There are probably hundreds of different types of knife as different knives have now been designed for special tasks. Perhaps one that many people would like though is the Balisong Knife, also sometimes known as the Butterfly Knife. Whata balisong knife is is a knife with a 4.25 inch blade and a handle that divides in two to allow the blade to fit safely inside when not in use. Although many pocket knives also do fold into their handles, it is only the Balisong knife which has a handle that divides to let the blade in. Because there are two halves though, it means that the blade can easily and quickly be withdrawn or inserted into the handle but more than that, it also means that it can enter or leave the handle in an assortment of different ways.
If the blade is taken out and put back in differently on many occasions, it can be a source of entertainment as people look on in almost disbelief. However, due to too many people receiving serious cuts whilst practicing the opening and closing of the blade, in 1956, the United States made these knives illegal and many other countries followed their lead. This means that even today, in many States and many countries, the Balisong Knife is illegal but people can however, still practice. Why these people can practice is because now there are training Balisongknives which are not fitted with sharp blades and so no one can injure themselves. Even where Balisong knives are legal, many people will first buy a training knife in order to practice and only when they have become proficient buy a real one. Balisong knives have long been associated with the Philippines and it was probably named after the region of the Philippines where they were made, Balisung.
Although there is no doubt by anyone that it is probably due to the Philippines introducing its use with their national martial art Kali which made them as popular as they are, the thought that they originally made there has come into doubt. It is now suggested that the knives were in fact invented in Europe and then only after Jose Rizal visited Spain did they arrive in the Philippines. There suggestion is based on the fact that a knife very similar to the Balisong had a patent requested in Britain in 1880. These people also point to the fact that “Pied Du-Roy”, a knife which is displayed in France’s Musee de la Coutellarie, is very similar to the Balisong knife and that is dated to somewhere in the early 17th century. Regardless though of where ever it originated, the Balisong knife remains popular and would be far more popular if it wasn’t for it being illegal in so many countries. Perhaps now that training knives are available, the laws in at least some countries may be revised, as specially as the training knives can be bought for as little as $10 whilst a real one usually costs around $200.