Tag Archives: self defense

Yojimbo2 as EDC Workhorse ? Don’t be shy !

After using the Kapara all this summer I have decided to go the opposite way with a straight edge and flat handle !
And having a lot of fun with my Yojimbo2, I have decided to beat that dead horse again:
“This knife has been designed for Self Defense, It would not be a great EDC, especially in the kitchen.”

All famous SD tools were issued from agricultural items, from nunchakus to kerambits and since when straight sharp knives are not useful in the kitchen ?
So let’s broad the specter of usage of the good old Yo2.

The handle is flat and broad.
This is a real plus for indexing the knife but also to hold it by pivot area between the thum and the index. A very commode grip when carving pumpkins or just cutting on a board.


There is a hump on the handle’s back which fills the palm of the hand making the grip secured even with very wet hands. You can notice the same shape on the Kapara‘s handle.
In fact despite being flat the handle is almost all in curves and
looking at the Yo2, only the very edge is straight.



The blade is short thick but broad and keen. It is shorter than a Kapara’s blade which got almost the same handle length. But this a very powerful blade, able to withstand forceful pushcuts.
For that matter I have rounded the spine on mine. Personal preferences since my first Sebenza.


You can put all your weight on the spine to cut right through any matters. The wide blade goes through like in butter.
Also the Yojimbo2’s blade got a certain heft. It is thick on the spinde and feels hefty hence the sensation of power when cutting. This is not minor in the pleasure of using your tool. Thank kind of weight behind the spine makes it ooze of power.

The high blade can adopt the thin geometry needed for easy slices into cherry tomatoes, a simple chore which can be tricky and is an excellent test for sharpness. Tomatoe’s skin can be tricky and rough or razor edges are their best nemesis.
I also heard a lot: “The tip could be fragile.”

For the record, the Snody/Janich’s Ronin and first Yojimbo were much more thin on their tip. The Ronin being made of VG10, I had managed to break it.

To eliminate any risk I have chosen a stronger alloy on my Yojimbo2: CPM M4 and so far the needle tip is as pointy as Day One.

For that kind of jar, the easiest way to open it is by making a hole right in the middle of its cap. When I want to use the jar again, I will use more force or if stuck a twist of a leatherman’s flat screwdriver under it lips to balance the pressure.
With the Yo2, I have been able to remove staples in wood planks and even drill into hard wood which mean torsions for the drilling. No certain I would try that with S90V but S30V heat treated in Golden is strong enough for knife shores. The CPM M4 used here is just peace of mind even on thin sharp knives. Gayle Bradley has also chosen that steel for the exact same reason: strength.
But a knife will never replace a screwdriver apart perhaps for the infamous Ed Schempp’s Tuff.

Once broken, I have been able to regrind the tip of the Ronin which has been one of my favorite big little fixed blade.

The blade shape allow the Yojimbo2 to cut on a board but also the Wharncliff shape protect the edge from any contact with plate’s ceramic. Only the pointy tip get in contact ! It will make deep scars in your wooden planks if you are not careful.

Wharncliffs are great for whittling and also rope/string cutting. There is no belly for the cut material to run away.
They will be less handy as skinning knife where belly blades are mandatory.

The blade choked, only the tip remains for delicate work. In that matter it is as good as the Paramillie2.

The absence of real choil is not an issue. The place of the thumb on the “hump” gives a lot of controlled power.
You can also notice than despite a single spot, I have not been able to get a real patina on that CPM M4 blade.

In conclusion the Yo2 is really a great workhorse and should not be restricted to Martial Bladecraft. Also the more you use your knife in everyday life and the more your build your motor skills about deploying and closing the blade. The heft of the blade helps a lot for that. Use your Yojimbos hard and you will be surprised how they can handle any tasks !

Knives for Self Defense — Is it a good idea ?

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Some knives are marketed on self defense purpose but self defense is not a current situation in the use of a knife. Before you get yourself in a situation where your life is at stake, there is a lot of extraordinary thresholds you have already crossed where your personal knife was not part of the equation.
It’s not the famous Sandbar Duel anymore and we are not, any of us, Jim Bowie’s heirs.
Finding yourself facing dangerous people with guns is not a good situation for “knife self defense”. As you know: “never bring a knife to a gunfight”.
Finding yourself assaulted by someone unarmed, is not a good situation for drawing a blade, especially in front of witnesses. Your lethal response is much too high.

When coud be the knife a good equalizer ? And in what situation ?
Against many opponents, drawing a blade can make you win some times but then your aggressors will adjust their ways to attack you, like throwing chairs and miscellaneous missiles for example.

Also, knife wounds are not painful, especially if the blade is razor sharp: you don’t feel the cuts or the stabs. A furious or drugged opponent won’t feel anything and will continue to attack and even bleed on you…

An opponent in a dark alley draws a knife  on you? Are you ready for a duel “mano a mano” ? Do you think the knife in your hand would be the best way to get away without being wounded yourself ?
Knives are part of the dirty fighting arts; if used as a weapons they are for attack – not defense..

wp-image-258869882(Bud Nealy’s knives were sold as “fast response defense knives”. Here a Peshkab near a Spyderco Mantra 2 for scale purposes.)

It’s like a piano string, the famous “wetworks” used in the commando. Warfare knives are made to kill silently. They can be good stealth weapons in the hands of specially trained soldiers but as a “defense” tool, they are much better equipment like…

The good old hiking staff, a walking stick or the humble cane.
In France, when swords were forbidden, cane fencing developed as a way to protect oneself against knives and for the record common used and carried knives were slipjoints.
After some training, rods, staffs, canes and even solid umbrellas can be used for parrying and inflicting pain should you be in need.

Before to get yourself in dangerous situations where self-defense can be useful, there are certainly other things to be honed than a knife’s edge: your awareness. This is the most important skill. Check your surroundings: always. Being immerse in music under your headphones won’t help. You need your ears and your eyes. Avoiding dangerous areas and avoiding people who makes your instinct react; so many ways to avoid a real self-defense situation. Don’t fall asleep in the subway!
Professionals who get themselves in that kind of situation will not count on their blade as their main self-defense tool. They have telescopic rods, electrical weapons, mace, even flat suitcases they carry are in fact used to “protect” as a shield. Remember: a knife will not protect you; it can arm the opponent. There are no parrying methods with a knife. Also a knife does not have any reach. It’s a close quarter combat weapon. Even a kick has got more reach than a lunge made with a knife in one’s hand. Agreed it’s not the case with a sword or a rapier, or a spear or a staff…

Now you can always learn from those various technics of using a knife as a weapon. It’s like fencing or iaido, it’s always good to learn fighting skills with all tools and the knife is one of the oldest tools used in combat. It helps you to understand a culture. It helps you also to understand the threats and the body language and the stance and the balance. You will learn that from boxing too; footwork and mobility are the first things to master…. “fly like butterfly”. Learning how to fight can also help you to learn how to carry out first aid if someone gets hurt. Knowledge is always good and the more you will learn about knife fighting the less you will dream about using it in a real self-defense situations even though dreams fuel good marketing.

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(Edited by Pascal Jaffre)