and happened to see this great video, a historical review of the training and use of the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting knife.
a) There are those that discount the merits of this style of knife due to the handle design.
The handle is round which makes indexing of the blade difficult for edge awareness and orientation. This is very true IF you feel the primary purpose of this blade is for
slashing/cutting purposes. Then edge awareness is critical. But as outlined in the video, one of the primary strategies for this blade design was the use of the point/tip. It has a
needle tip which means it’s designed for piercing/stabbing. Therefore it’s perhaps less critical to quickly index the handle so that the edge is properly oriented. The change to a
flatter, more elliptical handle was an important evolution into the Applegate-Fairbairn fighting knife.
b) Sheonage or “4-corners throw” – Trooper Scott describes a defensive training scenario which results in a broken arm for the “doubter”. This sounds like a variation of the “Sheonage”or 4-corners throw. No doubt effective (as described), but generally frowned upon as a standard knife defense vs. a downward stab/slash, since your average FMA player would retract and cut the blocking arm or redirect and attack another target.
But in historical context, you have to realize that they weren’t training to defend against the average FMA player or really anyone with much knife savvy at all. They were training against the average draftee with little or no blade awareness that was relying on this
weapon as a backup or last resort. And we have to remember that on the street (vs. competition or dojo) we’re not always facing a “trained” attacker. But in many ways that’s even more dangerous.
c) Interesting description of the sentry removal technique as “a bit of a messy job”. That may be a classic Brit understatement.