Anyone with even an entry-level knowledge of self defense, martial arts, and samurai swordsmanship is familiar with the legendary James Williams. As the father of the System of Strategy, James lives and breathes knives, swords, and tactical tools.

For over a half century, James has been studying these disciplines. From Japanese, Okinawan, Chinese, and Filipino traditions to western wrestling, boxing, and kickboxing, his knowledge is more prolific than almost anyone we’ve had the pleasure of working with. Along the way, he has formed deep relationships with some of the world’s best. So when he comes to us with an idea for a new knife or tool, we listen.

This time, two highly-specialized worlds collided when James told us that he wanted to employ Ken Onion’s breakthrough Field Strip Technology to form the foundation of his newest knife. From there, he added only the minimalist’s necessities. Finally, the Gōken™ was born.

Goken blog image

When it comes to the Japanese aesthetic after which he modeled this knife, elegance and effectiveness are paramount. James’ expertise bridges the gap between the two and has inspired incredibly famous designs like the Hissatsu™ and the Otanashi Noh Ken™. Now, the Gōken™ assumes its rightful place among the sterling ranks.

As for the name, James recognized that this design deserved something great. Gōken, in the Japanese language, is a word reserved only for those that exhibit remarkable fortitude. It’s certainly not a word used lightly and without much consideration. The CRKT® Gōken™ stands up to the challenge with a 3.7” modified Tanto blade finished with a deep black powder coat. It’s deployed from tough G10 handles with an inconspicuous flipper and held fast with a locking liner.

If you’re the type that wishes it were acceptable to carry a samurai sword every day, the Gōken™—with its carefully considered design and roots in highly-specialized Japanese self defense tactics—will proudly stand in its place.

This one deserves to be shown off. Be sure to share on Facebook, Twitter, and swing by our Instagram gallery for more CRKT® inspiration.