Southeast Asian martial arts are unique to the region and use some of the most unique weapons in the world as part of their application.
Here are 5 of them.
Kris – Pencak Silat
The Kris is an asymmetrical dagger that is used in the Indonesian martial art Pencak Silat. The martial art form primarily involves chokes, throws and a range of lethal close quarter combat techniques that are aimed at grievously injuring an opponent.
Silat is often times considered to be a highly spiritual martial art form, and the Kris is designed with that in mind – often times said to constitute of the essence of the five elements or represent a mythical serpent.
This martial art form evolved in Thailand and literally means sword (krabi) and stick (krabong). The blade used in this form is often of mid length, to allow for best utility in mid range combat.
The martial art form, while primarily weapon based, uses kicks as secondary means of attack and is sometimes also known for incorporating palm strikes to pressure points and choke holds – should the practitioner be unmanned of his weapon.
Balisong – Eskrima
Filipino martial arts go by the name of Eskrima, Arnis and Kali, among others and often times incorporate a wide variety of weapons in their repertoire.
One of those weapons is known as the Balisong, which is basically a knife with two handles. The techniques incorporated with the weapon are often complex and require a lot of training before they can be mastered – especially since it’s quite a complex weapon to use.
Karambit – Pencak Silat
The Karambit is a short curved blade with a safety ring attached to it that can be deployed to devastating effect in really close quarter combat – primarily because it is so easily concealed.
When it originated, it was thought to have been modeled after a tiger claw.
The Karambit is used in a variety of martial arts due to its lethal, fight-ending efficiency but is said to have been used first in Pencak Silat. The blade is designed in such a way as to cause maximum tear – even when used by physically weaker practitioners.
Sarong – Pencak Silat
Again we return to the powerful martial art form of Silat, but this time for an unconventional piece of weaponry – the Sarong.
Essentially, the Sarong is a cloth wove out of linen that is worn around the waist or the shoulder of the combatant and is tear resistant – meaning that it is adept to stop bladed attacks from the opponent. It is used widely in hand trapping techniques and to choke out the opponent as well.