Correct me if I'm wrong but the karambit comes from Sumatra where it was originally an agricultural instrument. It was said to be modeled after the claw of a big cat, like a tiger. It is used in the martial art of Silat. It is deployed both blade up and blade down, in hacking and ripping motions. The ring on the handle allows solid purchase and you can also punch while holding it. It's used with blocking and locking techniques, where a punch is blocked and the arm captured and then the curved blade is slashed on the arm, neck, thigh, or knee...or all those places in rapid sequence.
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