Between myth & reality
Balisong history is fuzzy.
First, balisong is presented as a Filipino knife in most of the
book on the subject. Balisong belongs to the practise of Filipino
Martial Arts (FMA). That's true that the word & the culture
of balisong has origins in Batangas, Philippines islands. Many legends
exist about the fabulous use of balisong by Filipino warriors. One
of them would have killed 29 opponents with his balisong (this legend
is sometimes told to justify the balisong nickname "veintinueve").
But it is not sure that the concept of the balisong (a blade and
two mobile half-handles) comes from the Philipines.
The oldest "balisong concept" knife I know is the Pied-Du-Roy,
which has been dated before 1791. This knife is French, and can
be seen in the Musée de la Coutellerie, in Thiers (centre
of France -- with Laguiole, the most famous French "city of
Collectors such as Chuck Gollnick managed to find "balisong
concept" knives from European countries and estimated as made
during the XIXth century.
In the Philippines, I have not heard of so old balisong. I may be
I hope that balisong lovers will manage to find older roots to understand
the path of the "balisong concept" idea, from it's birth