It’s been going through a skyrocketing resurgence in both the military and law enforcement, as a tactical tool as well as a weapon.
I’m talking about the tactical tomahawk.
If you don’t have one, you may be missing out on one of the most powerful close quarters combat weapons available.
But as you’ve heard me say a bazillion times now, the effectiveness of any weapon — whether it’s a gun, a stick, a kitten, I don’t care what it is — relies primarily on the skill of the person wielding it.
Recently, I had the chance to talk about what people are getting WRONG about the tactical tomahawk with expert Benjamin Bradak.
Here's a summary of what I learned from him on this subject.
Tactical Tomahawk Fighting: 3 Factors You MUST Know Before You Defend Yourself!
A lot of problems with contemporary tomahawk training come from a single source.
That is, training is often not well rounded when it comes to the ‘hawk.
People try to make the weapon behave in ways that it shouldn't.
They treat it like weapons that appear cosmetically similar.
It's true the tomahawk is a reasonably intuitive weapon.
Anybody can pick it up and use it to wail away on an attacker with only a little training.
But there are some facts you need to keep in mind when you work with the ‘hawk.
1. You Shouldn't Try To Block With The Blade
In the movies, people block blade to blade all the time.
I once saw an old episode of Walker: Texas Ranger in which our hero Chuck Norris duels a guy with a knife and tomahawk.
They go at it blade to blade, blocking each other like it's going out of style.
The reality is, you're NEVER going to pull that off in a real fight.
The blade of a tomahawk is relatively small.
You won't be using it for blocking moves, because you won't be able to make them work.
It's just not going to be able to hit the mark in a real-life encounter.
What this means is that you should be ATTACKING, not blocking.
Tomahawks are best used OFFENSIVELY, taking the fight to the attacker.
2. The Tomahawk Is NOT A Knife Or Sword
A lot of martial arts training with bladed weapons involves drawing a blade through a target.
It looks graceful and fluid — and we don't blame you for thinking you can do the same thing with a tomahawk.
The only problem is, you can't.
You can't draw a tomahawk through a target the way you can a knife or a sword.
The ‘hawk just doesn't behave like those weapons because of the size and shape of the blade.
Even with what is called “percussive cutting action,” you won't be drawing your blade through, so you've got to be prepared for getting hung up in the target.
3. Ben's Tomahawk Hooking Rule
The tomahawk hooking rule goes like this:
Just because you don't want to hook with the tomahawk, doesn't mean you won't…
…And just because you want to hook with it, doesn't mean you should.
Keep those statements in mind whenever training with the ‘hawk.
More than any other weapon, a tomahawk will probably hang up in the target, so be prepared for a continuous flow of action if it doesn't hang up, and be able to utilize it properly if it does.
Above all, don't hook just for the sake of hooking.
That's not realistic training.
If you keep these principles in mind, your tomahawk training will be much more productive.
It's a great weapon, but it is also a unique weapon, and should be respected as such.
Stay prepared out there!