When it comes to "sport knife dueling", training knives can come up short on two fronts-- too soft and too hard--and the edge can be too defined or not defined enough. At one end the action is reckless disrespect of reality ( the pillow fight) and at the other end the inhibition from full action for concern over injuries (full animal intensity thrusts with an aluminum trainer not taken for fear of breaking or damaging something.)
What to do?
Tom Sotis turned me on to the NOK trainers (I think he may have had something to do with developing them) and in my opinion for a hard spar/sport knife duel they are really, really good. The knife is the size of a large pocket folder and has a clearly defined edge and tip, a good handle for good grip, and are made of "I'm-not-sure-what" to allow for fully athletic thrusts and slashes. One of the biggest differences between "martial arts and crafts training" and reality is fully committed animal intensity. In our humble opinion the NOK trainer offers the best balance we've seen between realism and safety.
PRICE IS FOR ONE KNIFE"
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