PLAINS INDIAN KNIFE SHEATHS: Material, Design and Construction
By Alex Kozlov

bookdvd1.jpgSoftcover, 64 pages, $17.95
Crazy Crow Trading Post
P.O. Box 847, Dept. TK
Pottsboro, TX 75076;
(903) 786-2287

Soon after the steel knife became a common trade item on the plains, American Indians quickly developed a very practical means of carrying these critical survival tools—the pouch sheath. As this book points out, styles and carry systems varied from tribe to tribe to the point you could actually tell what area an individual was from just by looking at his/her knife sheath.

What makes this book especially interesting is the fact it contains a large collection of 19th-century photos of Indians actually carrying the various styles of knife sheaths. Though many historians feel the more ornate sheaths were made during the latter part of the century when most tribes were on reservations, it is hard to argue with that kind of documentation.

For those that would like to make their own Plains Indian-style pouch sheath, additional chapters cover tools, materials, sheath patterns and layouts in detail. Given how essential a correct-to-period knife sheath is for both the modern blackpowder “rendezvouser” and cowboy action shooter, this book should provide critical information to creating that perfect costume.

KRABI-KRABONG Thailand’s Art of Weapons Fighting
By Kruu Pedro Solana Villalobos

bookdvd2.jpgSoftcover, 139 pages, $20
Paladin Press
Gunbarrel Tech Center
7077 Winchester Circle, Dept. TK
Boulder, CO, 80301; (303) 443-7250

In ancient Thailand, warriors fought countless battles for survival, relying on combat techniques that became highly efficient and deadly. In the early 20th century, the old systems were codified and given a common name, “Krabi-Krabong” or “Sword and Staff.”

Krabi-Krabong is relevant to today’s martial artist because of its practical application as a fighting art. Based on a series of universal principles for movement while fighting, its deceptively simple basic motions can be learned quickly and adapted for use with virtually any hand weapon: knife, broomstick, hammer, or baseball bat. The book also contains an interesting chapter on a modern Thai bladesmith who specializes in forging the traditional edge weapons used in this martial art. Thai martial arts have received very little attention outside their native country so this should be a useful addition to your combatives library.

STREET SWORD: Practical Use of the Long Blade For Self-Defense
By Phil Elmore

bookdvd3.jpgSoftcover, 83 pages, $15.00
Paladin Press
Gunbarrel Tech Center
7077 Winchester Circle,
Dept. TK, Boulder, CO, 80301 (303) 443-7250

While “Street Sword” was just released, it has already become fairly controversial in some circles. On one side, you have both the classically trained fencers and those that endow the sword with all manner of mystical powers. On the other, you have those that feel anyone that would even consider a sword for self-defense is some kind of nutcase. What all three groups seem to agree on is that they feel Elmore is totally wrong in suggesting how a sword should be used for self-defense.

To start with, the title of the book is a little misleading. I think even the author will admit that you aren’t going to go far carrying a sword as a self-defense weapon on the street. But firearms can be difficult to acquire in some areas, so the sword might serve a useful function as a home-defense weapon. The author also realizes that no one is going to be involved in a sword-on-sword duel during a modern defensive situation. Sword against baseball bat, knife, club or other hand weapons are the more logical scenarios. Because of this, classical fencing skills are not required.
What the author does demonstrate are basic stances, guard positions, and strikes that can be utilized with about any length sword blade. He also stresses that you had better be sure you have an absolute clean case of self-defense before you use a sword as a weapon. The law is going to consider you a psychopath until proven otherwise.

I tend to feel a person should be able to use any weapon at hand to defend his/her life within his own home. Having a basic understanding of how to use a sword can add one more layer to your personal skills. Despite the title, this is a fairly realistic training manual.

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PLAINS INDIAN KNIFE SHEATHS: Material, Design and Construction By Alex Kozlov Softcover, 64 pages,…