Brent Beshara, Elite Soldier and Knife Maker
Yesterday I wrote about an innovation in knife design, the Besh Wedge. Beshara was inspired by the Fairbairn Sykes knife, and aimed to improve it. I think there are 3 different philosophies, or maybe just unspoken assumptions in the martial arts:
1) The Old Ways Cannot Be Improved. Some would say that the old classics like “Kill or Be Killed” or “Cold Steel,” have the best combat knowledge. Anything “new” is only reinventing the wheel.
This view is common in the martial arts; Sensei X, Guro X, Datu X, Grandmaster X, has the world’s greatest system. Any attempts to “improve” the ultimate system are useless and counterproductive, not to mention an insult to the old masters. Often this view is supported by references to the style going back two thousand years, back into the mists of time, etc.
2) The Old Ways Are Outdated. Some would say, “What could I learn from Fairbairn, some old guy from WWII?” After all, white guys don’t really know anything compared to all of the Asian grandmasters. “Hey, I study Ok-ok Kali, I could run circles around some old geezer like Cooper, Fairbairn, Applegate, etc.”
3) Refine the System. This is a saying of GM Estalilla. We should as martial artists continually strive to refine the system, meaning make improvements. I would begin by respecting the old masters, whether their art was Asian or Western. All of us must acknowledge that we have a debt to those who came before us –we owe them for passing down to us a martial arts heritage.
However, acknowledging the contributions of those before while striving to improve the art does not disrespect them –it honors them. That is what Brent Beshara did –beginning from a place of respect for the old masters, he asked himself how he could improve their ideas.
The Besh Wedge shows that there are new ideas. The best ideas are those that are simple, yet simple in a way that no one else has ever thought of.
Rescue Knife with Besh Wedge