Tag Archives: FleshEater

The Flesheater

No, I’m not referring to zombies.

Flesheater Combat Knife
Photo courtesy of Jim Hammond’s website

I’m talking about this fierce looking combat knife called the Flesheater. It was designed by world renowned martial artist and retired USMC Master Sergeant AJ Advincula, and custom made by knife maker Jim Hammond.

It’s also the knife alpha gladiator Max uses in my sci-fi romance, Captive (Book #1 in the Survival Race Series). This 14 inch knife with its nine inch re-curve blade was designed for one thing, combat. And Max knows how to wield it in a fight.

I own this knife (though my husband mistakenly believes it’s his, but let’s not open up that can of worms) and train with it. Let me tell you, it is one serious weapon. You can cut a limb off with this thing! Don’t believe me? Watch the ten second video below.

Relax, no humans were hurt in the video. We simply took a rolled up tatami mat and soaked it in lake water (we were at karate camp at the time. Uh yeah, karate camp isn’t your typical camp, folks). This dense, waterlogged tatami is supposed to simulate the muscle of a human arm. I suppose if you wanted to simulate bone, you’d add a dowel to the center of the mat. Anyone can cut through tatami with a sword, but you need to have good technique with a short blade. Play the video clip and watch me hack off a limb what this awesome knife can do. *Warning* Don’t do this at home kids.

If Max could see me, I hope he’d be proud.

For specifics on the Flesheater knife, its history, and design, including the unique four grip handle, I encourage you to click over to Custom Knife Maker Jim Hammond’s website.

To see Max wielding the Flesheater combat knife, read Captive, and enjoy the adventure!

~K.M. Fawcett

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Make It Work!

581865_4881958959508_1434331787_nWhen teaching his students, Sensei Advincula can be heard saying, “Make it work.” This means that sometimes an individual needs to adjust a basic, effective principle or concept in order to make it work for them. This could be as simple as blocking and countering with groin strike rather than a strike to the throat if you are much shorter than your attacker. Why would I reach up when my target of opportunity (the groin) is closer?

Adjusting, adapting, and overcoming doesn’t only apply to martial arts, it applies to life. And writing…

Each year Scott and I send for Sensei Advincula to come stay with us for a weekend of martial arts training. During one of our sessions this year, Sensei taught us knife-fighting techniques with the Flesheater, the combat knife he designed.

Something during our training session (Perhaps the mention of reaming?) sparked a question about a technique I used in my book, CAPTIVE. When I asked Sensei about it, I learned I goofed up my sword fight choreography. That night, over a cup of tea at the kitchen table, I read the scene to him and learned something important about Claymores.

A Claymore is a long sword with a heavy, straight blade that was used in Scotland, especially in the Highlands, during the 15th – 17th centuries. The word Claymore was derived from a Celtic word meaning great sword. Its average length was 55 inches. Because of its weight (5 – 8 pounds), it had a long hilt for a two-handed grip. I’d learned all this from my research. However, I had imagined the hands were positioned one on top of the other like you’d hold a baseball bat. Sensei explained this wasn’t the case. The hands are positioned further apart to give leverage to hold and maneuver the weapon.

Hand position makes a difference when writing about how the weapon is used.

Sensei explained Claymores were wielded mainly against multiple opponents with sweeping and slashing movements. The weight could penetrate through armor. It was not typically used for thrusting or piercing or fighting one-on-one.

Fortunately, my futuristic gladiators used sweeping and slashing techniques to try and kill each other. Unfortunately, they were fighting one-on-one and also used thrusts.

Okay. No big deal. I’ll just adapt and change their weapons to broadswords instead. The art on my book cover already displays a sword with a smaller hilt. (Side note: I think the art department cut the length of the Claymore’s handle in order to downplay the Historical feel to the cover. See version 1 and 2 below.)

1st draft

1st draft

Final cover

Final cover

After Sensei left, I researched some more and got myself confused with all the conflicting information I read. It appears to me that broadswords don’t have quatrefoils (the four circles on a Claymore’s cross guard) like you see on CAPTIVE’s cover. And that broadswords have basket hilts. Yikes! I don’t want to ask my editor if the art department can redo my cover because I goofed up. Who wants to be known as that author? I also don’t want to keep a mistake in the book. Now what?

MAKE IT WORK!

I decided to make up my own name for the sword so it can look like what’s already on the cover and do damn well what I want. After all, I’m writing fiction. If I want my gladiator’s weapon to be a long, one-handed sword with a Claymore inspired design, than so be it. 🙂

Now I just need to come up with a name. I thought about Gladmor or Gladimor. It’s a shortened form of the Latin words gladius mortis, which (according to Google translate) means Sword of Death. I like that it kind of still sounds like Claymore. But my husband thought it sounded too happy.

Then I thought about one of the moves in our kata and suggested Dragon Tongue.

What do you think? Do you like Gladmor, Gladimor, or Dragon tongue? Or do you have a better name for this sword? I’d really love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

~K.M. Fawcett

That’s not a knife. THIS is a knife!

Flesheater Knife

Two and a half years after placing the order, the Flesheater – a hand crafted fighting knife – has arrived! Though my husband will argue otherwise, this Flesheater is mine. Yes, knife ownership is a running joke in our family, and even our son tries to get in on the action, but since he didn’t spend a cent on it, we can easily rule him out. Believing that ownership is 9/10 of the law, my husband hid the knife from me, and maintains that since I don’t possess it, it must not be mine. Wrong! The knife is mine and I’ll tell you why…

It’s because I’ve had it in MY possession for the past few years.

Okay, maybe I didn’t physically have the fourteen inch weapon in my hand, but I’ve featured the Flesheater in one of my manuscripts before we ever placed our order with custom knife maker, Jim Hammond. Since the knife plays a key role in my story, I’ve long dreamed about how my Flesheater would look on the book’s cover (not that cover art is up to the author, but I can dream…and seriously who wouldn’t want a knife this awesome on the cover?)  Therefore, I conclude that she who spent hours researching, writing, and dreaming about the Flesheater knife is truly its owner.  Besides, it feels really good in my hand. 🙂

Now this is a knife!

So why am I’m getting worked up over this knife? Well for one thing, Scott’s sensei, A.J. Advincula (world renown martial artist/ instructor, retired marine Master Sergeant, and knife expert) designed this fighting knife so you know it can’t be improved upon. Although, in my case, the knife won’t be used for fighting as much as for collecting…though I did make sure it was nearby the other day when two vehicles stopped in front of my house, raising my suspicions… Ahem…I digress.

If you’re interested in the history, design, and specs of this knife, visit Jim Hammond’s website. The following is a short excerpt from my manuscript, The Survival Race, in which the hero describes the Flesheater.

“Damn you, Duncan,” Max muttered, and tossed a box aside.

Addy returned the khaki uniform to the shelf. “What’s wrong?”

“The guy collects seven guns but only one with ammunition.”

“One is better than none.”

“Hardly. There are only three bullets in it. He rummaged through another box and then whistled in awe when he unsheathed a Rambo looking knife. “I’ll be damned.  You know what this is?”

She restrained from stating the obvious.

“It’s a Flesheater.” He turned the stainless steal weapon in his hand. “Strictly a fighting knife. Nine inch blade. Short handle with finger grooves for a secure grip. Curved lower edge. Designed to cut through a man and keep better edge contact than a straight knife. This is one serious weapon.”

Addy gulped. The gladiator certainly knew his knives. And apparently how to use them. Good thing they were on the same team…at the moment.

~K.M. Fawcett

Linde Belt Shares Her Thoughts On Knives

Today’s guest Blogger is Linde Belt. Linde is a 7th degree black belt in Isshinryu Karate, 4th degree black belt in ACE Escrima, 2nd degree black belt in KenShinKan Shorin Ryu, 1st degree black belt Matsumura Shorin Ryu.  She also practices Hindi Andi Gung Fu, Hapkido and American Combatives.

Welcome Linde!

FleshEater knife from http://www.jimhammondknives.com

As you can immediately tell I am not a writer. I am a martial artist among other things. One of the styles I train in is knife and sword fighting. I like blades. Today’s post contains my random thoughts, facts and opinions on various aspects of the knife and training. They are in the order I think of them. In no way is this to replace self-defense training. These are just ideas that may assist you in your creative writing.

  • The knife is not the danger to you. The person wielding the blade and their intention is. A knife lying on the floor never hurt anyone (unless you stepped on the upright blade). When in a fight where a weapon is involved, do not become fixated with the weapon. A weapon does escalate the situation, however, you should concentrate on the person behind the weapon whose intent it is to do you harm. The weapon is the tool the attacker is using. The attacker is the force that needs to be controlled. You will control the weapon when the driving force is controlled.
  • If a blade is involved in an attack, you will get cut. Don’t focus on the cut.
  • If a blade is sharp, you will not know you have been cut until you see the wound or the blood or someone else’s reaction to it. The most you may feel is a sting like a paper cut (on a slash).
  • A slash normally is not fatal unless on an artery. Thrusts can kill, especially if it is to a vital organ. A good knife fighter will end all techniques with a thrust.
  • People will tell you that a blade has to be a certain length to kill someone. Some of stewardess on 9-11 were killed with a box cutter (razor blade).
  • Committed: Once you start defending yourself, you must be committed. Don’t stop until the threat no longer exists or you have died. As long as there is an ounce of life within you, continue to fight.
  • A person who attacks you does not think the same way you do or they would not have attacked you in the first place. For example, if you need $25.00 do you think about robbing a liquor store or convenience store? How many times have you randomly picked someone walking down the street to beat up because it is “fun”? How many women have you raped?
  • Intent: A person whose intent is to injure or kill you will pull a weapon and cut you before you even see the weapon. The second they move, you must act and follow through until the situation is controlled to your advantage. Attackers who show their weapon want something from you before they kill you. Such as control over you, fear from you, your money, sex, information, etc. Many attackers have little control in their lives or feel that way. They want to control the situation, control your reaction to it or they want to feel powerful. This gives you, as the perceived victim, a chance to access the situation, take control and end it to your advantage. Slow the situation down. Talk to them. Ask them what they want. If it is your money, then tell them where it is, such as in your purse or wallet in your pocket. For instance, if they say, “Give me your money.” Say, “Ok you want my money. I am reaching into my purse to hand you my money” or “I am taking my purse off my shoulder”. Most of the time they will look at that object. Now is your chance to attack. Be committed. Don’t stop until they are not longer a threat to you.
  • Once the attacker is no longer a threat to you (in any way) then you must walk away. At what point they are no longer a threat to you depends on each situation and only those involved really know when that happens.
  • There are several ways to hold a knife.
    Some competent knife fighters will hold it in a reverse grip. Most of their attacks will be slashes, though it is possible to still thrust but only at a short distance. This is an infighting style. Most untrained people will hold the knife in an “ice pick” grip. (Think of holding your ice pick and stabbing a block of ice to break it up.
  • The most effective way to hold a knife is the modified hammer grip. Picture yourself holding a hammer. Now, move your thumb next to your index finger (not on top of it) on the handle. Your fingers will be in line one after another, no finger or thumb covering another one. This is the modified hammer grip. It makes good use of the length of the knife, but makes it more difficult for the knife to be taken away from you.
  • If someone displays a knife (as in going to attack you), put a barrier between you and the knife; a purse, book, towel, tree, shoe, car. If it is something like a shoe, a towel or a piece of clothing, keep moving it and attacking them with it.
  • If running would get you out of a situation do so. Run erratically, zig zagging, changing directions. If they throw a knife, it will go in a straight line.

These are just some of my thoughts for the purpose of assisting you with your creative writing. They are not a replacement for self-defense training.