Western Knife Combat
Bob Kasper (left) in the Forward Guard, 1981.
Bob Kasper is a former USMC Military Policeman and USAR Cavalry Scout. He is the Director of the Gung-Ho Chuan Association, a brotherhood of Marine Corps veteran close quarters combat instructors. He is the Founder of the American Society of Arwrologists (All-Out Hand-to-Hand Fighting) and holds black belts and instructor ranks in several martial art disciplines. An avid knife enthusiast his whole life, Bob Kasper began his study of Western knife fighting in the late 1970s while researching WW2 close quarters combat.
Mr. Kasper is the former Street Smarts editor for Tactical Knives magazine and has written over 100 close combat/knife related articles for Combat Knives, Modern Knives, Fighting Knives, Full Contact, Guns & Ammo, Soldier of Fortune, and Gung-Ho magazines. He is also the Editor for SNAPPING IN, The Journal of the Gung-Ho Chuan Association.
Bob Kasper and Kni-Com training team with the USMC Close Combat Instructor Cadre, Quantico 2001.
Bob Kasper is a former Close Combat Subject Matter Expert and author of the new close combat knife curriculum for the United States Marine Corps. He has been employed full time in the protective security business for nearly a decade and has deployed to high risk environments such as Mexico City and Bogota, Colombia to train protective security personnel in various hard skills.
Bob Kasper, who is an Honorary Member of The Knifemaker's Guild, is well known for his Kasper Fighting Knife designs. They include: the 'Bulldog', 'Pug', 'Companion', 'Scorpion', 'Perfigo Fixed', and 'Gaunt' which are all handmade by Al Polkowski. The 'Classic' made by Randy Lee. The 'Performer' made by Jim Siska. The award winning 'Grande' made by Rob Patton. And the very popular 'Kasper Folding Fighter' series and 'Perfigo Folder' made by Pat Crawford. Columbia River Knife & Tool has teamed with Bob to produce the Crawford/Kasper Fighting Folder and Polkowski/Kasper Companion.
Bob Kasper leading DoD unit through Kni-Com drill, Bosnia 1997.
Kni-Com is a program of instruction (POI) which utilizes principles, techniques, and tactics from Western military schools of knife combat. It is based on the reality of a violent knife attack and the bodys natural reaction to it.
Every combat knife POI must include training in realistic assaults. There are many manuals on close combat that include a study of enemy tactics. We should follow their example and know our enemy and how he operates. Once you understand the mindset of the predator, youll approach your training in a more realistic manner.
The first thing you must understand is that a predator uses the principle of surprise to begin his assault. The chances of you drawing a knife for an initial defense is very slight. Unfortunately, you wont even be thinking about your knife once the sudden violence has begun. The second thing you must understand is that he will continue his assault until he has complete control of you. The assault is going to be fast, furious, and continuous. Therefore, youll have to counter him unarmed until youre able to draw your weapon. At this initial stage of the encounter a fast and sure draw becomes the most single important aspect of knife fighting.
The success of a tactical draw depends upon two things. Equipment design and practice. Especially practice!
No matter how good the design it wont work unless you practice. Draws should be done under various stressed conditions using one-hand, two-hand, and off-hand scenarios. Kni-Com includes drills such as slap attack, grapple and ground draws. These stress induced Fend-Draw-Attack drills train the practitioner to draw and counter for various violent encounters.
As mentioned Kni-Com consists of the study of enemy attacks as well as drawing under various conditions. But knife combat is much more than just getting the weapon out. Like any other combat skill it must include a blend of defensive and offensive tactics designed to quickly end a confrontation without sustaining a serious injury. Yes, you can expect to get cut. But dont let it happen on purpose. You do not want to close in if you dont have to. You do not want to sacrifice a limb or take a cut or thrust to deliver one in return. Its like taking a bullet before you return fire.
Instructor Chris Heflin demonstrates Kni-Com concealed carry draw.
Kni-Com is a practical system for all those who carry a knife for defensive purposes. Its not based on bullet reflexes or jack-rabbit movements, nor does it take years of practice to become proficient. It was developed for an average person with average ability to learn combative knife skills in a reasonable amount of time.
Kni-Com is currently in use by several military, government, and police agencies. It's purpose is to increase personal survival when the use of firearms is, for whatever purpose, not available.
Kni-Com is only available to GHCA members at this time.