February 2, 2020

Karambit

The Karambit

12 point striking form

The karambit is held with the blade pointing downward from the bottom of the fist, usually curving forwards however occasionally backwards. While it is primarily used in a slashing or hooking motion, karambit with a finger ring are also used in a punching motion hitting the opponent with the finger ring. Some karambit are designed to be used in a hammering motion. This flexibility of striking methods is what makes it useful in self-defence situations. The finger guard makes it difficult to disarm and allows the knife to be maneuverer in the fingers without losing one’s grip.

The short Filipino karambit has found some favour in the west because such proponents allege the biomechanics of the weapon allow for more powerful cutting strokes and painful “ripping” wounds, and because its usability is hypothesized as more intuitive, though there continues to be debate about this matter.

This blade weapon is double edged with the outside curve of the blade used in slashing manoeuvres and the inside curve of the blade used in hooking/ripping type attacks. There are also thrusts that can be made with the point of the blade and punching strikes that can be made with the ring that covers the index finger.

The technique of the karambit is also heavily focused on striking the weak points of the human body, such as the muscles from the knee and elbow. This is a very effective technique because of the curved blade. Because of this, the karambit is considered to be one of the deadliest melee weapons.

The modern Western interpretation of the karambit is far removed from the original agricultural tool. They may have folding blades, are finished to a high standard, made from expensive materials as opposed to being rudimentary and makeshift and are generally larger to accommodate larger hands.

The west has recently found the karambit to be useful for self-defence, prepping and survival because, by design, they are difficult for an opponent to dislodge from the hand and this provides a combative advantage. Western versions also include one or more safety rings. Preppers also use the karambit for backpacking, camping, fishing, farming, gardening and hunting. Most of those produced in the West for use as weapons are based on the small Filipino variety, which features a short blade and index finger ring. Both fixed blade (generally double-edged) and folding (generally single-edged) karambit are produced in mass production knife factories and also by custom blade smiths.