Wednesday, January 11, 2017
An old friend of mine has volunteered to give me some saber fighting lessons. He's a fencing instructor with years of experience with a variety of weapons and styles. Of course, I'm taking him up on the offer. It's been years since I've trained with pointy things and I'm overdue.
I had a couple years of private lessons in eastern weapons fighting: staff, boken, tonfas, knives, and even fighting fan. However, it's been a while since I trained with a good teacher. My old sensei no longer has a dojo and I certainly miss it.
So why is someone with a good selection of firearms happy to train in edged weapons? In short: why take a knife to a gun fight? It all depends on the threat. There are parts of the world where guns are tightly regulated, but it's normal for people to walk around with machetes. Often the greatest threat is not from bandits, but from those who wear a badge.
Take a place like the Bahamas. They are actually pretty good about Americans bringing guns into the country. You have to claim them and give an ammo count. Those who do normally don't have any issues. However, heaven help you if you get caught with an undeclared firearm. Recently in Bimini some Americans on a fishing boat were caught with a gun. They spent a few days in jail and had to pay a $10,000 fine.
Then there's the little thing about the ammo count. They want to know if you've been shooting anybody in their country. Now I'm told some people hide extra, uncounted, ammo. Not a bad idea . . . if you don't get caught. Like everything else you have to weigh the pros and cons.
In many places self defense is not a legal use of a firearm.
I have heard the tale of a guy on sailboat who found 3 uninvited guys on deck. He burst out his cabin yelling and waving a machete. Even though they had knives, they all decided to dive overboard. One thing about knife fights, odds are you are going to get cut. The bandits didn't think it was worth the risk.
I've ordered a machete make of stainless steel, perfect for a marine environment. Yeah, I might still take a gun, but it's good to have options.