The CRKT Tecpatl is the latest knife to join the company’s Forged By War lineup and the only push dagger in their catalog. The Tecpatl has been designed from the ground up as a fighting knife, but creator Michael Rodriguez took a unique approach to the concept, informed by artistic acumen and a long career as a professional soldier.
With a manageable 3.4-inch single edged SK5 blade and a weight of just 5.6 oz., the Tecpatl was designed as a versatile, simple tool that any soldier could rely upon. “The thought process was always about efficiency, flexibility and opportunity, and about creating a weapon that anybody could effectively use,” explains Rodriguez.
The decorated Green Beret, sniper instructor, and combat leader says soldiers shouldn’t waste time learning the art of knife fighting. “Why spend thousands of hours learning how to use a fighting knife? That time can be better spent elsewhere.” So instead of catering to specialists, the Tecpatl is a tool designed to function using something that everybody has: instinct. “I’ve learned that monopolizing on basic human instincts is best,” Rodriguez says. Push daggers leverage basic human self-defense skills more effectively than any other kind of knife. Very little finesse is required to wield them effectively. “Even a baby knows how to throw a punch. In close quarters, it’s the best way to deliver the most amount of force in a short space,” he says.
The Tecpatl’s ergonomics are tailored to a modern soldier’s needs. Things change quickly and sometimes it is important to put a weapon away while still maintaining control of a situation. “With a traditional punch dagger or knife, the second I open my hand, I’ve lost control of the knife,” Rodriguez explains. With one closed and one open finger ring, the Tecpatl handle allows users to switch tactics on the fly. “The ring design of the Tecpatl allows the user to maintain control of the tool for escalation or de-escalation as the situation calls for it.”
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Rodriguez began working with metal after attending forging classes taught by Ryan Johnson, owner of RMJ Tactical and Founder of the Forged by War program. The Tecpatl’s skull-shaped profile and elaborate engravings reflect Rodriguez’s commitment to the artistic side of metalworking. All of his custom projects are given to deserving members of the veteran community or put in to charity auctions. Despite a production collaboration under his belt, Rodriguez laughs at the thought of being called a knife maker. “I don’t think of myself as a bladesmith, a blacksmith, or anything like that. I just express myself through art.”
Knife featured in image: CRKT Tecpatl