Martial Arts: Silat and Filipino Martial Arts


This vicious and deadly-looking dagger has its origins in 11th Century Indonesia as a humble agricultural tool where It was used to cut root and thresh plants. The more ‘’weaponized’’ version of the Kerambit, like the one seen here, has a blade with a more pronounced curve, said to be in imitation of the claws of a tiger. They often have a ring for the index finger.

The blade is held ‘’downward’’ with the index finger in the ring – in this manner the blade can be used for vicious slashing and thrusting attacks and the ring not only makes disarming the wielder difficult, but it serves as a sort of ‘’brass knuckle’’ for metal-tipped punches. Its versatility, lethality and small size makes it a favorite of many martial artists and self defense coaches. Many argue that the ‘’biomechanics’’ of the weapon emphasize more powerful slashing and thrusting wounds than most knives can produce, well capable of puncturing the skull with a fierce puncturing strike.

The blade is widespread throughout Southeast Asia and the nearby islands, including the Philippines. The weapon was historically regarded as a peasant weapon – while noble warriors wielded Kris swords, it were peasants who would use their agricultural karambits for self defense. Due to its small size, it was common for women of the region to tie a kerambit in their hair for self-defense, and this legacy has given the Kerambit a ‘’feminine’’ legacy among Silat (Southeast Asian martial arts) practitioners.

This Karambit, crafted in the Philippines, is created from 5160 high carbon steel and is tempered to a 59-61 on the Rockwell scale. It has a grip crafted from two slabs of dark, carved wood. Comes with a carved wooden scabbard with an integrated retaining clip of darkened steel that ‘’locks’’ the blade in place when sheathed.

The Karambit has been popularized in America through video games such as Counter-Strike:Global Offensive and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist. Along with these video games, the popularity of Filipino Martial Arts throughout North America due to Bruce Lee and Guru Dan Inosanto has also aided in the widespread of the Karambit.


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