A couple years ago, I finally caught up with the methods of an instructor who’d already been getting very well-known among those who follow the leading edge in practical combatives. ‘Southnarc’ is the gentleman’s handle; it’s not that his real name is a secret, but since he is still a full-time narcotics officer in the southeast United States, he prefers that it not be advertised. He teaches in person at seminars and through materials available on his website, shivworks.com. Mr. Narc is as knowledgeable and well-rounded as he is getting to be well-known. His expertise spans empty-hands, knives and firearms. I have been telling everyone who will listen that he has the best material on extremely close-quarter shooting today.
Southnarc’s Knife Methods
Southnarc’s knife methods are top-notch, too. They are unusual, but they stem from the practical nature of his job. He is a proponent of the edge-in methods of holding the knife: either a forward grip with the edge up, or a reverse grip with the edge in. This is the way that most meat-eating animals, after all, use their edged weapons—their claws and teeth—to bring down victims. Southnarc has designed a few knives, and the P’Kal from Spyderco is a folding version of his fixed blade knife, the “Disciple,” a knife with the top edge sharpened, not the bottom. To quote Southnarc: “Pikal is a word that comes from the Visayan dialect in the Philippines and literally means ‘to rip.’ Pikal is executed by holding the knife in a reverse grip, with the edge facing the body, and using a thrust heavy application method. I personally interpret pikal very directly and viciously. The objective is not to flow with the opponent, but to bull through him, thrusting like a sewing machine, rapid-fire and ballistic.” The Spyderco P’Kal is thusly designed. But while the Disciple is carried in a belt sheath and comes into the hand in pikal position as it’s drawn, the Spyderco P’Kal has to result in the same grip orientation, but be carried and drawn safely as a folder. This is accomplished very cleverly, but first a bit on the knife itself.