Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Kampilan

The longest sword native to our country, the Kampilan. Typically 85-100 centimeters long (I suck at numbers so don't ask me to convert to inches), this baby can slice a man in half with a good swing. Maguindanao and Maranao Warriors prefer this weapon, which is a good choice since it is powerful and decisive.

The blacksmiths of the Philippine's past are simple, yet effective in their jobs. The design of the Kampilan is very different among knives and swords common locally. It is a single-edged blade. From the hilt it is thick and narrow, going to the tip it thins down but widens. The sweet spot of the blade, is on its 3/4 part from the hilt. Put anything in its path on a swing, its as good as destroyed. The inertia of the swing, the thick edge of the sword and the extra weight on the widening blade creates a very powerful and fearful strike. You don't want to be in the sharp end of the blade once the Kampilan attack gets deployed.

The long and ornate hilt counterbalances the long blade, which is good. Like twirling a rattan stick, its easier to twirl a stick held near the middle, than one held near the base. The ornate hilt at times make it difficult to handle the sword, so a certain level of expertise is required when using this on battles.

Datu Lapu-lapu is thought to have used this sword in his battles as depicted in his many statues and paintings. Cool.