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Karambit

by Allen Sarac's Professional Karate Center Staff
(Las Vegas)

Karambit Class at Allen Sarac's Professional Karate Center in Las Vegas

Karambit Class at Allen Sarac's Professional Karate Center in Las Vegas

The Karambit is an Indonesian claw-like curved knife

A brief History of the Karambit

The history of the weapon begins in West Sumatra, where it is believed the Minangkabau people used it for weaponry and agriculture.

In agriculture, the karambit is used among other Asian sickles. Although it is noticeably smaller than other farming tools, it would rake roots and farm rice.

In weaponry, the knife's blade is more curved to maximize its ability to slash.

Sumatran folklore describes the karambit as the claws of a tiger. It was never a primary weapon, with soldiers typically using a kris and spear. The Karambit would be used as a tool of last resort.

From Third-Class Weapon To Effective Defensive Weapon

The Karambit was initially looked down upon in Indonesia, considering it was a peasant farm tool instead of a kesatria (warrior class) utility.

Its status changed when the Bugis warriors of Sulawesi embraced the weapon in its entirety.

The weapon is used in a way where the blade is pointed downward from the fist, curving forwards. A slashing and hooking motion is used, but fighters can use a punching or hammering motion when the ring finger is utilized. This flexibility makes it useful in self-defense. Furthermore, the finger guard makes the weapon hard to disarm.

As Knowledge Of The Karambit Grew, So Did Its Use

The Karambit, as a weapon eventually would make its way to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and the Philippines through trade. Now, it is a main weapon of silat and is commonly used in Filipino martial arts.

Karambit, A Defensive Weapon Taught By Professional Karate Center

Karambit is taught here at Professional Karate Centers in our weapons classes. Identifying and using what were common tools and knowing how to use them for self-defense is an important part of training as a Black Belt.

Some of the other tools or weapon classes taught are Kama, Nunchaku, Knife, Sai, Tonfa, Bo, Sword, Cane, and Escrima Sticks. We hope you'll join us in one of our classes.

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