The machete is a large cleaver – a single edged cutting tool widely used in agricultural and tropical environments. Essentially it is a short sword balanced somewhat towards the tip.
Versions of it and related blade types can be found all across the globe, in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean islands, Latin America and Europe. Blade lengths may vary, from short blades of 32 cm to longer ones 60 cm long.
Over time the machete has been adopted as a weapon and many versions of it exist for the sole purpose of combat. Filipino Bolo is one example of such utilization.
As a fighting weapon it can be used both for slashing and hacking as well as stabbing. Its relatively small size allows for great speed while the wide blade end gives extra cutting power.
Being an unbalanced weapon for that reason namely, one can’t fence with it but rather must rely on fast footwork and evasive body movement as the first line of defense, while parrying and blocking remains a less preferred mode of use (but still has its place). A machete can be fought with in long range as well as in close quarters when the second hand comes into play for controlling the opponent.
In ACT we have developed our fighting method with this weapon by combining concepts from saber fighting, usage of the Bolo in Eskrima and boxing evasive body work.
The machete CAN be found in today’s conflict situations as it is still used and carried in lots of regions. Knowing it and training with it gives the person knowledge of how to defend against or with tools of similar attributes: a tactical baton, a tire iron and in general any metal tube or a wooden club.