The Best Production Short Sword Self Defense Weapon on Planet Earth
TOPS KNIVES are some of the best cutting devices on Planet Earth so I like testing and evaluating their products. Last January at the Vegas SHOT SHOW I visited the TOPS’ booth. While there I visited with some old friends and met a new one Bill Hill who started out in the US Navy in the UDT Team. He later was transitioned into the Seals. Bill Hill is a Warrior of the first rank. He is also a Warrior who is easy to talk to. Bill told me he had a hand in some of the early TOPS knife designs. I bet Bill has some great stories of which I hope to hear some day.
While at the TOPS booth, I talked to them about a new CUMA model SIJO Waysun “Johnny” Tsai had designed. Johnny gave it the name of CUMA KAGE which I believe to be very appropriate. In my inquiry I learned the CUMA KAGE was finished and awaiting the final design and production of the sheath.
A few months later, COVID-19 and all that, I received the CUMA KAGE from TOPS. As I inspected this new product from TOPS, I noticed how well balanced and comfortable it felt in my hand. I also noticed how sharp this short sword was. At first, I wanted to classify the CUMA KAGE as a heavy version of a machete. After further thinking this through, I decided it was truly a short sword. The overall length is 23.75 inches with a 15.5 inch very sharp blade and tips in at 35.5 ounces or 2.22 pounds. The sheath is made of Black Kydex with a dangler carrying system which is my favorite. I love this sheath and short sword.
Now the question is, what use is a short sword when most citizens will not be engaging in a theater of war where one could deploy the CUMA KAGE in combat? Yes, the CUMA KAGE would be ideal for military special operations units. This short sword is very strong and well-built to take some abuse….or give out some abuse. For me as a retired LEO, I carry a 1911 in .45acp so no need for me to carry a short sword around in public. O-the calls the P.D. would get about this action. But I can see many needs of which I will explain a few.
The CUMA KAGE Is Needed When…
The CUMA KAGE is the weapon you would draw in the middle of the night, “What in the Hell you doing in my house?” short sword.
At 03:00 hrs., your wife is alone. She hears a window break in a back bedroom. She enters the room to find an arm reaching inside to unlock a window. She says to the dirt-bag, “Let me help you with that!” as the adrenaline pumped wife slices down with the CUMA KAGE and its 15.5 inch bad-boy blade.
There has been reports of aggressive bear activity. While hiking along a mountain brook which is loudly splashing down willow covered medow, you round the bend and there is mama bear and her two almost full-grown cubs. Mama starts to run away but amazingly the two cubs at 250 pounds each attack. You pull your magnum Ruger revolver and with two shots each drop the cubs at your feet. You look up and Mama is coming with fur, teeth and claws ready for payback. You fire your last two shots into this 400-pound pissed-off bear. She staggers but keeps coming. You pull the CUMA KAGE and scream, “Mama meet my new friend!”
A yearly chore is to clean the brush and fallen leaves around the back fence of your property. You have the CUMA KAGE on your belt. A handy tool, and if need be, a great weapon. The autumn breeze coming from the northwest is cool to your face. This is your favorite time of the year. As you rake you see some movement within the leaves. It is a copperhead who has just been raked around and is she pissed. She coils to strike with deadly venom…ooops too late, as you begin to make smaller versions of her with your CUMA KAGE.
As I am a big fan of the TOPS brand, I wanted to have a field test of a nature unlike I have done before. I wanted someone who I trusted to test the CUMA KAGE in the field on a daily basis. A professional person in a civilian profession who will put the quality and workmanship to the test. I wanted to see if rough use over a period of time would damage this product. The Double JM Ranch near Coalgate, Oklahoma was my choice. The Double JM Ranch is a professional wild game ranch. The game includes deer, turkey, coyotes, birds and wild hogs. Lots of wild hogs. What better place than the 8,000 square acres of wilderness in Southeast Oklahoma.
Jared Truett of the Double JM Ranch is a college educated man who served our youth as a football coach. Jared is an avid hunter and a hard-working guide and manager at the Double JM Ranch. While working around the ranch Jared takes the TOPS CUMA KAGE I provided for field testing. I spend a day with him on an unrelated article. We took along the CUMA KAGE for gins and giggles. Soon we found a need for this amazing short sword. We had to clear some limbs so I could video tape some hunting.
An idea was born to have a professional use this short sword around a ranch or farm. The family farm is two hours from my house. It would be difficult for me to get two weeks of use there in a timely manner. So, I left the CUMA KAGE with Jared to be used around the Ranch. He is a very honest man who has a code of ethics much like mine. Jared would be taking the KAGE daily along with him as he travels all over the ranch.
Two weeks later, Jared called me and said he was going to make the four hours round trip to my house to report his findings and usage of the CUMA KAGE. When Jared arrived at my house, we made a video of his report. In the video Jared reported he used the KAGE as a tool, and as a weapon in killing a rattle snake. He also stated some clients saw him using the KAGE and were smitten to the point they stated they would buy one for themselves. See the YouTube video of his report.
From my personal and professional point of view, I found the CUMA KAGE to be yet another winner for TOPS. What a great design. As Jared stated there was no vibration when he chopped into some hard wood trees. It was not stated in the video but Jared was using his right hand which had been broken when teaching a man not to threaten his father of 70+ years. The quality and workmanship are one would expect from the TOPS Brand. In closing I would say, “Great job Johnny!” To TOPS I would say keep them coming!
TOPS KNIVES Says it Best:
“The KAGE (Pronounced KU-MA KA-GAY), means “Shadow” in Japanese. The name is drawn from one of the designer’s lifelong passions, GI JOE: the Arashikage (Storm Shadow) Clan.
SIJO Waysun Johnny Tsai is a lifelong martial artist and world-renowned self-defense instructor. Riding off the success of his wildly popular TOPS Knives release, the C.U.M.A. TAK-RI, and its connection to the GI JOE Ninja Commando Snake Eyes, Sijo wanted to create something that he has sought after since his childhood, a functional Snake Eyes Sword.
Wanting to show influence, but not wanting to make an identical sword to the comics, Sijo drew the sword to his favorite Escrima stick length, 24″. Through years of training Sijo has found that 24″ is a perfect length for close range combat with an edged weapon or stick.
He then changed the tip and added a striking Punyo tip to the handle. Sijo didn’t just want a short tactical sword, he wanted to create a bush sword that could replace an axe, one that could fell a tree as well as remove an enemy’s limb in combat. Once satisfied with his initial hand drawings, he sent the sketches to his good friend Roland III of FOX KNIVES USA fame to transfer the hand sketch to a digital format.
Once the artwork was complete, Sijo landed back with his family at TOPS KNIVES. Over the next two years, Sijo and TOPS created a prototype and at the suggestion of Leo Espinoza and Craig Powell, TOPS added some fullers and holes to the handle to lighten the weight of the sword, Outside of the new fullers and holes in the handle, the sword’s CAD file was created from the original hand and digital drawings provided by Waysun Johnny Tsai and Roland Hinojosa III.
During the prototype stage, IDW comic book / GI Joe artist Robert Atkins agreed to upgrade the official Snake Eye’s sword in the comic book with The C.U.M.A. KAGE. That story arc written by GI JOE legend Larry Hama, is GI JOE: SNAKE HUNT and runs in GI JOE: A Real American Hero issues numbered 266-276.
The C.U.M.A. KAGE is finally here and Sijo could not be prouder of the final product that TOPS KNIVES has delivered.”
CUMA Kage Specs:
- Knife Type: Fixed Blade
- Design: Short Sword
- Overall Length: 23.75 Inches
- Blade Length: 15.50 Inches
- Cutting Edge: 15.50 Inches
- Blade Thickness: 0.250 Inches
- Blade Steel: 1095 RC 56-58
- Blade Finish: Black Traction Coating
- Handle Material: Tan Canvas/Black Canvas Micarta
- Knife Weight: 35.5 ounces
- Weight w/ Sheath: 39.7 ounces
- Sheath Included: Yes
- Sheath Material: Black Kydex
- Sheath Clip: Dangler
- Designer: Wayson Johnny Tsai
Double JM Ranch
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