Enter your e-mail address below & watch for a free weekly Training Tip on some aspect of martial arts, blade craft, conditioning, self defense, health, physical culture, history, mind training, attribute development & more

What's New - Timeline - Articles - Techniques - Catalog - Seminars - Links - Contact Us

*NEW* Bits & Pieces Vol. III:
Bowie Backcuts & Riddle Of Steel

Test shoot for Bowie Backcuts plus training and lecture footage
from the legendary Riddle Of Steel training camp
(Normally 30 - Just 24 This Week)

Bits & Pieces Vol. I: Daggers & Disarms
Live" Dagger seminar, knife disarming progressions and more
filmed down on the ranch Comtech style.
(Normally 30 - Just 24 This Week)

Bits & Pieces Vol. II:
Lock Flow, Stick Disarming & Throwing

"Live" joint-lock control seminar for LEOs plus stick training.
(Normally 30 - Just 24 This Week)
The 1992 Riddle Of Steel Training Camp
Comtech grappling, knife combat sets 1-12, unarmed translations of the knife, pushdagger and more from this early Riddle of Steel Camp.
(Normally 30 - Just 24 This Week)

All 4 DVDs - Bits & Pieces I-III & 1992 ROS

(Normally 132.95 - Just 96 This Week)

NEW Comtech DVD Bowie Backcuts & Riddle Of Steel
Copyright Pete Kautz 2017

The other week I got a surprise in the mail. It was a small package from MAA James A. Keating.

I hadn't ordered any Stingers or anything so I didn't know what it was at first.

Walking back to the house I shook the box and it rattled. The sound combined with the size and weight made my heart race...could this be a VHS tape???

Tearing it open my suspicions were confirmed!!!

The tape had a hand written label marked "Backcut test w/ time code" in Uncle Jim's distinctive handwriting. There was a note with it saying he'd found this while cleaning the school and asking could I convert it to DVD for him, just for his archives.

I pulled out the best VCR we have and connected it to the editing system. Grabbing a cold beer, I sat back down, took a deep breath, and hit the "play" button.

I kept my finger's crossed everything would be OK because one problem with old VHS tapes (or any old magnetic tape) is that the signal can be very degraded simply because of the nature of the medium and the conditions it was stored in. Some old tapes are fine, but others have a weak signal that the modern digital systems can't lock onto and thus can't copy.

Fortunately, despite sitting in a box for the last 20+ years, everything seemed fine with this one!

The first thing I noticed was a time code in the lower right hand corner. This explained the label.

The tape started with what was a test-shoot for Bowie Backcuts. It was done at the Riddle of Steel, down by the river in a very scenic area.

The instruction is top notch and Jim is in fine form. He and Robert Langford demonstrate concepts of the backcut for about 20 minutes. The video is high energy, but the river in the background adds a lot of noise (which it turns out is why this was never used even though it's great stuff)

Jim finishes the last part of the backcut footage by saying "We'll see that in the next segment" but sadly that was all they filmed that day.

The video then suddenly cut to Jim instructing the group in the main training field at the Riddle of Steel.

If you ever attended the ROS then you'll recognize the locations, the drills, and the lectures presented. In that sense they are universal and as relevant to our situation today as when this was filmed.

The technical highlights of the video include the six part dexterity exercise, cover and slash, and hubud. But this isn't a heavily technical tape, more of an insight into what it was like at the ROS back in the mid 90's. (Check out the ROS '92 if you want to see more the more technical side of training at Riddles in that era)

Instead, like all Riddles, Jim shares a lot in his lectures as well as in the physical training that is valuable. Many fine points such as blade etiquette, attribute development and winning mindset are covered here.

After seeing the edited DVD of the footage, which is over an hour and has a small graphic in the corner of the screen to cover up the annoying time code, Jim was so pleased he said "Why not let everyone get to see this rather than just us!"

So, that's what we did and now it's available as "Bits & Pieces III: Bowie Backcuts & Riddle of Steel"

All my very best to you,

Pete Kautz

PS - Like this Article?  Sign up for the Training Tips at the top of the page and get an original article like this sent to you by e-mail every week on Tuesday!

Check Back Next Week For A NEW Special!
What Will It Be???

What's New - Timeline - Articles - Techniques - Catalog - Seminars - Links - Contact Us