Then I made a wooden trainer so I could practice with a partner without fear of laceration. The wood’s not as forgiving as a high-density foam trainer, but I’ve used wooden trainers for years with great success. A little sanding and shaping, maybe a little duct tape to prevent splinters and you’re good to go.
My most recent purchase was the Boker Plus “Batman”. For years I have been keeping my eyes open for a reasonably priced Spyderco Civilian, but gave up hope and dropped $30 instead on something that I could easily pocket carry, but still use for Karambit-type techniques. The only two drawbacks I see with the Batman are that it’s fairly bulky and the clip attaches low on the handle. This means that it’s fairly obvious and sticks out of the pocket more than I prefer.
Now I use each of the devices to practice a 35-step kata that covers a range of blocks, strikes, slashes, punches, and hooks. Both left and right hand, as well as holding the knife in a forward or reverse grip. It’s interesting to see how the application of the technique changes slightly depending on the blade orientation, but using the kata as a conceptual starting point, the movements can be used with not only these hooked-blade
devices, but with straight blades or even empty handed. As with most katas, there are a lot of things to discover under the hood, if you only take the time and broaden your
If you haven’t considered any of these kinds of curved implements before, pick one
up and give it a try. Not only is it fun, it can also broaden your martial horizons.