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Ernest Emerson of Emerson Knives — The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 94)

Ernest Emerson of Emerson KnivesLegendary knife maker Ernest Emerson is this week’s featured guest on The Knife Junkie Podcast (episode #94). Dare we say that Emerson is Bob’s “grail” interview.

Bob and Ernest go deep into knives, which started for Emerson because of his interest in martial arts and the associated training that led him to making knives. The guys have a fun conversation with lots of stories about martial arts and knives and knife making, as well as getting more info on Emerson’s podcast and newest book coming out — definitely a show we think you’ll find interesting!

OMG! My grail interview with Ernest Emerson of Emerson Knives!! What a great conversation. I hope you enjoy this episode of The Knife Junkie Podcast as much as I did. Share on X

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Please call the listener line at 724-466-4487 or email with any comments, feedback or suggestions on the show, and let us know who you’d like to hear interviewed on an upcoming edition of The Knife Junkie Podcast.

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Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

* Transcription is generated by artificial intelligence (ai) and is not edited. There may be some errors. Thanks for understanding.

Announcer 0:03
Welcome to the Knife Junkie podcast your weekly dose of knife news and information about knives and knife collecting. Here's your hosts Jim Person and Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco.

Jim Person 0:17
Hello Knife Junkie and welcome to episode number 94 of the knife

Jim Person 0:21
junkie podcast. I'm Jim Person

Bob DeMarco 0:23
and i Bob DeMarco. Welcome to the show.

Jim Person 0:25
Welcome to the knife junkie podcast. It is the place for knife newbies, knife junkies, anybody who is interested in knives Well, you're in the right spot because you can learn about knives knife collecting. hear from the knife designers, the makers, the manufacturers, YouTube reviewers, anyone who loves knives, The Knife Junkie podcast is the place for you and Bob. I know some of our interviews you've asked questions about Grail knives and those kind of things. I'm assuming that today's interview is a Grail interview for you

Bob DeMarco 1:00
That's a great way to put a gym. That's exactly what it is. It's a great interview today, I'm talking with Ernest Emerson, my favorite knife designer, and someone that I've always looked up to for a long time, not just for his, his amazing knives, but also for his story and his background in martial arts and just as a as a fighter, and that's where all of his knives came from. And you know what, I'm just gonna stop talking because we had a great conversation and I'll let him fill in the details but yeah, this was this was awesome.

Jim Person 1:33
Well, sounds like a plan. Let's get to it.

Announcer 1:35
Ever order a knife online and have it delivered to the office or your wife doesn't know. Chances are you're a Knife Junkie.

Bob DeMarco 1:41
I wanted to thank you for coming on The Knife Junkie podcast. It is such a pleasure to have you on. I love to talk about anything. wind you up and let you go.

Ernest Emerson 1:53
Like I said, Be careful.

Bob DeMarco 1:55
Well, so I wanted to open up with a Bruce Lee quote that I've heard you mentioned before. For and, and it's a quote that I like but I want to find out what it means to you and, and I think this is gonna launch us into this conversation about knives and, and that's before I learned the art of punch was just a punch and a kick was just a kick. After I learned the art of punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick. Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just the kick. What does that mean?

Ernest Emerson 2:24
Well, what it means is, you have to learn to unlearn and get down to the basics Now, something that goes along with that, I think is another mantra that we use in in my classes is an expert is one who has mastered the basics. And it is true of any person when they become enamored or in any way shape or form for a new endeavor that you want to know everything there is to know about IT pros cons ins and outs looking at it from all different sides. And it takes an educational process and an experiential process to sift through that sometimes that takes depending on the complexity of what it is that you're you're attempting to do or learn, can take a year can take five years can take almost a lifetime for some people, but you get to the point where Holy smokes, all of that other stuff is just, that's just side notes on that piece of paper, that the only thing that really matters is what's written right down the center of the of the page and that is the basics. And what Bruce, at least my interpretation of what Bruce meant was, you know what a punch is just a punch, it doesn't matter what you name it, where it came from, what angle it's coming from, or whatever. He also said I want you to be able to when someone asked him one time, where are the Where are the pressure points or the or the nerve endings are Whatever it is that I should be looking forward to, to attack or strike. And Bruce, I don't care about any of that. I just want you to be able to hit so hard that it doesn't matter where you hit the guy, you're going to do damage. And I think that in regard to that statement of punches, just to punch in a kick is just a kick. Once you've understood the art, it really does go back to it's almost zen, probably as a Zen thing, you know, where he where he got that because I know the original quarter was a leaf was just a leaf in the tree was just a tree. But anyway, the what it comes down to is the fact that really, an expert is one who has mastered the basics because the basics carry you through for a lifetime, all of the all of the fluff and all of the, again, if we just look at the martial arts, if you will, all of the very complex things that we spend so many years trying to be able to learn how to do you get to the point where it's I'll never be able to do that. I'll never be able to do it in a high stress environment against an unwilling, non compliant opponent. I've just got to get in there and hit as hard as I can. I just got to learn how to hit as hard as I can. And that's, that's kind of my interpretation of that long winded But

Bob DeMarco 5:18
no, no, I mean, he had a great way of not throwing out the baby with the bathwater by kind of dividing it into self perfection and self preservation, some of the things you're going to learn like the basics, like mastering the basics, are going to help you stay alive. These other things, these fancy things are going to help you move and get attributes, you know, but other than that, they don't have the practical street value. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 5:42
Well, the thing is also again, it just a segue into the into the combat arts for a second. I got it. I understand how people love the, you know, love things that are complex. I got it. I was there and I did it for many, many years. It's fun And it gives you a lot of benefit, if you will. But for me, my whole life was about the only thing that I wanted to learn how to do is to be able to fight better. So if it didn't work, or if it's something I had to spend a lot of time on. I didn't have the time to do that. So, again, it was a matter of stripping away just like Bruce had always said, you know, you have to learn all of this so you can learn what to throw out or discard. And again, each person as an individual has different physical characteristics and mental acuity and all that. So everyone's martial art is a separate expression of themselves. And I think that's one again, getting off on a tangent. That's one of the reasons Bruce, you know, declined to ever open up schools, if you will. He had a couple in there. But one of the things I think that's important in what I'm trying to describe is that For me, I just wanted to be able to do the basics better. And that's what I found was always the thing that was going to carry the carry the day in fighting or training or knife making or anything else. So

Bob DeMarco 7:14
anyway, well, you said that from the very start what you wanted to do be a fighter and be a better and better fighter. Describe that path. It started early, I think

Unknown Speaker 7:23
it did. And I was subscribed to black belt magazine in 1963. In 1964, when it was still available. I'm from northern Wisconsin, in a little tiny town, rural rural area. And I used to go into the drugstore and and pick up the latest black belt magazine and finally as a scribe to it, and so that was probably back in 60. I'm sorry, not 63 or 6467 68. that put me at about Levin or 12 years old. So I had an interest in karate, if you will, at that time. And one thing led to another and lo and behold the TV show kung fu came on with David Carradine. And it was like, Oh my god, those are Shaolin monks, you know, like, I can throw those Shrek ins and they can, you know, shoot bows and arrows without looking at the target. You know, I mean, it's like, Holy smokes, man. That's what I want to do. And, you know, so again, buying all the books and things from the back of black belt, in O'Hare publications, it was practicing kados and things like that. I didn't have the ability to go to a school, because I was in a little tiny town in northern Wisconsin in the 60s, so there were no karate schools or kung fu schools or anything like that. So I had to end up I found YMCA in Duluth, Minnesota, which was 80 miles north. And so I drove two times a week 80 miles each way when I got to be 16 to go to the YMCA and study There was a guy there that taught a Korean judo. They called it Giotto at that time. And so I went up there, you know, I drove 320 miles a week, basically just to go and spend an hour in those classes when I was 16. And then I'm gonna try and make this kind of short. It's a long story, but then I went to see my first Bruce Lee movie, and oh my gosh, that that was the one printing thing which says to fury, okay,

Bob DeMarco 9:30
yeah, in the ice factory.

Ernest Emerson 9:32
Yeah. Where you hit the guy and he went to the wall. Perfect outline.

Bob DeMarco 9:37
That's, Ah, that was a big knife movie. That was probably the biggest Bruce Lee knife movie.

Unknown Speaker 9:42
Yeah, yeah. Who knows? What that maybe that planet part of that scene. Right. But anyway, so I went, I saw that then I ended up going to school and I played football on a football scholarship and a lot of other stuff in between in between. I ended up playing minor league ball and etc, etc. I still, I still trained every moment that I could in Kung Fu, if you will, and everything and one of the black belts that I picked up somewhere in that time, showed the school with Dan inosanto. And Richard bustillo. As the Filipino Cali Academy was the school in Los Angeles that Bruce had passed is the laurels or the legacy down to Danny, and Richard and those guys to open up a school and teach JKD Jacques Cousteau and Filipino martial arts and cetera. So I pulled up stakes loaded up the truck and I moved to Beverly down, I moved to California, and came out here just to go to that school. And it was interesting too, because I've been around a lot of other schools and had been on the university karate team and all that good stuff. So I was, I had been exposed to, I guess, professional martial arts, if you will, but When I got to the callee Academy I went in to sign up. They said, No, no, you can't sign up. You have to wait. We We We don't do that we don't take people into the class, you have to wait until we start a new phase. So we'll put you on the list and we'll contact you. So about two or three months later, I get I get a postcard that said, You're the new phase is opening up, come on down and sign up if you still want to go so again, it was like, How weird is that? Because almost I mean, without exception, every other martial arts school in the world if you walk through the door with a checkbook in your hand or whatever you are going to you are going to get in and these guys turned me down basically not not because of me or anything but that they were like, No, you got away the integrity of the archer. So I guess so anyway, that that led to why I made knives not and I I know we're going to go in that direction. So let me just tell you the rest of that little short story. So I was at the castle. Academy and of course, Danny and Richard were both Filipinos. And so when it came to edge weapons and all that it was all over the place, but they had these darn knives that were butterfly knives. And I was like, Oh my God, that's the most awesome thing. That's the most awesome thing since noon Shockers you know, yeah. So anyway, I couldn't afford to buy one because at the time, they were being made by a company called Pacific cutlery. And they were like, 125 $250 apiece, and I was like, Oh my God, that's like $10 million dollars at that time, because I write there were times when I couldn't even afford the the dues at the school, which were only $12 and 50 cents a month. So Dan, or Richard would say, hey, just go clean the bathrooms and sweep the floors, and we'll call it even. That's cool. But anyway, back to the knives. I couldn't afford those knives. And I felt Damn you know what? I mean? I grew up on a farm I was I was around equipment and machines. machines and everything else my entire life so I thought I could probably make one of those you know, I knew I knew it wasn't going to be a as good as a Pacific knife, Pacific cutlery knock, but I could make something that I could play with. And so I got some tools, steel drills, drilled some holes and some aluminum and etc, etc. And I made my first knife, which was a butterfly knife I found out there were several guys at the school that were also as poor as I was. And they said, Hey, you know, could you make me one of those knives? And I said, Well, if you pay for the aluminum in this in the steel up, I'll make your knife. Now these were very crude, don't get me wrong, but well, it let me back up for a second. When I went to make one. I didn't have one. And so I went to Richard bustillo and I said could I see your knife? And so he showed me his knife and I said would you mind if I if I copied this and made it and this was you know, one made in the Philippines. So is it Very effective, but not highly finished and all that too. So I said could Can I copy this knife and make one of these knives Go ahead, take it home, you know, and bring it back when you're done. So I, that was a Thursday I took it home over the weekend or whatever few days I called this thing together and brought mine I mean, I filed the blade with a with a file and you know, cut it out with a hacksaw, you know, and drilled the pivots and blah, blah, blah, right? So anyway, I brought it back and Richard gave him his knife and he said, Well, let me see what you did. And so I handed him the knife. He said, Well, he goes, it's not good. But, but it'll do.

Bob DeMarco 14:42
Nice. That's awesome.

Unknown Speaker 14:46
Yeah, and this guy was like, one of my heroes. I mean, I moved all the way I uprooted my entire existence to come and stand in his presence. And anyways, so that started the the knife making and then You know, Pacific cutlery. I don't know if all of your listeners know that. But that was the precursor to benchmade. Right. And that was less de ISIS company. And they moved up to Oregon where they could make switch blades and and ballet songs and all that legally because Oregon had different laws in California. And the ironic thing about it is if you go ahead 15 or 20 years, I was standing in the office offices at benchmade. With with lesson and Roberta, designing the first CPC seven. So the reason that I made my first knife was I couldn't afford to buy one that was made by benchmade, if you will, right. And then 2530 years later, I'm standing in bench maids office, the engineering office designing a knife for me.

Bob DeMarco 15:51
That's what an amazing circle. Yeah, that's a that's a wide one too. Yeah. Yes. So were you involved in aerospace Bass engineering. I mean, I know you were in some regard Did that help in giving you the confidence to go ahead and start making these things?

Unknown Speaker 16:09
Well, 100% it helped because I got a job as an auto mechanic at the university. I also was still going to school out here too. So I got a job at the university as a auto mechanic. And one day someone said, hey, there's a there's a night job opening up over in the machine department for a tool crib attendant. So I said, Okay, I'll take that. Because, you know, again, my entire life really has just been about being sure I had a job or two jobs, or three if I had to. So I said, Yeah, I'll take that job. So I went over there and applied and got the job. And also, I was like, Holy smokes, this is cool stuff. These are machines. These are lathes and mills and all of that other good stuff. So one of the guys that was One of the instructors There was also a head of an entire department at Hughes Aircraft. And we hit it off pretty good. And he let me go out and work on the machines once in a while. And one day he came to me and he said, Hey, Ernie, I, I have an opening at Hughes for an entry level machinists. would you would you be interested in coming to work for us? I was like, Yeah, no kidding. I mean to get paid to do this and get taught a craft. So anyway, long story again. I ended up working at Hughes worked my way up through prototype machinist, tool and die maker. Then they gave me an engineering position because I was a tool designer and mechanical engineer, if you will.

Bob DeMarco 17:43
They make Hughes makes helicopters.

Unknown Speaker 17:46
Well, it was used helicopters at one time that was a division but I was in what is called spacing communications, which was all satellites that they had a commercial sector and a military sector I I worked in the military side And it was it was very cool. I mean, this no bullshit. We had led line rooms. I mean, it was, it was really cool. I had various degrees of secret clearance, if you will, and you can couldn't have cell phones you couldn't have radio as you can have any outside communications stuff like that, because we were working on at that time as they were called keyhole projects. Those were our state of the art surveillance satellites for NSA and all that other good stuff. So a lot of fun. I I had a dream job. It was a it was a department where do you guys think we could do this? Let's give it a try. Let's build it and and it was cool.

Bob DeMarco 18:40
So how do you go from that kind of a dream job working at a place like that with top secret clearance? You know, building satellites for the NRO to I'm gonna make knives and see how this works out.

Unknown Speaker 18:52
Well. I had never not stop making knives and had was doing it on after I got home from war. And on weekends as a hobby, because I just I love knives I grew up in a in a hunting fishing farming environment. So they were part of your it was just same as carrying a wallet was carrying a knife. So it was part of my, I guess DNA DNA. And at some point, my wife and I went to a gun show. That was the Pasadena gun show and they're supposed to be one of the world's largest gun shows, and six miles of aisles and stuff. So we went out there and I was nosing around and I saw this one building because they had all these giant, like warehouse type buildings, if you will, fairground type buildings, and I walked into one and it was it happened to be the knife makers section. I was like, What the heck is that and walked up to these tables that they had kind of lined up and there was a section where there was about 15 or 20 quote unquote knife makers there and Mel part was one and Michael Walker was there Lau a couple of other guys. I can't I can't remember because at that time, I didn't even know who they were right. But I was like, Wow, what's this? You know, do you guys make knives? We go, yeah, that's what we do. And I said, Well, what else do you do? And they go, No, this is this is what is Milpark doing, guys, this is what I do I make knives. And I was like, are you kidding me that you can actually exist and support yourself by making knives? They said, Yeah, so anyway, I bought a book by a guy named Sid lay thumb at the show, and knives and knife makers and I didn't even know they existed before I walked through that door. And from that point forward, I I became very serious about upping my education about how to make knives and looking at, you know, the state of the art at the time of what was out there. And got to the point where, you know, people actually were paying me to for what I made I reinvested back in a new drill press or a new grinder or a new you know set of drills or whatever the heck it happened to be. Which I thought was very cool. It was easy for my wife because I was I had a hobby that actually paid for it's in a write up several times had a few dollars left over to go out to eat. So she was happy with that except I didn't spend much time inside the house. But anyway that led from one thing to the next and you know, here we are today. I mean I I just fell in love with making knives and I still love every, every second that I do.

Bob DeMarco 21:32
So people know you for your for your tactical knives but what describe what those first knives looked like the first folders and tell me a little bit about how you hooked up with the liner lock.

Unknown Speaker 21:42
Well the first folders once I got past the crude folders if you would, and if you will, and tried to make knives that I could actually present to someone who might want to buy it. They were pretty fancy they used a lot of natural materials. bone and ivory and, and wood and stuff like that PowerShell and mother Pearl, are use titanium because for two reasons. I absolutely fell in love with the knives that were being made by Michael Walker, who, who had probably some of the best overall designed and knives that I've, in my opinion that I've ever run across. They just had a flow to them that I that I've tried to emulate myself over the years, but they were fancy and they were pretty they were anodized and you could only do that with titanium. So I was like well, it looks like I got to start doing that with titanium. So the first knives that that I made, were the fancier knives. They were the highly colored blues and purples and reds of the anodized titanium and the liner lock, of course because that's what Michael had basically pioneered in the knife industry. I was going to make that style of knife. That's what I decided to make because I had looked at locked backs and slip joints and all that as I was kind of learning the craft. And I really did like the liner lock for a bunch of reasons. But being a, an actual knife user, I mean a real real knife user for, for real

Bob DeMarco 23:23
things, things that were functional,

Unknown Speaker 23:27
or more efficient or more functional than than what, you know what else was out there. I always gravitated towards that. And so the liner lock presented to me a very good tool and a way to open a knife with one hand. And also because I was at the time still training every day was like, Huh, I don't have to even though I could open a Spyderco with one hand generally with the hole in the in the blade and everything. It was a lot back and it was a little bit tougher to manipulate to get into animation. Position liner lock was kaboom that was in your hand. So, you know, this, this was all one thing influenced the other. And so I looked at the liner lock and said it's a perfect tactical application. Also, because it's a, it's a quick one hand opening type of knife. Because, again, think about a gun, you don't want to have to use two hands to unholster your gun and bring it up to at least until you you know, get it pushed forward in your shooting stance and all that if you will, with two hands. Same thing with a knife. You know, if I have to use it in a high stress environment or an emergency situation, I need to have it out and open as quickly as I can. Because time is life and death

Bob DeMarco 24:45
of the essence. And of course, this brings me to the wave. The wave is one of the things you're known for. For sure. That's that innovation. Tell me the story. I know you've told it a million times, but I love this story. Tell me the story about how you got how this was Developed?

Unknown Speaker 25:00
Well, I wish I could tell you it was all my idea. And I was a real Einstein and figured this all out. But that's unfortunately not the way it happened. It was discovered by accident really, and

Bob DeMarco 25:11
I'm sorry, before you go forward, let's tell anyone who doesn't know what we're talking about the wave. The wave opening feature is a feature on almost every Emerson knife on the back where your thumb rests, and it deploys the knife as you deploy deploys the blade as you pull the handle from your pocket. It's the hook snags on your pocket cams the blade open boom faster than any other knife including a switchblade. Okay, yes,

Unknown Speaker 25:38
it was. So anyway, what had happened is I was working again, all this stuff is so intertwined, and it's just kind of funny how it keeps re intertwining all the time. I I had been a an instructor for a group called GSG. That was all set up by all former SEAL Team Six members that were part of dicks, Dick marcinko was original. They were all plank owners out of SEAL Team Six. And we went around doing all this training and teaching and security evaluations and all that good stuff. And that put me in touch with a lot of, at that time current Naval Special Warfare personnel because some of the guys were still actually in service. In fact, one of my friends, Danny chalker, ran the entire US Navy budds program for several years down cornado. So he was, he was the man and he put me in contact with a bunch of people down at at the base. And one of those groups was combat fighting course instructors, and they were, they were, again, they had one of those dream jobs because what they were tasked with was just traveling all over the world wherever the road would lead them to figure out better tools but are fighting capabilities. And I mean, honest these guys were, these were some studs, and they went all over learning every kind of martial art and everything that wow, you could possibly get to distill down into a basic fighting course, you know, for hanahan aspects in Special Warfare, but anyway, they contacted me about doing a knife that had some type of a catch on the top of the blade just in case it was ever engaged with any other edge weapon or anything that might stop the knife from sliding up the top of the spine of the blade onto your hands or wrist. And so I developed that little hook type thing for the knife. And it looked kind of like a wave and being, you know, at the time I was doing some surfing and all that like that would just call it the wave because it looks just like a wave down here in Southern California. And so they came up to my house because I live about 90 miles north of Coronado. And so I told him, I had the prototypes ready. And they came to the house and picked him up. And they're like, Okay, this is cool, this will work, etc, etc. And we drank a few beers and talked about a lot of cool stuff. And then they decided to go back to San Diego. And I had kept one of the prototypes for myself. And I had it my pocket and went to pull it out. And it caught on the edge of my pocket, it partially pulled the blade open. And I was like, oh, man, that's not good. That's not good at all. You know, you could, you could, you know, pull out a knife and it's like, half open, like, Damn, I gotta, I gotta get a hold of these guys and let them know. So pulled it out of my pocket again. Well, by gosh, it opened the knife, pull it out again, open the knife, pull it out again, faster and faster and faster and all sudden was like holy smack. This damn thing opens a knife every time you pull it out of your pocket. So it's immediately deployed. It's in your hand in the right position that if you ever had to use it, so I'm reaching for the phone and the phone. This is no kidding. I'm not exaggerating. As I'm reaching for the phone in my garage, the phone rings, and it's a guy named Mike. And he goes, Ernie. He goes, What? If he goes, do you know what this knife does? It effin opens up when you pull it out of your pocket. I go, you gotta be kidding me. I just figured that out myself. And he goes, Oh, yeah. And it opens up beer bottles to

Bob DeMarco 29:31
the most important thing, right?

Unknown Speaker 29:32
Yeah. But that was the story. And that's how it happened. It was almost one of those accidental things, but we ran with it. And it became something that was actually a required feature on any of the knives that we made for any military groups over the years.

Bob DeMarco 29:51
So that was part of the requirement had to have that that was almost your your, your USP. So what was the like how soon after You and Mike simultaneously figured out did you realize you had something on your hands that that needed to be patented or, you know, protected and utilized

Unknown Speaker 30:11
right away, actually, because, again, the teaching and training that I was doing, I was like, Oh my god, this is crazy. Because, you know, one of the things that you have to that we actually trained people how to do was of course, access your weapons under high stress. And that's everything from when I say weapons, that wasn't just knives that was primary weapon, secondary weapons. I mean, we, we were doing training at an extremely high level for a bunch of different agencies, both here and abroad. And so it was everything from hand guns, long rifle, sniper, everything that we had experts in that field for. And so the thing about a weapon is the only time you're ever going to deploy, you know, x The weapon is if you need it, and if you need it, it's going to be an emergency situation. And so you want to be able to access that weapon under stress and still bring it into a usable, deployable position, whether that's a hand gun or a long gun or, or a knife or anything else. So I realized immediately that the ability to get a knife open with one hand even if you were wrestling around with someone on the ground, where you can't use two hands to do something, you could reach that knife and pull it out and have it open so that you can defend yourself.

Bob DeMarco 31:39
Yeah, yeah, the the wave is all gross motor and, and everything else. The thumb stud, the the whole the flipper, those are all fine motor skill. Yeah, it seems like in a in a in a clinch, snag in that thing out of your pocket open is the way to go.

Unknown Speaker 31:55
Yeah. And again, you know, people don't understand what it's like when when you're When you're geared up, you're covered with with stuff from your ballistic vest to all of your to everything that you would carry on your salt vest or anything else. There's a lot of stuff going on. And people still have the idea of Saving Private Private Ryan wherever all soldiers carry everything in a backpack or a rucksack that's not the case now because all these guys are in in vehicles, at least getting to and from deployment and sometimes even in you know, you there's a lot of fighting that takes place in and out of vehicles now because you know, roadside ambushes and all that. But anyway, you know, so your gears mounted basically on the front, because you can't, you can't sit in a car seat or the seat of a troop carrier with a with a backpack on. So everything's mounted on your on the front, and you can't, I can't even when I'm all choked up and all that stuff. I can't even hardly reach around to my right pocket with my left hand. So again, you need to be able to you know, get out Whatever it is, whether it's your, your, the next magazine or your knife or your whatever it has to be, it has to be a gross motor skill, generally doable with one hand because again, it's just the nature of the environment that you're in. And of course, if you're ever in an IED situation or something like that, we found also that you could deploy that knife even if you couldn't open it out of your pocket. Let's say you're laying on your side. And you're let's say you're I'm right handed, my left hand is compromised somehow. I could still open that knife by snagging it on my gear weapon or, or anything just to get that knife open.

Bob DeMarco 33:40
Friends of mine in Cali class have played around with your trainers in opening them on each other, you know, pushing each other pulling it out, opening it on their shirt, and

Ernest Emerson 33:50
yeah, that's gonna leave a mark.

Bob DeMarco 33:55
So So what was the what was the tactical folding knife atmosphere at the time? When you discovered the wave, you must have been running to the patent office like Well, yeah, it's competition at the time what was going on in that world?

Unknown Speaker 34:08
Well, we have to back up just a bit but Yes, we did. I realized that that was a an important thing. And I applied for a patent probably within a week or so after after kind of discovering all this and that so that happened right away because we knew that was going to be an important thing. And again, you know, there's just a lot of guys out there making a lot of good stuff. So you know, you're always looking for something that will separate you from the rest of the herd. As to be legit and has to be real, right but whether it's good design or or or beautiful fancy work or special materials, no one else could use those. Those are the things that you know, a lot of knife makers, you know, they they fall into those things because that is what separates a lot of So anyway, the tactical knife at the time of the commander, the first knife that had the wave on it, The tactical knife industry had just started to just stay. And there. I would say that when I was designing the CQ c seven knife for benchmade, somewhere in the mid 90s, that's 9394 95 something like that. There was another knife out there by a good friend of mine actually in a guy named Chris kurachi, who also was a seal team six plank owner had developed the AFC AK and those, in my opinion honest not to try and grab, you know, the glory but those two knives in my opinion were the first tactical knives, folding knives modern tactical folding knives that existed and they set the stage for the rest of the entire industry. And, you know, people say well, you know, you're saying you're the first guy to, you know, do a tactical knife. I saw XYZ Do it for you and all that nice I always tell him look Dude, you have to understand something there was rock and roll before there was Elvis Presley. Elvis Presley came along, he owned rock and roll right and after that knife was introduced by benchmade it became basically one of the best sung knives in the history of the cutlery industry was by far the key because it was basically the one of two tactical knives if you will, that existed. It was the number one selling tactical knife of all times benchmade went from a about 25 people employed to three shifts and I think over 90 some people within about a nine or 12 month period just to produce the Emerson CTC seven so

Bob DeMarco 36:49
So what was it about that knife in particular that that I mean, so that blew up that company what, what did people love about that knife so much?

Unknown Speaker 36:57
Well, several things When you when you introduced a new product to an industry that has a status quo that's been established for hundreds of years, if not thousands of years, if you will, there has to be something that is different enough, but not goofy different. And it has to be a legitimate in function and in usage and in what you tell people that it's going to do, so to speak. And the CPC seven had enough of those differences to make it something new and exciting, but yet it worked. It was a very efficient cutting tool. Again, I did not develop the chisel grind. The man who pioneered that was a guy, Phil Hartsfield, who I who I had the privilege of knowing and meeting and talking to him about the chisel grind and all that in fact it was I asked him if he would allow me to make a chisel grinding As long as you don't make fixed blade just make folders and I said, Well, I'll make a bunch of folders. Eventually, I did make some fixed blades, which he was okay with too, because he didn't see it as a challenge to, to him or any of his customers around. But yeah, he said, You're the only guy who ever asked me permission to do that. And it's funny, because when I first made the first liner lock, I called Michael Walker and I asked him for permission. If he would mind he goes, so he told me the same thing the first guy has ever, ever asked permission. That's cool. It goes, that's cool. He goes go out. Go right ahead.

Bob DeMarco 38:34
You can go into that venture with a with a clear heart. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 38:37
Well, you know, it's like everything else. We've I can look anybody directly in the eyes that I've ever dealt with, and know that we can sit down and have a beer. I mean, it's really been like that. That's not to say I haven't had some ups and downs with with people but that's just the nature of humanity in an Irish son of a bitch.

Unknown Speaker 39:00
Ah, yes.

Unknown Speaker 39:03
In fact, I'm going to Ireland in about three weeks. Cool. Yeah. So I'm going over there trying to try to see if I can hook up with Connor. Because we've we've crossed paths several times in the past, but now I've never sat down with him and, you know, shared one of his proper 12 whiskey. That should be interesting. Yeah, the the, the state of the tactical knives at that time was there are no tactical knives. And lo and behold, within about, I'd say maybe a year and a half. Almost all the knife companies now had a at least a section if they had 100 products in their in their catalog. They had about 10 or 15 tactical knives. And you know, the the thing about that was, I remember, again, that I won't tell you the names because then they'd be embarrassed but to the biggest knife companies that are out there. We all know each other all the all the owners and presidents and all we all know each other and communicate about things. And especially now with all the restrictive laws that are going on, we have to have a real good line of communication between all our our entities, but two of them at separate times came up to me one guy actually in a restroom at one of the big shows and said, Ernie, Thank God you came along because you you change the face of the cutlery industry, and brought an energy to something that was just floating along, you know, down the stream without any paddles, sees and I was like, Wow, what a compliment on Yeah, you know, I'm just, I'm just doing what I like to do. But the cool thing was, I realized that a lot of other people like the same things that I liked, and it's like everything else, if you look at, let's say, the advances in the medical profession A lot of times, especially emergency medicine, it gets these big spikes whenever there's a war and We have our greatest speed of evolution for new techniques and new treatments and new emergency procedures due to the fact that all of a sudden there's there's thousands of emergencies that have to be treated and it's unfortunate what causes it. But it's a fortunate byproduct of, of a war, if you will. Well, the same thing happens with with guns and tactical gear and knives, and, you know, clothing, all of the other stuff. Whenever there's a war, there's a there's a huge influx of influence from either the new needs, the new materials, the new environments that people are in. So that was right around Gulf one, or at the end of Kosovo and all of that action and then right around Gulf one that all of these soldiers were transitioning back and forth to civilian life and all that and they, they like knives and they like weapons and they like all of that stuff. The tactical Industry literally exploded, basically. So yeah, we we were part of the edge sharp end of of that explosion.

Bob DeMarco 42:09
But it's interesting. I had not looked at it that way. But that makes total sense. And we've been in, you know, a number of different wars ever since, you know, it's kind of been under Yeah. So, you know, I don't even want to call it a silver lining because it's war. But I mean, in a sense, it's kind of kept the appetite for this kind of stuff humming along.

Unknown Speaker 42:31
Yeah, it hasn't. And it isn't course just weapons. I mean, all of the other. I mean, the best inventors on Earth are are working for all of the defense industries and all that and they develop new materials, new techniques for all the electronics and the satellite trauma as you'd like. And of course that yes,

Bob DeMarco 42:53
so I'm holding my piece arc right now and and there are two things on this. I want to talk to you about I want to I want to loop back to the chisel grind, which you're known for, and talk about it in terms of its efficacy. Why, what, what what made you choose the chisel grind when there are so few other makers doing that?

Unknown Speaker 43:16
Well, once again, I'd like to tell you that I'm Einstein but I'm just a knife maker. And what happened was I was a custom knife maker, going to those shows now that including the Pasadena gun show, now sitting on the other side of the of the table, and I was at a show that used to be put on by a guy named Dan delvin. It was just actually it was his father at the time, and was a Southern California knife show. And so I'm sitting at my table one day, one day of the show, and these three guys came up, and they were all kind of disheveled surfer looking guys, long hair and beards and stuff. And I thought, oh, okay, you know, my knife. cost like five or 600 bucks. These are some looky loos. And they said, you know, Mr. Emerson, we're, we're underwater welders, and we're looking for a knife that we can use in the water and marine environment and we need to scrape barnacles off things and when we weld and you know, the whole bunch of stuff, and I was like, Oh, that's that's kind of cool, fair enough. And they said, We have some of these knives made by a guy named Phil Hartsfield. And I was like, Oh, yeah, I know. I know, Phil, and they go, man, they're really strong. They're super sharp, and they really don't break. And we were wondering if you might be interested in making a folding version of some of those knives and that's, that's when I actually called Phil. And anyway, I said, Wow, that'd be cool. This will be fun. So made some knives they actually requested the chisel grind because of the large cross sectional mass of it. fact that you You can put a I mean, you can put a hair slitting edge on her on a chisel let alone a chisel knife. And very strong, they wanted something that had two edges on it if you will, a front edge, which is that Tonto style up sweep, and then a cutting edge so that if they had to use the, in other words, you take a knife that's one long continuous curve, let's say in a folder that might only be three and a half inches long the blade and you're cutting something, you're going to compromise the entire blade pretty much from from the tip to the end of the of the edge. And once a knife is dull, then it's it loses its, you know, ability to cut easily. And so they wanted to have a second edge on it. And I said well, why don't we do a taco style because again, I'm you know, I was into all the Oriental knives and swords and all that good stuff, right? And they said yeah, that that sounds good. Because the knives that I made for him were chisel ground, but they were one long continuous kind of a bob loveless, you know, you know, one curve up to the drop point of the knife. And so we went with the Tonto style, did a few iterations of that and hit on a knife called the, at the end was just an Emerson knife with a tanto blade in it and a, an ergonomic handle that kind of fit in both, you know, any kind of grip, and it was the sixth one we had made. And there's an there's a backstory to this too, but I'll get to that in a minute. Anyway, so a 60 ration of the knife. They liked it. This had gone on now for 678 months, and they were up at my house one day, because I got to be friends with them and all that and one of the guy goes, you know, Ernie, we haven't really been forthright with you about who we are and what we do. And I go Okay,

Bob DeMarco 46:58
all right.

Unknown Speaker 46:58
So You know, I never really asked any questions. And so they said well, we're actually SEAL team members and we're from a special unit in the in the seal teams and then lo and behold I found out that was seal team six so I thought oh, what a What a great name for the knife the close quarter combat sick. Yeah.

Bob DeMarco 47:20
Yeah. So coincidentally the sixth iteration you said

Unknown Speaker 47:23
yeah, it's just weird cool stuff like that happens I guess. But anyway, what happened was I ended up making the knives for them for quite a while. And you know, it's like everything else. Doesn't matter if you're a marine or a ranger or or any any service member, you love to show your gear off. And so they started showing these knives off to everybody and their brother and holy smokes, it took off like, like crazy. And that's when I got a call from a guy who worked at benchmade and he was down at some military show in floor And call me from the floor and he goes, Mr. Emerson, I work for benchmade and oh my god, all these guys were brought in into down here. I've got these handmade knives, they call it the six. And, you know, we need to talk. So that that was the door that opened up. I said, Sure, cuz again, oh my gosh, a knife company wants to make make one of my knives, right. What the heck, how cool is that? So that led to the the collaboration with benchmade. And then, you know, one thing led to another. But yeah, that the, again, I've just, I've just been in the right place at the right time. And I've always said, you know, my best I think my best talent is being able to listen to the needs of the people that I was working for. And to give them something that reflected is to my best ability, which generally hit it pretty close to the to the target for what someone needed because again, it was never my position or intention ever. To tell you what you need, right? You tell me what you need. And then it's my job to figure out how to how to address that.

Bob DeMarco 49:09
I think another thing that might explain your successes that you're very clear about what you do, these are unabashed weapon knives. And of course, they have all sorts of ancillary uses, like, like cutting off the Aaron thread off your collar, or whatever it is. But they're, they're, they're meant for harm's way and to in to at least, stand up and excel in that situation. And, and that's something that's always appealed to me about about your work.

Unknown Speaker 49:38
Well, you know, it reflects of who I am, because, you know, again, people say, you know, what do you want on your, on your gravestone, and my epitaph would be, he was a fighter, and that that's who I've always been, that's what I've identified myself as, and I don't mean, uh, almost, you know, again, sounds kind of hokey, but I mean, I'm a fighter. I'm a physical fighting son of a gun I I love. I love fighting I love. It's weird. I love violence. And I feel at home in the midst of it. It never was something I was uncomfortable with. And I'm not. I'm not a bully I didn't. I was the guy who always basically I can look back on my childhood and almost every single one of the scraps that I got in I stepped in because somebody was being bullied or somebody was being beaten on by some other son of God.

Bob DeMarco 50:32
Well, I don't think that that's a terrible thing to admit. I think that I've heard recently I've heard a new interpretation or an alternate interpretation of the the meek shall inherit the earth and the meek not being weak and cowed, but the meek being those who who have swords know how to use them, but prefer to keep them shield sheet unless you No need be and then you can become absolutely a monster. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 51:00
Well, that's, that's kind of the the way that I've viewed life. And again, when I say, You know what's wrong with me at times, you know, because I like violence. I mean, it's like, you know, I don't know, maybe there is something wrong with me, but I reconciled myself to that a long time ago. And as far as the knives are concerned, of course, they were a reflection of what my interests were, in other words, at the time, and again, it's partly business decision. There's no way around that too, because if I, if I made a size 29 tennis shoe, even though if it was the best tennis shoe made on Earth, there's not a lot of people are gonna buy it, right. But if I made a tennis shoe that a lot of people would wear, I'm going to sell a lot of tennis shoes. And it was the, again, that tactical genre, if you will, was exploding, and I plugged myself into it, because that's what I did best, you know, and that's the way that's who I was and what I was doing and so Our knife company was the very first I believe pretty much still the only knife company that ever existed that said, Hey, we make weapons. And even when I was working with benchmade, some of the conversations we had was like, Oh, you know, we can't get to, we can't be too offensive by or aggressive, you know, because of liabilities and a whole bunch of other different, you know, things that, you know, as far as images of companies, and I remember one of the big companies, one of the big companies told me Oh, Ernie, we never we never let our knives ever be used in movies. If they're being used by the bad guys. And are you kidding me? I want the bad guys in the hands. That's that's the

Bob DeMarco 52:46
you know, that's the they always have the coolest kid right?

Unknown Speaker 52:48
Yeah, the baddest weapon I want. You know, I had no, you know, I'm just like, you don't want to be too aggressive. For God's sakes. What about CIG What about h&k? What about coal, they make guns, less guns. There. Designed to do only one thing that's killed something right? me saying I have a tactical knife that you can use as a weapon or defensive weapon. I'm okay with that. And I think that I think the people the public will understand that and lo and behold, they ever understand

Bob DeMarco 53:17
what what kind of feedback have you gotten or do you get from from users? I'm I'm a suburban Dad, I love your knives. They helped me cut muffins. You know, and they make me feel secure when I was they do that. They make me feel secure when I walk around. Okay, but I'm not a high speed low drag guy. What do you hear from from the, you know, people out in the field using these? They hold up?

Unknown Speaker 53:42
Yeah, it's funny because I just happen to have right here. I'm going to show you Okay, yeah, sure. Because we're, we're doing a lot of recording of and memorializing a lot of the stuff that we have. And I and I have these right now

Bob DeMarco 53:56
look at that. He's got binders full of letters here.

Unknown Speaker 53:59
Yeah. these are these are testimonials from customers and they are only the ones that I took the time to put into these folders because we're going to be doing a couple put that down they're getting pretty heavy. There's there's thousands of them and they're everything from I cut myself out of the skin out of down Hello to you know I cut a guy who is committing suicide with piano wire, you know hanging from a sauna or whatever. tracheotomy is cut people out of seat belts a ton of military stuff a ton. I mean, literally hundreds and hundreds. So yeah, they're out there. And they're being used hard and I'm so proud of that. In fact, I'll tell you real quick story Buster wave. One of my best friends is a guy Let's call him grids. And he is just a he's salt of the earth and he had a couple sons one of them became a one in the army and became a Ranger, and at the time right after 911 they were some of the first guys with od a triple nickel and all that that is deployed into Afghanistan. They were in Tora Bora and they were literally about about an hour and 15 minutes or so behind Osama bin Laden. Well, that's how close they were to, to tracking this sob down and grabbing them, but they went into the caves in Tora Bora. Now, if you knew my friend Grizz is also a very intense guy and when his son joined the military Grizz gave him a CQ c seven and made him practice opening the knife and made him practice and made him practice in Maine in practice, because that's the kind of guy Grizz is and his son is in Tora Bora. And I get a phone call. And it's my friend Grizz. And I can tell by his voice, it's like, oh, god, no, this is not one Those calls I, this is not gonna be good. And he said, Ernie, Ernie. And I was like, What man? He goes, your knife saved my son's life. And I was like, What? He goes, Yeah, he goes, and he tells me the story. They were in the caves. They had on shoulder their, their m fours and put them down because the caves have been quote unquote, cleared. And I mean, it's like a, like a business office down under there. There's desks and file cabinets and computers and all kinds of crap. And so they're going through there and all sudden his son comes around and up from behind this desk, guy with a turban, comes up with an ak 47 because his son grabs the muzzle of the gun very close to the to the to the end of the muzzle, jams it up over his head cannot even I mean doesn't have his primary he's got a secondary can't get to it. grabs his pocket pulls out a secrecy seven wave opens it jams it forward, right straight into the center of mass. So the guy, the guy falls back forward. And then a couple of other Rangers who were now there, hose the guy down, they grabbed his son by the back of his assault vest and dragged him out. And so yeah, we get that that just happened to be one of my best friends his son, and he's like, Oh, my God, I can't believe I can't believe this. But yeah, we get those kind of things all the time. And, you know, you think about it. Like I said, I like violence, I'm a fighter, etc, etc. But when somebody tells you that something that you've done has saved their life, or the life of someone they knew or a stranger doesn't matter. save someone's life. How could you ever How could you ever talk that? I mean, it's Yes. I can't even describe the feeling that it gives you. That's like a mission check.

Bob DeMarco 57:55
Now, what are you gonna do now you can move on learn ballet

Unknown Speaker 57:59
or something. Crazy and but again, you know these are their hard use tools they weren't they weren't made to be fancy and I always looked at it and said look if I if I if I make a knife that stands up to the rigors and and abuse that the Navy SEALs can can give to the knife then I've pretty much covered almost everybody else.

Bob DeMarco 58:20
Yeah. Right, exactly. This kind of goes with the fact that they're on deployment so much, but I love that you use 154 cm. It's one of my favorites deals. And it gets screaming sharp. It keeps a good edge. it sharpens easily. It seems like it's the perfect fields deal. And I like that. You know, like, how do you sharpen him 390 in the field once it's chipped and all that. Not that I'm dissing them. It's a nice deal.

Unknown Speaker 58:51
Let me talk about steel for a minute. Now. The reason that we use 154 is again I'm a little bit of a weird duck, I guess, in certain ways, but 150 crucible steel came to me in the very beginning, there was one other company that was actually using it was microtech. And we had been using it and they came to me and said, Ernie, we will continue to make the steel because we've got a we've got a an agreement with Tony microtech, Tony marcion will continue to make the steel if you guys will continue to buy it and use it. And I said, For God's sakes, that's the steel I want to use. So, yeah, and so there's a loyalty factor. You know, it's also part of that with crucible in the very beginning. Now, they've, they've gone on to great, you know, all kinds of different things that they do with different Steel's. But, you know, I looked at it and said, it's the steel I've been using, and the newer Steel's that are out there that you can take up to all these crazy rock Well harnesses and all that I said, I'm not even, I'm not even approaching that on the 154 154 you can take up to like a 6061 I don't even go near that we go to 5759 because again, making knives that are used as hard as any knife can ever be used on the planet Earth is a different story than making knives that most people will never push, push to those extremes. And so, you know, again, another just kind of a mantra that I've abided by as you know, a broken knife is no knife but a dull knife still a knife because I you know, I can sharpen it, right? And if it's broken, it's it's no good to me. And if I have to, and I mean, honest been in the field for God's sakes, I've sharpened knives on on a rock, I mean, because I had nothing else to sharpen them on piece of pipe, windshields, you know, their bedroom, windows, all kinds of stuff, pieces of broken porcelain, etc. And you Can't do that with knives that are diamond hard, you know and all that good stuff. And so again, making a knife geared for hard use environments by people that are going to doll a knife, and I'll guarantee I don't care. I can say this with first hand experience. I don't care what the steel is you can put any alphabet name you want on it and combination in numbers, I will tell that knife and I'll probably tell it in the first two or three hours of me using it if I'm if I'm in an environment where I'm using my knife. So again, it's it's a moot point for me to to be driven by the needs of people who don't reflect the people that are actually using my knives. And I'll tell you a little insider story. This is very interesting, and I hope it doesn't get me or anybody else in trouble. But I've been waiting to tell the story for a long time. Good. The there's a story about a steel that's out there. That is one of the new super Steel's Everybody's touting it and everything. And there was another steel that was the precursor to that super steel. And let's call that a b 10. And a b 10 was a really good steel that everybody was very interested in, and a lot of companies and knife makers and knife users were talking all about. And then there was a guy who worked with that company that produced that steel. That said, I want to make something to use for kitchen cutlery. And I have an idea for a formula, I want to take the A B 10 and add some elements to it, that will give it a little more ductility, make it a little softer, a little easier to sharpen, etc. And so the company in that that individual made the that new steel formula. And then the they said what are we going to call it and the guy that was the originator of that form. Listen, well let's call it a B five. And they said, No, no, no, no, we can't call it a B five, because it looks

Unknown Speaker 1:03:08
it looks as inferior to a b 10. We want to sell it. And he goes, Okay, so let's call it a b 25. And they're like, Okay, cool. A B 25. Maybe 25 became the, the super steel of the industry. But even the people who make the steel who I know personally, and I know the, I know the guy who came up with the formula, they were like, Dude, it's an inferior steel. Not as good as they were. It's softer. It has a tendency to chip out in the edge a little bit. But it became the super steel and the magazine's picked up on it and all the what I call techno whiz guys out there. Like, why aren't you using a b 25. That's the greatest deal on the planet Earth and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and really slamming me in a lot of ways and Over my inferior steels and all that, and I'm like, dude, you know what? I guarantee you, I guarantee you, even if that was a super steal, you're never ever going to push 154 to its limits, let alone some steel that you could cut 10 million pieces of rope with, you'll never. I could give you that same knife with 154 in it. I guarantee you. I've done this with people on in testing environments. They had no idea they had 154 Cm steel and their knife. Oh, this is outstanding. I'm so glad you're that's because they're

Bob DeMarco 1:04:35
spending all the time on the keyboard.

Unknown Speaker 1:04:37
Yeah, yeah. But you know, we've we've had to bend to it and we do use some of the newer Steel's and, you know, again, I I still have to sell knives. Sure, sure.

Bob DeMarco 1:04:47
And that doesn't hurt to give some variety. It doesn't mean

Unknown Speaker 1:04:50
I'm not one to say it's my way or the highway or that I'm not. If you show me a better steal there or a better anything. I'll I'll change horses in midstream any day of the week, if it's an improvement over what I'm doing, I've no emotional attachments to any of that stuff. But again, you know, like you said, there's a variety and there's a market for it. So in our, our more high end knives and all that we do use some of the brand new, quote unquote, super Steel's out there.

Bob DeMarco 1:05:17
Well, so this makes me think of trends. One thing I love about Emerson knives is you're not quick adopters. Trends come and go. And, you know, like, you started using bearings on a few of your knives and, you know, you have the occasional frame lock when it's necessary, or it all seems purpose driven. It's not just like, Oh, hey, one one thing that you did innovate is the front flipper. Every every one of my Emerson's I can I can open like a front of the tank. So we could we can put that on your roster of innovations.

Unknown Speaker 1:05:51
Well, you know, again, the whole thing is a lot of this stuff. I would self discover as we were doing again, I'm not I'm not a guy sitting there with a pad and pencil, spinning out brand new, innovative ideas all the time and all that a lot of this stuff just oh, wow, it does that, well, that's we're gonna have put that on, you know, all the knives. And, you know, again, you know, being driven by, you know, function and function alone. It's been my, I guess, anchor point for everything that I do. Because if it's against the same thing with all the classes that I teach, if I can't do it, I won't teach it right. And if the average man can't do it, I'm not going to teach it. Because again, it's just to get off on another little side road. Same thing with the knives. If I teach you something in a class, that you might walk out that door and put your life on the line based on something that I have, that I have just taught you that you should do in a in an situation like that. There is a moral responsibility that I have to be aware of, because again, you've put your safety and maybe well being of your family or loved ones into my hands. And I hold that in a in a very, very high regard. And it's the same thing with the knives. It either works or it doesn't. And nothing's on there for show and nothing's on there for less it's going to do what it's supposed to do.

Bob DeMarco 1:07:33
Well, tell me about your design process. How do you come up with your designs?

Unknown Speaker 1:07:37
Well, a lot of it is evolutions of products, knives that I've already designed. Let's let's put a different blade in this type of handle and see how that works and things like that. So there's, again, there's some morphing that's taken place over time. I always look at things and you know, you you get to a point where you're able to see something I mean, I can, I can look at a knife, and I can tell you exactly how it feels in my hand without ever touching it. And that's just a that's no magic. It's not because I have any special gifts, just the fact that I've done it for so many years now. And in so intensely that it's it's part of that. And one of the things this is interesting, I'll bring this up too. There's a spatial relationship that are a spatial cognitive ability that some people develop, some people have, I think, it has to do with how much you played with building blocks and things like that maybe when you were a little tiny child. But one of the things that I was able to do that promoted my, I guess, ability to move up the ladder at Hughes Aircraft so quickly, was the ability to do I had a spatial not not special, a spatial cognitive ability that a lot of other engineers didn't have. And that's one of the reasons I was able to move up the ladder so quickly at Hughes was I could look at a two dimensional drawings, say a blueprint. And I could, in my mind, I was seeing the three dimensional object and I could rotate it, I could see where things were going to interfere or fit or not work or whatever. And that was something I believe, just, again, grown up on a farm you built in, you did everything, you know, you didn't, you didn't call the mechanic to come and fix anything, fix it yourself, or build it or make it or whatever. And that gave me that ability to, as far as tools are, are concerned, I can do a drawing and I know that it's going to be a how it feels in my hand, but never ever picking up the object, you know, and if it's, I can tell where there's going to be a pinch point or something that interferes with something.

Bob DeMarco 1:09:51
Do you do a D draft at all by hand? Are you a draftsman Are you handed off to someone who does? It puts it in a computer? How does that work? That's that's exactly How

Unknown Speaker 1:10:00
it works. I draw them and I hand them off to my associate Danny who's in the next room. And he, he uses CAD to basically trace the drawings. And we have all of the internal mechanisms pretty much worked out for all different various sizes of knives over the years because we've made quite a few knives. And so he plugs in the appropriate bolt, pivot bolt, stop pin lock relationship that would fit that size of knife and off we go. Wow. That's so cool. Well, here's the deal. And it's funny because I can, I could draw a knife right now. And if we were at the beginning of this podcast, at the end of the podcast, I could I could have a working prototype not a ground knife but the piece parts in my hand to show you because he's that good is that quick, and we can send it directly to our laser cutting machine it's in the other room over there and produce the parts so i can i can tell almost within two or three hours if this is a knife that we're going to put into production or not.

Bob DeMarco 1:11:12
It's a cool thing that that's amazing. That's so quick that prototype. This is Danny. His name is Danny. Yeah, Dan. Well, Danny, I have two two knives for you to draw up. One of them is the a 131 handle with a CQ c 13 blade. And then the other is a Roadhouse handle with the sax blade. Oh my gosh, yeah, these are these are wicked. This is what I think about. These are the kind of things that

Unknown Speaker 1:11:41
you and me.

Bob DeMarco 1:11:44
That's so cool that you have a very streamlined process from your brain to something you could have in your hand right there under your roof.

Unknown Speaker 1:11:52
This is weird too, because you talk about the design process. I'll go three, four or five months and not put my pencil To paper and then all of a sudden in you know, I don't know what triggers it i've i've looked for that and search for it, but usually it's something that I do that's completely different. In other words, I'm going to build a longbow, so I go and start doing research on long bows on getting the wood and the designs and etc, etc, and start working on shaping the, you know, looking at the grain structure, blah, blah, blah, all those good things, all sudden, boom, I'll walk into my office or I'll go home, because I always have all my work with me. And I'll turn out 10 1215 different knives. It just comes in waves like that, but it's usually triggered I believe, by some completely right turn if you will, off the off the freeway. And for some reason, I just believe that it triggers create, you know, creative part of the process. Now, you know, one of the things that kind of supports, this is if you Think they were doing tests at one point with some people in some of the nursing homes, and they would give them a Geron like a generic arithmetic or mathematics test. And they would score them and all that. And then they'd come back and say, now we're going to learn how to play chess, or we're going to learn conversational French, or something like that, something completely unrelated. They would spend several weeks or months doing that, and then they would give them that mathematics test again. And all almost without exception, they would always score higher. And yeah, and it's again, you know, when you look at the human neural physics and things like that, it's very interesting what creates the creative process and what you can do to get your brain tricked into kind of performing the way you want. And I've been a student of that

Bob DeMarco 1:13:51
forever and ever. So I've tried all kinds of tricks to make it happen, someone worked. So basically, you're saying expanding your mind by forcing yourself to do something totally different. Related something hard taking out something difficult that makes you

Unknown Speaker 1:14:03
Yeah, well that's that's also true physically. And again, I think our lives or the universe, if you will, as God is governed by principles, and the principles don't care where they're applied, they don't they don't care if they're good or bad, or if you're good or bad, they just are. And I think the application of stress which you can graphically see and people that are bodybuilders and all that you stress the muscle the muscle grows larger to take the stress on. I believe that principle is the same for for everything because you know, being a mad insane workout maniac I, I can physically tell you when it's happening, that it does happen. And I think that for your brain, it's exactly the same thing. Your heart, your brain, everything. It's like that Necessity is the mother of invention thing you were talking about before with the war and how Yeah, yeah, that that's true. created a producer's results Yeah, you know

Bob DeMarco 1:15:03
so before we started rolling you told me a little bit about your awesome collection cuz I commented on the there's 1000 year old at least Viking battle ax hanging on the wall behind Mr. Emerson It looks so cool. You said when you come out with something different for me when you came out with the sacks two years ago I was just like thank God because hey I love the the blade shape. But I also knew because I had seen the videos where you were just starting to noodle around with the idea of making some some Viking battle axes Emerson Viking battle axes. I was so happy to see that because the blade shape I mean, you make a killer bow, let me say and and tanto as well. So it was nice to see a totally different shape you very much. So how's your your heritage, your background affect your designs and your interest?

Unknown Speaker 1:15:53
Well, I'm I'm big on legacy. I'm big on ancestry. That's how That's one of the reasons we're going to Ireland. Like I mentioned earlier, I just love that stuff. I'm a history. That was one of my majors in college. I majored in history and then physical education. So I've been really enamored with history, ancient history to be more exact. But as I grew into being a knife maker, of course, I was very and martial arts, I was extremely interested in historical weaponry. And the thing about historical weaponry is the designs that stayed the course that were actually there and continued to be there over centuries, maybe, or sometimes millennia. Those were the good designs because the poorly designed weapons died on the battlefield, probably soon after the guy who invented it because the family come after go. What you gave my grandfather didn't work. So my point being is that those people people that use those weapons, literally life or death hand to hand combat and or utility and or farming or whatever, they had to be good, they had to work they had to be efficient, they had to be easy to make. And you know, those are the combination of things that still apply as a as a principle again to any any tool. So yeah, my influence by the by the historical stuff. Hell yes, I am. I mean, show me somebody that can improve upon a Japanese sword.

Bob DeMarco 1:17:32
Well, then, so how how do you view some of these Really? And I don't mean crazy in a bad way. But what do you think of some of these very sculptural very heavily milled super heavily designed knives that that make up the popular knife world these days? Well,

Unknown Speaker 1:17:51
I don't think anything of them at all, actually, because in my world, they don't exist. And I'll be real. I get on Not wanting to mince words, and I really, you know, stand and

Bob DeMarco 1:18:03
this is not a place for word mincing, sir.

Unknown Speaker 1:18:05
Yeah, no, it isn't. And I appreciate that and, and I will always suffer the consequences of my actions. So I'm willing to say things and do things at times that, you know, it's like, I'll just play the cards that are dealt. But let's just say that's the worst knife designers on the planet Earth are martial artists, because they always come up with some crazy you know, it can do this and you can crack their skull and then you can jab them with the thing that hooks on their underneath their chin and pulls them down, you know, and I'll stop going Oh, my God. Never been in a real fight your entire why, ah, and that and I mean, honestly, some guys that are pretty famous out there and I look at some of the stuff and I'm like, Oh my god, there's no one on earth that's ever going to take that into a into a real time environment. Now this is funny because I just was having a conversation with Danny yesterday. But there have been a couple of incidents at like the blade show because everybody shows up to the blade show. And one guy shows up one time, and he's like, Ernie, I gotta show you I've got the ultimate, ultimate ultimate, you know, weapon system and all that. And within a couple seconds, he's standing in front of me with two live blades on the ends of like, lanyard that, you know, you remember the when you were a little kid and your mom, you had the mittens that had the string that Yeah, all the way through your sleeves across your shoulder. You ever Lost your mittens? Well, he had two knives connected like that. And he's spinning them in front of me and I'm sitting there going Holy crap, that's not safe. He's either gonna cut me or himself. Luckily, he didn't cut anybody but we had to have him escorted. Again. he's a he's a secret ninja martial arts guy not I had him escorted from the show because this guy's a freakin danger to because I saw him go into a couple other places and do In that, you know how you're gonna show it's kind of like, you know you're at you're at. There's

Bob DeMarco 1:20:05
a tightly packed bowl.

Unknown Speaker 1:20:06
Yeah, you're next to people. And I had another guy show up, who said you had the ultimate self defense tool, another martial arts guy. And he reached down to his belt, and he pulled out this long piece of spring steel. That was about, I don't know, maybe two feet 24 inches long. That was you know, I don't know if it's 25 or 30,000 thick it was all flexible and stuff and one edge of it had been sharpened and it's it's waving around like wiggling and all that he's going yeah, this will do this and that and I'm going oh my god, there's another guy is gonna kill somebody. I

Unknown Speaker 1:20:43
just randomly cut you know?

Unknown Speaker 1:20:46
And I was like, Yeah, cool. Thanks. But you know, we're not in the belt. You know? That kind of stuff. Sorry, man. Maybe you should go to some some other company and ask them. But I mean, these are guys that you know, they Yeah, you Gotta let them down easy because gosh sakes there they got a live weapon in front of you and yeah, right right there Baby, you know?

Bob DeMarco 1:21:07
Yeah, I don't think that's for me but what was it go check the benchmade Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 1:21:11

Bob DeMarco 1:21:14
so you've done a bunch of collaborations we were talking about benchmade you've done pro tech, the CQ c seven continues to be very popular. They actually just came out with some new iterations with my Cardo which is the coolest and most wonderful material in the world. But I am a big zero tolerance fan and I have your zero tolerance, collaboration knives and a few of the Kershaw's also and what I really love about them besides everything is well i've i've gotten my carta on all of them. So they're they're now mine and I've put a real Emerson clips on them so they don't say so I've customized them to my liking but but what I like about it is that I can have my my real Emerson's in my life Lok Emerson's and then if I'm in a fidgety mood and I feel like playing with a like a frame lock I can pick up one of my one of my others and I let me let me just tell you my about my first Emerson now that I'm sitting here looking at all my Emerson's It was a commander purchased in 1999 from and goes backwards yes it does but but this is a 2000 so I bought it in 1999 from the knife center and I didn't really you know this was probably the first thing I ever bought online I didn't realize that well actually the only other thing I bought before that was a computer and it came to me the next day so I figured out you buy it on the internet it comes the next day. Well I had just started Filipino martial arts and was really taken in by recurve blades you know the the more recurve the better. Yeah and I saw I saw your knife I saw the commander in the pages of knife center and just could not me just kept it was like my my My background on my you know, so I just yeah obsessed over it finally spent the money out to you it did finally spent a new all about the wave Oh my god, you know I'm gonna beat everyone to it and finally got up the gumption to buy it. And it didn't come and it didn't come and it didn't come and lo and behold, you were the Emerson factory or whatever it was, was tooled for a different knife at that time, I guess. Yeah. And I was freaked out for a while and then I just kind of just forgot about it. life went on. And then about a year later, I'm in my soul crushing job. And I go to lunch, I come back and there's a box. I'm like, what's this? Open it up? I have my 2000 Emerson commander and, you know, it's been one of my prized possessions ever since. Sorry about the way

Ernest Emerson 1:23:46
you made me wait. They have a thing called Emerson time.

Unknown Speaker 1:23:51
I've been accused of and I guess it's true.

Bob DeMarco 1:23:56
So one of these days, I'm going to get myself a new an updated one. You know, it's 2020 I think you're 20 years later you you've done a couple of things new and different.

Ernest Emerson 1:24:04
definitely wanna, maybe we'll have one of those new super steels. Yeah, right. Now they're still made with 154. Unless it's unless it's a special run that we do or something then then

Bob DeMarco 1:24:15
then yeah, definitely. So how is it working with ZTE?

Unknown Speaker 1:24:19
It's working very well. We like like everybody else that we've worked with. It's been a peachy keen relationship. In fact, it's funny because the guys the guys at Kershaw said, aren't, you're the easiest guy we've ever worked with. You're very low maintenance. I said, Hey, man, I just make knives. You guys make knives. Yeah, I'll give you some designs. You make them,

Bob DeMarco 1:24:42
do them, right and it's all good. But

Unknown Speaker 1:24:44
what Kershaw is doing this year is they are scaling back on all of their collaborations. There's some some things that are going on with different companies and stuff like that where people are tightening their belts and all that. So They're scaling back on all of them. But that's only we're only on a standby. And that's, that's across the board for all of their collaborations, they want to establish their own identity. So they're, they're going to be the, there won't be any brand new Emerson's at least for the time being. So

Bob DeMarco 1:25:18
they are upgrading them with the D two, and

Unknown Speaker 1:25:21
yeah, and D two is a great steal to this. Again, it's like a, you know, in my opinion, the best knife steel that exists on the planet Earth is W one. And that's probably one of the simplest Steel's that that has ever been developed. In fact, it's basically iron and carbon and that's it. And if you look at your files that you use to cut other steel with, those are all w one steel. So the only drawback is that it rust and you can, you can look at it and it starts to rust. So you know, again, when you talk about all these super steals and all that the best deals that exist are are the same. simplest ones that exist again, what did we say in the very beginning? one who's mastered an expert is one who's mastered the basics. And you can't improve upon the basics, you know?

Bob DeMarco 1:26:10
Yeah. So you now do a podcast yourself the Ernest Emerson podcast. Tell me about that. Well, how did that come about? And what what it was that scratching?

Unknown Speaker 1:26:22
Well, I just happen to know a lot of interesting people. And we would have all of these conversations all the time. And I was like, Damn, I'm really interested in what this person has to say. I've been really interested. I think a lot of other people might be interested in it too. So again, you know, being a podcast listener, you know, Joe Rogan, and Jocko and all those guys. I was like, wow, podcast would be a cool way to do it. Because again, you get that kind of long format where somebody can actually you know, elucidate on, you know, their ideas and their thoughts and So I said, let's give it a try. And we we've put it on hold. But we're back in the game now again, starting back up, got real super busy. And, you know, have to sacrifice one thing for the other sometimes just because there's only 24 hours in the day. But we're back. I'm going to, I'm backing up a bunch of episodes that we can release, so that we have them done and I won't be crushed with oh my gosh, I got to do another one this week. I forgot. Right? Because we are pretty pissy, but I've also got I've got a new book that's going to be coming out. It's called the warrior book barbarian combat strength and conditioning manual. Cool. Yeah, that's a cool one. Do you mind if I talk by first

Bob DeMarco 1:27:48
please do

Unknown Speaker 1:27:48
okay. What I did was you know, I've got the other books out there. I got chain reaction training and seven strategies, the hand to hand combat. There's there's five or six of them out there right now. And This one is different than any other training book that that I've ever come across. And what I did was I, I looked at it and I thought, knowing all of these warriors that I've known over the years and, and still continue to meet, one of the things that they that I found is there, they're very engaged in the history of their craft, in other words, the inspiration of other warriors that have gone before them. And you know, everyone knows the story of the Spartans and the mapa, lay and 300, Spartans and all those good things and they're used and taught in, in service academies throughout the world. And even, you know, in basic training, they'll you'll be inspired by all of these stories of previous heroic exploits by warriors. And I thought, wow, I'm going to do a training book, but I'm going to go back through time and look at all of these Famous warrior societies or cultures that existed. So, I did a each chapter was a barbarian or a military unit whether it was the branching guard or the legionnaires or the Spartans or the Celtic warriors or the Visigoths or the vandals of the Normans. I have chapters for all of these different war societies. And then each chapter has a workout that and the Norman workout the Viking Berserker workout, the Mongol workout, because I felt you know what these guys all love the history. Let's give them all the history let's you know and again, I'm not I didn't write a compendium of the history of warriors. They're all you know, short chapters on in the hype, if you will bullet points for for these different societies and Guard units and tribes and all that.

Bob DeMarco 1:29:58
So are these workouts Based on workouts that would be good for like, say the Mongols for drawing a bow

Unknown Speaker 1:30:04
or that kind of sometimes, for example, in a couple of the like the samurai one, I put in a bunch of wooden sword strikes against the bag because I wanted it to represent some of the things. The it's not about pulling stumps out of the ground or heaving stones or anything like that. It's all modern workouts. They're all workouts that I have done over the years, and still continue to do that I rotate in and out there, mainly high intensity slash cardiovascular slash strength, stamina, you know, all of those things. Because the thing about these all of these people was, it was all functional. And for example, I'll give you just a little tidbit when the Vikings landed at Lindisfarne in Ireland for the first Viking raids if you will, and attack the monster Up there when they stroll down to the beach, the monks and or the the native people that were that live there, they were like holy smack what's up with these guys? They're giants. Well, the Viking two things the Vikings ate meat and dairy products and fish and most of mainland Europe subsisted on on a diet that consisted mainly of grain. So these guys were six to eight to 10 inches taller than everyone else. Plus, they had just rode across 850 kilometers of the North Sea. They're jacked. Yeah, they were jacked. And when they came on the scene, there was nobody that could, could stand against them. So again, that rowing and rowing is a is a doll a little bit into to rowing in there too, because it's one of the greatest training modalities that you could ever find. But, you know, think about These guys, if they rode all day long, you were a farmer with the local sheriff or whatever you would call them. And I don't mean LA County Sheriff, but you know that the sheriff's guys who ran the shires and all that call up a bunch of farmers and all that so they grabbed their whatever pitchforks and spears and swords and all sudden they walked into a situation where there were these guys swinging these battle axes it could fight for like, dude, you're done in like, five minutes and I can go for five hours. Right. Right.

Bob DeMarco 1:32:29
And they do it for fun. I mean, yeah, presumably, there's there's a lot of a lot in their honor wrapped up in that.

Unknown Speaker 1:32:35
Well, yeah. And it's, it's just, it's amazing. Again, you know, the warrior society or the warrior subculture that exists in the human race has always been held to a higher standard. And we've always had the warriors have always had a code and honor was a huge, very, very big part of that. And it's funny Because, again, as in all the different ways that societies delineate down into subcategories and sections and all that, there's one that has always been also true. And what it is, is there are those that run to danger and those that run from danger. There are those that will take up the shield in the sword. And there are those that need to be protected. Now, don't misunderstand what I'm saying in any way that I put a judgment on that as far as bravery versus cowardice or anything. It's that's not what it's about is nothing to do with with that at all. It's just that there are people that are warriors, and that there are people that are not the warriors. And that's just, again, a way that it's always broken down throughout history. And so this book addresses a lot of that. Actually, it was a fun book to ride. I enjoy the living daylights out of it. And again, you know, I'm never going to put anything in there that I haven't either done or can do, and I know they're all work and they're all effective. So,

Bob DeMarco 1:34:03
well let me ask you this. So every time I see pictures of you, I'm like, Man, this guy's in such awesome shape you are and and I know, you know, you're, you're, you've got 10 or 15 years on me. And, and I just keep thinking, Man, I, I want to stay in shape all the way into, you know as I get older. So if someone is there listening and needs to get started, what's the first thing I mean? You say rowing. You mentioned rowing before, to me that seems like a gentle way to get yourself back. It started.

Unknown Speaker 1:34:34
Well, it is but you need. You need an erg machine or a rowing machine to do that, because most people don't have the Hawk, a skull or any of those kind of rides that are out there. They cost. They're hugely expensive. They can go 50 to $75,000 apiece. The rowing machines are between seven to 1100 dollars apiece. You can buy them if you look on the internet and stuff like that. You'll see a lot of places there used, but it's probably the lowest impact, but the highest intensity type of training that you could do. It's absolutely gentle on your body. But it is without a doubt. It is a screaming agony of effort. But it produces incredible results. So, you know, rowing is a good way to start bicycling and I'm not saying to go out and, and run around in the traffic, but stationary bikes are good again. You know, people have always asked me, you know, is there anything that you'd ever do differently in your life? And I always say, No, there's not one single thing that I would have done. That's different. And I go Wait a minute, wait a minute. I I really would. If I could change things. I wouldn't have done stupid things with heavy weights. Yeah, when I when I was younger, because there's a thing about being strong. That is very addictive. Yeah, yeah. And, you know, when you're 25 years old, you want to be that guy.

Bob DeMarco 1:36:00
And then you feel it 25 years later

Unknown Speaker 1:36:02
Yeah. Again if you want to get right down to basics, I will say probably one of the greatest all around you know, you get you get everything in one package is jujitsu because it's some of the hardest work you'll probably ever do your your when when you're done. Once you get rolling, you're, you're exhausted from your hair down to your toenail. That's, that's no exaggeration. And you get the tremendous physical benefits out of it. It is a literally a, an art that's someone can participate in at the age of five or six years old, all the way up to 85 or 90 years old. Because it is a it's a you can meter the intensity that you do now if I get into the boxing ring with somebody. That's a whole different story. That's that's a young stallions game. I still do it. I still love it, but There's there's a point where there's diminishing skill level, right? You got to turn up the Irish. Yeah, big time. Because it all it only comes down to that. And that's all it's left sometimes. But you know, the jujitsu is a tremendous workout. But you know, any resistance training at all and just be smart because again, and I'm big on kettlebells and sandbags and slosh tubes and all of this stuff, you know, half of it you can make in your own backyard. So, pull ups push ups, I mean, to me, the pull up is the one of the kings of exercises. You can do any of that it's just a matter of I've always told people look, you have to understand something about training. You don't fit training into your life. You fit your life around training T's and that's the only way that you're going to have a long term. Feel that guilt

Unknown Speaker 1:37:55
now just sitting in on my shoulders, pushing me Well,

Unknown Speaker 1:37:59
you You know, I get up at 04 30 single morning so I can know I can you know, people are like, I don't have time and I'm like, dude, how much how much TV do you watch? Yes. Well, when we get home at night, I turned the TV on and then at 10 o'clock I go to bed. It's like, okay, so about four or five hours, get it done a lot.

Bob DeMarco 1:38:17
You met your wife doing Jiu Jitsu, I think, right?

Unknown Speaker 1:38:20
No, no, but we ended up doing Jiu Jitsu. She was actually one of the first female one of the first gals that was ever taught Gracie Jiu Jitsu, because up until a certain point, Horan had decided that, you know, again, you guys are from Brazil, it's a macho thing. So yeah, women don't get to do the real jujitsu, but we have rape safe. So my wife went through like three different you know, four or five weeks sessions of rape safe. And her girlfriend walked into his office and I said God dammit, we're tired. The rape safe. Yeah, let us try. We can what most of these other white belts have And hear hands down. And at that point, Korean relented and he, he said, Well, maybe we should start a women's class. And then they said women's class. Why is it going to be women's class? We're not going to be fighting women. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, right. Exactly. Yeah. Not going to be attacked by another gal. So anyway, they were. She was one of the first women Gracie Jiu Jitsu practitioners that was taught here. I was very lucky because I only lived I was literally two or three miles away from the Filipino Cali Academy when I lived here, and I was only I was only about a mile away from the original Gracie school when Horton and everybody came in and all the brothers thought

Bob DeMarco 1:39:44
that sure beats driving 80 miles back and forth. So what do you see as the future of the Emerson knife company? I know your family is somewhat involved. I'm not sure what the involvement is actually. But how do you start See Emerson knives evolving into the future?

Unknown Speaker 1:40:04
Well, we are we are at one of those positions right now, we have gotten to the point where I've taken it as far as far as I can go, I've reached that point. And we've brought some people in that are going to take us to the next level, we're upping our production, we're upping all of our ancillary items and things like that, that we're going to be doing. And by the way that the company is run by my family, my wife is the business. My daughter, Megan is the in charge of marketing. And my daughter, Rachel is head of operations. So it's funny because here's another little side story, guys will call up and they'll get one of those three, and there's other people that answer the phones, but they'll get one of my daughters or my wife on the phone. And a lot of times it'll be like, Well, you know, I got these questions, but is there some Is there a guy there that I can tell? No No, no BS. And I'm it's funny because I think these gals know more about knives in their little finger than most again, with all due respect to my customers. They have grown up, just like Gracie Jiu Jitsu, those guys grew up on the mat. Yeah, there's no downtime in their lives when they weren't about jujitsu. Same thing with these with my family. They were born and raised into knives. They know, they know more than I do about knives. And it's just funny that that happens. But it's, you know, we've got a we've, we've had a reputation as a kind of a tough guy, knife company, and it's run by women. People don't understand that. And that's why it's so damn tough

Bob DeMarco 1:41:46
right there. Right. Exactly. Exactly. Well, Ernest Emerson, it's, it's been a real pleasure to have you on the show. Thank you so much for coming. Talking. Oh, man. Thank you for having me. Oh, hey, Thanks for thanks for all the awesome knives and and i gotta say, I have more knives I think of your design than anything else and I feel a real kinship. Always have with it with the, you know Santo connection. All the people, like three of the people I've trained under have been direct, you know from him and yeah, he's amazing to be around.

Unknown Speaker 1:42:23
Yeah. And again, you know, one of those guys that just keeps going and going,

Bob DeMarco 1:42:29
yes, because he's just doing what he loves to do.

Unknown Speaker 1:42:32
Yeah. Well, you know, guy asked me one time, he said, Ernie, when are you going to retire? You know, are you getting ready to retire? And as you know, I haven't worked for the last 35 years. This isn't work for me. It's who I am and what I do and I just love. I love getting up every single freakin morning and the week. Well, amen.

Bob DeMarco 1:42:54
It hasn't worked a day in 35 years.

Unknown Speaker 1:42:56
No, not one. Well, I've stepped on the farm when I'm back. All

Bob DeMarco 1:43:00
right. They put you to work as soon as

Unknown Speaker 1:43:02
you get it. Yeah. Well, someone to emulate. Thank you for coming on the podcast. It's been a great pleasure, sir. Thank you. My pleasure. And you're a great host. I really enjoyed talking to you because you're definitely interested in knives. And I want to congratulate you guys. You've had some great guests on scene. I looked at all this stuff. tide raises all boats, the more people you can get excited about knives, the better it is for all of us knife makers out there. So keep up the good work. Well,

Bob DeMarco 1:43:31
thank you so much.

Announcer 1:43:32
Appreciate it. You're listening to The Knife Junkie podcast, call The Knife Junkie. It's seven to 44664487 with your questions or comments. And we're back on the Knife Junkie podcast, Jim Person here along with Bob DeMarco and Bob. Just

Jim Person 1:43:47
an excellent interview there, man. I hey, you did a great job. Ernest Emerson wonderful interview interview. He

Jim Person 1:43:54
had a lot of great stories. It was a really fascinating to listen to.

Bob DeMarco 1:43:57
Yeah, well, you know, Jimmy was asking me for money. takeaway after an interview and my takeaway this time is, I would love to hang out more with Ernest Emerson. He had, you know, more and more and more stories to go and, you know, they say don't meet your heroes because you're bound to be disappointed. Well, in this case, that couldn't be further from the truth. So man, it was just such a pleasure to meet him hear his stories firsthand, many of many of which I've heard, you know, in the past in different interviews and stuff, but just to have him tell us here it was great

Jim Person 1:44:28
well, and if you like hearing Ernest and hearing you know, knife guys talk I just, you know, plug his podcast, which he said had been on hiatus for a little bit, but coming back Ernest Emerson podcast, also a new book coming out, so a lot of a lot of great stuff going on there in his life.

Bob DeMarco 1:44:45
Yeah, that warrior workout book looks really cool. I just saw him on his 65th birthday. He did a video showing him doing one of the workouts and man did it makes my 48 year old self feel like a lazy slob. I'll have to live vicariously through him.

Jim Person 1:45:00
as well.

Bob DeMarco 1:45:02
And not for nothing I have our good friend Alex too. So Alex Alex's knife box just sold me his iron dragon named after Richard bustillo that's a that's sort of a limited release Emerson that came out and I cannot wait to get it. Sorry cut that out that sounds so fruity and I can no i'm not i'm not cutting it out. I've got to stay there okay, and I'm sure we'll see a video on The Knife Junkie his YouTube channel at some point The Knife Junkie calm slash YouTube. Hey everybody, thanks so much for being here with us on episode number 94 of the Knife Junkie podcast, the weekend episode edition where we get to talk to the folks in the knife world. So thanks so much for being here. Hope you enjoyed the interview and we'll be back again on Wednesday for a midweek supplemental show for Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco, I'm Jim Person saying thanks for listening.

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