Katar or Katara

The Punch Dagger or Push Dagger from India

Here is one of my favorites and something I eventually want to add to my own garb – the katar.  This is a traditional weapon from India that I first encountered when watching Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom when I was a kid.  I remember looking at this dagger that fit neatly into the Thuggee’s hands.  I was sold. What a good idea!  A dagger that you hold and use as if it was an extension of your fist.

History
Though they are seen further back they were very popular in Indian history in the 16th and 17th century.  The first version had the basic katar design but they had a shell covering for the back of the hand.  Later version lost this design and the typical katar design of a wide blade attached to a cross guard with two brackets holding a cross handle was established.  It is also suspected that the katar was originally designed by using broken sword blades.  The broken blades could not be used for much else and they were transformed into a punch dagger.

Techniques
The beauty of the punch dagger is that you have a weapon that can be utilized like an extension of your arm.  Everyone says let the blade become a part of your arm, in the case of the katar that is very true.  It is a weapon that requires very little training to use and can more easily penetrate armor due to the fact that you can put all of your force behind the blow with the katar.  Basic fighting skills like boxing broaden the use of the katar.  Blows to the head and torso are much more effective with the pointed tip of the katar behind them.

Certainly the edges of the katar were sharp enough to make this is a slashing weapon, and the sides of the guard could be used to block edged weapons but this is a straight forward offensive weapon designed for swift, devastating attacks.  Some warriors and guards even carried two of these weapons so that they could attack with two fist weapons at the same time. Again, the idea of a pugilist using two katara spark the imagination.

Here has been my thoughts on the katar and garb.  As a pirate this would look great hanging off my sword belt or baldric.  If you are portraying any fantasy character, this gives you a different style of weapon to wear.  And if you are a fan of a certain popular assassin game (Assassin Creed 1 or 2) then this would certainly work with that style of garb.  But really, a katar with any type of garb can work. Plus they can be ornate and richly designed or just ordinary weapons.