H2H FIGHTING: Sayoc Karambit DVD

That might leave a mark

I bought this DVD a few years ago after watching the movie “The Hunted”, it had the greatest knife fighting scenes that I have ever watched in a Hollywood movie. I was fascinated by the way Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio del Toro moved while knife fighting – it was almost hypnotizing.

From the movie commentary I found out that Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio del Toro were taught knife fighting by Tom Kier and Rafael Kayanan, 2 Sayoc Kali instructors from Sayoc Global, LLC.

Sayoc Kali is a specific type of Filipino martial arts that focuses on knife fighting and is a part of the Sayoc Fighting System that includes fighting with the sword, stick, tomahawk, karambit and whip.

After going over the Sayoc Kali 90’s era website I decided to pick up the Sayoc Karambit DVD. I have been a fan of the karambit ever since I started traveling to Indonesia on a regular basis, I also own several karambit’s but I had never learned how to properly use one.

I am not the biggest fan of learning fighting skills by video but I do think knife fighting is one of the few skills that can be somewhat picked by using video as a training tool. And considering that I spend so much time working and traveling overseas watching videos is one of the only ways I can check out or learn new skills.

Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio del Toro knife fighting using Sayoc Kali in The Hunted

Overall the training is great, the video-work is good (they film at several different angles), the sound is clear (so many training videos have shitty sound) and they even have some animated examples of the damage a karambit will do to a body.

If you are unable to get some live karambit training I would definitely recommend this DVD. After watching and training along with this DVD I feel that I have built up a good base in karambit knife fighting. I am planning on taking a seminar with Sayoc Global later this year so I should be well prepared now.

A modern version of the karambit

Note: after watching this DVD I bought all of the Sayoc Global training DVD’s, so if you want to learn some different of Sayoc Kali stuff pretty much all there videos are a-ok. They also have a huge selection of training knives, I own a few and they are the best quality training knives I have ever seen.

Here is the Sayoc Karambit DVD trailer:

Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio del Toro using Sayoc Kali in The Hunted:


Sayoc Karambit DVD

39.95

Check out the Huge Selection of Karambit Knives HERE >>>

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~James G
Founder – Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns and writing poorly written articles.

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13 thoughts on “H2H FIGHTING: Sayoc Karambit DVD”

  1. That DVD is very good. I also have their 3 of 9 Vital Template DVD which is also good. I wish I had a partner to practice on. Most of my training has been free sparring with knives and I would like to learn some of the drills. I wish I lived in Miami and could train FCS Kali…

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  2. Miami? I thought Sayoc Global was in Pennsylvania

    ~James G

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  3. Not Sayoc, FCS Kali, with Ray Dionaldo. He is a master of Sayoc (I hear maybe even better than the Sayoc family themselves) and many other styles and made his own style at the request of some of his teachers. My sparring partner in NC used to train with him and I have heard amazing things. He is also a leading innovator in modern karambit use and was in the Sayoc DVD. He did the cutting demos on the hanging meat and also did a lot of the instructing.

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  4. Find a partner! Sayoc is an amazing system and an absolute blast to learn, but without a partner you can’t get too far. (specifically the transitions and vital templates). If you get enough guys together they will come to you!

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  5. As a cop, I have seen a few people cut up by carpet knives. Really bad. As a detective I had to delve into the actual step-by-step of these attacks. So I think curved knives are bad-ass. But all knives are bad ass.

    I have made multiple training trips to the Philippines and hold two black belts in Filipino martial arts. Much time in other what we call “FMA.” And, I have messed with all kinds of blades and shapes. The karambit and the balisong knives never impressed me instinctively as weapons of choice. Never much thought about why. Just didn’t like them.

    Many years ago I was teaching a knife seminar and an attendee was a Silat master using a replica Karambit. I began to teach some very basic, very simple “killing stuff” and I noted the guy with the karambit knife couldn’t do it. Very simple things like a simple, instinctual stab. The curve of the knife blade was restrictive.

    This continued throughout the day as I taught very simple, proven methods. The Silat guy had to improvise two or three steps beyond what even a handy kitchen knife could do in one move. His work out partner, while using a straight-bladed knife, had loved the karembit, but lost that love by the end of the first day, seeing the pitfalls of the curved knife in his partner’s hands.

    As time marched on I started taking note of this very issue. And I learned why I first did not instinctively like the karambit. You see, you have to learn extra, extra moves to operate a karambit knife and do what a simple straight bladed knife can do. What a child or a monkey can do with a simple knife. Instinctively.

    Just as one example. A curved knife, while executing a slash, the hook got stuck in a clavicle. End of slash. The karambit practitioner must learn (if they are smart) ways to extract that knife from various common body catches not usually defined in training. Another case a carpet knife got hooked up in a jacket. Things that would not happen to a straight blade.

    I still favor the simple, double-edged, commando knife. It is illegal most everywhere and that’s probably why. It is beautiful in its simplicity. Its execution. It slashes and stabs deep, and it can be used for tens of in-the-field tasks, unlike the karambit. (In a raid once, one of our guys pulled his K-bar knife and cut and kicked through a plasterboard wall. Made a new door way. Not a chore for the karambit.)

    I believe that people like the Karambit because it appears exotic for one reason. They “take to it” like people like spaghetti over beef stew. Like they pick one race horse over another. Or love Karate over Tae Kwon do. It’s not wrong or right. It’s just a preference. I just hope people understand it takes extra work to do what a straight blade does.

    Me? I don’t particular like any knife shapes. I instead like pure tactics. I let tactics lead the way to gear. Not gear lead the way to tactics. (you can quote me on that)

    I did not mean for this to be a commercial. I really didn’t. But I have spent many a year working and researching knife tactics. Wrote a book about it, in fact. With about 30 true, military knife fight stories included. That is my frame of reference.
    http://www.hockscqc.com/shop/product391.html

    After all these years and this book. I personally would never bother owning with a karambit. But I also like spaghetti over beef stew! I would also never want to be attacked by a carpet knife or a karambit. All knife attacks can kill, maim and injure. Some are more easier to operate than others.

    Hock

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    1. Hi,

      The Karambit is used only as a last resort weapon after you’ve lost everything else you’ve had.

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    2. An there’s Karambit out there with a pretty long blade like the Cold Steel Tiger Claw. That one would do a great job at stabbing.

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  6. Great post Hock

    I like the Karambit, like all tools it has its place – I think they are great if you are concealing a full-sized knife (due to my work I occasionally do) on your strong side and you have to (due to the location) draw the knife with a reverse-grip it would make for a powerful unsheathing/cut single move. (in me humble opinion, but I am hardly a knife fighting expert)

    Hey – Double Edged knives are Illegal in the US now? No shit?

    ~James G

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  7. Awesome! I found a place near my house that teaches Filipino Martial Arts. I have had some training in Eskrima, but would much rather learn a more practical form (Silat Melayu) which involves knife fighting. I always carry a knife with me, and honestly have no idea how to use it in combat. I know some basics, but its been years since I trained.

    -Justin

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  8. Great article, and excellent post by Hock Hockheim there, . And this may be half off topic, but if you never paid much attention to it, go back and watch taht old Steven Seagal movie, “Under Seige”, if only for the short but beautifull choreographed knife fiht between Seagal and Tommy Lee Jones. It’s a gas!! And it ain’t “Hollywood knife fight” style, either.

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  9. The kerambit (karambit) is a excellent fighting knife. I train in Sayoc and it is one of the most brutal fighting knives around. Really good at body manipulations. Tuhon Ray is amazing as is Tuhom
    Tom. If you can find a Sayoc training group to train in, do it. It will open up tons of techniques you didn’t think about

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  10. I still favor the simple, double-edged, commando knife. It is illegal most everywhere and that’s probably why. It is beautiful in its simplicity. Its execution. It slashes and stabs deep, and it can be used for tens of in-the-field tasks, unlike the karambit.(In a raid once, one of our guys pulled his K-bar knife and cut and kicked through a plasterboard wall. Made a new door way. Not a chore for the karambit.)I believe that people like the Karambit because it appears exotic for one reason. They “take to it” like people like spaghetti over beef stew. Like they pick one race horse over another. Or love Karate over Tae Kwon do. It’s not wrong or right. It’s just a preference. I just hope people understand it takes extra work to do what a straight blade does.Me?I don’t particular like any knife shapes. I instead like pure tactics. I let tactics lead the way to gear.Not gear lead the way to tactics. (you can quote me on that)

    Here, here! I think that the kerambit is exotica and this is why people seem to think that it works good as a weapon (defense or offense). In truth, it is not easy to make direct contact with your target using the kerambit because you are required to slash or make circular movements to penetrate the skin because of the bird’s beak blade. This is what Hock’s extra, extra movement statement is about … One could literally do a lot more damage with a ball pen than with one of these things. Kerambit is a cool looking blade but not useful in a situation where you only get ONE shot at a target and it’s gotta be one that puts him down immediately (go ahead and look at some of these techniques on youTube under ‘Kerambit’ and you will see that you are required to hook or move your arm in circles to penetrate the beak into the target). A Bic ball pen at your throat, carotid, under arm, eye socket — THIS works. Gangbangers when I was a kid, this was the way they fucked you up, fast, clean and you bleed internally.

    My background is in Modern Arnis and I teach guys to be exceptional in knife so that all of my guys are perfect at defending against it. No use in carrying around a knife in the US of A — most LEO hate that shit and in some cities, will take you in if they find you got that on you in a dust up.

    Thanks for the great words Hock. You’re the man.

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  11. I carry a Kerambit on my off side (an Emerson folder in plain clothes and a fixed blade TOPS Scorpion tail on my entry rig) to support my weapon retention. I have found several gross motor skill cuts effective at bad breath distance in FoF retention scenario training.

    That being said, I think the more advanced movements are less intuitive than using a more traditional blade design in reverse grip styles blade facing out or in.

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