One of the signature elements of our Filipino Martial Arts, is the concept that our movements themselves are our weapons, our shields, our offensive tactics and our evasive strategies. Because of this, form is dictated by function and almost nothing else. Our art is not built around certain tools and specific weapons, our art is comprised of systems and methods that can accommodate multiple weapons, and can make weapons out of everyday items. Throughout history, warriors have learned to create, make and forge their own weaponry to suit their unique uses and capabilities. Armor was crafted specifically for knights, swords were created especially for samurai. Our US military members constantly modify an evolve their own tools to best mesh with their skill sets, whether it is customizing with optics, triggers or stippling grips. And it’s not just for battle. Physicians have created and modified their own tools for hundreds of years. Athletes create or experiment, sometimes with hundreds of different shoes, skates or other equipment. Musicians have tuned and customized their instruments, and in the absence of existing equipment, scientists and scholars have done the same.
Sayoc Kali Tuhons (Master Instructors) have been modifying both blades and sheaths as long as the system has been in existence. As long as it has been a growing and evolving organization, both in structure as well as conceptual content, Sayoc practitioners have sought ways to find weapons, tools and equipment to best perform the job and execute the mission. So it was natural that there have been multiple evolutions of bladesmiths, sheathmakers and tool creaters in the system. In fact, the phenomenon of aluminum trainers was made hugely available due to the identified strengths and advantages that the Sayoc system helped highlight.
Not too many years ago, Tuhon Carl Atienza began making blades to fill the void of weapons that met our movements, our needs and our demanding criteria. These blade shapes and sizes were suited for a variety of purposes. The materials were selected for their ability to hold an edge, resistance to impact and brittleness. Tuhon Carl literally tested each and every one by hand in a variety of ways, and with each test every blade was honed and evolved. Sheaths were made specifically to each blade as well, with different materials to fulfill certain tasks. As in everything the Tribe does, it is the intent and target that drives the process.
This is the most current, and most evolved version of the Sayoc Drop Point. It is a hand crafted blade designed and produced by Tuhon Carl Atienza, forged of S35VN steel and finished with G10 handles. Of the two sizes, this is the larger 9” version with a 4” blade. The smaller, not pictured is a 7” version with a 3.5” blade. While sometimes associated with the name, the cant or angle of the blade to handle harkens back to the Filipino styled “pistol gripped” knives once used by tribes in the Philippines. The shape of this weapon allows for the blade to line up with the pointer finger in a natural extension, and provide additional palm support during both slashing and thrusting. This is the case in both “forward” and “reverse” grips. The handle has been evolved and shaped to provide for the most efficient ergonomics for it’s purpose. And the namesake drop point shaped blade allows the tip to lower and line up with the user’s grip and structure, and the concave leaf like structure allows for strengthened point for added penetration. These blades are coated to minimize profile and resist rust and corrosion.
Despite its tribute and connection to our martial heritage, this blade not only contains the essence and years of essence from the Sayoc system but pushes the boundaries of modern bladesmithing technology. To echo the words of Tuhon Rafael Kayanan, of and in reference to the Sayoc system, this blade is not of the past, but the future.