Karambit: The Basics
The karambit is a rather remarkable multi-use knife designed for user safety, precision and efficiency. It has a curved or hooked blade, an ergonomic handle and usually includes at least one safety ring. The forebearer of the modern karambit first surfaced in Indonesia during the 11th century as a farming tool and utility blade. Due to Indonesia's thriving trade industry, the karambit quickly spread throughout Southeast Asia and started developing strong roots in Malaysia and the Philippines. While the design of a karambit knife may vary slightly depending on its exact geographic origin, a karambit will always have an arcing blade and will offer its user functionality beyond that provided by a straight blade. Traditionally, the karambit's design is based on a tiger's claw. As such, the razor-sharp blade should be optimized for hooking, tearing, ripping, slicing and maximum efficiency with minimal effort.
Karambit knives are valued for their precise cuts, high degree of retention and suitability for nearly every challenge, job or task. In self defense application, a karambit's curve offers the ability to fluidly attack and counter in a single motion and to change movement direction with ease. It also allows simulataneous striking from multiple lines of attack and readily enables hooking, trapping, ripping, and slicing. An experienced karambit wielder can also use a karambit knife to control an opponent's limbs and direction of force. Even if you can’t see your intended target because it’s behind your opponent (like a kidney or hamstring), the karambit's curved blade can still reach because it can be "wrapped around" the body to strike with accurate, devestating results. Furthermore, unlike using a straight blade in similar situations, there's no stress to the wrist of the user. This creates a distinct combative advantage by ensuring the karambit fighter's form is structurally sound and not compromised by poor body mechanics.
Many karambits have multiple cutting surfaces or edges arranged in various configurations and each karambit variation provides distinct advantages and benefits for utility and/or tactical use. Both production karambits and custom karambits are readily available in fixed and folding options.http://www.karambit.com/what-is-a-karambit/