Izula II–Bullet Ant Knife: A Fixed Blade EDC that Might Be for You

The Izula II from ESEE has become my new favorite EDC (every day carry), and I think it might become yours too, depending on your needs and the laws and regulations of where you live. There are many dangers of carrying a knife for self-defense, which is one of the reasons I’m referring to this knife as an EDC blade as opposed to a self-defense weapon. For self-defense purposes, I prefer a palm stick, like those I describe in my Palm Stick Self-Defense Guide. In my experience, true self-defense situations rarely provide sufficient time actually to pull a weapon to use as a defensive instrument, which is one reason improvised weapons at hand are sometimes more useful than weapons you carry [for more on such improvised weapons, see my A Cup of Coffee: And Other Improvised Weapons of Self-Defense].

Knives are tools, and often come in handy throughout the day for the sort of things they are designed for, namely, cutting, like: cutting rope, opening packages, preparing food, cutting cloth, cutting wood, opening letters, etc. They also can be used to cut people in defensive situations—-they can also be used to cut and scare people in illegal offensive situations, in robberies, assaults, rape, and murder, hence there are sometimes strict laws (depending on country and state) regulating their sale and use.

One of the beauties of the Izula II is that it is NOT designed as a fighting or self-defense knife, but could serve that purpose better than many blades that I see pitched as self-defense or fighting knives. The Izula II is primarily a knife that is intended for ordinary, legal, everyday purposes. WIth that in mind, it is very small. The blade is under three inches, which means that it is large enough to be useful for the sort of everyday tasks an EDC knife is needed for, and yet it is small enough that it is legal to carry in most states in the U.S. (though check your local state and city laws). It’s a fixed blade and actually is legal to carry in some parts of the U.S. where larger folders are not permitted. But, it has all the strengths that come with fixed blade knives, and many of the strengths of EDC folders–even though it is not a folder (and thus it does not have the weaknesses that many folders have).

The Izula II has all the great qualities as its predecessor, the Izula (named after the fire ant), but has a larger handle, and is all around superior. This blade can take a beating, and would be great in the outdoors. I imagine that it would rust, so you’ll have to take care of it, but it is fairly easy and simple to sharpen. In well-trained hands this could serve as a fine instrument of self-defense, but I would only recommend that (or any knife for that matter) for those who are skilled with blades. I’ll write more (both on this blog and in the form of a forthcoming book) on knife fighting and knife self-defense, since this is such a popular but dangerously misunderstood topic. If you’re looking for a compact fixed blade knife that will last you for generations (your kids could inherit this knife), and be useful for just about any task you’d put a small bladed knife to—and even some you’d put a larger bladed knife to—then the Izula II might just be for you. ESEE specializes in knives made for the rough jungles of Central and South America, but the Izula II, unlike it’s larger (but heftier and superior, for their tasks) ESEE counterparts, would work very well in the urban, rural, and suburban jungles we may tread (just make sure to check your local laws).

Stay tuned for more to come on this topic……

Izula II–Bullet Ant Knife: A Fixed Blade EDC that Might Be for You

Real Knife Self-Defense

Since Knife self-defense is such a popular topic these days–and for good reason–I plan on doing more posts on this. Most training in knife self-defense is very poor and actually quite dangerous. Most of the videos you’ll find online are a joke, and will very likely get you killed if you attempted any of that nonsense in a real self-defense situation. I’ve been trained in knife self-defense (both unarmed against a knife, knife against a knife, knife against other weapons and against multiple assailants, stick versus knife, etc.) from masters in northern and southern Kung Fu styles (including Wing Chun), from masters in Aikido and Aikijujutsu, from Filipino stylists, as well as from my synthetic American karate instructor who has taught knife self-defense (and knife techniques) to members of elite and special forces across the world (Germany, France, Israel, UK, U.S., etc.).

There are two very good videos, however, I’d like to share with you that I think will helpfully bring some realism to your training, or at least to your expectations. The first is a clip of the famous Filipino (and other) stylist Jeff Imada, showing Aikido stylists the real dangers of a knife. No one gets hurt, but you see how a well-trained knife fighter is a force to be reckoned with: Check out the clip here.

The second clip is of self-defense expert Dean Lawler teaching knife self-defense. You can see that clip here. Watch carefully. Contrast 0.20 to 0.42 with the segment from 0.50 to 1.20. What you’ll notice is that 0.20 to 0.42 is very much like what we find in training, and is very unrealistic. 0.50 to 1.20 is far more realistic, and terrifying. No one gets injured, but this shows you what a real serious knife attack can look like. This is for real, even though it’s not real.

For safe realistic knife self-defense training I highly recommend purchasing the eva foam training knives, like the one pictured at the top of this post. They are a little more expensive than your run of the mill rubber knives, but will do less damage to your body. Anyone going full contact with rubber or plastic knives knows the bruising your body can get. These are excellent training knives and much safer to use.

Real Knife Self-Defense

W.E. Fairbairn and Self Defense

William E. Fairbairn (1885-1960) was a self-defense expert whose popular works in self-defense remain important classics in the field. He wrote  his popular Get Tough, which remains a classic. He also wrote a manual on knife fighting. These are great works, true classics. There’s an excellent blogpost on Fairbairn’s life, in the context of the history of self defense, here. He studied Judo and Jujutsu, among other styles (including Chinese styles), and had boatloads of actual self-defense experience on the street, working as a police officer in Shanghai’s mean streets before the Communist take over of China. He also helped create a popular fighting knife, the Fairbairn-Sykes Knife, which is still available for sale. The more effective, in my opinion, Applegate-Fairbairn Knife is modeled on that earlier version. My favorite version of this is Boker’s black model, which I think is one of the best combat knives available on the market. He has a number of other books, including Shooting to Live with the One Hand Gun, and Scientific Self Defense. His works are seriously neglected nowadays, but you would do well to review them. They may not be much help for someone with no background in martial arts or self-defense, but they include easy to learn moves, that are extremely effective. Students of Jujutsu and Judo will recognize many of these moves. No nonsense, street smart moves. Very effective. Also check out some of my own works on self-defense, including my popular Palm Stick Self-Defense Guide, my Essential Self-Defense Tips, and my brand new A Cup of Coffee and Other Improvised Weapons of Self Defense.

W.E. Fairbairn and Self Defense

Turning Ordinary Objects into Palm-Sticks—Instantly!

If you’re in a pinch, you may need to be able to turn any ordinary object into a self-defense weapon, at a moment’s notice. This is fairly easy to do with most ordinary objects, even a rolled up magazine can become a small club or palm stick. Such impromptu self-defense scenarios require that you learn habitually to look around you and envision the ordinary objects that surround you into defensive weapons…chairs, coffee mugs, silverware, etc. If you’re interested in palm sticks, an increasingly popular choice in self-defense tools, you should check out my popular book, Palm Stick Self-Defense Guide, which is available both in paperback and in Kindle.

Turning Ordinary Objects into Palm-Sticks—Instantly!

Flashlight as Kubotan?

Want to carry a kubotan, but are worried (and with good reason), that an actual kubotan looks too much like a weapon (it is) and might get you in trouble legally, either because they are illegal to carry where you are living (or travelling), or because you might get in trouble after having defended yourself successfully with one? Try a flashlight.

In my last post, I wrote about ordinary pens as kubotan-like defensive weapons, and I recommended the inexpensive but very sturdy Jin Hao pen. A small flashlight can be even more effective as a palm stick defensive weapon than a pen, particularly because of the added thickness. Even in highly restricted areas like New York City, or perhaps even boarding a plane (although I don’t know for sure about how it might pass through airport security or not), a small handheld flashlight is not likely to raise attention. It serves a very good ordinary purpose…seeing in the dark. Flashlights are quite useful. Even in a modern building, sometimes electricity goes out. It’s a very good idea, in general, to have a flashlight near by.

But for self-defense, a flashlight can be an excellent defensive tool, like any other palm stick. My flashlight of choice for this purpose is the Mini-Maglite, like the one pictured at the top of this post. They are the perfect palm stick. I almost always have my Mini-Maglite with me. Although I have never used the Mini-Maglite in a defensive situation, I have used it in emergency situations (hurricane), and in other less-serious situations (storms and such knocking out electricity), many, many times.

One of the beauties of palm sticks is they offer a non-lethal defense option–even as they can be used lethally. The nice thing about pens or flashlights is that they can function as ordinary tools for writing and lighting, and yet, they are ready at hand as deadly, or also non-lethal, defensive weapons, that will be far less likely to get you in trouble in court—–provided the situation truly was in self-defense or in defense of others, and not premeditated assault—than your defensive weapon that was made for attack or defense as its main purpose. Such lights, like my trusty Mini-Maglite, are an extremely low profile way to carry a defensive tool on your person, that will be allowed entry in most places. My store, available on this page, has a number of options for palm sticks—both those intended primarily as palm sticks, as well as pens and flashlights.

For more on such make-shift palm sticks, check out my best-selling Palm Stick Self-Defense Guide, available both on Kindle (for $2.99), and in paperback (for $10.99), with full color images.

Flashlight as Kubotan?