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Saturday Night Blade Porn: the Kalanu Fighter

Kalanu is Cherokee for Raven. There’s some symbology there, according to designer Chad McBroom of Comprehensive Fighting Systems. We met Chad recently at the “Border Expo” and he was kind enough to give us the low-down, as well as to demonstrate some of the fighting moves the Kalanu was specifically designed to facilitate.

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At its core the Kalanu is an alloy of Pakal of the Philippines and the Japanese Tanto. McBroom has over 30 years experience in blade arts, several black belts and numerous other qualifications and experiences, all of which he’s leveraged into his fighting system and the Kalanu. In simplistic terms, Filipinos fight with the pakal holding the knife blade inward, using pulling strokes while holding it in a reverse grip. The tanto’s advantages in point strength and penetration are well established. Thus almost the entire back of the blade is an edge, so it can be used for ripping type attacks and the reinforced tip can be used to deliver the snapping type attacks McBroom ascribes to an Apache knife-fighting system, wherein the hands, temple, etc. are targeted. The tanto design ensures prevents this sort of attack from chipping or breaking the blade.

SNBP_Kalanu_Fighter005The Kalanu’s pommel is designed to provide mechanical advantage a couple of different ways. In a standard hold, the thumb can be levered forward to deliver pressure cuts while the beaked pommel (think knife-sized bec de corbin) can be used for crushing or cracking blows to the skull or other locations. Held in an inverted grip the serrations can be used to give additional leverage for the thumb when attempting to hook or trap limbs–this of course ensures that the back edge causes additional damage if the target attempts to tear free.

The handle is made of G10 and was intended to give the knife a sleek, aesthetically pleasing look while giving it a functionally practical, streamlined body that won’t catch or hang up on gear, apparel, brush, etc.

SNBP_Kalanu_Fighter002The Kalanu is available in black, tan or green micarta or “stabilized wood” for the handle; Cerakote is available in black graphite, Magpul FDE, coyote tan, burnt bronze and OD; Kydex will come in black or tan. They retail for $390.00. Blade length is 4.5 in., OAL 9 in., 5160 steel – note that it will take 6 to 8 weeks to receive a newly purchased knife as they build to order unless they happen to have some in the Ready in 2 lineup when you order.

The Kalanu is built by Barry Dawson and the staff of Dawson Knives near Phoenix, AZ as part of their tactical line. Dawson Knives can be found online here, on Facebook here, and on Google + right here. If you want to know more about Comprehensive Fighting Systems, check out their website, subscribe to their blog or follow them on Facebook.

Though Dawson will ship the Kalanu in a holster, McBroom also uses an IWB Kydex holster from AT Tactical of Sahuarita, AZ; on Instagram here, on Facebook here and YouTube here.

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