 40th Anniversary Native
Would like to own again: Sheepsfoot Caribbean
Wishlist: CQI Kapara, Tanto PM2, Shaman Sprints!

User avatar
jdw
Member
Posts: 1097
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:10 pm
Location: Red Dirt

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby jdw » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:42 pm

This thread has me wishing that I had not sold my Civilian. It has to be one of the most fearsome knives that I have ever held. To me, it's brilliant in its designed intent as self defense for someone like myself who has zero training in any kind of knife fighting. Unless you have some seriously willful ill intent I can't imagine the very sight of one not being a deterrent.

EDIT: And thank you to everyone above sharing some great information. Just an awesome read!
Do right always. It will give you satisfaction in life.
--Wovoka

TkoK83Spy
Member
Posts: 3987
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:32 pm
Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby TkoK83Spy » Tue Apr 07, 2020 1:20 pm

These knives are rarely seen, pictures always make a thread better! Actually took this one on Sunday while doing some yard cleanup. Didn't feel like folding it back up and putting it in my pocket when picking up some sticks from under the tree. "Hanging out" sufficed :cool:

Resized_20200405_183646.jpeg
Currently have 18 :spyder:'s in 11 different steels. Constantly adding and purging!

-Rick

User avatar
Stuart Ackerman
Member
Posts: 1848
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:39 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby Stuart Ackerman » Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:32 pm

Thanks for the permission, Sal...

For the DVD of the Civilian and other stuff that Mr Keating is adept at...

http://www.alliancemartialarts.com/dvd% ... 20DVDs.htm

User avatar
Stuart Ackerman
Member
Posts: 1848
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:39 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby Stuart Ackerman » Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:34 pm

Almost to the bottom of the page, look for these words?

Spyderco Civilian
Learn the unique abilities of this or any other hookbill style folder, plus a section on lifesaving options as well.

User avatar
Halfneck
Member
Posts: 1732
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:51 am
Location: Calhoun, Georgia.

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby Halfneck » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:04 pm

Thanks to all posting information & pics here. Special thanks to Michael Janich for the information & accompanying article.

208 tim
Member
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:32 pm

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby 208 tim » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:19 pm

I cringe everytime I see a Spyderco Civilian. In a good way.

User avatar
JacksonKnives
Member
Posts: 747
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:28 pm
Location: Formerly Alberta, now Orange County, California
Contact:

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby JacksonKnives » Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:45 pm

Image
Definitely a classic. Don't have much reason to carry it when working at a desk nowadays, but I used to take it on long-distance motorcycle trips back when that was still a part of my life.

Edit: as you may be able to see from the comparison with other photos in this thread, the tip on mine didn't survive the 1990s. I'm not the original owner, but it's fun to make up stories about what happened.
Last edited by JacksonKnives on Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
—Daniel Jackson

JMM
Member
Posts: 558
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:39 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby JMM » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:51 pm

I have never held or owned either of these models, I think I really need to fix that... :)

User avatar
sal
Member
Posts: 13026
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Golden, Colorado USA

Re: Civilian/Matriarch

Postby sal » Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:21 am

I would suggest the all black Matriarch with the Emerson Opener.

sal


Return to “Spyderco General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: -swk-, curlyhairedboy, Giygas, Johncjeff, JuPaul, legOFwhat?, NorthShoreBoiBoi, Sonorum, thefly01, Wartstein and 23 guests