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Karambit: Exotic Weapon of the Indonesian Archipelago

by Steve Tarani, Steve Tarini

Buy the book: Steve Tarani. Karambit: Exotic Weapon of the Indonesian Archipelago

Release Date: November, 2002

Edition: Paperback


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Buy the book: Steve Tarani. Karambit: Exotic Weapon of the Indonesian Archipelago

Excellent book on this weapon

Mr. Tarani has trained in Indonesian Silat and is one of the instructors in edged weapons tactics at the famous Gunsite training academy Arizona, and has served as an instructor and consultant on edged weapons to many law enforcement and government agencies. He is certainly a fine, qualified instructor and he gives an excellent discussion on the history and practical use of this weapon in this book.

I only have one problem with a book like this. Obviously one book can't cover everything important on knife-fighting, but I had one comment about this, relating to primarily slashing weapons, which is what this book is about.

Although the Karambit is certainly an effective weapon, like all weapons it has its advantages and limitations. In this case, since it's a slashing weapon mainly, requiring curved, rounded strokes that travel in an arc rather than a straight line, it's inherently slower than using faster, straight strikes. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so the fastest way to traverse the distance isn't an arc.

Mr. Tarani does point out that one advantage of the Karambit is that since you can reverse the stroke each strike affords two opportunities to slash--but nevertheless, it still won't be as fast as a straight strike.

And by "straight" I'm not talking about the powerful straight thrusts such as seen in the classical karate punch--I'm referring more to what I call a "ballistic thrust," which is more like a flast flicking strike and which has more speed than power.

An opponent skilled in this type of movement will have an edge in a knife-fight with an opponent with a Karambit or similar curved weapon. I've seen this many times in tests with my own students and black belts--I found they could reach my hand, arm, or body once they were skilled in these techniques (which can take a few years to learn) more easily than I could using slashing strikes. Of course, they could use slashing strikes too if the opportunity arose. Paul Vunak, another respected instructor in knife-fighting, also makes this point in his seminars, although he approaches it from the standpoint of the Filipino rather than Indonesian martial arts--which is fine, too.

That having been said, this is an excellent book on the use of the Karambit weapon. If one sees this method as an important addition to one's existing knife-fighting skills and repertory, that would be the best use of this book and technique.

From Amazon.com

Great all around book

I picked this up to browse at the local bookstore and ended up buying it an hour later. Mr. Tarani does a great job of introducing this unique weapon through history and some techniques. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. No one expects to learn a martial art thru a manual alone, but this gives a good taste of what you'll get from a qualified instructor.

From Amazon.com

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