Review of the Spyderco Pikal Knife
The Spyderco Pikal folding knife was designed from the ground up as a fighting knife. Furthermore, the knife was specifically designed around a set of techniques.
The Spyderco Pikal was designed by the people at Shivworks, who have no-nonsense, rock solid technique. As far as I can tell, the group is composed of law enforcement and corrections officers. Nothing focuses the mind on the ugly reality of edged weapons like working in a prison. (If you go to the bottom of this page, they have some free pdf tutorials that are some of the grittiest I’ve seen.)
There are also some online video tutorials (here and here) that outline how to draw the knife, as well as a simple set of techniques to use it. The Pikal is meant to be held in a reverse icepick grip, with the blade facing in toward the wielder. The techniques are sound and very effective, the sort of thing a beginner could pick up and use in no time flat.
[The group claims that “pikal” is “to rip” in Bisaya (Cebuano), but it’s not. My research says maybe Ilonggo. Suffice it to say that when I trained with Master Ed Planas, the saber grip was called “saksak” (“stab”) and icepick grip was called “pakal.”]
The guys at Shivworks make a very important point that their techniques are easily used in emergency situations with impromptu weapons, like pens. My thinking is increasingly headed in the direction of icepick grip. If you look at all of the common emergency or semi-impromptu weapons, they are stabbing or puncture weapons, not cutting weapons. If all of your training is with knives, and your techniques is designed to employ blades, you may come up short when employing an emergency weapon such as a pen, pair of scissors, awl, ice pick, screw driver, etc, because they have no cutting edge.