In-classroom training resources for edged weapons seems to be more difficult to find than unarmed self-defense training or firearms training. Below are training resources that were recommended to me by knowledgeable experienced people.
This is not an endorsement of them by me, nor is it any kind of an endorsement by them of my knife.
There are 2 self-defense experts who have evaluated my knife and are also available for training. These are:
1) Lee Aldridge http://www.fightingconcepts.com
Lee is Head Instructor of Reality Based Fighting Concepts, which specializes in delivering personalized self-defense instruction. Lee is an expert in the effects of the psychological and emotional stresses of a violent confrontation. He is connecting with scientists and other specialists who will help him further develop his "protocol" of progressive drills and learning experiences which will allow those affected by PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) to gradually reduce and hopefully eliminate the undesirable components of their reaction to the recall of past events. Lee can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This was Lee's initial review on the HideAway:
"I received my Strider hybrid Hideaway knife from FrontSight today. Also received the trainers for both my wife and me. Here are my first impressions of the knife and trainers:
1. The fit for the fingers was PERFECT for both of us. The method used by FrontSight to determine exact sizing from the measurements supplied by the purchaser are very accurate. Retention and firmness of grip are superb with the design. The thumb ramp fits the grip very well, and augments the control over the blade. The draw stroke places the blade in the position for use with no fumbling around or adjustment necessary.
2. The finish of the Strider is very nice. Anyone who owns a "tiger stripe" Strider already knows this, I had only heard from others who own them. Now I, too, know for sure! The finish removes almost every trace of glare or reflectiveness. This knife will truly be hard to see in the user's hand.
3 . The edge is quite sharp. The point is beyond adequate to inflict the initial puncture which launches the attack. The angles, etc. of the blade are well thought out, so that the use of the knife feels "natural".
4. The trainers are well-crafted, with dull, rounded edges and no point. They have the exact same hand feel as the live blade. The blades are coated with red "trainer" identification, and are slightly thicker than the live blade. Performing some preliminary drills and movements with the trainer, I was able to use it on a Century BOB dummy without any damage to the bag. That's a well-designed trainer, as I've seen lesser designs gouge these dummies, etc
5. The Kydex sheath supplied fits the knife perfectly. It holds the knife at the EXACT angle that your fingers naturally fall when reaching to touch your sternum. The draw stroke is effortless, but retention of the blade is sufficient that any number of jumping jacks, rolls, etc. could not dislodge it from the sheath. The craftmanship of the sheath is excellent, with no unfinished edges, etc. to hang up on clothing or scratch your delicate skin. The knife and sheath are virtually undetectable to the eye while worn under a t-shirt (hanging on the supplied ball chain).
Overall, I am obviously very pleased to have been fortunate enough to receive one of these knives! It will become a part of my EDC.
The CONS: I am not completely convinced regarding the SD usefulness of neck knives. I have experienced some major trouble in some drills where it is very difficult, if not impossible, to produce a neck knife. This is especially true for the vast majority of users who wear the knife under the shirt."
(note from FS: This may be an area where women actually have an advantage. Attached to a neck chain, my HideAway stays securely positioned behind my bra with the capsule available centered and just beneath my underwires. It doesn't move much at all in that location :-). I officially hereby add this as #4 to my list of advantages of being female.) OK, back to Lee's review:
"FrontSight assures me that several very reputable sheath makers are working on designs for the carry of this knife in alternate locations, so don't feel that you are trapped into one method of carry. Personally, I feel that a small, IWB-style sheath would be an excellent alternative. The knife is compact and flat enough that wrist/sleeve carry is another possibility. A belt with a slot in the actual belt material (which acts as a between-the-layers sheath) would also present the grip very efficiently. The knife is so versatile because of its size, I won't be surprised to see all sorts of cool carry methods come out as soon as lucky recipients get their hands on one.
In use (trainer), this thing ROCKS! The short, quick motions, which are more available to the user under typical crowding/grappling/swarming SD conditions, are where this knife excels. This knife gives the phrase \one-inch-punch\ a whole new meaning! In many \compromised\ positions, I merely had to witch\ to effect an insertion motion. From there, the ripping (pakal) stroke (PICTURE STARTING A LAWNMOWER) was easily accomplished. The \snaking\ motions used to intertwine hands and get position while clinching, etc. are perfect opportunities to use this weapon. It does not require the room that many other designs must have. VERY COOL!!!!
THANK YOU, FRONTSIGHT! For a freshman effort, you hit it out of the park!"__________________
Reality Based Fighting Concepts
Lee's followup Longer Mileage review:
"Now that I've had some time to train with the Hideaway, I'd like to add to my previous comments.
The overall utility of this design is continuing to impress me. I was able to perform many "empty-hand" manuevers while wearing the knife on my hand. This means that you are able to use your open hand to achieve head control ( a la JKD or Muay Thai ) and simply make a fist while drawing your hand away to perform the cut. This fist-making produces the edge in cutting position, and allows immediate open-hand techniques by simply opening your hand!
For LEOs, who may have subject-control issues, the Hideaway can provide a "safety-valve" when grasping a subject. If the suspect resists the grasp, the knife can be immediately deployed to assist in "cooperation".
This knife will also be handy for rock climbers, where weight and size are factors that determine what equipment goes or stays. I'm sure that there are many other applications not yet examined.
An "incomplete" draw is fairly easy to deal with. My Strider Hybrid Hideaway can be simply adjusted with the thumb, even if the two fingers don't enter the capsule completely. Thumb pressure will aid retention and allow you to move the knife to the desired position as you cut. Right on, Seth!
I've stated on other forums that the unmatched retention characteristics of the Hideaway allow you to perform open-hand tasks or martial arts techniques, yet the cut can be performed by simply making a fist at any time. With a proper draw, you can even handle a firearm if necessary, though not ideally of course. The versatility of the Hideaway continues to blow me away."Lee
Reality Based Fighting Concepts
Trainers are important for practicing movement. As with any blunt instrument, it is possible to severely injury someone by striking them even with a trainer.
I am now red-anodizing all HideAway trainers.
2) Paul Barrick of OPS is developing a 4 hour Blade Combatives program that will provide a framework of several core defensive skills.
OPS - http://www.optionsforpersonalsecurity.com/
Paul recently obtained a HideAway and this was his feedback:
"I got the HideAway in yesterday and I'm very impressed with it. Please pass on my compliments to Mike Yurco for his truly impressive finish work. His Pocket Protectoin sheath design is both innovative and useful (I'm still getting a hang of the draw angle but it's not a problem at all to employ the blade.). The blade is small but it feels alive in the hand. I'm looking forward to getting the DVD and seeing what SouthNarc has come up with for its use. And thank you for rushing it to me (not too mention designing a wonderful blade). Deployment for me is pretty quick from Dockers-style pants and jeans are fairly quick, too.
I'd say that I'm getting 1 second draws from the former (with my hand starting from outside the pocket) and slightly over 1 second with jeans (maybe 1.2 to 1.4 seconds). From around the neck, I can get somewhere around 2.1 seconds reaching through the neck of a t-shirt and the same as jeans if it's a button-down. I haven't cut myself or my clothing, yet (Did I mention that I liked the band-aid and LifeSaver included with the knife?).
I can draw it without looking at the sheath. In fact, I find it easier to index from neck carry or in the pocket than the Emerson LeGriffe.
Using a (pocket) sheath, it takes me (1-1.4) seconds to deploy the HideAway and be ready to strike. I ___did or did not_X_ need to look at the capsule hole to draw the HideAway. Other things I want to tell you are (that the angle of draw from Mike Yurco's sheath is a little different than I'm used to but it hasn't failed to deploy properly).
I'm very pleased with my knife, I still think it's an excellent value for money and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a quality, functional knife for everyday carry."