Actual blade length – 1 1/2 inches
Handle size – 3 1/2 inches
Inner ring size – 1 inch
Over-all length – 5 3/4 measured from end to end with the curve
Saw teeth gripping area – 1 inch
The Karambit (many times spelled Kerambit or Korambit) is believed to have originated among the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra where, according to folklore, it was inspired by the claws of big cats. Actually, the word, “Karambit” can be translated as, “Tiger Claw.”
As with most weapons of Indonesia and SE Asia in general, the Karambit, in ancient times, was originally an agricultural implement. It was designed to cut roots of certain vegetables, and for properly planting rice. As time went on, it eventually became a mainstream weapon. The blade evolved becoming more curved to maximize cutting potential for deceptive, tactical usage. Through Indonesia’s trade network and close contact with neighboring countries in SE Asia, the karambit was eventually dispersed through what are now Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. In modernistic times, it is seldom seen in these areas anymore. In ancient times, it was far more prevalent. The Karambit is well known to be a major weapon of many Pencak Silat systems. The Karambit is also a part of a limited amount of Filipino styles such as Silat, Kali, Arnis, Eskrima. It is also seen in Malaysian Bersilat, Bruneian martial arts and in some Kuntao martial art styles.
European accounts tell that soldiers in Indonesia were armed with a Kris at their waist or back and a spear in their hands, while the Karambit was used as a last resort when the fighter’s other weapons were lost in battle or used to get to their weapon when taken by surprise attacks. The Karambit was also popular among women who would tie the weapon into their hair to be used in self-defense. Even today, there are some Silat practitioners who regard it as a woman’s knife, though many men still practice utilizing the Karambit.
The renowned Bugis warriors of Sulawesi were famous for their embrace of the Karambit. Today it is one of the main weapons of various Silat systems.
The Karambit is held with the blade pointing downward in an “ice-pick” position, usually curving forwards toward the enemy. While it is primarily used in a slashing or hooking motion, the Karambit with a finger ring are also used in a punching motion hitting the opponent with the finger ring if they so happen to end up in a position to. Some Karambits are designed to be used in a downward motion or jabbing motion with the point followed up with a slash and/or a joint manipulation of some sort. This versatility of striking methods is what makes it so useful in self-defense situations. The finger guard makes it difficult to disarm and allows the knife to be maneuvered in the fingers without losing one’s grip.
This particular design on the Indonesian Karambit is perfect for the in-fighting methods the Karambit is well known for. The pointy “saw teeth” on the back of this Karambit make is nice and easy to do joint manipulations by digging in and grabbing muscle and/or clothing. This is accomplished by ripping the muscle by pulling the opponent towards the warrior to get in tighter, crowding, trapping and unbalancing the enemy, then cutting the parts of the body that can have very fatal consequences. Targets are pinpointed cutting vulnerable areas like the ligaments and tendons. Also when the stomach and throat areas are slashed. The intestine can be cut or torn apart inside or pour out leaving the enemy suffering badly. This brutal tactic would scare neighboring hostile enemies to not want to go back and fight them ever again.
In ancient times, the cutting edge was almost always smeared with some type of deadly poison, which acted almost instantly upon entering the bloodstream which created many myths about this weapon due to such quick deaths and/or heavy sickness from these types of cuts.
The Karambit can be well hidden, so it is a good weapon of deception, which deception is what it was originally created for. The wooden sheath is designed for hiding it in a sarong in ancient times, or in more modern times, a pocket.
The Karambit is also known as, the Kerambit, kerambik, Kuku Bima, Kuku Hanuman, Kuku Macan, korambit, kerambet, lihok which translates to “actions of the blade” in the context of utilizing the knife in the Philippines, and the sanggot also in the Philippines, meaning sickle.
For this particular Indonesian Karambit, we offer both, the traditional sheath and the modern kydex tactical sheath. We realize some people want to carry this knife, not just add it to their collection. After all, we are in the modern age so we added a modern touch to this Karambit. We do not wear the ancient clothing of the past anymore so this new tactical sheath is easy to put on any size belt. I also send you the traditional sheath so you can display it when you are not carrying it.
If you want to just have the one with the tactical sheath as well as the traditional sheath, go to this page – https://www.traditionalfilipinoweapons.com/shop/indonesian-karambit-with-tactical-sheath/