Why I Abandoned the Pocket Clip Folding Knife



For the CO,  having an outward “sterile” appearance is mandatory to retain tactical surprise. This is why I support Concealed vs Open Carry for firearms. But what about knives? When it comes to knives, most CO’s are relegated to just sticking (ie “clipping”) a “tactical” folder in their pocket and moving on. But have you ever stopped to consider that a knife, just like a firearm, offers more tactical advantage if it is concealed from view, and I mean all of it, even the “pocket clip”?

It goes without saying that we now live in a world that is becoming more and more hostile to individuals who exercise their right to be armed.

Case in Point.

Just the other day a good friend of mine whom I served with in the military went to his local Veterans Clinic for his annual checkup. After checking in and sitting down in the waiting area, he was approached by TWO armed security guards. They asked him to step outside with him where they asked him if he had a pocket knife clipped in his front right pocket. He said “Yeah, always do”. The two rent-a-cops then pointed to a sign that had just been installed at the entrance which stated that all weapons (firearms and knives) were prohibited inside the clinic.

The two guards said my buddy would need to go and put the knife in his vehicle before he could re-enter the clinic. My buddy laughed at the irony. For twelve years he toted and used with deadly precision all sorts of weapons while in the military, certainly things much more dangerous and deadly than an Emerson Commander pocket knife clipped in his front pocket. When I asked him if he obeyed the order he laughed; “Yeah I went to the truck and put the Emerson up, but I kept the “rest” on my person.

What exactly my buddy meant by the “rest” will stay confidential between me and him. Suffice to say we both had a good, hearty laugh about it!

People see what we let them see folks. It’s just that simple.

Now there are those of you out there that will say, well why not just remove the pocket clip off the knife? Your problem is solved; there is no outward sign of a knife and you still retain the knife in the pocket. That would be one way to solve this issue, but as you will see, there is more at stake here than just appearing unarmed. It is appearing unarmed but being ARMED EFFECTIVELY.

Personally, I have never been a fan of a folding knife for self-defense. That is not to say I did not carry one back in the day, typically clipped somewhere on my gear that I could get to easy. I soon learned from experience, that a small fixed blade is much more suited for those CQ “Oh Shit!!” moments than anything I have to manipulate to open in a hurry, even an automatic. The bottom line is if you ever NEED a knife, you are gonna NEED IT IN A HURRY, and the golden rule in Self-Defense is whenever you can lessen the chance of Mr. Murphy showing up, DO IT.


Horizontal Carry on Belt

Hands down, the best way to carry a fixed blade concealed. I like carrying mine in front at around 10 or 10:30 (Think of your Belt Buckle being 12:00), if you practice with it, it gives you a nice fluid motion on your draw. Some guys like carrying it behind them in small of back, as they say it is a more natural motion drawing that way, I am not a fan of this ideal, plus I don’t like having a lethal weapon tucked away behind me out of my line of sight, which is why I NEVER preferred Small of Back carry Gun Holsters, but again, this is a matter of taste and comfort. Horizontal is also a great way to tote your extra pistol mag. I have never been a fan of toting heavy shit in my pockets, so carrying it on your belt where it is accessible by your non-dominant hand is awesome for quick reloads if need be.


The key thing when you begin, is getting your draw-stroke fluid and smooth. The way that happens is to take out any “jerkiness” or un-needed motions. The old adage “Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast” holds true; when something has no rough edges to it and flows easy, it is naturally faster.

The second thing to work on once your draw-stroke is fast, is to practice getting the blade from the sheath into the flesh of your enemy as quickly as possible. No fucking around, no prancing around like a fag, simple concept: Draw the knife and Stick the Knife into a major organ as fast as possible (or slash a major artery) which ever is easier at that moment.

Now I am not going to get into knife training methods here, so we wont be discussing slashing versus thrusting. You will have to explore that yourself and there is plenty good instruction out there. Kelly Mccann and Southnarc (aka Craig Douglas) are good places to start. Myself, I prefer the Thrusting Combative Knife over the more technique laden slashing Filipino Knife methods, that’s me. Find what works for you, and stick with it. Just don’t get confused and think that killing with a knife is some kind of flowery art, it’s not, it is nasty business and I pray you never find yourself having to use a knife to defend yourself. But in the event that day comes, take all steps to be ready, sharpening not only your blade edge, but your combative mindset.

Stay Armed, Stay Alert, Stay Sharp and Stay Dangerous!