I am not a knife fighting expert. I have just enough training to realize how little I know about the subject. However, that training has lead me to appreciate small knives with features that make them easy to retain – knives like the ARK or Active Response Karambit.
The ARK came about as a result of a collaboration between Chad McBroom of Comprehensive Fighting Systems and knife maker Dirk Pinkerton who is renown for his small knife designs that incorporate finger rings in the grip. Pinkerton knows how to get the most out of small knives like the ARK.
Unlike most karambits, the ARK’s finger ring is not positioned for the index finger. It is located lower on the knife’s grip so it can be accessed by the user’s middle finger. This is a key component to one of the ARK’s main design goals to allow the user to draw and manipulate a handgun while still holding the ARK. This knife is primarly targeted at law enforcement and this feature may not be useful to everyone. While you may not need to draw a sidearm while holding your knife, you will still appreciate the retention that the ring offers.
The ARK features a 2″ blade which keeps it legal in most jurisdictions. The overall length is a compact 5 11/16″ and it’s 1/8″ thick. The 154CM steel is chisel ground to create the hooked blade typical of karambits.