In recent weeks The Martialist has profiled several blades from martial arts and self-defense instructor Bram Frank. As we’ve said in each of those articles, Bram was among the first advertisers at the earliest version of The Martialist. He was also personally supportive of our efforts here, encouraging us to build an online magazine that has remained a driving force in the online “tactical” community since 2003. We are therefore pleased to review yet another piece in his product line, the Magnum Persian folder.
Other versions of Bram’s knife have been made by companies like Spyderco and Cherusker Messer over the years. The Standard and Magnum sized Persian folders are made overseas in a small factory that Bram says is dedicated to producing his products. He takes a very practical view towards the use of weapons in self-defense, and his training programs reflect this.
“Human beings are tool users,” he says. “Given a choice of ‘tool’ or ‘no tool’ we will invariably choose to use a tool. Since tools exist to make work easier and to allow us to function at peak efficiency… we willingly seek out tools to accomplish even the simplest tasks.”
The founder of Common Sense Self-Defense/Street Combat, Bram Frank has spent nearly fifty years training in the martial arts. He holds an 8th dan Modern Arnis. Given this, there’s no doubt that Filipino martial styles and systems heavily influence his methodology, right to the name of the “Gunting” self-defense knives and tools he first designed years ago. (A gunting, in Filipino martial arts, is a “scissors” maneuver). Over the course of his career he has done a variety of self-defense instructional videos, through companies like Paladin Press and Video Quest, and has been featured in publications ranging from SWAT, Guns and Ammo, Police Journal, Tae Kwon Do & Korean Combative Arts, Filipino Martial Arts, and Tactical Knives.
Like all of the other folders Bram makes available, the Persian comes in two sizes: Standard and Magnum. The sample seen here is the Magnum version. The pronounced ramp, or “Bramp,” has two uses: It can be used to open the knife kinetically on an opponent’s body (but NEVER on your own limbs, as you could be cut) or, when closed, it can be used to deploy the tool like a tiny hammer or hatchet. In hatchet mode the knife delivers painful, even debilitating strikes and could even be used to facilitate pressure point strikes and joint locks. The butt of the knives is also designed for blunt strikes.
The knives feature multiple indexing points, including the spoon-shaped divot in the pocket clip. The “post in the hole” indexing circles are intended to facilitate grip changes, in fact. There is also a triangular hole in the Bramp for more conventional one-hand opening. The pocket clip is reversible for right- or left-hand use, oriented for tip-down carry only. The handle shape is marketed as “bio mechanical” for ergonomics and retention under stress, allowing a locked three-finger grip similar to what you might use on a firearm.
The Magnum-sized LLC Persian is six inches closed, with a four-inch blade. Blade steel is 8Cr13M0V steel, the Chinese equivalent to AUS-8, hardened to HRC 56-58.
Handle scales are G10, which (combined with the jimping everywhere) provide excellent traction. Fit and finish is good, with no blade play. The blade opens smoothly and locks positively. I have always found that position for the lock a little awkward to disengage with one hand, but with practice I’m getting better at it (and, full disclosure, I haven ever been a student of Bram’s system specifically).
The liners are hardened steel, while the dual-access pivot pin is polished. The “compound puzzle lock” is a dovetail joint-into-blade arrangement similar to the “compression lock” found on some other knives. (The lock is actually an improvement on the compression lock, as it features a stop pin for, as Bram puts it, “Mr. Murphy.” It looks like nothing so much as a liner lock in the dorsal, rather than the ventral side of the handle.
The Persian’s blade was wickedly sharp out of the box. Given its curve and upswept needle tip the knife cuts and penetrates very well. It sliced effortlessly through plastic jugs and cut deep into stacked cardboard. The size, combined with the blade shape, makes this an extremely efficient knife. It’s an utter beast, with a nice heft and plenty of real estate for my size XL paws.
Matching unsharpened drones for training, with red handles, are available, naturally. Bram also offers Standard and Magnum sized CRMIPT2 tools, an impact device marketed to law enforcement. This is the Close Range Medium Impact Tool, the latest incarnation of a device that, like his knives, Bram has been showing people to use for years. The CRMIPT2 is, in fact, already SOP with the Hialeah, Florida police department under Chief Mark Overton.
Color-coding is important to Bram. His training drones always have red handles, while the CRMIPT2 always have blue (for law enforcement). Live blades are available in a variety of interesting colors. One of my standard-sized LLC folders is a neat mauve color, for example.
I’ve come to take Bram Frank for granted on the tactical-knife-and-self-defense scene. With any luck, he and his tools will be around for a long time to come. The Persian is a great self-defense blade that could also be pressed into service as a work and utility knife. You’d benefit from training with Bram if you choose to carry one of these, but the knives, in and of themselves, are worthy of consideration as the versatile self-defense and utility tools that they are.