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Countering the Karambit: Use Your Street Smarts and Your Body's Startle Defense to Defend Against This Slashing Weapon

NCJ Number
Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine Volume: 30 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2006 Pages: 54-56
Ernest Emerson
Date Published
June 2006
3 pages
The article describes the karambit, a personal fighting knife developed in the Indonesian archipelago, and how police officers can defend themselves against the slashing weapon.
The karambit is a small to medium-sized personal fighting knife that was developed and is still used today in the Indonesian archipelago. It features a distinctively curved blade that’s shaped very much like a tiger’s claw and is every bit as effective. Because of the unique shape of the blade, the karambit is actually a fairly poor stabbing weapon. However, it is designed for raking and tearing, just like the claw of a tiger. It can also be used effectively to slash someone’s throat. With the recent influx of Indonesian jihadists into Iraq, there has been an increase in use of this small sickle-bladed knife. In addition, a number of American knife makers make versions of the karambit. Knowing how to protect vulnerable areas such as the neck during an attack, whether oversees or in the United States is vitally important. This article is a short version of the crash course provided for the agent before he/she departs for Baghdad. It offers information on the basics of the karambit, preempting a karambit attack, reacting to a karambit attack, and fighting back.


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