If I can train or fight with it, I'm probably going to have dreams at night about it (also a proven fact—apparently sleeping next to somebody who fights in their sleep is worse than being next to a snorer).

Ok. I'll admit it.

I'm an absolute nerd for the martial arts. Put a shiny pair of nunchaku in my hands and I will geek out for quite a while (proven fact).

With that understood, you can bet your bottom dollar that when I first heard about Aku Strikes LED Training Knives, I had to get my hands on them and try them out. These unique contact-detecting training knives definitely didn't disappoint!


Lights, Sound, Action!

Training knives can come in many different styles.

If you can name it, I have probably seen it (and likely also worked with it): wood, metal, rubber, chalk-edged, and even training blades that shock on contact. None of them have defined my training in a new way like this tool.

Have you ever had a loud instructor who would yell at you if you got a technique wrong? Well, now you don't have to worry about Sensei Speakerphone spitting in your direction anymore. The Aku Strike Mimic Training stands out from the rest due to its unique method of giving safe yet honest feedback during training.

Working with the Aku Strike Mimic T-16 isn't hard to understand. If the wielder simply lands a slice or a stab, the training knife lights up and makes noise (the noise can be turned off, if desired).


The problem with regular wooden or metal training knives is that it can be easy to not feel the "threat" of an attack and, if adrenaline is pumping during class, you can easily miss the signs that you got sliced and diced.

Chalk coated training knives can give better feedback than regular knives but often create a mess. Aside from that, it can be easy to lose track of how many slashes and stabs have landed if your uniform has already gotten coated in chalk from a few prior training rounds.

With the Aku Strike Mimic T-16 Training Knife, you get the perfect training mix—urgency without the real risk of harm.

What Does It Look Like?

A pocket clip on the blade handle allows it to be stowed away when not in direct use or to be deployed in a more realistic or unassuming manner. This is a nice small feature that can really help change how training sessions are approached.

Currently, the Aku Strike Mimic T-16 Knife is available in three different blade finishes (frosted, clear, or nickel) and two different handle colors (blue or black). The light and sound that project from the blade upon contact are both very prominent alerts.

I was concerned that the light wouldn't attract attention very well in the nickel finished model, however my fears were soon put to rest. The clear blade and the frosted finish blade seemed to show the illumination best, however the nickel design still showed up quite well. Overall, I had zero lighting problems with any of the models, both indoors and outside. They each worked like a charm and held up incredibly.

While my training blades held up sturdily, in the case that the blade does break, it is replaceable. You can just replace the broken piece and get back to stabbing your students.

The contact alert can be adjusted. There is a switch which changes the light color from green to red (in case you are doing a knife vs. knife drill) and another switch which allows you to turn off the sound alert (in the case that you are doing drills in a group setting).

The only thing that might be perceived as a negative is the amount of pressure required to activate the lights and sounds. Due to the design, the blade has a slight give before alerting contact. Personally, I found the amount of pressure required to activate it to be adequate (it helped ensure that it was activated by blows with at least a bit of penetration, not just nicks and light scratches), some may wish for the tool to be more sensitive however.

Overall

The Aku Strike Mimic T-16 Training Knife is an absolutely phenomenal training implement to have in your arsenal of training tools! The lights and sound are extremely prominent, no matter which design blade you choose. Even better, each knife has a degree of alert customization, giving you the option to choose one of two lighting colors and the ability to turn off sound if desired. If you don't yet have one (or more) of these, I highly encourage you to order one!

Pros

  • The clip allows it to be deployed and used in more realistic ways
  • The nickel coloring is a nice semi-realistic looking model
  • The light and sound alerts are incredibly prominent and also customizable
  • You can purchase replacement blades

Cons

  • Has a slight amount of give before activating (can also be a good thing)

Durability: 10/10

Performance: 10/10

Design: 10/10

Overall Rating: 10/10

To purchase an Aku Strike Mimic T-16 Training Knife and see what you think for yourself, click here!

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