The Kerambit (or Karambit) is a knife from South East Asia shaped like a claw. In different countries this knife has a different name but its genesis is the same. According to legend tiger claws were the inspiration for its creation. Originally, the knife was an agricultural tool used for cutting small plants, a smaller variation of Asian sickles. Today the kerambit is most commonly used in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Burma, Cambodia and the Philippines.
The kerambit is one of the main weapons used in silat and it is also used in Filipino martial arts. Modern versions of the kerambit are currently being popularised in contemporary self-defense systems.
The kerambit has a finger ring that is employed for correct usage. The ring impedes disarmament and offers additional techniques not possible in a conventional knife fight.
The kerambit is primarily a cutting weapon. Stabbing thrusts are possible but also incorporate movements that incorporate cuts on exit.
In both training and fighting, different types of grip are utilised to vary the techniques performed.
This weapon can also be used to deliver strikes. An additional spike is sometimes placed on the ring to concentrates the force of the strike to a single point.
Kerambit attacks, aided by the curved blade design, seek to damage the circulatory system, muscles and tendons.
Most commonly training utilises one kerambit but advanced practitioners often improve their skills, coordination and combat advantage by training with a blade in each hand.
Also noteworthy is the double kerambit featuring a blade on both sides of the handle. This weapon requires an even greater degree of control than the ordinary kerambit.
Modern versions of the kerambit often have more than one ring, which increases the grip but rule out some traditional techniques.
Today, as martial arts practitioners discover its merits, the kerambit is gaining both popularity and prestige.
Contemporary folding knives with curved blades are now more common. The kerambit, in addition to being excellent for self-defence, is a effective tool for DIY, gardening, hiking and fishing.