01
Dec
07

An Introduction to Traditional Klingon Melee Weapons.

Some of you may have figured out that I am a big Sci-fi and movie buff. So it should come as not surprise that I am also a Star Trek fan. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a Trekkie, but I certainly am a big fan of the various series spin offs and the movies that resulted.

As both a weapons nut and a star trek aficionado, I noticed that one of the characteristic aspects of the Star Trek series was the fact that, no matter which race you ran into, they all seemed to have some sort of laser/phaser/disruptor or other, similar futuristic energy based ray gun technology, that appeared to be the weapon of choice. However there was one quite notable exception to this rule. The Klingons.

The Klingons are a race after my own heart. Why? Because while all of the other civilizations left their “barbaric” knifeworks behind, the Klingons stuck proudly and stubbornly to their traditions in the bladed arts. In fact, much of the Klingon code of honor is based on the legends and history of their greatest historic warriors and the bladed weapons they wielded. Most note worthy is the story of Kahless, and of the genesis of bat’leth.

“Kahless the unforgettable” was a legendary hero of Klingon lore, having been the one to finally unify the Klingon empire, and become it’s first Emperor. His legends were the very history of the Klingon Empire. But more importantly to a bladed weapon fanatic like me, is how he is credited with creating the most iconic weapon of Klingon history. The Bat’leth.

There are actually two stories I know of, that supposedly describes how the Klingon Bat’leth got it’s shape. The first story is that it was shaped after the horned skull of a great sea animal, that Kahless had battled with and slain. Yet another legend claims he forged it in the Kri’stak Volcano, from a lock of his own hair, and quenched it in the Lake of Lusor.

But none of that really matters. What is important is that knife designer Gil Hibben, who designed many of the knives for the contemporary star trek series, is a bona fide genius. And this sword is testament to his blade wrangling mastery. Below, I present to you, in all of it’s Klingon glory, the Sword of Kahless:

The Sword of Kahless
[view full size]

Isn’t it a beaut? This is just an awesome weapon design. Mr. Hibben somehow managed to combine almost all of the elements I like about blades into a single weapon. Organic curves, sweeping blades, and lots of points. And what I found most interesting is that they opted for a dark, damascus steel type finish on the sword, as opposed to a shiny polished finish. Most definitely my kind of weapon. It’s like he was inside my head.

Here’s a closeup:

The Sword of Kahless
[view full size]

And a sweet computer rendering of the weapon:

The Sword of Kahless
[view full size]

Absolutely magnificent. Of course, the Klingons had other cool bladed weapons, but seeing as how this post has gotten really long, I’m going to cut it short here, and show you a few of my other Klingon favorites in future posts. I just had to get this one out there… 🙂

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4 Responses to “An Introduction to Traditional Klingon Melee Weapons.”


  1. December 12, 2007 at 1:01 am

    Ever swung a Bet’lah??? I have and they are really cool weapons. I’ve played around with a couple and if you were in a REAL battle with REAL weapons…this would be AWSOME!!! It’s just a wonderful design, feels really good in your hands. Works great for in close work and also swiings well for distance strikes.
    I’m always amazed at the Kilngon weapons Bet’lah and Dak’tah, they are just so different than anything we have in ‘real life’ but would work perfect for their purpose.
    O.k. I’m a geek. Me and a buddy studied Klingon for a while. Shhhhhh don’t tell anyone and blow my cool.

  2. December 12, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    HAH!, you learned Klingon?! LOL Alright I’ll stop laughing here… In a sec… ROFL… OK.

    Actually, I have both this and a regular Bet’leH. The standard one is cool and all, but I really, really, like the Sword of Kahless. You are so right about the feel. It feels beautiful. And the shape is really very practical. At least for close quarters/melee combat. You have both close in and long range blades built into a single weapon. The idea is brilliant.

    And I still have a couple of other Klingon weapon posts up my sleeve… 🙂

  3. December 26, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    These pictures were most useful for building my own, thanks.

  4. July 1, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    If you want to grow your familiarity simply keep visiting this site and be updated with the latest
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