A LIFE ON A KNIFE'S EDGE
Dietmar Pohl had his first unforgettable experience with knives in 1977 at the tender age of 11. His brother, who was ten years older, returned home from the Bundeswehr paratrooper school and showed him his paratrooper's knife. The enthusiasm for the cold steel was awakened. But the moment when a friend showed him an article about a Vietnam war hero in the film magazine Cinema in January 1983 was really formative and life-changing. On that very weekend he marched to the cinema to watch the action film. On the way home, in the cold winter evening, the 16-year-old enthusiast thought not only of the elite fighter film character. For him, the real protagonist was the impressive survival knife from the forge of the legendary "Arkansas Knifesmith", which Sylvester Stallone carried in the film. After a sleepless night, Dietmar stood the next day in the basement of his parents' house, using muscle fat and a round file, to give his KA-BAR combat knife the characteristic saw back of the film knife.
THE REST IS HISTORY...
...as the saying goes. Dietmar Pohl was infected by the blade-virus from that time on and dedicated his whole life to the knife until today. After his visit to the cinema he researched the knife maker from the other side of the big pond in Arkansas, and tried to find out more about him. At that time, without the ubiquitous Internet, it was a tedious undertaking.
Dietmar Pohl began collecting film knives as early as 1985. In the beginning, with the small budget of a pupil and student, "only" replicas of a German knife-maker were affordable and even those cost a pretty penny at that time.
In 1988 the first original film knife from the USA was added. Today the expert possesses a proud collection in this field, which includes several rare exhibits. In 1990 he visited his first knife-making trade fair in the USA and made valuable contacts. By becoming a working student at Böker Baumwerk in Solingen, he also steered his professional career in this direction three years later.
Starting in 1994, Dietmar Pohl was 13 years marketing director and designer at the traditional Solingen company. He was jointly responsible for international successes such as the Böker Speedlock switchblade knife, the one in collaboration with Mikhail Kalaschnikow or the well-known knife series by (and with) Colonel Rex Applegate. The first pocket knives from the well-known (firearm) manufacturer Heckler & Koch are also based on his designs.
In addition, the graduate economist was product manager at Eickhorn Solingen Ltd. for 18 months, where he was responsible for the realignment of the company. At that time he was able to deepen his knowledge of bayonets and officially procured combat knives. It was only a logical step for Dietmar Pohl to set up his own company Pohl Force in 2007. Under this name, modern fixed and foldable blades for military, police, security and civilian use enrich the market, some of which are officially used by German special forces. Knives which are characterized by extraordinary robustness as well as aesthetic and practical designs.
The versatile and talented knife designer, who also happened to be the first German director and certified instructor of the "Reality Based" self-defence system of the well-known American Jim Wagner, always felt at home in the media world. Since 2001, he has published four books on such topics as "Tactical Combat Knives", "Knives of German Special Forces", "Combat Knife Combat" and "Knives in Combat". He is the only author whose combat knife books have been published in German, English and Russian. This was followed by several TV appearances on German television on the subject of combat and survival knives.
THE CIRCLE CLOSES
Dietmar Pohl has been a full-time knife designer for 25 years now and has devised well over 100 independent knife creations. It's amazing what a fateful path a life can take. In the autumn of 2018, this will take him back to the formative experience of that cold winter day in January 1983, which was to be the spark for his successful professional career. The 16-year-old student, who was once so enthusiastic about Sylvester Stallone and his film knives, is now, at the age of 52, personally acquainted with him and has designed the blades of the leading actor for the last part of his elite fighter series.
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