The Shrike is the first knife designed and produced by Ironside Edge Works. In 2017 Gavin Coleman was working as a self defence / combative instructor at Kangal Defensive Systems in Cape Town, South Africa. Around a year before, he and mentor Schalk Holloway began developing an Edge and Point system as a study of this area of combative which would later become the much acclaimed book “The Maul”.
During this period Gavin required a Pikal knife to practice with and couldn’t afford to buy a custom one with a trainer, and so headed into a make-shift garage workshop and made his own. The first Shrike was incredibly crude, with Schalk’s input and several drawings, the Shrike evolved into something resembling what we now know.
The Shrike was always intended to be a very robust knife. It was intentionally made from thick steel stock, originally 5mm (0.20″) with little to no skeletonisation on the handle. The intention was to make the knife a bit weighty and have its mass centred in the palm of the hand, giving it a real sense of solidity.
The blade was intended to be robust. The standard version was a full pikal grind with a short supporting edge, what we refer to as a “1 & 3/4” edge. With the Pikal bevel being flat ground and the supporting edge being convex ground to help bolster the point and make it stout. The idea being the Shrike should be able to punch through tougher materials than just soft tissue mediums. Materials like thick clothing, or leather, but also handle contact with things like belt buckles, buttons and zippers, as well as bone.
The Shrike was designed to be a robust defensive knife that can withstand whatever it has to face in the heat of a close combat incident. The handle was designed to be ergonomic and fit fully within the average hand with little to no protrusions or snag points, with a rounded butt to better facilitate the stripping actions to clear any combatant who may attempt to control your wrist and hinder your ability to use the weapon.