24
Jan
08

More Kooky Khukuris…

In the comments of the post before last, I was asked by a friend what kind of sword I would pick for personal defense/offense were the world to be suddenly plunged into a post apocalyptic state where firearms no longer worked. My answer?: A Japanese Katana.

However it was a rather incomplete answer. In reality, I would not be limited to 1 weapon, and even if we retained the artificial “no firearms” limitation there would still be quite a number of considerations that would go into how many weapons I would carry and which ones. It is a topic I think worthy of a dedicated post.

However today, I thought I’d talk about one of the specific kinds of knives I might carry around with me for utility and defense purposes. Namely, a Gurkha Khukuri (aka Kukri) . Or a variation thereof:

Alice’s Khukuri

Alice's Kukri
[view full size]

Now the observant movie going folk among you might be asking: “Isn’t that emblem on the blade from “The Umbrella Coporation”?” Indeed it is. And the reason is because this particular Khukuri is a replica of the pair of Khukuri used by Milla Jovovichs character “Alice” from the “Resident Evil: Extinction” movie. In the movie, she worked those Khukuri like there was no tomorrow. I suppose it would be accurate to say she was trying to ensure that there actually was a tomorrow, and being suitably motivated to do so, well, I’m sure you get the picture… 🙂

Interestingly, the Khukuri has made an appearance in other post apocalyptic movies, such as “Cyborg” (one of Jean Claude Van Damme’s characters favorite weapons) and “Waterworld” (Kevin Costners “Mariner” used one to rather terminal effect). Now while the movies are a great (but sometimes unrealistic) showcase for the Khukuris flexibility, there are actually a lot of good real world reasons why a Khukuri would be a great blade to have as part of your arsenal in a post apocalyptic world.

The Khukuri is actually a very flexible and capable weapon design. It is a large knife with a stout spine, that carries all of it’s weight at the top half of a forward canted blade, making it an excellent chopping tool. But the unusually angled top half of the blade still retains a strong, sweeping cutting edge, so it is also a great cutting weapon, though not in the same way that a Katana is. And while thrusting isn’t really it’s forte, it does have enough point to be used for stabbing action. Although some of the more contemporary designs marginalize that particular weakness:

Kukrage (Paul Ehlers)

Paul Ehlers
[view full size]

Notice the sharp point, the knuckle guard, the saw back spine? Most of these features you’d find on your average survival knife. But here they are in Khukuri form. And its all black! Ha! Now this is a Khukuri I’d love to have, come the apocalypse!!

Yet an additional advantage of the Khukuri is it’s packaging. It is actually a fairly compact design, for what it can do. It is shorter and than a machete, but because of it’s stout, top heavy design, can be used like one. And it’s rugged build would make it suitable for the many tasks that you would not want to abuse a Katana blade with. A large bowie knife might also have fit this bill, but, no offense to the bowie purists among you, a Khukuri just feels balanced better to me, and looks a whole lot cooler… 😛

So while it might not be my primary combat blade, it would certainly be a great utility blade. With offensive capabilities. A good all around, general purpose blade. I’d never leave home without it… 😉

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6 Responses to “More Kooky Khukuris…”


  1. 1 Umes
    January 24, 2008 at 1:15 am

    It’s spoken as KHUKHURI – not as Kukri.

  2. January 24, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Thanks for the correction Umes. It is sometimes difficult to decide how to spell the names of foreign weapons in English, as phonemes rarely have direct 1-to-1 translations. In this case, I know of at least 6 different (but widely accepted) English spellings of Khukuri, all of which appear to be phonetically accurate translations of it’s Devanāgarī equivalent. I just picked the simplest, as it seemed like it would be the easiest for most people to find.

    However, as a compromise, I have changed them all to a common spelling that is closer to what you describe.

    Thanks for visiting!

  3. 3 Darkhold
    July 12, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    I am a big fan of the kukri, and I totally agree with your assessment as to its utility.
    I very recently took a trip to the Royal Ontario Museum, and “Kukri (Gurkha Dagger)” was the English term they used on the nameplate (and kukri also stayed true in French). The one I got a good pic of was listed as being from 19th century Nepal but all the different designs they had varied from utility to the ceremonial with lots of examples of much earlier Indian ones.
    And to be honest, I’m not 100% on this as I will need to go find the book I have, but the “order” that carried kukris was called the kukrim, pronounced “kook-rim”. Umes seems to be sure, so I’m now rather inspired to go look into to the subject a bit deeper.
    Personally, I own the Ka-Bar kukri and I love it. Most importantly, it comes in black:

    https://www.kabar.com/product_detail.jsp?productNumber=1249&mode=search&categoryId=1,2,3,7&categoryName=Product%20Search%20Results

    incidently, that was my first post, and i think i followed the rules… 😀
    love the site!

  4. 4 Darkhold
    July 13, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    as a slight addition to my last post, i’m refering to a group other than the Gurkha of course.. Something originating from India… i really need to find that book!

  5. July 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    I am also a big fan of Khukuri design. It’s a design that works very well on many levels, and I have seen so many great adaptations of it that I am convinced it’s one of the best historical general purpose weapon designs out there. Even it’s shortcomings can be mitigated with a just little tweaking of the design, but overall it just works.

    I was intrigued by your comment about a specific “order” that carried Khukuris, to my knowledge i was unaware that they were any specific groups that carried them. From what i understand, they were used in much the same way as machetes were used where I grew up, (except for slightly lighter duty) as general purpose work blades. Except they were much more flexible in the way they could be used. I wish I had one when i was growing up…

    But if you do come across that book, I’d love to hear more about it… If you can remember the name of the book that would be cool too, so can try and get my hands on a copy…

    Thanks!

  6. 6 Saroj Karki
    August 29, 2012 at 7:31 am

    ….thanx for posting this article….although i am aware of most utilities of khukhuri, you still gave a clear idea to me..i am born in Nepal and have grown up using khukhuri, for purposes of slaughtering goat all the way to big buffaloes, we use khukhuris, even we chop down the tree with it….well khukhuri is good and is best for every purpose…and thanx again….


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