About

I have always had a love and passion for knives and edged weapons.  I have spent the majority of my life studying and researching the blade-fighting systems and methodologies of cultures around the world, from the Southeast Asian tribal arts to the European fencing arts.  My accumulation of training has culminated into my close-combat system known as Comprehensive Fighting Systems.

My experience in the blade arts eventually led to knife-design collaborations with prominent knife companies, including Dawson Knives and Pinkerton Knives.  It also opened the door for me to evaluate and review hand-made and production knives for Black Sheep Warrior and BladeReviews.com.  One of the things that allowed me to excel as a reviewer and gain a loyal following was the depth and perspective from which I wrote.  I would spend hours researching and learning about the properties of different types of steel and the blade geometry that allowed different types of blades to excel in different ways.  The elements that gave different steels their hardness, toughness, and durability, and the hardening and tempering processes that were necessary for turning a pointy object into a functional knife, all became very important to me.  I never wanted to be just another knife nut with an opinion.  I wanted to present my readers with sound information they could use to make informed decisions.

I eventually reached a point where I felt that book knowledge wasn’t enough.  I possessed the skills to use a knife, but to take things to the next level, I needed to possess the skills to make a knife.  Only through this application would I truly understand what goes into the evolution of a piece of raw steel into a fine cutting instrument.

I began my knifemaking tutelage under local knifemaker Rich Greenwood of Pokabu Forge.  I first heard about Rich when he appeared on Season 1, Episode 1 of the hit TV show Forged in Fire.  I spent a full semester learning blacksmithing and bladesmithing techniques from Rich.  I soon found that I had a talent for making knives and decided to continue and expand my work beyond just the educational aspect.  Over the next several months, I began building up my shop with the equipment I would need to make my own knives.

What I have always loved about the knife community is the willingness of other knifemakers to share their knowledge and experience.  My friends at Dawson Knives were very helpful and served as what I would consider mentors in my knife-making venture.  Other knifemakers that I have met along the way (many through my reviews) have also been extremely helpful by providing tips and trade secrets that have helped me in my own knife making.  These knifemakers include: Travis Wuertz, Dirk Pinkerton, Brian Selby, Rich Robinson, and Stacy Wright, just to name a few.

Tango Zulu Blade Works is the trade name I have chosen to represent my own handcrafted knife work.  The name bears a lot of significance, as it comes from the call-signs for the small tactical unit I have spent many years working with.  I chose this name in honor of my brothers with whom I have had the honor to serve, some of which have lost their lives in service to their country.

While I put everything I have into every TZ blade, each one is handmade, so minor imperfections will always be present.  I believe this adds to the desirability of a handmade knife.  Performance is extremely important to me.  A knife must be reliable, which is why I guarantee all my knives for life.

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