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Hank Reinhardt's Book of Knives: : A Practical and Illustrated Guide to Knife Fighting [Paperback]

Hank Reinhardt
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

19 Jun 2012
Definitive and compulsively-readable - an illustrated guide to the use of contemporary knives by long-time Blade columnist and master weaponsmith, Hank Reinhardt. Deadlier than the club, more ubiquitous than the sword, the knife is the universal edged weapon of all humankind. As our society has grown more advanced, and more reliant on technology, there has been an increased interest in the weapons of the past. Hank Reinhardt was a widely known authority on medieval arms and armor and a long-time columnist for Blade magazine. Unlike many experts, Reinhardt insisted on actually making and testing the weapons he wrote about, and through his various activities was instrumental in increasing the popularity of arms and armor in mainstream America.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (19 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451637551
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451637557
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 762,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad 6 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Interesting information about knives and fighting technics, training drills. As for me, a little to much of information about Hank, but otherwise not bad at all.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hank's Book of Knives. 25 Aug 2012
By A. One - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Most enjoyable, and a fairly quick read. Main point: You don't ever want to get into or near a knife fight. Second point: Don't do any of these dumb things he's seen done. Third point: Knife fights generally have two losers. Fourth point: There are things you ought to know, and if you expect to have to use them, you have to practice, practice, practice.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars H.R.'s Eulogy 23 Sep 2012
By Somyunguy - Published on Amazon.com
This isn't a bad book. It's a quick and easy read. The title is misleading.

Saying it's Hank Reinhardt's, has a lot to say about knives, or is a "practical and illustrated guide to knife fighting" are all pushing it.

What H.R. had to say in this book is short and minimal. He has some entertaining stories, and -touches- on a couple of topics not mentioned in other books.
Sure, there's plenty of admonishment that knife fighting is bad business (is there such a book that doesn't?). There is a long, completely obsolete section on the carry and opening of pocket knives from the days before every pocket knife had a clip and one handed opening capability. There is a section on "wounds" that has almost nothing to say about knives or wounds; you can literally learn more about knife wounds from the scattered stories before that chapter. There is even one illustration that will give you deja vu; it takes up 90% of one page, and it is copied as filler further along in the book. You'll also hear a fair amount about H.R.'s knife collection. This book also references a few times to George Silver's (a 16th c. martial arts instructor) page on knife combat, and they make the completely erroneous claim that the shortsword he preferred was the precursor to the smallsword, showing a complete lack of knowledge about their favorite source.

The middle of the book is a praising eulogy by several friends/acquaintances of Mr. Reinhardt, as is the preface, which also explains that his portion of the book is pieced together notes he never felt like publishing. Nothing I'd pay money to read if I wasn't his friend.

Finally, the most substantial single portion of the book is an actual attempt at a knife fighting book, but it's by a guy by the name of Greg Phillips. The first portion of which, Choosing a Knife, is very much an opinion piece, much of which I strongly disagreed with, and at least some of which is demonstrably false, which started me off on a tentative foot about what this guy really knows about knives. Then there's a short but practical enough bit on acquiring basics without instruction. But then the part you think would teach you the nominal "practical" knife fighting is actually anything but: it is a chapter on fighting with large kukris, bowies, and daggers! After which, there's a token page on mindset. Much of this work seems to be on the kind of informal backyard self instruction and sparring H.R. was known for (not that that's a bad thing).

So, was I better off for having read this? I'll say that if it was the first one I ever read, and I was new to the subject, I would've come away with more than when I started. However, there are books on the topic out there that will leave you with more than this one.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hefty Dose of Reality in a Realm Fraught with Fantasy 1 Aug 2012
By Arthur Chenevey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nowhere in the martial arts and combatives realm does more fantasy exist than in the world of knife work. Amazon is loaded with books and videos depicting authors attempting to address knife use and counter knife use. Most fall short. Not with this offering, at least the portion Hank Reinhardt had written.

We will find the harsh reality of knife use and counter use, with no sentiment, whatsoever, given to theory or contemporary fabrications of what is "knife fighting." Quintessentially, all Hank Reinhardt, is found in Chapter 6 "Using the Knife," which is worth more than the entire book itself.

Hank once told me that as we age, we finally reach a point in our lives when we no longer need to fight to prove anything. This manuscript illustrates, fully, such humility in a realm no often visited with such humbleness. Direct and true, this book genuinely portrays knife and counter knife the way the subject needs explicated, without apology and with humility to boot.

For anyone wanting a real world peek into the realm of knife--start and end here. The rest demands experience.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reinhardt's Lost Secrets of the Blade 9 Jun 2012
By T.A.L. Dozer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reinhardt's Secrets of the Blade

Hank Reinhardt's "Book of Knives: A Practical and Illustrated Guide to Knife Fighting" is not a full spectrum book on knife fighting, but is a significant addition to the historical study of knife combatives. Hank was a renowned armorer and authority on medieval weaponry, as well as very competent blade practitioner. Hank was also writer/contributor to Blade Magazine and its predecessor American Blade Magazine, where he wrote blade relevant fighting articles. This book is a highly readable text that is a tomb of knife fighting history, tactics, application and theory of the fighting knife. If you are a blade practitioner this book is a must own for your professional library.


-Editor's Note

Part One: by Hank Reinhardt
1. The Warm Face of History
2. The Cold Eye of Reality
3. The Street Knife
4. Knife Concealment
5. Wounds
6. Using the Knife

Interlude: by Hank's Students
-Massad Ayoob
-Richard Garrison
-Henderson Hatfield Heatherly III
-Michael D. Janich
-Niles Onsager
-John Maddox Roberts
-Whit Williams

Part Two: by Greg Phillips
7. Choosing a Knife
8. Acquiring Basic Skills
9. Fighting with the Big Knives
10. You, the Knifefighter

-Epilogue: The True Secrets of Knife Fighting
-About Hank Reinhardt
-About Greg Phillips
-Photo Credits

(Softcover, 5.5"x8.5", over 180 pages, illustrated)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, not great 28 Jan 2013
By crusader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not sure what this book is trying to accomplish: it has a bit about knife fighting, a bit about knife technology, a bit about Mr. Reinhardt. All nice, but neither flesh nor fowl.
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