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Black Friday Field Guide

RCT Black Friday “Field Guide”

Our Black Friday & Christmas Field Guide

Everything You Need To Know About Our AMAZING Holiday Sales!

This year at Raven Crest Tactical we have added a lot more fun to what we normally do for the holidays. Each year we do some kind of Black Friday sale and have three Christmas packages for sale. We have been brainstorming and planning for a few months now to bring you what we believe is one of the best and hopefully funnest sales around!  Below is our “Field Guide” so you can stay on top of all the great things that will be going on so you won’t miss out on all the savings.

THE HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS!

Black Friday
Black Friday will kick-off at Midnight (12am) on 11-28-14. This will also be the start of our Christmas Sale! For Black Friday we are offering something very special for that 24 hours ONLYFor Every $100 spent you will receive a $25 gift card (digital – sent to your email – PLEASE GIVE A FEW HOURS FOR THE GIFT CARD TO COME THROUGH. AS WE  PROCESS ORDERS  GIFT CARDS WILL BE BE SENT. )EX: If you spend $314 you will receive $75 in gift cards! This is the first time in our history that we have done anything like this. 🙂

Christmas Sale
Our Christmas packages will start the same time our Black Friday sale starts. This year we have created FIVE incredible gift packages! These packages will remain available for purchase through December. Check your emails and our website for what those packages are.

12 Days of Christmas (24 hour sales)
This is something BRAND NEW to Raven Crest Tactical this year. Our 12 twelve days of Christmas specials will start on December 1st and run through December 12th. Here’s how it will work: Each day starting with December 1st we will be giving our customers an extra daily special. It could be special pricing on an item, free products, discounts etc. Every day will be different and there will be no order of importance (we are not ramping up to something bigger each day. So the last day could have the “smallest” of specials potentially.). It’s going to all be random. Each day we will send you an email with that days special holiday offer. It will also be on our website and other social media. So you will want to check it daily. Remember these sells expire after 24 hours from the launch each day. So if you see something that interest you it’s best to strike while the iron is hot.

Reindeer Games (Instagram)
This is also something BRAND NEW this year to us here at Raven Crest Tactical. In addition to all the great stuff you just ready about we are also going to be doing some fun “Reindeer Games”. To participate in these games you will need to follow us on Instagram. From 11-28-14 until 12-20-14 we will be having some fun that could save you some extra dough!
GAMES & RULES:
“Spot the Elf on the Shelf” – We will be hiding an Elf in some of our photos we will be posting on Instagram through December 20th. The first 10 people to spot the elf and comment: “elf” will receive a 10% off coupon code (with no expiration) that can be used with ALL PACKAGES & PRODUCTS. We will direct message you the coupon code within 24 hours of you spotting the elf.
“Flashing Lights” – We will be posting a picture of Christmas lights with different coupon codes and different percentages off. Some of these codes will be good on already discounted sale items, some will not. The catch is that it will only last for a specified number of minutes. When the minutes are over the post will be deleted and gone forever. EX: Christmas light pic posts with a 16% off coupon code: “elf” this post will only be visible for the next 8 minutes. After 8 minutes the post will be deleted. The coupon code however will stay good through December 2014 if you were one of the lucky few to see it and right it down during the time it was live. These discounts and times will be totally random, so you will want to check often and quickly!

That sums up our Black Friday and Christmas Field Guide. If you have any questions feel free to contact us at 1-480-232-6090 or ravencresttactical@gmail.com.

We wish you and your family the very best this Holiday Season!

You’re Friends,
Derek, Nate & Scot
Owners
Raven Crest Tactical

Torture Tests “Behind the Scenes”…

If you have been following us, you have probably noticed that we like to put our OTF knives through “Torture Tests”. For the most part, the torture tests we put our knives through are far more extreme than anything the average person is going to do to their knife. These tests were designed to show how our OTF knives will perform when put through extreme conditions.

We get quite a bit of email / feedback about these videos, sometimes the feedback is that they don’t believe we actually did these tests. They are certain that we did some sort of camera magic to make these look legit. Now these people aren’t meaning to imply that we lie about our tests, they just don’t believe that our OTF knives are strong enough to perform these tests. They are expecting that our OTF knives were designed for novelty or not for actual use.

Fact: Every Raven Crest Tactical OTF knife was built and designed for hard, everyday use.

Video 1 Stabbing a Washing Machine :

This was our first time torture testing our knives, so for this set of torture tests we went out to a metal scrap yard and just started stabbing stuff. Note, we did not bring 20 knives with us for this shoot. We brought 4 knives total. Two were used in filming, one we lost within the first 10 mins because we were trying to throw it into a piece of metal and it got lost in the pile of scrap, and the other one be brought back with us unused.

The first thing we went to was this old washing machine. This was not metal that was giving in easy to our stabbing, it was thick and sturdy. We had to put our full force into each stab to get maximum penetration. Sure enough, as we got more comfortable the stabs got deeper. We used the same knife for the entire filming of this segment.

Video 2 Stabbing a Water Heater :

For this video we attacked a water heater. Now I am not sure if you are familiar with how strong a water heater is, but let me tell you this, this water heater test was the most difficult test to date. I would suggest you go our into your garage and just tap your finger against your water heater to see just how thick that metal is. It is solid and does not want to budge. As you can see in this video co-owner Nate Mirand used his 250 lbs of body weight to penetrate the steel of this water heater. The knife used for this test was the same knife used for the washer test.

Video 3 Cutting Through Metal :

Next we set to cut through a metal door that we saw laying on the ground. Once again, we are using the same knife that we used in the Washer Test and the Water Heater Test. This test was a little awkward because it was hard to get leverage on that door. Even so, the knife sliced through that metal with no problem.

Videos #4 Breaking Glass :

The last part of this day was finding some glass to test out our ball bearing glass breaker. Our ball bearing glass breaker is designed to smash through even tempered glass. Now we were very excited to get this opportunity to head to a scrap yard and destroy some stuff. So excited, that we did not bring gloves. You will see that the reason why the glass doesn’t break on the first strike is because we are purposefully not following through on our strike. Following through would have most definitely broken all that glass on first strike, but it would have also been extremely dangerous to do without gloves. If you do not have gloves, and you need to break glass, it is ok to take a few careful strikes until you get the correct power to break the glass.

As you can see from these videos, it doesn’t take much force for the breaker to break glass. You will also see that there are 3 different pieces of glass, here is what was happening with those pieces.

Glass Piece #1 : This was just a simple, single pain piece of glass. Our breaker went through this like butter.

Glass Piece #2: This was a more heavy duty piece of glass. This honestly felt more like auto glass than just simple fragile glass. It took 2 strikes to break this, but again that was due to us protecting our hands.

Glass Piece #3: This was the most heavy duty piece of glass we could find at this yard. It was very resistant to small strikes. When we tapped this glass like we did with glass piece #1, our knife bounced off instead of breaking the glass. We knew we would need to really put force behind our strike to get this to break. For this test we also show how to “score” glass which in turn will make it easier to break the glass out when struck. Scoring glass works best on large, tempered pieces of glass. Basically all you are doing is scratching an “X” into the glass, which creates a weak point in the middle. Once you have that “X”, aim your strike for the middle of the “X”. We didn’t have to do this for this test to succeed, we just wanted to show the technique.

Glass Breaking Fail : Hammer vs. Car Glass

Here is a very funny video that will show what will happen to heavy duty glass if you do not score it correctly, or have the correct tool. Most people do not know just how difficult auto glass is to break. This reporter learned the hard way and probably had to have some stitches because of it.

Video #5 Hanging Weights on Fully Extended Knife Blade :

This test was done on a different day than the scrap yard day. This knife isn’t a new knife, it was one that was being used as a utility knife for our warehouse manager Steve.

We did this test because we get asked a lot how much weight it takes to make our blade snap at it’s weak point. We know the answer is “a lot”, but we don’t have the actual #. We only had 80 lbs of weight available to us that day, and our blade handled it with no issues. 80 lbs may not seem like a lot, but when you are at the gym next time go pick up an 80 lb dumbbell and see what it feels like in your hand. I am confident that our blade could have held much more weight.

Video #6 Cutting a Work Boot in Half :

These next set of tests were done on a different day and with a different set of knives. These next tests highlight the extreme sharpness of our knives. For this test we started with a brand new freshly sharpened knife. Not too much explanation needed for this video, we stabbed a shoe and cut it in half.

Video #7 Slicing 2 Liter Bottles :

These last 2 videos were done on the same day as the boot cut video. We are using the same knife in these videos as we did for the boot cut. You can see just how effortlessly our knives slice through these bottles. For every strike it felt like we completely missed our target because we didn’t even feel the contact. Then we examined the bottle and saw it sliced apart.

Final Thoughts :

What makes us different than ANY other OTF knife company is that even if you did take a Raven Crest Tactical OTF knife out to a scrap yard and beat the life out of it past the point of proper functioning, we would fix or replace that knife for free. We wouldn’t get mad at you for using it, or blame you for damaging it. We would simply replace or repair it, no questions asked. We make our OTF knives for use and our warranty backs that up 100%.

We put our OTF knives through these extreme tests to show that they are real tools not toys. Do we recommend you go out there and doing what we do? No, we don’t; not because we don’t think our knives will perform, but we just don’t want people getting hurt. Please do not attempt any of these tests unless it is a matter of life or death. Our knives are scarey sharp and one wrong move can easily give you some stitches or maybe worse.

Knife Used in Videos :

Nemesis Serrated OTF Knife

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Slick Like John Wick…

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Did you see that scene in John Wick where he put that small OTF knife in his boot? It was quick but it was definitely there. We have been getting a lot of emails asking if that was one our knives. We don’t think it was, but it got us thinking. What other cool action heroes / villains have carried an OTF knife.

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Hi there Jack Bauer, that is a nice looking OTF knife you have there in your hand. Seems like OTF knives have been in the hands of some pretty cool characters.

Remember the Joker and how creepy and intense he was with his knives? Well did you know that they were OTF’s?

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*There’s one.

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*There’s another one.

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*One more.

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*That’s one too.

How do I get a Knife like that?

The Joker Knife: Reaper with Satin Blade (click images for product pages)

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The Jack Bauer: Nemesis Full Size Black Serrated w/ Blackout Kit (click images for product pages)

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Full Size Blackout Kit

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The John Wick: Mini Nemesis Black Serrated w/ Blackout Kit (click images for product pages)

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Mini Blackout Kit

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Every Day Tactical

Everyday Tactical People….

As a man, when someone says the word “Tactical”, there are a few images that pop up in my mind. I would guess most of us men would probably picture something similar: soldiers in combat formation, or that lone beast mode soldier who is armed to the teeth a la  “The Exependables”.

 

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But what we are learning from our awesome customers is that tactical sometimes looks like this:

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We are happy to introduce you all to Amanda. Amanda is one of our loyal and happy customers and a close friend of the company. Amanda is a wife, mom, registered nurse, Zumba Jammer and AFAA certified group fitness instructor specializing in dance based fitness programs.

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Amanda lives a normal and busy life, just like most of our wives, sisters, and female friends. She has made a decision to carry a weapon for her and her family’s protection and peace of mind. Her weapon of choice also just so happens to match her nails and is also great for battling the anti-theft measures of Barbie dolls. There is nothing wrong with your weapon also being a tool.

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I asked Amanda to share her story in her own words. Here is her story:

“In Arizona, a person over age 21 may legally carry a concealed firearm or deadly weapon without a permit within the state, except for certain prohibited locations, and must disclose the fact to a law enforcement officer if questioned. I carry the Raven Crest Tactical Nemesis because it gives me peace of mind to know that I could defend myself if necessary. Arizona doesn’t follow daylight savings, so it’s dark here by 6:00. I live in a very safe community, but the reality is – a lot of evenings, it’s me with my kids, walking out of the gym after 8pm in the dark to my vehicle. I’m grateful to have the security of the knife I carry in my purse. Thank you Raven Crest Tactical for making sure I can be my own knight in shining armor!”

Why Carry a Weapon as a Woman?

I can’t speak for every place out there, but I know that here is AZ there is no lack of questionable individuals who will come right up to you while you are pumping your gas or getting your kids in the car. In the perfect world we would be able to consider these people down on their luck and of no threat. But we do not live in a perfect world, and the fact is that we do not know the intentions or issues of these people.

We are not suggesting living in fear or getting defensive with every single stranger that wants to talk to you, they may just want to say “hello!”.  What we are suggesting is that you be prepared for the worst case scenario that you hope to never face.

This especially goes out to the ladies. I could quote stats all day long on how carrying a weapon will greatly reduce the chances of a crime being committed against you. That Fact of the matter is that most criminals target what they consider “weak prey”. If a would-be criminal realizes that their prey wasn’t so weak, chances are they will move on. 

Here are some simple tips that could help women stay safe:

1. Be Aware of your Surroundings : Maybe the dark alley with the cigarette smoking “hoodie” guy standing next to it isn’t the best route for you to take. That is a very exaggerated example, but in all serious being aware of your surroundings and who is in your surroundings could be your first line of defense. This is preventative defense. If you can avoid the bad scenario or person then there is no need to use or display a weapon.

For example, here is a scenario that comes up all the time: there is a questionable individual lingering or loitering in an area that you need to be. What do you do? If possible, try to avoid that area or go around it / them if possible. However if avoidance is not possible, then go back in to the business you were at and let them know that you do not feel comfortable walking to your car alone. All businesses now-a-days will send at least one person out there with you if you make that request. There is definite strength in #’s.

In the perfect world every bad situation would be like the easy to read examples I gave above, but sometimes no matter how self aware you are, trouble will come your way. And sometimes bad people are hanging out in places where there are no business owners or no other people around at all. For that, we recommend moving to Step 2.

Here is another scenario, someone approaches you and makes you feel uncomfortable. You may even feel pinned down because you are getting gas, loading groceries, just pulled money out of the ATM or you got a flat tire and a stranger has stopped to “help” ..What do you do? To me this is very simple, if verbal rejection of the person’s request or presence does not immediately make them leave you alone. move on to Step 2.

2. Carry a Weapon : Find a weapon you feel comfortable with, get trained on how to properly carry and use that weapon, and then carry it with you wherever you go.

3. Quick Access is Key : I am speaking to women here, ALL of the women I know would have a hard time finding something fast from their purse or bag. In a survival scenario, this could be the difference between becoming a victim or a defender. When you are walking to your car, pumping gas, loading your groceries, etc.. know where your weapon is, and be confident that you can get to it if needed. That could mean holding it in your hand while it is in your purse, physically holding it in your hand in the open, or having it in a easy access pocket or belt. The key is being able to deploy and engage fast.

3. What do you do if you Feel Threatened? This is where you stop caring about what people around you think, and you start thinking about survival. You are threatened, and as a woman that gut feeling should be followed. You need to make a loud and noticeable gesture to not only draw attention to your situation, but to also let the person threatening you know that you are not weak prey. Take a few steps back, try to get out of the “grabbing” range of the individual. You want to stay outside of their grasp. Display to them that you have a weapon, take a defensive stance, and then start talking really loud. What should you say? “PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE”, “I SAID I AM NOT INTERESTED”, “YOU ARE MAKING ME FEEL VERY UNCOMFORTABLE, PLEASE GO AWAY”, “PLEASE STOP”, etc… The point of this is to draw as much attention to your scenario as possible. When people see or hear a women in distress is draws attention. People who want to do bad things do not like attention.

Here are some examples of defensive stances with both guns and knives. Either of these stances will intimidate.

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“But It’s Not Feminine to Carry a Weapon…”

FALSE!!!! It is not only smart for a woman to know how to protect themselves, but ask any guy out there and they will tell you that a woman who knows how to handle a weapon is a woman of great interest. Here is a fantastic video put out by Glock firearms. It shows a regular woman conducting her day, while also protecting herself from becoming a victim. This video is awesome:

The Bottom Line

We hope that our customers never have to use our knives in a defensive manner, even though they were designed for that purpose. We hope that people use our knives as tools to better their lives or make them easier.

Please, whenever, wherever, however you use your knife / weapon, do it safely and wisely.

How to get a custom knife like Amanda:

Click the image below and you can build your own custom OTF knife:
Build Your Own Nemesis

 

101 Ways to use your Knife: #1 “How to make a Spear”

If you were ever in a true survival scenario, being able to make a spear would not only be useful for hunting or fishing, but a spear is also a useful tool for protection. Being able to make a spear is a simple yet critical survival skill. Below, we will go over some basics to spear making techniques. There are many many ways to do this, some that could take you hours to finish. We are choosing a very simple and quick technique that takes minimal time, energy yet could produce maximum damage in a pinch.)

Note: If you are in a survival scenario and you only have one knife available to you, we recommended that you do not use your knife as the spear point. We recommend using your knife to hone and shape a piece of wood into a spear point. However, there are certain survival circumstances where you would need / want to use your knife as the spear point.

Materials Needed:

1. Solid tree branch or limb
2. Knife
3. Length of cord, cable, twine, leather strap. Anything strong that can we wrapped and tied.

The Steps:

Step 1: Check your surroundings for a piece of wood that would make for a solid spear handle. You are looking for a strong circular branch or limb that will comfortably fit in your hand.

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Step 2: Place the handle of your knife against your spear handle to see how stable it is.

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Step 3: Shave off any imperfections that will interfere with the handle making contact with your spear handle.

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Ideally, you want the knife handle to make as much clean contact as possible with your spear handle.

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Step 4: For this step you will need some sort of twine, cable, leather strap, cord, line, etc.. This is needed to attach your knife to your spear handle. We are going to be using one of our paracord survival bracelets, but just follow along and you will get the idea.

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*Cutting end of bracelet

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*Unravel the paracord bracelet to get a useable length of rope

Step 5: Place the handle of your knife on the prepared end of your spear handle

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Step 6: Begin tightly wrapping the handle of your knife to the spear handle using your rope

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Step 7: Once you feel you have properly secured your knife to the spear handle, tie off the rope. Being that we were doing this for example (and we have short attention spans) we did not completely wrap the handle of the knife with rope. If this was to be used for a real survival scenario we highly recommend wrapping around the entire handle of your knife.

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You now have a hunting tool, fishing tool, and medium range weapon.

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What we used for this demonstration:

1. Nemesis Serrated OTF Knife
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2. Paracord Firestarter Survival Bracelet

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The Importance of Honoring our Veterans…

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In case you didn’t know, today is Veteran’s Day.. Veteran’s Day seems to fall into that class of American holidays that typically includes one of the following activities: hanging with your buddies or family, eating or drinking way too much, catching up on chores or errands, or just plain relaxing and doing nothing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those activities, as long as we don’t forget why we have this day, and who this day honors.

What Exactly is Veteran’s Day?

Veterans Day was originally called “Armistice Day”, and has always been celebrated on Nov. 11. This is to commemorate the first anniversary of the end of World War I which ended Nov. 11, 1919. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938.

What’s the Difference Between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day?

Memorial Day (the fourth Monday in May) honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans–living or dead–but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

Veteran’s Day Trivia:

  • In 1954, President Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
  • In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.
  • Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World Wars I and II on or near November 11th: Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November). In Europe, Britain and the Commonwealth countries it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.

What does a Veteran Look Like?

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The classical image of the American veteran seems to be the older man who proudly served his country during one of the “Great” wars. But did you know that veterans come from all different walks of life and in all different ages?

Sometimes veterans are older….

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Sometimes veterans are younger….

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Sometimes veterans are women….

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Sometimes veterans span numerous generations….

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Sometimes veterans are people we ignore on the streets….

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What do ALL Veterans Have in Common? They all have served YOU….

How did Veterans Serve?

First and foremost our veterans protected our country and its’ values. They did this by putting their lives on the line everyday, in foreign countries, against enemies with little or no moral code or regard for human life. They willfully did this whether or not their efforts were appreciated by us or not.

But veterans did so much more than just fight the traditional battles.

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They Provided Aid and Hope:

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They Provided Smiles and Security:

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They Provided Lollipops and a Small Piece of Happiness:

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Why is it Important to Honor our Veterans?

There are so many ways to answer this question, but we will just focus on a few

1. Veterans fought for our freedoms and risked their lives whether or not we realized it or appreciated it.
2. Without the service of veterans we would not have the freedoms we have today.
3. Veterans have served ALL of us.
4. Many veterans struggle to adapt to regular life, get lost in “the system” or become homeless once they get back from their service.

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Three Simple Ways to Honor a Veteran on Veteran’s Day:

Have you ever seen a soldier in uniform and wanted to go say “thank you” or something like that, but just didn’t quite have the nerve? Well problem solved my friends, below are a few simple things you can do to really show a veteran that you appreciate them on Veteran’s Day.

Veteran’s Day is great because so many Veteran’s go out there in their full uniforms, and this will make them really easy to spot. When you see a veteran in uniform please do at least one of the following:

1. The Obvious Play : Go up to the veteran, look them in the eyes, smile wide, shake their hand, and sincerely thank them for their service. This is an extremely cost effective way to let a veteran know how they are appreciated.

2. Buy a Veteran Lunch / Coffee : If you know a veteran invite them out to lunch / coffee; or if you see a vet while you are out and about, go up to that veteran and let them know you would like to pay for their meal / coffee. After that, look them in the eyes, smile wide, shake their hand, and sincerely thank them for their service.

3. Volunteer or Donate to the VA (U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs): Click this link for information on how to donate to the VA or how to volunteer in your specific state:  http://www.volunteer.va.gov/apps/VolunteerNow/default.asp

I guarantee you that if you do any of those about three steps, you will have successfully honored a veteran on Veteran’s Day.

The Challenge

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Find a way today to go out of your way to thank a veteran, you really are only called to do this once a year. So go find a veteran and please give them a hug, a handshake or a hamburger. I guarantee you that they will appreciate any gesture from the heart.

At Raven Crest Tactical we are honored to know many men and women who have served this country. Below are two special veterans that we would like to personally honor.

Lance Corporal Tyler Groth:

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Meet Lance Corporal Tyler Groth, brother-in-law of company co-founder Nate Mirand. Tyler served 6 years total in the Marines, 4 years in reserve and 2 in active duty. Tyler is still serving his community daily as an active police officer. Tyler is also a husband and father of 4…..girls. When Tyler’s schedule permits he will travel and run shows for us. If you purchased a knife from us at the F.O.P convention, then you got a chance to meet Tyler. Tyler, thank you for your service to this country.

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US Navy OS3 Operations Specialist Kelly Rae Pisano

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Meet Mrs. Kelly Rae Pisano a very close friend of the Raven Crest family. Her official title is “US Navy OS3 Operations Specialist 3rd Class Petty Officer”. She was the 14th female on board the USS Nimitz and she server our country for 6 years. She is a wife, mother of 3 and small business owner. I know what you are thinking: “where did you guy’s get Demi Moore’s GI Jane’s stunt double?” she gets that a lot. In all serious though, Kelly Rae’s story is awesome, inspiring, and encouraging, but to share it would take almost a whole book. Let’s just say that whenever life hands Kelly Rae lemons she turns them into a filet mignon. Kelly Rae, thank you for your service to this country.

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US Navy David Lane

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Honoring David Lane, father-in-law of company co-founder Derek Jordan.

US Air Force Theodore McWethy

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Honoring Theodore McWethy, grandfather of company co-founder Derek Jordan.

Spartan Facts

Spartan Warrior Trivia

8 Spartan “Did You Know?” Facts :

1. Did you know Spartans had to prove their fitness even as infants?

Infanticide was a disturbingly common act in the ancient world, but in Sparta this practice was organized and managed by the state. All Spartan infants were brought before a council of inspectors and examined for physical defects, and those who weren’t up to standards were left to die. The ancient historian Plutarch claimed these “ill-born” Spartan babies were tossed into a chasm at the foot of Mount Taygetus, but most historians now dismiss this as a myth. If a Spartan baby was judged to be unfit for its future duty as a soldier, it was most likely abandoned on a nearby hillside. Left alone, the child would either die of exposure or be rescued and adopted by strangers. Babies who passed inspection still didn’t have it easy. To test their constitutions, Spartan infants were often bathed in wine instead of water. They were also frequently ignored when they cried and commanded never to fear darkness or solitude. According to Plutarch, these “tough love” parenting techniques were so admired by foreigners that Spartan women were widely sought after for their skill as nurses and nannies.

2. Did you know Spartan children were placed in a military-style education program?

At the age of 7, Spartan boys were removed from their parents’ homes and began the “agoge,” a state-sponsored training regimen designed to mold them into skilled warriors and moral citizens. Separated from their families and housed in communal barracks, the young soldiers-in-waiting were instructed in scholastics, warfare, stealth, hunting and athletics. At age 12, initiates were deprived of all clothing save for a red cloak and forced to sleep outside and make their own beds from reeds. To ready them for a life in the field, the boy soldiers were also encouraged to scavenge and even steal their food, though if detected they were punished with floggings. Just as all Spartan men were expected to be fighters, all women were expected to bear children. Spartan girls were allowed to remain with their parents, but they were also subjected to a rigorous education and training program. While boys were readied for a life on campaign, girls practiced dance, gymnastics and javelin and discus throwing, which were thought to make them physically strong for motherhood.

3. Did you know hazing and fighting were encouraged among Spartan children?

Much of the Spartan agoge involved typical school subjects like reading, writing, rhetoric and poetry, but the training regimen also had a vicious side. To toughen the young warriors and encourage their development as soldiers, instructors and older men would often instigate fights and arguments between trainees. The agoge was partially designed to help make the youths resistant to hardships like cold, hunger and pain, and boys who showed signs of cowardice or timidity were subject to teasing and violence by peers and superiors alike. Even Spartan girls were known to participate in this ritualized hazing. During certain religious and state ceremonies, girls would stand before Spartan dignitaries and sing choral songs about the young men of the agoge, often singling out specific trainees for ridicule in order to shame them into stepping up their performance.

4. Did you know all Spartan men were expected to be lifelong soldiers?

As grueling as Sparta’s martial education system could be, the soldier’s life was the only option for young men who wished to become equal citizens, or “Homoioi.” According to the edicts of the Spartan lawmaker and reformer Lycurgus, male citizens were legally prevented from choosing any occupation other than the military. This commitment could last for decades, as warriors were required to remain on reserve duty until the age of 60. Because of their preoccupation with the study of warfare, Sparta’s manufacturing and agriculture were left entirely to the lower classes. Skilled laborers, traders and craftsmen were part of the “Perioeci,” a class of free non-citizens who lived in the surrounding region of Laconia. Meanwhile, agriculture and food production fell to the enslaved Helots, a servile class that made up the majority of Sparta’s population. Ironically, constant fear of Helot revolts and uprisings was a major reason why the Spartan elite became so devoted to building a strong military in the first place.

5. Did you know Spartan youths were ritualistically beaten and flogged?

One of Sparta’s most brutal practices involved a so-called “contest of endurance” in which adolescents were flogged—sometimes to the death—in front of an altar at the sanctuary of Artemis Orthia. Known as the “diamastigosis,” this annual practice was originally used as both a religious ritual and a test of the boys’ bravery and resistance to pain. It later devolved into an outright blood sport after Sparta went into decline and fell under control of the Roman Empire. By the third century A.D. there was even an amphitheater constructed so that scores of tourists could cheer on the grisly ordeal.

6. Did you know food was intentionally kept scarce, and poor fitness was cause for ridicule?

When a Spartan man completed the main phase of the agoge at around age 21, he was elected to a “syssitia”—a military-style mess where citizens gathered for public meals. To prepare soldiers for the strain of war and discourage poor fitness, the rations doled out at these communal dining halls were always bland and slightly insufficient. Spartans were renowned for their devotion to physical fitness and proper diet, and they reserved a special loathing for overweight citizens, who were publicly ridiculed and risked being banished from the city-state. Wine was a staple of the Spartan diet, but they rarely drank to excess and often cautioned their children against drunkenness. In some cases, they would even force Helot slaves to get wildly inebriated as a way of showing young Spartans the negative effects of alcohol.

7. Did you know Spartan men were not allowed to live with their wives until age 30?

Spartan society didn’t discourage romantic love, but marriage and childrearing were both subject to some peculiar cultural and governmental constraints. The state counseled that men should marry at age 30 and women at 20. Since all men were required to live in a military barracks until 30, couples who married earlier were forced to live separately until the husband completed his active duty military service. The Spartans saw marriage primarily as a means for conceiving new soldiers, and citizens were encouraged to consider the health and fitness of their mate before tying the knot. In fact, husbands who were unable to have children were expected to seek out virile substitutes to impregnate their wives. Likewise, bachelors were seen as neglecting their duty and were often publically mocked and humiliated at religious festivals.

8. Did you know for a Spartan surrender in battle was the ultimate disgrace?

Spartan soldiers were expected to fight without fear and to the last man. Surrender was viewed as the epitome of cowardice, and warriors who voluntarily laid down their arms were so shamed that they often resorted to suicide. According to the ancient historian Herodotus, two Spartan soldiers who missed out on the famous Battle of Thermopylae returned to their homeland disgraced. One later hanged himself, and the other was only redeemed after he died fighting in a later engagement. Even Spartan mothers were known for their do-or-die approach to military campaigns. Spartan women are said to have sent their sons off to war with a chilling reminder: “Return with your shield or on it.” If a Spartan trooper died in battle, he was viewed as having completed his duty as a citizen. In fact, the law mandated that only two classes of people could have their names inscribed on their tombstones: women who died in childbirth and men who fell in combat.

8 Spartan OTF “Did You Know?” Facts:

Spartan OTF Knives by Raven Crest Tactical

1. Did you know every Spartan OTF knife is hand built and quality tested in Mesa, Arizona?

2. Did you know every Spartan OTF knife is hand sharpened by a master sharpener who has been sharpening blades in Arizona for over 30 years?

3. Did you know every Spartan OTF knife had real ebony wood inlays on both sides of the handle? These inlays make for exceptional gripping capabilities.

4. Did you know every Spartan OTF knife has a glass breaker on the end of the handle?

5. Did you know the Spartan OTF knife comes in either Tanto or Spear Point blade?

6. Did you know that every Spartan OTF knife comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee?

7. Did you know that every Spartan OTF knife comes with a full, lifetime, no questions asked warranty?

8. Did you know that this warranty also covers sharpening for the life of the knife?

Spartan OTF Product Pages:

Spartan OTF Product Page (Tanto Blade)
Spartan “Gladius” OTF Product Page (Spear Point Blade)

 

Resources:

http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/8-reasons-it-wasnt-easy-being-spartan

Spartan Toughness

Spartan Toughness…

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The Spartan army stood at the center of the Spartan state, whose citizens’ primary obligation was to be killing machines. The Spartans were one of the most feared military forces in world history. At the height of Sparta’s power, it was commonly accepted that, “one Spartan was worth several men of any other state.”

The tales of Spartan warriors are filled with pictures of fearless and almost reckless bravery. The story that most of us are familiar with (thanks to the movie 300) is The Battle of Thermopylae. This was a week long battle where a Greek force of approximately 7,000 men marched to block the pass of the Persian army. The ancient sources alleged the Persian army to have numbered over one million, but today it is considered to have been more like 100,000 – 150,000 Persians. Either way, the battle was a few Greeks vs a lot of Persians. And for most of the time the Greeks had the upper hand. What the Greeks accomplished that week has since been celebrated in many different ways.

The vastly outnumbered Greeks held off the Persians for seven days (including three full days of battle) before they were annihilated in one of history’s most famous last stands. During three full days of battle, the small force led by Leonidas blocked the only road by which the massive Persian army could pass. After the second day of battle, a local resident betrayed the Greeks by revealing to the Persians a small path that led behind the Greek lines (if this wouldn’t have happened who know how long the Greeks would have held off the Persians). This betrayal sealed the fate for the Spartans and the remaining Greek forces. What the Spartan King Leonidas did next is what we are going to talk about. King Leonidas, knowing the dire situation that he and his troops were in, dismissed the bulk of the Greek army and remained to guard their retreat with only 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians, 400 Thebans, and perhaps a few hundred others, most of whom were killed. Why did King Leonidas so eagerly go into a battle that he knew would take his life and the lives of his men? The following information may help explain why King Leonidas willingly gave his life that day.

Born for War

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**WARNING: Before we go into the training of the Spartan warrior, we have to warn you that most parts of the Spartan’s training would be considered extremely cruel in our current society. We are not condoning how the Spartans trained their warriors, we are just stating facts.**

Unlike other Greek societies of the time, Spartan men did not have a career choice. All Spartan men were born to be warriors. From birth until the age of 60, a Spartan man’s only focus was war.

As soon as a baby boy was born in Sparta he was taken to the Council of Elders so that they might decide if he should live or die. If the child was strong and healthy he was given back to his parents, if he was weak and ailing he was left alone on a hillside to die from cold and hunger.

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When the boy reached seven years of age, the Spartan boy was taken from his home to a public training-house. Here the strict discipline begins. Shoes and stockings were never worn by the little Spartan warriors, although the hills and countryside were rough for unshod feet. In winter they were clad in one garment, just as in summer. Their beds were made of rushes, which they had themselves gathered from the banks of the river Eurotas. This was a hard task, for they were not allowed to cut them with a knife, but must break them with their hands. In winter the boys used to scatter thistle-down on the rushes to give a little warmth to their hard couch.

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Each child, from the age of seven, cooked his own food, which was scanty and plain. If after their meals the boys were still hungry, that was looked upon as a good thing. It would teach them to hunt the more keenly, that they might add to their daily portion of food. It would teach them to steal from the neighboring farm-yards or gardens without being found out. So a hungry Spartan boy would climb into a garden undiscovered, or even slip into a stranger’s larder in search of fruit and food. If the boys were caught, they were punished, not for stealing, but for being so clumsy as to be caught.

Here is a famous story about the toughness and severe conditions these young warriors had to go through: “Once a Spartan boy stole a young fox and hid it under his coat. It soon began to scratch with its claws, to bite with its teeth, until the lad was in terrible pain, yet he would have died rather than tell what he was suffering. Such was the endurance taught to the young boys of Sparta.”

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If a boy complained of any hardship, or disobeyed any order, he was flogged, perhaps even tortured. One test of his endurance was a terrible scourging, under which he would die rather than utter a cry of pain.

Once the Spartan boys were twenty years old before they left the training-house to which they had been sent when they were seven. They were then fully-trained soldiers and left the training-house for the barracks.

When war actually came and the Spartans were on the field, they were treated with more kindness than in time of peace. Their food was more plentiful and pleasant, their discipline less strict. This was done to make the soldiers look forward to war, and to desire it rather than peace. The Spartans were happier in war than in peace.

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As hard as the Spartan training was, and as cruel as it sometimes became, it made boys into strong and fearless soldiers. Bravery was the ultimate virtue for the Spartans. There are famous stories of Spartan mothers who would give their sons the shield with the words “[Return] With it or [carried] on it!” that is to say, either victorious or dead.

Retreating in battle was not an option for a Spartan soldier, in fact it was worse then death. Their goal was to either win the battle and return with their shield, or they were to give their life fighting in honor, returning dead on their shield. Those were the only two options for the Spartan warrior.

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For a Spartan, to die in battle was a honor like no other. They embraced the challenge of battle and they looked forward to it. Death in battle was romantic to a Spartan warrior. That was their fate from birth, to be a perfect war machine with no fear of death. Maybe this embracing of death was all about honor, but maybe death for a Spartan warrior was the only way they could truly experience peace. Either way, this is why King Leonidas openly accepted his fate, and even looked forward to the glory of death. Because that is what he and his soldiers were born to do.

Spartan Knife Born to Perform

Spartan OTF Knives by Raven Crest Tactical

Just like the young Spartans who were born with a purpose, our Spartan OTF knife is also built with a purpose. That purpose is to perform under any and all circumstances. We hand assemble every Spartan OTF knife, and every Spartan blade is hand sharpened using a 4 step process. These knives will stand up to whatever you throw at them, that is a guarantee; and just like the Spartan warriors, they will embrace the challenges they are put through. These knives have real Ebony wood inlays on both sides of the handle. This makes for extra gripping ability which is critical for hard core thrusting and cutting.

To see our torture test for the Spartan see the video below and remember the just like all our other OTF knives, the Spartan comes with a full, no questions asked, lifetime warranty. So if you do find a way to end the life of your Spartan, we will send you a new one.

Spartan OTF Product Pages:

Spartan OTF Product Page (Tanto Blade)
Spartan “Gladius” OTF Product Page (Spear Point Blade)

 

Resources:
http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/8-reasons-it-wasnt-easy-being-spartan4
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Thermopylae
http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=macgregor&book=greece&story=training
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spartan_army

Spartan Warrior

The Weapons of the “Ideal Warrior”

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Thanks to Hollywood, and Gerard Butler, most of us have a picture of what a Spartan warrior looked like. Maybe they embellished a little, but what they did get right was how serious of a warrior the Spartan was.

4533758733_b0aba6e8b3_zSparta wasn’t like other Greek city-states that were centers of the arts, learning and philosophy. No, Sparta’s culture was plain and simple: war. Male Spartan’s were allowed only one occupation: solider. Indoctrination into this lifestyle began at age 7, when they left their home and entered the Agoge. During this stage of life the warrior children were subjected to continuous and rigorous physical competitions and challenges. They were also taught survival skills.

Those that survived the training were allowed to be “police officers” of the state until the age of 20. Once the Spartan male reached the age of 20 they would become full-time soldiers. They had no other job or task. They would carry that warrior title until the age of 60.

Weapons of the Spartans

Every Spartan warrior was equipped with 5 different weapons, each with different purposes.

The Xiphos:

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The Xiphos was the close quarter weapon used by Spartan Warriors. It was typically their second choice weapon, should they be forced to use it. Traditionally much shorter than a Greek Xiphos the Spartan’s short sword would prove advantageous when in close quarter battle, with easier maneuverability, being able to inflict damage where a longer sword would be much harder to wield.

The Xiphos sported a leaf shaped straight blade, and would traditionally have been made from bronze or iron, due to the leaf shape nature not requiring the strength that comes from stronger metals like steel.

The Kopis:

Kopis

The Kopis was an alternative sword used sometimes by the Spartans. The Kopis was a longer curved blade that used to cut and thrust when attacking the opponent, and featured a single edge as opposed to the duel edge of the Xiphos. The Spartans would wield the Kopis one handed, and even though it was widely considered to be a suitable blade for use when on horseback.

The Javelin:

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Another weapon the Spartans would make use of was the Javelin. Used from long range the Javelin is a throwing weapon the Spartans would employ before closing the distance on their foes. Common in the Ancient Greece, the Javelin was quite a short throwing weapon, typically three feet long, and constructed from a wooden handle combined with a bronze tip used to pierce and damage the recipient.

The Dory:

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The Dory was a spear weapon used by the Spartans, the Dory was truly a hefty spear and could be up to 9ft long in length. When used by the Spartans this spear would be used with only one hand, allowing the Spartan to maintain and protect himself with his Apsis shield.

When wielding the Dory to attack the Spartan would mix both upwards and downward strikes at their opponents, with both underarm and overarm use of the Dory producing slightly different results.

The Apsis:

Apsis

The Apsis was the shield of the Spartan warriors and much loved. Although one may consider the Apsis a defence weapon, in the hands of the skilled Spartans it could also be an attacking weapon.

The Apsis is a multi material construction, and completely round in shape. The shield would start as multiple layers of wood, with a layer of leather before the outer bronze exterior. The construction of the Apsis allowed the Spartan warrior to withstand most weapons glance, and if needed was a suitably heavy blunt force weapon.

The Raven Crest Tactical Spartan Knife:

Spartan OTF Knives by Raven Crest TacticalWe are proud to announce the release of a new OTF knife we feel is Spartan worthy. The Spartan OTF knife is a very heavy duty knife and was designed to perform under any and all conditions. The handle of the Spartan OTF knife has exotic ebony wood inlays that we source from Indonesia. These inlays are not just for aesthetics, they give maximum gripping capabilities, which is critical for thrusting or penetrating heavy duty materials.

We offer the Spartan OTF knife in two versions, our standard version has a serrated or non serrated tanto blade. We also offer a “Gladius” version of the Spartan OTF which has a spear point blade. This blade is more along the lines of what traditional Roman foot soldiers carried.

No matter which version you choose, we assure you that the Spartan OTF is going to exceed your expectations. We guarantee it. Please click the link below, get one of these knives while they last and find out for yourself how awesome owning a Spartan OTF can be.

The Spartans had a famous saying “Molon labe”, it means “Come and Take Them”. It was made famous because it was used as an expression of defiance. When the Persian army’s demanded that the Greeks surrender their weapons at the Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidas responded with that phrase. We guarantee that if your get to own a Spartan OTF knife you will adopt that same level of passion for your knife.

Resources:
http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/sparta
http://www.legendsandchronicles.com/ancient-weapons/spartan-weapons/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molon_labe

Why We Love The Tanto Blade

Spirit of the Samurai – Why We Love The Tanto Blade

Who was the Samurai Warrior?

Samurai_Sword_SpinDeadly. Smart. Skilled. Disciplined. Loyal. Precise. Feared. Respected. These are just a few of the ways that history has described the samurai warrior. The mighty samurai is a warrior legend, and for over 200 years stories of the samurai trickled down from generation to generation. The story of the samurai will continue to live on because of how interesting and unique the samurai were. We are going to discuss some interesting characteristics of the samurai, and at the end of this article we will show you how to add a piece of the samurai spirit to your daily life. Before we go any further into the details of a Samurai Warrior, here is a very quick crash course on the Samurai…

Samurai Quick Reference Guide:

1. The term samurai originally meant “those who serve in close attendance to nobility”
2. The samurai were members of a powerful military caste in feudal Japan in the 12th century.
3. Samurai were servants to the most powerful political and social men of the era.
4. As servants of the great lords, the samurai backed up the authority of the shogun and gave him power over the emperor.
5. The samurai loyally protected their masters as well as enforced their orders.
6. The samurai were bound by a code of honor, discipline and morality known as Bushido or “The Way of the Warrior.”
7. If a samurai violated this code of honor (or was captured in battle), a gruesome ritual suicide was the chosen method of punishment and atonement.
8. The ritual suicide of a samurai or Seppuku can be either a voluntary act or a punishment.
9. Either way the ritual suicide of a samurai is generally seen as an extremely honorable way to die.
10. The samurai would dominate Japanese government and society until 1868.

There you have it, you now know just enough about Samurai’s to be dangerous in a conversation.

To sum it up even further, the samurai were highly trained, well equipped elite warriors whose weapons and tactics are still studied today.

What we are going to focus on next in this article is what the samurai warriors would use as their weapons of choice, and why they used them.

The Warrior Spirit

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Samurai, 1866. Photograph by Felice Beato

Japanese swords are the weapons that have come to be synonymous with the samurai. Samurai believed that their warrior spirit was contained within their swords. The sword was the weapon of choice for the samurai. The samurai sword has evolved over the centuries, starting from a straight blade and moving to a curved blade and then ultimately the katana was chosen.  The samurai also carried smaller companion swords known as the wakizashi and the tanto. Wearing a long sword (katana) or (tachi) together with a smaller sword such as a wakizashi or tanto became the symbol of the samurai, this combination of swords is referred to as a daisho (literally “big and small”).

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*Katana, Wakizashi, and Tanto on display

Samurai Weapons and Tactics Quick Reference

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1. The Samurai were experts in a wide variety of combat skills including hand-to-hand combat, ground fighting, fighting with arms (swords, bows, spears) and fighting from horseback.
2. The elite Samurai warrior trained for many years in the art “Bujutsu.”
3. We are going to focus on the samurai’s weapon of choice, the sword.
4. The samurai’s swords were yet another important aspect of his life
5. Samurai often named their swords, in a dedication of devotion.
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Samurai believed that their warrior spirit was contained within their swords.
7. The samurai wore two swords, a wakizashi and a katana.
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The samurai’s katana was his primary weapon of self-defense
9. Samurai’s also carried a smaller wakizashi sword.
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The samurai often used his wakizashi in close quarter combat situations and even during ceremonial, ritual suicide if the warrior had broken one of the 7 virtues of bushido.
11. When worn with the Japanese katana, the pair (of katana and wakizashi) is then referred to as daisho.
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Their swords were made by master sword smiths and quality tested on the corpses of criminals.
13. The forging of a genuine Samurai sword is a tedious, labor-intensive process that begins with a specialized Japanese steel called “tamahagane.” Through this smelting process, a steel is produced that consists of a carbon count that is balanced throughout the steel making it the optimal steel for fashioning a sword. Master Swordsmiths then begin the process of folding the steel begins and can be folded up to 16 times. This process helps to remove any remaining impurities, while also creating alternating layers that greatly increase the toughness and durability of the blade.

14. The length of a Samurai sword has varied over time, but the modern version is typically around 40 inches overall with a 28 inch blade.

Japanese Sword Making

The Edge of Choice for the Samurai

We have now spent some time learning about who the samurai were, and also what kind of weapons they carried. We know that the samurai were a serious group of warriors who were highly skilled in weapons and tactics. We also know that they had a deep, almost spiritual, bond with their swords. We learned that making a samurai sword is an extremely labor intensive job that takes the hands of a master swordsmith. Knowing how serious the bond with their swords went, and also knowing what they used their swords for, one could suggest that the samurai would have wanted to possess the best, most capable sword available to them. For the most part, the samurai chose the tanto style blade as their blade of choice for their weapons. This was not a coincidence, this was a thought out strategic choice.

Body Armour of the Time

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Japanese samurai armor was typically made up of many small parts and a wide variety of materials. Steel, leather, and wood typically form the protective plating, which may be composed of many small sections laced together using leather or silk cord. Samurai armor was designed to be strong, protective, flexible and terrifying.

Being that the body armor being warn was very heavy duty, the samurai needed a weapon that would excel at piercing through tough materials. The tanto blade was the desired choice for Japanese long and short swords.

Characteristics of the Tanto Blade:

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The tanto blade has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong point that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The thick point of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact from repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break.

The front edge of the tanto blade meets the back edge at an angle, rather than a curve. As a result, the tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. However, it’s extremely strong point allows it to be used in tough situations where piercing hard materials is required.

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Japanese Tanto Knife

The Japanese tanto is a Japanese dagger carried by samurai. Specifically, the Japanese tanto is one with a guard that has all of the fittings used on swords. The Japanese tanto blade rarely exceeds 12 inches in length and usually accompanying a katana. The tanto is much more decorated and has unusual fittings than the larger swords. The Japanese tanto was designed primarily as a stabbing instrument, but the edge can be used to slash as well.

Become One with the Samurai…

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If the OTF knife existed back in days of the samurai, I would like to believe that they would have wanted to incorporate it into their war arsenal. Unfortunately that is something we will never actually know. What we do know is that the samurai preferred the tanto blade, and we at Raven Crest Tactical also favor the tanto blade as our preferred blade style. Here is why..

To be 100% honest, part of our love for the tanto is based on the aesthetic beauty of the tanto blade. The sharp curves and beveled edges give the blade a sleek, strong and aggressive look.

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Raven Crsst Tactical Non Serrated Tanto Blade

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Raven Crest Tactical Serrated Tanto Blade

Don’t get us wrong, the tanto blade isn’t just a blade for the eyes. The tanto blade is extremely useful for cutting or penetrating tough materials, just ask the samurai. For our OTF knives we offer two variations on the tanto blade, serrated and non serrated. We could go on for days on which is the better option (serrated vs non-serrated), but that ultimately is decided by one’s personal preference.

Now, our OTF knives may not be forged in the fires by an ancient and wise knifesmith, nor is our knives sharpness tested on the corpses of dead criminals; but every one of our knives is hand assembled and hand sharpened using both modern and traditional tools and techniques. These key features not only place our OTF knives up with other elite knife makers, but it follows the traditional ways in which a samurai’s sword was made.

The fact of the matter is this, no matter which style of tanto blade you choose when you carry a Raven Crest Tactical tanto you are carrying with you a piece of the samurai warrior spirit.

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There is no way we could have written this article without a lot of help.. We thank all those who help contribute to this article.

References:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WkWNDDrQO4#t=1347
http://listverse.com/2013/08/06/10-fascinating-facts-about-the-samurai/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samurai
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tant%C5%8D
http://www.trueswords.com/samurai_history.php
http://getasword.com/blog/125-japanese-sword-types-katana-tachi-wakizashi-nodachi/
https://yokaihigh.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/japanese_weapons-wide.jpg