Perrin’s name has become synonymous with “La
Griffe.” There are very few Knifemakers out there that are competent with
a blade. Most of them have a real Cult of Personality thing going on around
them, which at times can be rather unsavory. Sometimes they cultivate that sort
of thing…sometimes they do not.
Perrin, The Quiet One, stays out of the spotlight for the most part and
continues to make excellent Self-defense knives and other weapons. What of
those, “other weapons?” Well, they vary, through my friendship with Fred;
I’ve come to know him not only as a very talented Designer and Maker of
knives, but also as a serious researcher of weapons of all types and the methods
to use them in the most effective manner possible. Fred stays in the shadows of
the Knife Community.
like that. Fred has the air of being every bit as covert as the weapons he
admires and makes. Low key - and he is content with that and I admire that.
love LaGriffes, they are awesome. I could just leave it at that and maybe I
of you have probably read the Perrin/Emerson LaGriffe Article here on the site.
I think that covers most of the ground I could cover here along with the soon to
be complete Spyderco SPOT Article which will on this site as well. These two
Production knives, the Emerson and Spyderco versions of The LaGriffe, are just
about the best Self-defense knives – smallish fixed blades – currently
available today. The picture below has two Emerson LaGriffes and a Spyderco SPOT
LaGriffe as well as a plastic LaGriffe Trainer.
Custom LaGriffes are something to behold. Some people may not understand this,
but Fred’s work has a warmth to it. When you hold one of his Custom LaGriffes
in your hand, you look at it carefully and it has a presence to it.
people can make a perfect knife. Very few of them have that added touch of
personality to their knives. A Custom LaGriffe may be a very simple knife or it
can be quite elaborate. It does not matter – you can have a Custom LaGriffe
with Micarta, some exotic wood, bone or Stag…G10 fiberglass composite or
simply have the handle/grip skeletonized and "plain,” the same valuable
attributes are there.
you see a LaGriffe like this one with file work, mosaic pins, spacers and
giraffe bone for a grip, well, it’s just a work of art. A functional piece of
artwork. My camera cannot capture the beauty of this knife.
term “Knifefighting” has become quite controversial in some circles. It can
mean so many different things to different people. I only use it so everyone
else will know what I am talking about from the beginning. But, what we are
going to be concerning ourselves with in most cases of Self-defense is not
“Knifefighting” per se… No, it is Offensive Self-defense; the best
“defense” is a good “offense.” What we are talking about is a fight.
That seems very simple but many people forget this, they think that because
there is a knife or some other weapon involved that it magically becomes a “Knifefight.”
That is not necessarily true. It is more like a Streetfight involving weapons
more than anything else. It is fighting while you have a knife, or multiple
knives – or other weapons as well.
have to broaden your horizons and think beyond merely cutting and thrusting or
even using the pommel as a striking implement. You have to think of everything.
You may have an opportunity to grab the other person; you might have to grab
them. We hear a lot about multiple attackers and “Mass Attacks.” They exist,
they are a reality and they are deadly. If you are in the middle of a group of
people that are hostile or turn violent when you are in their midst, you may
have to grab one of them and use them as a shield against the others. James
Keating had some solid material about shielding in his Spyderco Civilian
material he released years ago.
LaGriffe has the pistol grip and the hole for the index finger and you can grab
onto people and their clothing. You can actually grab clothing and then push the
point of the knife into someone while you have them, all with the same hand.
Grab, twist the clothing, and orient the point and plunge.
some time ago in a discussion about Push Knives/Daggers, I said the following:
are not "fighting knives" in the classic sense, you know, a big ole
knife that you can stick in someone's chest and they instantly give up the ghost
and drop like a rock...
in a very real way, these are streetfighting knives in the most realistic
yourself can be a rather pompous endeavor; I have to set aside my own views on
is precisely the way I feel about the LaGriffe. So many people look at them and
because they are not large, they just shrug them off, “Oh, that ain’t
nothing…what are you going to do with that thing?”
can do a lot with a LaGriffe; you have to know what you are doing to begin with.
The best compass in the world will do you no good if you don’t even know how
to read it or even where you want to go in the first place.
people do not understand a knife unless it is huge and has the capability to
remove a limb. So many times I have read about people who fully intend to
threaten an attacker with their knife, an attempt at intimidation. “The bigger
the better! They’ll run from me!”
a world full of guns, you think that’s smart? Just because the attacker has
not drawn a firearm does not mean he has no firearm in his pocket. Just because
he draws a knife does not mean that’s all he has.
similarity with the Push Dagger, besides the kinship with it being a
misunderstood weapon by many, is the fact that the LaGriffe locks into the hand
like a Push Dagger and is easy to strike with in a non-telegraphic manner. Like
the Push Dagger, it becomes an extension of your skeletal system.
Push Dagger in the hands of someone who knows how to jab (as in Boxing) is a
very effective weapon. Frighteningly so. The LaGriffe is very similar to this
and you can reach out and really damage an attacker with a LaGriffe and they
will not even perceive it. It will be too late, just as it is very hard to
perceive the tip of a Fencer’s Foil…it has already found its’ mark before
you perceive you have been struck…
Couple of Wicked Spikes
them “Stylets” or miniature Poniards if you like. Sometimes referred to as a
Lancet. Most people misunderstand these small weapons as well. The reason some
people do not understand them is very simple. Again, some people only understand
something like a Kukri when it comes to edged weapons. If it does not have the
ability to chop off a limb, it is useless to them, as I mentioned before.
Further, they then go on to say the item is useless for everyone else. That’s
simply not true.
you were grappling with a friend and you jabbed them with a common sewing
needle, they would probably start screaming and disengage if they could. I’m
not talking about merely poking them; I’m talking about sticking them deep
with a sewing needle. Even in the middle of a heated but fun grappling session,
it might take a few times of jabbing them – but they would feel it rather
quickly and wonder what on Earth you were doing to them.
because when you are having fun grappling, it is neither nice nor polite to
stick your friend with a sewing needle. Right? It’s not like this sort of
thing is allowed during friendly grappling or in sporting matches.
a real fight, some rather terrible wounds can go by unnoticed at the time
because of adrenaline and endorphins. A human being can take a lot of punishment
and not feel most of it in some cases.
small spikes may not work in every instance where they would be deployed in real
life or death fights, but I have to think that they would work in a large
percentage of them. There are no guarantees in any fight. I think a lot of it
would depend on where (on the body), how hard and how often you used the spike.
could also be lethal; it all depends on where you hit someone. Obviously,
thrusting to certain areas of the neck can lead to a quick death with a lot of
edged and/or pointed instruments. For right now, I’m just focusing on the
streetfighting use of these things.
would say that you could get the desired result from using a simple writing pen
in the same manner - which depends on where you hit them as well. If you stick a
writing pen in someone’s rear end or high in the thigh, it might not be that
effective, if you stick one of these spikes in the attacker’s flank, he’s
going to feel that in most cases.
now, we’re thinking about these little spikes.
there could be legal problems looming for you if you carried such a thing but as
the streets don’t seem to be getting any “nicer” or “safer,” these are
all things you have to take into consideration. We’re talking about
Self-defense, after all, and not merely hurting people that are innocent…
assume that it is so bad where you live that you have to carry such things and
the possibility of using them is very real. The threat of arrest is not nearly
so bad in some areas as is the threat of being beaten up or killed on the
street. Sometimes life gives us very hard choices…
back to the sewing needle, these spikes are about 20 times (or more, just a
guess) thicker than a sewing needle. Longer and with an incredible point. Fred
ground the end down to a triangular point, which will penetrate a heavy leather
jacket with relative ease.
happens if you are swamped and smothered by multiple attackers? A common
pocketknife can surely be a great aid to getting you out of such an altercation.
So could one of these spikes.
human beings have a natural fear of the dark. If they are being stung by some
sort of “invisible hornet” you have in your hand, it’s dark outside, these
spikes are very svelte and hard to see anyway…they might just disengage
altogether. Standing back to curse at you or throw rocks and bottles – still a
dangerous situation but not nearly as bad as being stomped into the ground by
that this is the realm for these very small and clever hideout weapons.
They’re not something you extract from a pocket or lapel and challenge someone
with, “On Guard!”
they are something quickly and silently deployed when you think something is
going to turn violent. Or perhaps in a crowd that is hostile, maybe a riot has
erupted, it does happen from time to time, maybe there is some sort of disaster
and people are terrified and you are being crushed. You might be able to relieve
some of the pressure on you by deploying something like this, as horrible as
that may seem at first glance, to save your life. Just to stick them in the rear
end…get them off of you.
someone is trying to pull you out of your vehicle and you can deploy one of
these hidden somewhere in the vehicle and use it “sting” them.
note that I am not saying this, “Train for the lowest common denominator,
train to meet someone that a sewing needle will dissuade.” Nothing could be
farther from the truth, I am also speaking of targeting accurately and being
relentless in the application of a device like this.
you are unfortunate enough to end up on the ground with a highly skilled
grappler and you are not skilled at grappling and you have ended up there
because you failed to stop the takedown, you are in trouble. Grapplers, being
very proud of what they can do, will scoff at some of these ideas. But I think
you can get one of them to jump off of you like a rocket if you started sticking
them with one of these spikes. They’re not going to be expecting that, they
are expecting to smother empty hand tactics and because some of them are
training to smother weapons or the drawing of weapons, I would advise you to
never let someone see the weapon, any weapon, let them feel it.
American OSS and British SOE deployed small tools like this in the field. These
weapons had many different names, poniards, spikes, darts, brochette, bodkin,
hatpin, hairpin and simply…”nails.”
is French for “skewer” and bodkin is a term that is not used much anymore,
it usually meant large sewing needles. Some intricately hand-carved from
Whalebone or Ivory. In the mid-1800s it was even common to see certain types of
sewing implements, referred to as stilettos. This makes a lot of sense because
most people don’t realize that a dagger is double edged but a stiletto is more
of a spike, historically speaking.
is a picture of one of my Dad’s “Bodkins,” a large sewing needle for
repairing canvas tarps and tents, next to one of Fred’s Spikes.
is absolutely fascinating to me to see the similarity in some things and it
makes perfect sense, sewing is about piercing materials, you see now? It’s
amazing, the OSS and SOE termed some of these things after common sewing
implements (especially European implements and some going to French Resistance
Fighters) and why not? Why not name a piercing weapon after a piercing tool?
interesting thing I have come across is the use of the French word
“Chatalaines” used for small sewing or jewelry boxes. I have tried to define
the word myself from French and I keep getting “Lady of the Manor.” I have
found yet another and as of this writing – unofficial – definition of “Chatalaines.”
That being, women’s dresses in the Victorian Era (and even today in most
cases) had no pockets. So a “Chatalaine” was some sort of clip device to
attach a thin chain to the belt or other area of the clothing so a small
container of sewing needles and possibly a thimble, could be carried around.
Much like a Police Officer’s whistle is attached to their clothing by a small,
thin chain and on the other end of the chain is some sort of small hook or other
device to attach the chain to clothing.
think the use of “Chatalaines” for a sewing box is incorrect, I think that
would be “Etui.” An Etui could be a cigarette or cigar case, a small case
for your eyeglasses or possibly a pistol. Neat, huh? I have not written Fred
about this, I’m sure he will correct me and add much more later.
this interesting to ponder? A sheath, I imagine, could be considered an Etui and
the ball chain used for neck knives and various ways to use ball chains for
carrying knives and such, they could be considered this same type of chain
is not to say that I am 100% correct in my definitions. What I am trying to say
is, for hundreds of years people have had to carry things and have had to invent
ways to carry things that fit the clothing of the era they lived in. Much like
we do today. Just an interesting discussion on the side, that’s all this is.
if we think about things now, we see that the concepts of carrying various items
are timeless, aren’t they?
neck knife carried on a piece of ParaCord or ball chain, for example…see the
to Martial Artist and Historian Don Cunningham (buy his book, “Secret Weapons
of Jujutsu,” I enjoyed it immensely), the correct Japanese term for the
hairpin would be “kansashi.” I mention this to give you a broad view of
these nasty little devices. Throughout history, small edged weapons like these
have been utilized and they have been effective.
has made quite a few of these as well and they could be used in the same manner
as the spikes. Again, in the dark, where most bad things happen because bad
people seek darkness to work their evil on society, knives like these are very
hard to see. That is the important part to remember.
know some people refer to cuts to the forehead as “The Veil of Blood”
techniques because the blood floods the eyes and temporarily blinds the
attacker. I know some people don’t agree with that – or they condemn it in
fact remains the face and scalp bleed copiously when cut. Ever cut yourself
shaving? Think about the cut being much worse than that. Blood in the eyes is a
very real deficit for anyone to fight through.
is a very real possibility that the fight would end because the other person
would have to clear their eyes constantly in order to continue. You might not
have to injure them further, you might be able to turn and run or kick them in
the legs to take them down and then run to safety.
also know that people will scream that this is “maiming” or “too brutal”
for “legitimate” Self-defense. Look, if it is bad enough to draw an edged
weapon, it is basically a situation that calls for lethal force or you are going
to be in trouble anyway, so the point is moot.
people have to mince words and feel for people who have no feelings for them, I
don’t understand. There is nothing “immoral” or “illegitimate” about
defending yourself in this manner if you are going to die or be severely injured
if you do not act.
do you like the miniature LaGriffe in lapel knife form in the picture below?
Isn’t that great!)
some of Keith Melton’s great books on British SOE and American OSS Weaponry
and study them. There is a wealth of knowledge in them with regard to the Lapel
Daggers, Spikes and all the other assorted edged weapons used in World War
Perrin is carrying on The Great Tradition of the World War Two French Resistance
is what most people, even most people involved in Martial Arts, do not want to
confront. When I first started down that path years ago, my dreams were of
perfectly executed blocks, shutos, throws and joint locks. A few years later,
like many young men, I became enthralled with the idea of the perfectly executed
back spin kick to the head of my adversary. The more I saw, the more I changed.
three items represent an excellent Self-defense package for people. Self-defense
comes down to Streetfighting. If you had the capability to carry a concealed
handgun, that is obviously an excellent idea in a hostile environment.
three items designed by Fred Perrin cover a lot of Self-defense needs.
large wallet that can carry a Driver’s License, some cash, credit cards
and more than a handful of coins makes for an incredible impact weapon.
Koppo Stick made out of DuPont DelrinÔ
with steel ends, one pointed.
Custom LaGriffe. No, you don’t need a “fancy” Custom like this one,
but they sure are beautiful!
is a stroke of genius. Well thought out, the design is great, it is practical
and the materials and construction are excellent. I don’t have to tell you
that being struck with several dollars worth of coins would hurt you if you
wrapped them up in a good, tough leather sack. And that is what this is. I’m
not going to dwell on that, it’s obvious!
I’m going to tell you what a great wallet this really is for some of you! If
you wish to obtain one because you think it would be good for Self-defense, and
it would be, that’s great. But it really is a wallet worthy of carry
especially for people who have to carry a lot of coins.
see three major areas where you would have to carry a lot of coins:
who travel on Toll Roads and Turnpikes.
who travel and have to use pay telephones.
who use Laundromats.
you run out of change on some Toll Roads, you can actually be ticketed and fined
if you do not have change and you pass through some of the Tolls that are
unmanned. If they have a camera that takes a picture of your license plate
(instead of having the little gate that goes up and down), it can cost you many
more times the amount of the Toll in fines, etc. So, if you travel in these
areas, having a lot of coins is a must.
telephones are like slot machines now. They just take your money, if you use
them a lot and you really depend on them, you should have a lot of change on
you. The are notorious for “eating” your money and malfunctioning and as
Cellular and Digital (Portable) Communications have become increasingly popular,
the companies who have pay telephones have taken quite a hit. There are some pay
phones in my area that are one dollar per call. I’m 34 years old, when I was a
teenager; they were still a dime (ten cents!). Even more disturbing, in the
past, if the other party you were calling did not answer the phone and it just
rang, you were refunded your money on the spot as soon as you hung up the phone
receiver. I have noticed that some companies have the phones set in a manner
that you have to pay regardless, even if the other party does not answer, you
have to pay for even trying to call them! I’m all for Free Markets, but this
is a bit much, I mean, come on.
if you must rely on pay phones, they are going to get even more expensive and
the restrictions on them will grow.
are another story entirely. Yeah, big macho guy! I have to use these places
sometimes as well! And, it is a lot of money to do so when you consider you need
coins to do it. Most of these places have moneychangers that change bills into
coins, but they are also out of money or otherwise malfunctioning some of the
time too! The stores around any Laundromat usually refuse to give you change –
especially in the amounts you need for washing three loads of clothing. Best to
have your own supply of quarters on hand. I hate it when the bill-changer is not
working or out of quarters, messes up everything and I have to go hunt down some
place to get quarters and I hate carrying fifteen dollars in quarters in a
wallet ends all of that. There are many things that are simply weapons and they
are disguised to be something else, this wallet is truly a gem, totally
functional and built very tough. I love this coin wallet.
out of what appears to be garment leather and reinforced in the major stress
area with a much thicker grade of leather, this is one tough wallet. The snaps
and straps are all set well and robust. The thicker section of leather wraps
around the end of the wallet to give it more shape instead of just appearing to
be a leather “bag.” This also serves as reinforcement so the bag will not
burst if you hit something with it. This should also keep the coins from
“wearing the leather thin” in that area. Great!
can wear this on your belt, you can place it in your pocket with part of it
forming a “tail” or handle to grasp, perhaps placing it in the console of
your vehicle for long trips.
only thing I would change about it is the logo. The logo is wonderful, it simply
has, “Fred Perrin Design” on it with a LaGriffe. It is well done and clean
(you can see it in the Custom LaGriffe picture near the beginning of the
article). The only problem is, the LaGriffe is a knife and the addition of that
graphic of the knife on the wallet could cause the wallet to undergo a lot more
scrutiny. Not only if you have to use it, but also just carrying it could cause
quite a stir in some areas…from someone wants to make an issue out of it being
Perrin Koppo Stick
Koppo Stick that Fred makes actually reminds me of some mountain climbing tools.
I do not know the name of them as I don’t climb mountains anymore, but there
are implements that I only know as “Ice Spikes.” When climbing, crawling or
slithering on slick ice, you can have these tools in your hand and thrust the
point into the ice so you can keep going – instead of sliding down the ice,
you folks in colder areas where there is a lot of ice every winter, these Koppo
Sticks would be most excellent to have in the vehicle and/or your pocket. And
that is exactly how I would explain why I was carrying them! And you would not
be lying! They’re excellent tools!
a weapon, this Koppo Stick, if you strike with the point, is obviously going to
severely injure someone, so you should be very careful and only use it when your
life is in danger.
I have to tell you is, it is well thought out and the construction is excellent
and if you cannot get the rest of the “story” from simply looking at the
picture, I don’t think I could type another five hundred words to tell you
about it. Read the Koppo Stick Articles I wrote and then refer back to these
pictures and use your imagination. This is not the sort of thing you want to use
on someone who is simply trying to aggravate you in a Bar or Tavern or
something, this will really damage someone. Act accordingly.
of Fred’s knives and other tools can be purchased through Laci Szabo, his
website can be found at:
further reading, you can visit Fred’s old website, which is rather cool! You
can find it with these two links:
small webpage dedicated to Fred:
is a website where you can order some interesting Perrin items! Enjoy!
can click on each description to see a picture of the knife/device and I suggest
strongly urge you to visit Real Fighting Dot Com at:
is a terrific article on Fred located there at:
- Don Rearic
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