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Prison's Bloody Iron: Deadly Knife Fighting Tactics Revealed Paperback – September 1, 1978

3.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 119 pages
  • Publisher: Desert Pubns (September 1, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879474246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879474249
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on January 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book was a good read until the last chapter or so. It went off on a nutritional/work out tangent that will leave most readers going "Huh?" Anyway, the methods outlined are quite good...similar to Applegate and Pentecost (possibly it influenced the latter). For pure instruction, I would go with Pentecost's book since it is much more to the point...but Bloody Iron is a much more enjoyable read.....these guys share their prison stories. Plus you get to see some pretty horrific fashions from the 70's era!
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Format: Paperback
After spending many years in the sometimes violent world of law enforcement (police officer), I have read many books and articles by the so-called "experts" in real life deadly encounters. This book is much different. It is written by two guys who's credits are which federal penal institutions they have been incarcerated in. These guys are the real deal. They present the brutal and ugly world of personal combat in a no nonsense and straight ahead approach. No fluff or unrealistic B.S.. This book dispells the modern martial arts approach to defense against edged weapons, an approach that has caused many their lives. This is a must read for anyone who works in a violent occupation.
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Format: Paperback
This book, written by a pair of ex-convicts, was amusing and strange. A lot of space was devoted to nutrition (with some questionable data), physical conditioning, and a dubious "history" of knife fighting. The techniques depicted vary from good to ill advised, but are definitely worth a look. There is some good advice in this book, but it cannot be considered "all good." I would recommend this book based solely upon the authors' numerous anecdotes (from barroom brawls to fighting with sharpened NAIL CLIPPERS in juvie hall). Bizarre!!!
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Prison's Bloody Iron get's to the point (no pun intended). The lost art of combat with knives comes back to us anecdotally as two hardened ex-cons analyze the nature of being attacked by a committed and experienced knife wielding psychopath.

Let me preface by saying that I am not a fan of violence. The purpose of studying such a book is to prepare mentally for the possibility of an such an attack. About 10% of violent confrontations occur with the use of a sharpened instrument, and lest we forget, the 9/11 hijackers were armed with box cutters. This book delves into a practical method of defense in such encounters.

The authors, though not scholars themselves, manage to inform the reader in practical terms: the mindset, posture, movement and defensive maneuvres that can save your life. Much of what is taught today about defense and offense related to knives is analyzed and dismissed so in this respect, I think the authors deserve great credit for dispelling myths without resorting to style preferences. What remains is tested knowledge for your benefit.

A sense of humor is generously added to make this book enjoyable. I have seen some posters complain about the authors guidance on nutrition and training as a put off. My advice is to take what is valuable to you from this book. The authors intend well and this should not be a point of debate or criticism that draws away from the core purpose of this material.

If you are a practicing martial artist, this book is a very useful guide as it will require you to take your skills further than the typical dojo training on hand-to-hand techniques. In my opinion, if you can handle a knife attack while unarmed, your skills to handle bare handed attacks will improve tremendously.
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Format: Paperback
Back in 2005, I wrote an online article titled "The Wheat from the Chaff" which I published on the Blade Forums site and a few other forums. [Most currently, it's been re-published here: [look up "Kilogulf's combat forum" ]. There are somethings in the article I now HAVE to wince at; it's not overly bad, but there are some errors of composition that should have been left behind in first draft. That said, I stand by the main ideas of the article most notably that the "fencing-based" knife fighting methodology of Anthony Drexell-Biddle & John Styers has been massively maligned by the critics, especially Jenks and Brown in their _Prison's Bloody Iron_ (PBI).

[Aside:I read Harold Jenks died a few years ago; having passed away from conditions probably exacerbated by awful medical care he received in prison. Jenks before he died, claimed that while in prison in the 1960s, he learned "secret" knife skills from another prisoner, a former SS veteran and Jenks was his only student. This is the unverifiable claim of "dead granfather school" of martial arts transmission.]

"Prison" permeates PBI; its intensity is responsible for what is both good and bad of its sometimes rambling text. If you are SERIOUS about the reality of edged weapons, both in and out of incarceration, this book is a must read, not only describing the techniques, but in giving a window into the mindset of those live by the short blade.

Put this up on your internal "heads up display" when reading PBI, the authors were/are not "nice people".
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