An Alternative View Of Knife Defense.
Here’s a thought-provoking question for you: When is a knife not a knife, more than a knife — or a knife in disguise? Welcome to Krudo’s world, one expanding the role of the knife to new dimensions of self-defense. Louis Krudo is a martial arts expert and instructor on the self-defense technique known as Arnis, which led to the creation of his own system, KRUDO Urban Tactics. Born in Uruguay, his family moved to Newark, New Jersey from Montevideo just shy of 47 years ago.
Krudo became interested in knives at an early age thanks to a cousin who was in the business of making knives and gun repair. “I remember the smell of acetylene and steel, the constant grinding and sanding until he achieved a mirror blade finish,” Louis recalls. “He would then polish the horn knife handles to a beautiful shine. It marked the beginning of my long-lasting and ongoing fascination with edge tools of the tactical sort.”
Krudo’s early attraction to knives would collide with another early impression — one to propel him toward a successful career and business with his company, Krudo Knives.
“My martial arts interest I owe to my Dad. In 1972, he decided to take me to the movies, so we took the bus from Newark to New York City. Dad took me to the best movie ever — well, not really — but as a kid it was awesome. The movie was The 5 Fingers of Death. Martial arts has been a part of my life ever since!”
Arnis is different from many martial art styles because it encompasses several disciplines. Louis explains, “Arnis is a weapons-based martial art which comes from the Philippines. It has a very long history of combat effectiveness. The difference from other martial arts is the student is taught to train with weapons from the very start, rather than starting on empty hands training (like many martial arts do). This type of training builds manual dexterity in the practitioner and also trains faster conditioned responses to various attacks.
“Although it’s weapons-based, it also includes striking (kicking and punching), wrestling and grappling, and even ground fighting. It also teaches practical defenses against most weapons. Combine some Okinawan Karate, Muay Thai, Wing Chung and add some of my own flavor using my uniquely-designed tools and you have KRUDO Urban Tactics.”
Get Your SNAG On
While Krudo offers a diverse group of knives, none more so than the SNAG Series, which launched the company. At first blush, these knives look like Kerambits, but Louis bristles at the suggestion. “I don’t call my SNAG design a Kerambit … I just call it SNAG. While spending over a decade in the Arnis arena, Kerambit became part of my interest. I created my first drawing of a folding Kerambit approximately 15 years ago. Then I sat on the design for almost 3 years and lost my chance to create it and try it on the market.”
But one day, on Louis’s way home from visiting the knifemaker who would be executing his design, he had an epiphany.
“Turn the blade around for more control and add a thumb support for extreme power-to-pain ratio efficiency at the tip of the blade. The thumb support, an important addition to my knife, makes a large difference in control, comfort and leverage.”
These two features separate Krudo’s SNAGs from the pack — and his line just keeps expanding.”
One integral part of the SNAG folder series is the Controller model, meant to inflict pain of the non-lethal type. Krudo affectionately calls it a “pain management tool,” a harbinger of things to come. It looks like a knife, opens like a knife, but the similarities end there. There’s no blade edge on the Controller, but there’s a lot of jimping able to grab, snatch, jerk and create general allaround havoc to the poor soul who becomes the object of its affliction.
“I’ve been through the demo of this knife and pain-wise it can, indeed, be akin to a trip to the dentist’s office for a triple root canal,” says Krudo with a grin.
The Live version of the SNAG folder is all about cutting … and cutting and cutting and cutting. The upswept blade is serrated at the base and abruptly switches to a plain edge to the tip. The back of the blade has jimping for added grip in various positions. Of course, you don’t learn a complex training system using a live blade, so Louis offers a polymer version of the SNAG in fixed form for practice and perfecting technique — and this component can also be used as a non-lethal compliance tool.
Louis explains the key behind SNAG-nosis is to use SNAG in guerrilla warfare-type applications — delivering maximum pain management success. Huh?
He says, “You do not focus your attack on just one spot of the body. You apply quick strong pressure or hit one spot, move to the next, move to the next until you work your opponent into your desired compliant position.”
A large fixed-blade version of the SNAG is also available, as is the SNAGette: a smaller, easy-to-conceal fixed-blade sibling, which is available in both Live and Trainer form. Large or small, Krudo recommends some sort of tool always be carried.
The Beat-Down Goes On
Does a monster fixed-blade appeal more to you? The RAW (Real Ass Whooper) is a handful of curvaceous 11.75″ fixer with a menacing 6.5″ upswept blade (serrated on the backside), and a ring at the base allowing for similar positioning techniques as those of his SNAG folder. Handle choices include Standard, Carbon Fiber or C-TEK Honeycomb Black Resin.
Recently added is a carbon fiber group, which includes two (zero magnetic) neck knives dubbed NANOs and a handy bit of business called the Ultimate Defense Card — a credit card-shaped weapon with nasty little teeth for gnawing at a bad guy’s body parts.
There’s a cross-section of other knives in Krudo’s trick bag too numerous to name here. A quick visit to Louis’ website will get you up to speed and it will be come quickly apparent he’s not a guy who likes to sit still. If you’re looking for a self-defense system going far beyond the realm of the knife — yet encompasses all the benefits — take a ride to the ever-expanding universe known as Krudo Knives!
By Pat Covert
Photos By Chuck Pittman Inc.
For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/krudo-knives, (727) 753-8455