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With Adam Boyce
I was introduced to the Aku Strike Trainer in January 2018 at a Doug Marciada (Forged in Fire Host) / Fred Mastro seminar in Las Vegas. I have since used it regularly and see it as a valuable training tool. Like several other combatives instructors who have seen the Aku Strike trainer for the first time, my first impression was that it was nothing more than a gimmicky toy. I did not think there was any way a plastic knife would hold up to the rigors and intensity of training that are necessary for real self-defense preparation. Also, I didn’t think a knife that “told” me when I had cuts was necessary. I train with a metal training blade and I know when I am cutting and so does my partner because we can feel it.
My mind changed once I got to use the trainer. There is something to be said from the perspective of an instructor and student about the benefits of being able to hear the audible beep and see the trainer light up. We found out quickly that cutting mechanics greatly improved and so did the accuracy of the cuts once we started incorporation the Aku Strike Trainer. Six months later and with nearly weekly use, it has held up to intense training sessions and has added a new level of fun to training and teaching; so much so that it has a spot in my top three blade training tools because of its ability to emphasize key components in properly applying a knife.
Would I recommend the Aku Strike Trainer?
Absolutely! Many people assume they need to use a lot of force when cutting and thrusting with a knife. However, when appropriately applied, a good blade only requires about five pounds of pressure to create the desired results. The Aku Strike has been a fantastic tool for all of my students but it really shines when teaching beginners and people with lesser strength or mobility issues. It reinforces the concept that with proper cutting mechanics and accurate targeting, people of all abilities can defend themselves with a knife.
- Easy to use
- Adds value to the training experience by giving visual and audio confirmation of contact
- Adds a level of fun to training
- Gender, strength and mobility neutral
- Let’s the teacher know when the student is cutting and thrusting properly
- Priced reasonably
- Long battery life
- Fighting the urge to spar with this fun training tool. (It is okay to spar and have fun but the goal in self-defense with a knife is stopping the attacker as quickly as possible. Avoid training in a way that reinforces the idea of exchanging cuts and stabs.)
- I strongly encourage using a training blade that replicates the blade used for daily carry. Most people are limited to carrying a folding knife so I would love a folder version of the Aku Strike. (Aku Strike does offer a sheath for the trainer.)
- Growing demand for the Aku Strike Trainer makes getting one difficult.
Right now, the best place to buy an Aku Strike training blade is on the Aku Strike website (www.akustrike.com). They go for about $45 depending on the features. A replacement blade for the trainer is about $6.00. I have used my Aku Strike for about six months with no signs of wear or cracking, but it is comforting to know that if for some reason it does break, a replacement blade is cheap.
Train hard and stay safe,
@spartan.mode on Instagram