If you are a student of defensive skills and have not heard of 5.11 Tactical, then you have been living in some type of vacuum. What started out as a line of pants, shorts and shirts for hand-to-hand trainers and firearms instructors has blossomed into one of the world’s largest lines of tactical gear. The 5.11 line includes tactical and uniform apparel (inner and outerwear for winter and summer), footwear (including socks), gear bags, gloves, eye wear, watches, belts, training accessories, nylon tactical gear, Kydex concealment holsters and, of course, knives. Being that this is a knife periodical, I will focus on the 5.11 Tarani Series knife line.
As 5.11 began to expand into products beyond clothing, they made the smart move of contacting a number of subject matter experts and made use of their extensive knowledge to enhance their product line. When it came to knives, they reached out to Steve Tarani, one of the most respected edged-weapon instructors in the world, and had him help develop a line of knives that is impressive. Mr. Tarani began his journey into edged weapons in 1979 and trained extensively through the 80’s and 90’s under the tutelage of such masters as Guro Ted Lucaylucay, Leovigildo Miguel Giron and the legendary Guru Dan Inosanto. The list of martial arts that Tarani studied is too extensive to list, but needless to say, he received a wee bit of training! Today, he is a full time edged-weapon instructor to military and law enforcement agencies worldwide with a reputation that is second to none. I had the good fortune to see Mr. Tarani perform a demonstration at the Gunsite Academy in Arizona and was quite impressed with not only his speed and skill, but with his ability to explain what he was doing and why.