The Garrison Fighting Knife

Craig Garrison

Craig Garrison - designer of the GFK

The Garrison Fighting Knife is an interesting combat knife for soldiers & PMC's

Its rare to see something that is unusual in the cutlery world these days, but every now & again something pops up that is a bit ‘different’. The Garrison Fighting Knife is a purpose designed knife which has a very specific use, & that to be a weapon. The GFK really has no utility use, it’s a focussed design that is aimed at the specific task of defeating an attacker.

The design of the GFK is pretty unique though. At first glance it’s very outlandish, with quite a few people that I’ve shown it to thinking it to be some fantasy knife or prop from Star Trek. The GFK is designed to pull off some very useful techniques however, & it’s unusual looks shouldn’t stop you from looking a bit deeper.

James Loriaga compared the GFK to the gypsy scissors in his review, & I have to admit that when I first saw the GFK (& without having read Loriaga’s review) the first thing that came to my mind wasn’t a Klingon baatleth, but the gypsy scissors.

The GFK’s unique shape makes it very easy to trap an incoming attacking limb. Off the low abdominal thrust/cut, or a high forehand cut/thrust it traps the limb in it’s sharpened jaws as you pallasut, & rip back after the pallasut & you take the opponents weapon right out of their grip. Against a backhand line you can trap the opponents limb in the jaws & just tear back. It's a weapon that allows you the ability to effectively ‘de-fang the snake’. Having two tips it makes for a fearsome thrust, & the ability to cause substantial wounds.

The Garrison Fighting Knife

Now, this knife design isn’t without a couple of caveats. As a knife for civilians to carry is IS a very aggressive design that will raise a few eyebrows if seen, & I would hazard a guess that if you were searched by law enforcement- even in a place where you could lawfully carry a defensive weapons- you may find a negative attitude towards the knife. Using a knife in self defence in places where you can lawfully carry & use a firearm in self defence very often sees you getting a harder time in court defending your actions than if you’d defended yourself with a firearm. I recall Dennis Martin in his column in Fighting Arts International back in the early 90's making a comment that you’ll have less hassle in court explaining a knife called a ‘mariner’ than one called a ‘ninja fang of death’- the moral of the story being that in the battle of perception v’s reality, perception very often wins. The GFK is a very aggressive & unusual looking knife, & that could work against you. The strange thing about this is, that because the GFK is so effective at stripping an attackers weapon you are actually less likely to need to use lethal force! If you’re attacking me with a weapon & I have the opportunity to draw & engage you, (with enough training) I have a pretty good chance of disarming you & getting you into a ‘position of negotiation’ where-upon it’s up to you if I need to go further. It’s fearsome appearance could also be a strength, as I think a normal mugger might find it quite a psychological blow to see the GFK drawn & displayed.

The Garrison Fighting Knife

If you’re a PMC or a member of the military that doesn’t have to worry about issues like this (or the previous points don’t phase you), then the GFK would be an excellent close combat weapon. It is very rugged in its build, & I really think you’d have to be doing something stupid with it to break it- & remember, it really is a purpose driven fighting knife so it isn’t really at home doing fieldwork. The model that Craig kindly sent me to play with was a black coated model, with a cord wrapped grip. My only criticism of its fit & finish is that I would have liked to have seen a better edge on it. As a purpose built fighting knife as opposed to a working knife I wouldn’t draw it to open boxes or do any field tasks. The edge on the knife is what I would consider more of a tough ‘working edge’, & on a purpose driven fighting knife I like it to be screaming sharp. I don’t think it would take a great deal of work for someone to touch the edge up & get it really sharp, I just happen to be pretty cack handed when it comes to sharpening.

The Garrison Fighting Knife

The model Craig sent me didn’t come with a sheath, but I understand that Craig now has a specially designed sheath system for the GFK made in kydex; though I can’t comment on it as I haven’t actually used it.

So if you’re looking for a purpose driven fighting knife that is genuinely ‘a bit different’ & provides some interesting capabilities that also make for interesting training; then the GFK might just be for you. You can get the GFK from Craig Garrison via www.garrisonfightingknives.com, where training drones are also available.

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