If it is true that we can only fight as well as we train, then the equipment we use in training takes on a special significance as well. Although I have read accounts of individuals who have even used popsicle sticks to train with -- and I find that commendable -- I also believe that training weapons should, as much as possible, resemble the weapons you expect to defend yourself with. I designed the above Carraca trainers with that in mind. They are modeled after the large carraca "sevillanas" manufactured by the cutlery firm of J.J. Martinez in Santa Cruz de Mudela, Spain.
The Carraca is the most recent design in a series of navaja trainers developed for use in our Acero Sevillano training. (Acero sevillano, or Sevillian steel, is the Andalucian art of defending oneself with the variety of edged weapons that evolved in the southernmost province of Spain.) Other navaja trainers include the Santolio and the Salvavirgo, a small knife carried by Andalucian women in a garter on their right legs.
The first few dozen Carracas that I received from my manufacturer sold out as soon as I arrived in Spain for this summer's Andalucian workshop (see the May 24 blog entry, below.) Recently I received a new delivery. The trainers, for those of you unfamiliar with them, measure 14.5 inches in length, 2.5 inches at the widest part of the belly, and come beautifully wrapped in navy blue para cord. Although it is very probable that you will buy other trainers that appeal to you in the future, you really would never have to get another navaja trainer after purchasing one of these. (And while the Carracas lack quillons, their size and weight make these trainers equally excellent for bowie knife practice.) Orders can be placed by visiting www.sevilliansteel.com, and sending us an e-mail from the contact page. Happy Training!