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Guest Posts: More on Knives You Don't See

In response to my post about Knives You Don't See, I received the following from Sensei Don Roberts. You can read an article by Roberts Sensei in the The Oku Technique. Roberts Sensei has written a fine series of books about bunkai that I really admire. They are called Tigikai: Theories and Analyses of Isshin-Ryu Karate Do Kata. If you would like to order books in the series, you can contact Roberts Sensei at Gambatteisshin@aol.com.

I had the pleasure of meeting Roberts Sensei and Mrs. Roberts here in Hawaii. Here is his response:

Hi Charles-san,

I saw on your face book site that you were knife collector. Me too, especially fighting knives. There is just something about them that is fascinating. We also teach defense against the knife, as well as some techniques using the knife. I have a little story about our training I think you might be interested in.

I used to have a young policeman come by the dojo in the morning before he went on shift. In addition to standard training, we worked on things he might encounter during his work day. One thing we emphasized was observing body language, especially if the subject turned so as to hide his strong hand. This could indicate he was reaching for a knife carried in the back pocket (which is how most people carry them down here). One day he responded to a call to assist EMT's as they attempted to escort an "unbalanced" person to the hospital. As the EMT's were leading the person to the ambulance, my guy noticed the body language we had worked on in class. Immediately he drew his gun, and loudly yelled "Knife!" The EMT's leaped to the side just as the individual produced a hooked linoleum knife. The knife was dropped and the guy was cuffed. My guy's quick thinking saved the situation without anyone being hurt.

Take care and keep up the good work.

Don Roberts