What are the uses of a Balisong.

Discussion in 'Misc. Knife Arts' started by Zoongidee, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. Zoongidee

    Zoongidee New Member

    I'm interested in all Filipino weapons, but I am a bit skeptic about the Balisong. I like it as a knife, and see it as a knife, but my problem with it is that flipping the handle around to show the knife has turned from a way of making it into a knife for fighting to being flashy so it would look cool. I wanted to know if there are ways to use the handle for fighting or use the knife itself for other means other than *flip flip flip knife, flip flip flip toss catch flip flip flip reverse*. I looked it up on google and found books on sale on how to use a balisong and tried to look up video's of how to use balisongs, but all I get is video's of everyone being flashy with it. I'm just wondering, because I don't see flipping it around to look cool being a great real scenario tactic in a real/scenario one on one battle.
  2. pguinto

    pguinto New Member

    there are several different way to SNAP a balisong open with just a single movement making it instantly open like a switch blade, and u can close it the same way
    my friend has jeff imada'a book and tho ive never read i heard it was a decent read
  3. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    There are fancy ways to flip it, but think of it basically as a folder--it's made for one-handed opening.

    Remember there are also some very large balisongs!
  4. KaliGman

    KaliGman Professional Man at Arms


    One of the main advantages of a balisong over other folding knives relates to locking mechanisms. There are many great lock designs for folding knives today--frame lock, liner lock, compression lock, back lock, etc. All of them are mechanical, and anything mechanical can fail. If you are holding both handles of a balisong without the latch being closed and locking the handles together (some knives don't have this latch, or have a latch that can't be locked with the knife open--Spyderco Spyderfly for example), then the "lock" on the blade is as good as your grip. In other words, you can do passing, trapping, cutting, etc., and never worry about lock failure and possibly having the knife close on your precious fingers. Of course, a catastrophic failure of a balisong could occur at the pivot point, but this would be rare and would normally involve the knife breaking apart and not the blade folding in on your fingers.

    As for other uses: the handles, when whipped open can be used to strike an opponent (a technique to startle an opponent, primarily,but when a flying handle hits an eye, bridge of the nose, temple, etc. significant damage can be done), the knife can be half opened and used in the palm to slap and cut like a palmed razor blade, the closed knife makes an excellent fist load as well as kubatan type device, and the list goes on.

    I train with and use balisongs, but am far from an impressive "flipper." Aerials and other flashy techniques are for show, and I don't do much show. In general, the balisong is not my favorite knife, but it is a good, viable design capable of some uses that are hard to accomplish with a standard "tactical" folder (such as a Spyderco Military, Emerson Commander, and the like).
  5. Sheldon Bedell

    Sheldon Bedell New Member

    I'll give a different view of the balisong (maybe)

    I have used mine for an extraction device while I worked on the ambulance, I have opened cans while camping, used it as a general carry knife, cut rope with it etc.
    As far as the fancy openings, I prefer a single flip to cutting position, as if I ever need it it will not be in a showy performance
  6. Just a reference...

    Here is Master Nilo Limpin.... probably the best balisong guy I heard of... AM NOT SURE about this, but I believe he trained PG Edgar Sulite and Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje (Again, anyone please correct me if I am wrong! Thanks!)

    As you can see, yes he does incredible flipping of the balisong all over the place, but when he does the more serious "realistic" openings, they are impossibly quick! watch and see when you can... (refer to 1min, 48sec into the video as an example for the forward grip)

    (I like the love songs in the background while playing with live blades! ;p Very Filipino!)

    P.S. I just checked for references on Master Limpin and found an article on FMA Digest... it says here or here : http://tinyurl.com/5n3vld

    It states that PG Sulite and Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje learned Master Limpin's interpretation of the balisong and added/adapted some to their own balisong knowledge.... again, if anyone can give more insight, please do so... thanks!
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2008
  7. pguinto

    pguinto New Member

    finally pulled out a balisong my brother bought me in the philippines. i think its just a cheapie one but, hey, its got PHILIPPINES inscribed on the latch. years ago i lubed it with clipper oil, flipped it around a few times, then never touched it again. i was too lazy (or spoiled, depends on perspective) to work it in and loosen it up, as it was a cheapie.

    however i think i wanna loosen it up and even grind down the dual sided edges, and play with it. anyone know the best way to clean the blade. i think its got a little rust on it. also whats the best way to soften the edges and the point. i want the option to still be able to sharpen it in the future, plus i think its ghetto to grind it on some curb somewhere. i believe my brother has a few grindstones tho.
  8. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member


    Flips and twirls are fun and at one time I invested a little time learning the basic openings and closings. However, I also read somewhere that the old-timer Batangueros opened theirs with two hands at about 30 yards away from their prospective opponents.

    The one time I had to open mine "under stress," so to speak, I resorted to a two-handed opening. Somehow I had forgotten all of the openings that I had practiced!


  9. Raul

    Raul Mananandata

    Batanguenos never learned to flip or do fancy maneuvers with balisong because its just an unhealthy practice in that area. Flipping can cut your life span drastically.
  10. KaliGman

    KaliGman Professional Man at Arms

    Fllitz is a polish that works well on knives--it removes light rust. A fine grade steel wool with oil applied to it (I use Militech or whatever other gun lubricant I have on hand) and some gentle scrubbing will remove rust as well.

    As for the edges--don't grind them down. Just take some electrical tape and tape over the edges. You have to replace the tape every now and again, but it works well.
  11. 5tirosCamarin

    5tirosCamarin Katulong Guro

    I see that it's been a couple months since anybody's posted in this thread. I guess I'll have to revive it, for something a little off the topic of "function."

    I just picked up a Darrel Ralph designed knife, and I'm pleased with it except for one detail: the friggin tang screw on the "safe" handle (by that I mean the one I can hold without chopping my fingers off, the back of the blade side) tightens itself everytime I flip the knife. It's to the point now that it's almost locked in place. I can loosen the screw, but it'll just do it again. Is there a way to keep this from happening without locking the screw in place with super glue or something? That'd be a bad idea cuz I'd never get the thing apart to clean it or change the blade if I wanted... any ideas?
  12. Phil Mar Nadela

    Phil Mar Nadela New Member Supporting Member

    My Punong guro told me a story of one of his students saying that balisong is not practical and was challenge to a drawing of knives with a flip knife (spring loaded?).

    Unfortunately the student made a mistake of 'trying' to stab Guro. Guro's balisong was in his stomach before the student made contact, only 1 inch though. I guess his instincts kicked in. I think he was a believer after that incident.
  13. el maldito de cebu

    el maldito de cebu New Member

    Balisong is a traditional knife made in the southern part of luzon which is batangas region 4 next to bicol region 5. yes it is a weapon i have 1 before when i was young and confescated by my mother until it was left and was rusty when i discovered it for several years it is alredy useless the rust accumulated it intirely. now to explain every part of the balisong is a weapon so to speak in my dialect "mas ligon pa ang lawas sa saging kaysa tao" evry part of it can penetrate the human flesh depends on the use and mastery of the system but all actions had counter actions so the effectivity of the art depends between the offenser and the defender. it is also better to also study the fancy part of balisong because it is the higher level of the simple stage. two parts of it is better than 1
  14. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    When I was stationed in the Philippines, the balisong was one of my every day carry tools.. There would be times when I had to use it to cut rope, wire and crack the pressurized containers of medical supplies that we used when we went out of country with medcap missions.. The one balisong that I carried primarily was a vientenueve and fit in great right beside my billfold.. Readily accessible and ready when the situation dictated..

    When I was stationed in korea, it was also one of my favorite edc because of the way it could be deployed in a split second.. One time when I was walking in a dimly lit area with a group of people that I worked with, I saw some movement coming out of one of the alleys (there had been several muggings in the area) and before I knew it, the balisong was out and ready for use.. The people who were with me said all they saw was me going into my pocket and next thing the blade was deployed.. Interesting conversation after that little demo, as I had several of the guys wanting to have me teach them how to use the balisong in normal training atmosphere.

    The balisong is a good blade, don't knock it if you haven't tried it.. If you get the chance, get one of darrel ralph's balisong kits and put it together, nothing like carrying a knife that you put together yourself to make you appreciate the beauty of the balisong
  15. 5tirosCamarin

    5tirosCamarin Katulong Guro

    I wasn't knocking balisongs or Darell Ralph. I had just stumbled upon a problem area with the "sandwich style" handle design in general--that being if the handle screws get too tight they can pinch the blade so much it won't move. I loosened it up and now it's a delight to manipulate. I thought that I'd have the problem even after loosening, because the handle makes somewhat of a "wrench" motion as you flip it closed, but now that I've loosened it the screw doesn't catch and tighten itself.

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