Friday, 11 September 2015

The Kiyoga.

      Continuing my tradition of making Friday posts a little more “out of the box”...

      I have been researching a number of things recently but I am unsure exactly why I had an urge to take Anthony B. Herbert’sMilitary Manual of Self Defense” down off the shelf.

      The book is mainly simple line illustrations. Some sections are obviously pulled from John Styer’s “
Cold Steel”. A short passage at the start of the book admits that some content was taken from “Cold Steel”, “The Complete Book of Knife Fighting” and “Black Medicine Vol. 1 & 2”. Some sections  of “Get Tough” are also reproduced. Although uncredited the razor fighting section is obviously taken from Bradley Steiner’s “Close Shaves” and includes Steiner’s ludicrous comment that the sharpened corner of a cut-throat razor can penetrate an eye deep enough to reach the brain. 

      A lot of the text is of better quality, however. Note that Herbert describes the result of many techniques as “kills”. I believe he is using the more specialized military definition of the term which means “out of the fight” rather than an actual lethality. 

      What caught my eye today is that on the back cover the listing of sections mentions “The Kiyoga ™”. Telescopic batons are rather familiar now. When Herbert wrote his book this was evidently a new idea, although similar Japanese weapons date back at least a century or two. The section on use of the Kiyoga is relatively short but comprehensive and logical, covering applications of both the closed and open weapon. The reason I am featuring the Kiyoga today is this wonderfully over the top contemporary magazine advert for the weapon. I can remember the great comedian
Kenny Everett reading this out in one of his early television shows.
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Fire from Sunlight.

           Many dozens of years ago I read an extract from a survival manual. Much of the content was actually FM 21-76 repackaged with snippets of allegedly Native American bushcraft. One of the few ideas that seemed novel was to use ice or snow to make a lens to create fire by focusing sunlight. Sunlight tends to be rather diffuse when snow is on the ground, so I have no idea as to how practical this actually is.
           The reason I bring this up is that I have just come across some rather nice videos of ways to use focussed sunlight to create fires.
           In one he uses a quantity of water in kitchen wrap as a lens. Many clear plastic bags could be used instead.

           Similar is the use of a glass pot lid. Could a clear bottle of water be uses in a similar fashion? Possibly! Sadly I don’t have time to experiment today.

           An ingenious method is using the remains of a noodle pot and silver bag to create a concave mirror.

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