Karambit Kraze

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mort
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Karambit Kraze

Postby mort » Tue Dec 17, 2002 1:00 am

Is this the latest fad? I think they are cool, but require a lot of training in order to use effectively. Anyone have any experience?



Thanks,

Fred

Qship
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Postby Qship » Tue Dec 17, 2002 5:08 pm

The name is Malay for "chicken claw", or so I'm told. Some Indonesian styles, like Pukulan, have hooking moves that work well with the weapon.

Qship

Rex G
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Postby Rex G » Tue Dec 17, 2002 9:10 pm

Due to my interest in hookbill-type knives, I have been doing some reading on karambits on the internet, and recently purchased Steve Tarani's new book. Some karambit techniques are applicable to hookbill knives such as the Spyderco Civilian and Harpy, and are intuitive enough not to need extensive training, IMHO. In fact, Spyderco even mentions, in the write-up for the Civilian, that it is intended for law enforcement personnel who have little knife defense training. That is me, and I carry two Civies when on duty. BTW, be CAREFUL with knives while training, whether solo or in a class. I have a plastic "DTL Impact Kerambit" now, and intend to buy an aluminum training karambit soon. Of course, karambit training can be a lifelong pursuit, and I do not mean to imply that it is a "quick fix" or that instruction is not needed.

Edited by - Rex G on 12/17/2002 8:12:58 PM

Michael Janich
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Postby Michael Janich » Wed Dec 18, 2002 7:05 pm

I got to see some great examples of the various types of karambit when I visited Malaysia about 10 years ago. Since then, I've made up a few Lexan plastic trainers and played with them quite a bit. I've also had a lot of experience with Kelly Worden's Impact Karambit (a unique and very functional less-lethal weapon) and have seen Steve Tarani's karambit work both on video and in person. Steve's stuff is by far the most authoritative I've seen on traditional karambit work and a great addition to the knife fighting material available to the public.

According to some senior silat players I know, the smaller karambits are designed to work with the deflecting punches found in many silat systems. Similar to wing chun deflecting punches, these drive your opponent's arms out of the way as the punch is extended. When the karambit is held in reverse grip and added to the punch, it still deflects, but also carves a furrow through everything it touches in the process.

Double-edged karambits can also be used to deliver nasty chopping strokes by using a hammerfist action and striking with the convex arc of the blade.

The ringed karambits (not all have rings) also allow the user to spin the knife forward on the index finger, extending one's reach and surprising an opponent with a quick slash. The knife is then spun back and grasped in the fist again.

In my opinion, the most powerful and useful cuts with a karambit are the punch-style reverse-grip plow, conventional reverse-grip cuts, and the hammerfist. Although the spin is dramatic and fun, it lacks significant cutting power.

One disadvantage of traditional karambits is that the short, narrow blades have poor edge geometry. I had an idea to change the grind profile and provide much better edge geometry and cutting performance. Custom maker David Dempsey is currently working on that design and will hopefully offer it commercially in the near future.

Stay safe,

mike j

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Postby Pachucko » Wed Dec 18, 2002 10:44 pm

Hi Mike,

What do you consider to be a kerambit/karambit? RE: "not all have rings."

Thanks,

Pachucks

Michael Janich
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Postby Michael Janich » Thu Dec 19, 2002 7:39 am

Dear Pachucko:

The drawings of karambits on page 128 of Donn Draeger's classic "Weapons and Fighting Arts of Indonesia" include both ringed and non-ringed types. I also saw non-ringed types on display in the National Museum in Malaysia and have seen others in silat instructional videos. In all cases, whether they were single or double edged, ringed or non-ringed, they were all called karambits.

Stay safe,

mike j

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Postby Pachucko » Thu Dec 19, 2002 5:28 pm

Thanks Mike. So what do you think the "defining characteristic" of a kerambit would be?

Pachucks

Michael Janich
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Postby Michael Janich » Fri Dec 20, 2002 9:51 am

Dear Pachucko:

Based on the full range of what I've seen categorized as karambits, I'd say at a bare minimum, it must be of small to medium size with a hawkbill blade sharpened on the concave side of the curve. To this basic form you can add things like rings, sharpened bottom edges (the convex side of the curve), barbs, curb feelers or anything else you want.

Possibly anticipating your next question, yes, I do think knives like the Civilian, Matriarch, Harpy, Merlin, and the new Spyderhawk qualify as kerambits. To make the qualification even more pronounced, I would love to see Spyderco replace the standard steel spacer of the Harpy with an extended spacer that includes a ring. In my opinion, a ring on the butt end of the SPOT would also be cool and allow it to function much like a traditional karambit.

Spyderambits anyone???

Stay safe,

mike j

Pachucko
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Postby Pachucko » Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:07 am

"Spyderambits anyone???"

Heck yeah!!!!!!!


Some thoughts;

I believe a Spydie kerambit, if it should come to pass, should be designed as a new model, not a modification of an existing one. Something along the lines of the Emerson Combat karambit, ie. designed from the ground up for a specific purpose.

Mike, thanks again for your reply. A Spot with two finger holes would definitely be a weapon retention dream!

Would you consider the Spot and La Griffe to be kerambits? Does the ring placement afffect the designation?

Pachucks

mort
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Postby mort » Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:55 am

Hi Mike,

I will wait to see your design before I buy one.

Fred

Rex G
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Postby Rex G » Fri Dec 20, 2002 2:41 pm

I would certainly stand in line to buy a karambitized Harpy or SPOT! Civie too, but the Harpy or SPOT would be legal in more jurisdictions. BTW, I had been recently been thinking about trying to cut the handle of a Spot and welding a ring in place, but while a know a little about welding regular steel, I know nothing about stainless steel welding. I think I will wait and see if Spyderco does anything with the Karambit concept.

BRAM
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Postby BRAM » Sat Dec 21, 2002 9:28 pm

Spyderco has had drawings from me for over a year or so of folding Kerambits..
The mini Gunting..the TUSOK is a type of Kerambit...a non ringed kind..
That might make it to production...I have a functional proto type of it in my hands currently...
Its small and fast..and spins forward to reverse and sits well in one's hand for reach out and touch someone...
SPYDERCO is not as I understand it in the process nor in the quest to have a folding Kerambit..
I believe Sal's words on the BF Spyderco section were that Ernie and I were ahead of our time with designs but that Spyderco had other projects that needed attention before Kerambits / Karambits could be or would be addressed.

be safe..
Have a great holiday season
Bram

bildrac
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Postby bildrac » Tue Dec 24, 2002 3:36 pm

Bram, I've said it before and I'll say it again, as soon as Spyderco produces your TUSOK design, I will purchase at least one (more like several). In the mean time, it looks like I'll be picking up one of Michael's folding Yojimbo/folding Ronins. Enjoy your holiday.

Laurence

357Sig
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Postby 357Sig » Thu Jan 02, 2003 4:35 pm

Here is my contribution to the Karambit craze. The Emerson Karambit is a great knife; however, the Gunting is much more versatile and is as simple as open and close (gross motor skills).

Edited by - 357Sig on 1/2/2003 3:36:34 PM

Dijos
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Postby Dijos » Mon Jan 06, 2003 12:49 pm

I think that it will die out with the neck knife craze..

Rex G
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Postby Rex G » Tue Jan 07, 2003 10:54 am

Every trend will subside, sometimes to return again. But I liked neck knives before they were trendy, and bought two from Barry Dawson, with kydex sheaths, when the use of that material for sheaths was in its infancy. I am glad the Spydie hole craze did not subside!

C Carlson
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Postby C Carlson » Mon Jan 13, 2003 2:44 pm

Rex G;
Regarding your 20 Dec. post, you can weld stainless w/ a TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welder (or a MIG if it's set up for stainless). Most sheet metal shops will have one, or a welding shop, or ask around, a lot of people have them for repair work (I have a small shop & I have one). Try asking at your local welding supply outfit, they might even do it for you or direct you to someone they have sold or supply to. It would be a 30 second job (at most) to weld a stainless ring on a stainless knife. Good luck!

Rex G
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Postby Rex G » Tue Jan 14, 2003 3:07 pm

Thanks!


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