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Cold Steel Paperback – June 1, 1974

4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 179 pages
  • Publisher: Paladin Press; Reprint edition (June 1, 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087364025X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873640251
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David J. Walmsley on January 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
My one-line summary might seem a bit exaggerated, but it is true. This book covers many life saving skills. Although not a lot of techniques are covered, it is a mistake to think of that as a negative. The skills that are covered are all vital skills in hand to hand combat or self-defense. The skills taught for the use of the stick are excellent. The empty hand skills are likewise. One area that seems of concern (judging by other readers comments) is that of knife fighting. Although some may disagree with Styers method of knife combat, I will say that if one was to train hard in those skills and be aggressive, the odds of prevailing in combat would still be high. The truth is, that not many people are skilled with a knife. If you train hard in Styers method you'll cut a person to ribbons before they know what happened. Hard training will always give you more than a fighting chance. You can study this book over and over again and always find more applications for what is taught between it's covers! This book is highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This is a complete fighting book, in that it REALLY tells you everything you NEED to know about fighting for keeps. What I like best about it (besides that fact that the techniques work, are easy to learn, the book is inexpensive, etc) is that the stance and many of the movements he teaches are the same for knife, stick, and unarmed combat. Most people who buy these books think that by merely owning them and flipping through them from time to time they automatically become qualified to judge the material. Hence some of the negative reviews. Amazingly enough, you actually have to read, study, and then practice. One review questioned the knife fighting techniques on the basis that they were developed from fencing- as if that is somehow an invalid form of short blade combat. Seemed to work fine for Jim Bowie and his ilk back before the revolver became affordable and reliable. I guess all of the people who died in knife duels using these techniques can get back up now. Another complained that you had to be quick to utilize them. Well, duh. If you actually read the instructions and THEN look at the pictures you will see why these techniques were effective against the Asian martial arts trained Kommies in Korea. Simple, brutal, and devastating. See also "Bowies, Big Knives, and The Best of Battle Blades" and "Everybody's Knife Bible". Combined with "Cold Steel", these three books will teach you everything you need to know about knives and their proper uses. One caveat- don't throw your knife in combat!!! Don't throw any knife unless it is designed for throwing!!! The knife throwing section of this book is novelty fluff, for people with too much time on their hands. Also, his knife grip on page 43 is obviously a misprint, so disregard it. Also also, don't lean your rifle against a tree where you can't get to it,like in the scenario he describes on page 37. If nothing else, your rifle will fall over and you will damage the finish.
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Format: Paperback
The knife fighting section on this book seems to be misundertood by many. Yes, knife duels are hard to happen these days, as they probably were as the book was written. BUT, given the MANY lousy books on the matter of "knife vs knife" confrontation published, the system presented by this one is relevant. Because it's simple. If you want to learn to "duel" with knives, try several sparring sessions and try this method. The single "maybe" would be the advocated saber grip, but try and change for yourself. I've seem many friendly matches being won by newbies using this method against more seasoned "knife duelists". And believ, friendly matches is probably the only environment this kind of confront will occur. C'mon, it's 2005!

Oh well... if you do not believe in "knife vs knife", like myself, you could skip this one.

But there's more in it than knife dueling.

The H2H chapter is very good, as is the short baton section. Those two alone are worth the money invested.
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Format: Paperback
I gave this book a 4 star rating, not 5, simply because the knife methods in it are not, as presented, perfect.

The knife work, obviously heavily influenced by Styers instructor A.J. Drexel Biddle (Author of Do or Die), is very duelistic - that is to say it stays entirely within the realm of two combatants knife on knife, at long range, vying for the right cut or hack to open up the opponent for a kill shot. Now, it's not quite as bad about this as Biddle's work, using a more combative platform (less of a stylized fencing platform), but it's still duelistic. Now, if real fights with knives happened this way, this would be the method for doing it - but, they don't. Most fights involving knives will start unarmed, at close range, and be a drag race between adversaries to get to a weapon first - if that weapon is a knife, you have a fight with a knife. Most knives easily carried and accessed will be small. Range is close, there is very little baiting and dancing around, there is simply up close hooking, cutting and hacking to clear limbs and stabbing to end it.

That said the knife material presented in Cold Steel contains many things you can extract for more modern, closer range, knife combatives. Targets; the hands/limbs, the throat, the chest and heart and the back, are excellent. Use of snap cuts, bi-directional cutting (using both primary and sharp back edges), body mechanics and footwork to improve power are all very good. Also of interest is the attempt to develop physical mechanics for using the knife that directly translate to using empty hands - very progressive concept for the age of the book.

Take the knife work out of the box its presented in, put it with what you do, take what works, discard the rest.
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