The Golok of Indonesia is a large, stout knife, comparable in use to the Parang of Malaysia and the Bolo of the Philippines. While Google and Youtube will translate golok as “machete,” it’s really a different tool than what we in the west would think of when we use that term.
I first met Penchak Silat instructor Suryadi “Eddie” Jafri in June of 1978. He had come to watch a Philippine Independence Day festival in lower Manhattan because he had heard good things about Filipino martial arts and wanted to see if some would be demonstrated at the event.
“Smell the blade.” said my Indonesian Penchak Silat instructor, Suryadi “Crazy Eddie” Jafri.
“Why?” I replied, not understanding what this had to do with the question I had asked him.
“Billy, just smell the blade.”
Eddie had given me a small Indonesian knife, with a pistol grip and a 3 inch, leaf shaped blade of black damascus steel. It had a strange, elongated hole that looked to be deliberately forged into the center of the blade. The whole thing was small enough to fit into the palm of my hand.