Karambit Knife 101
Originating from Minangkabau people of West Sumatra in Indonesia, the Karambit knife has a history that goes back for centuries and is still widely used today. Thought to be inspired by cat claws, this knife is mostly used today for self defense rather than its original agricultural purposes. While this knife is definitely cool and powerful, it is also dangerous if not used correctly and if it is not used for the right purposes. The writing below will give you a quick overview of the Karambit knife and what this survival knife can do.
Karambit Knife Uses
Hundreds of years ago the Minangkabau people used the Karambit knife for agricultural reasons such as raking and planting rice, rather than for combat. In fact, it was actually a last resort for the kesatria, warrior class, who used and were trained with a keraton.
However, the knife still served a defense purpose as Minangkabau women would tie the knife into their hair for easy access should they need a weapon to defend themselves.
In today’s society people use the Karambit knife for self defense. This change in use has changed much of the design of the knife. There has been an added index finger ring and the blade handle has become larger to accommodate larger hands. But the knife is also still true to its roots because farmers continue to use it today as a utility blade. The materials of the Karambit knife have also become much finer and of a higher standard compared to the once used agricultural commodity. Even the way the knife is presented has changed as many manufacturers offer a folding version.
How to Hold a Karambit Knife
When first coming across this knife, it can seem a bit awkward to hold. The curved blade and handle can be confusing and make you wonder where even to place your hand. Plus, it looks extremely dangerous, so that adds a higher intimidation factor. In reality, this knife is not hard to hold and get used to. And, by design, they are more difficult to dislodge from the hand, making it even more valuable as a defensive weapon. There are actually many variations in the way you can hold your knife according to www.karambit.com. Here are a few ways to hold a Karambit knife that they mentioned.
The Reverse Grip
Image Source: karambit.com
In the most commonly seen and used grip, you take the spine of the knife and place it in your hand in way that it faces towards your body. You then put your index finger into the finger ring, which should be on the right, in order to secure your grip and hold of the knife. When applying this technique, be sure to use as many fingers to hold the knife as you can, this will contribute to stability and your own personal safety. When using this grip, you will increase your maneuverability and overall strength and power, but it is best if you do not use this grip if you do activities that involve precise cuts.
The Forward Grip
Image Source: karambit.com
This Karambit grip is the second most commonly used by those who own Karambits. This grip is best suited when doing every day chores, not including combat. This grip is similar to the Reverse Grip in the way that you place it in your hand with the spine facing your body, it differs in the placement of the safety ring. The Forward Grip places the safety ring to the left of you hand, where your pinky will be put through it, and the blade will be facing the right side of your hand, where your thumb can secure the blade, thus providing more control in this grip. Though this grip is great for control and precision, it does lack in the areas of mobility and reach.
The Extended Grip
This grip is mainly used in combat. It is the result of flipping the Karambit knife from the extended grip counterclockwise. You rotate the blade toward your body and past your index finger, which is still in the safety ring, until it is naturally resting on back of your fingers with the blade pointing up. This grip allows you to apply upward force or get things that are out of reach. Although reach is a great pro of this grip, it comes with many cons which include lack of stability, low amount of control, and low power.
These are the three basic Karambit grips that users put into practice. When learning these grips be sure to practice safety precautions and practice them slowly until you feel more comfortable with this sharp knife. Also, before practicing be sure to familiarize yourself with the knife. The image displayed below does a great job in showing how complex the knife is and how many parts are designed in order to make it the powerful tool that is used today. The parts that can be the most easily overlooked are the brakes. The Karambit has built in brakes that are strategically placed for safety and control. Another important point to make when going over the parts of this knife, is that it is a two-sided blade with both an outside edge and an inside edge. This is vital to know because because of this feature, the knife becomes more dangerous to the user and their safety. After getting to know your knife, you should feel ready to start practicing the using of a Karambit Knife.
As with any knife, practice is necessary to gain experience. The Karambit knife is a quality blade that has been in use for hundreds of years. It has proven its worth as a tool and a weapon that can perform any task it encounters. Once you have mastered all of the gripping positions, you can do just about anything with the knife, whether you are using it in combat, or as self-defense in your home, or for daily household tasks, or for martial arts. And even if you don’t use a knife for any of these tasks, perhaps you are just an avid collector. If so, you will definitely want to add this knife to your collection.
Image Source: rtba.co