Going into the Riddle of Steel ’17 as a first timer I did not know what to expect but I was not disappointed. It was all knife all the time. Big knives, little knives and everything in between. I only wish they were still being held in Hells Canyon on the Snake. But that was another time. Ghost Boxing Temple has it’s own charm and collection of spirits. They like what we do which creates an energy that is conducive to warrior training.
MAA James A. Keating was in top form as he brought us through a series of drills and concepts never straying far from the subject. 3 Days of progressive concepts, skills and philosophy creating a solid base for the knife fighter. Almost a knife boot camp. Here's a foundation and the concepts to explore for a lifetime. If you weren’t a knife fighter walking in you were certainly one walking out. Mission Successful.
Alongside Uncle Jim assisting with teaching duties sharing their years of experience were MAA Robert Langford – Dynamic Tactical Systems, MAA Andy Alexander – Comtech, MAA Shihan Ken Smith – Advanced Martial Systems Northwest and Andy Black – Comtech Instructor. All of them shared insights and helped refine the techniques, walking the room and answering questions to ensure all grasped the concepts.
Well what’s a Riddle of Steel without a few knives. The Riddle of Steel knife show had plenty of knives to buy, sell, trade or just admire. Mr Keating brought in a few of his personal knives to show and a few more on the table, John Morbeck brought in a few **cough** of his knives. But the real star of the show, and I do mean the headliner, was the world premier unveiling of the James A Keating Ozark Toothpick made by Custom Knife maker Jeff Shafer. This is a real beauty. The craftsmanship is superb, the size intimidating. The lines are precise. The point on this thing is just ridiculous, no dagger before has had a tip this fine. With a price point at $1500+ it is not for the casual knife guy. Serious players and collectors are the market for this bowie companion. If your'e interested check out Jim's website here.
Knife fighting, or any martial art really, has to have a way to balance out the punishment we put our bodies through as we train and as we survive. There must be a Yin to the Yang. On that note we were treated to a Reiki healing session by Reiki Master Ken Smith. Whether you got into the session full bore or just took the time to decompress after two solid days of training (day 3 was still on its way) the down time was good. I know I benefited from this session. I hope others did too. Thank you Shihan.
All in all the 2017 Riddle was a huge success. Skills were gained, connections were made and friendships were formed. Group breakfast was a thing at the new digs across the street. If you’ve never been, what are you waiting for? If you want real knife skill start planning now for 2018 and come see why the Riddle has the reputation that it does.