If you’re a “knife guy or girl“, then I’m sure you’ve heard of the famous “Kukri“, right?
Actually large enough to be classified as a “machete“, the Kukri has become one of the most popular blades on the market recently.
And it’s understandable, “why”…
For more than 500 years, the fearsome Gurkha warriors of Nepal have fought for multiple military units around the world.
In fact, when the mighty British Empire invaded Nepal in 1815, they were easily beaten back by the Gurkhas.
And the Gurkha’s primary weapon?
Yup… the Kukri machete!
But Is The Kurki Machete REALLY The Best Design For Fighting?
One of the reasons the Kukri is so popular is that people think the Kukri’s angled blade has certain design advantages.
Unfortunately (in my humble opinion – after hardcore “pressure testing”), a lot of these features actually work AGAINST you in combat.
Let me tell you why…
1. The Kurki Machete Is Good For Chopping… But Terrible For Stabbing.
The Kukri’s blade, by design, is angled DOWN.
This puts the weight of the blade forward, making the Kukri a good “chopper” by focusing the energy of a downward blow into a more vertical direction.
Again, this works well if you’re hacking a log or branches below waist level (where the vertical movement is best harnessed)…
… but in a real-life fight, the enemy is moving and your primary targets are above the waist.
Also, angled attacks are the easiest to deflect, which is why one of the most effective tactics is a “thrust” attack.
This is one of the most effective techniques with a large blade, and a real “fight-ender“.
With the Kukri’s knife tip and blade angled downward, stabbing is much more difficult because it doesn’t support a natural thrusting movement.
2. The Kukri Machete Is Easily “Snagged” In Edged Weapon Combat.
That severe downward curve of the Kukri has another disadvantage beyond stabbing…
…it snags… badly!
The angled blade means an un-natural “hooking” of whatever it strikes, as it transfers the power of the blow into the target.
That means that the blade can easily become lodged in bone if you chop at an attacker with it.
Now, having a big knife lodged in the bone of an arm or leg is going to ruin ANY “bad guy’s day.
But it also means you’ve gotta un-stick the blade to use it again… and that’s tough to do with the angle of the blade.
A better choice is a blade less likely to hang up in the target, or to snag on things around it.
A straighter blade shape is much better for close combat conditions like that.
3. The Kukri Machete Can’t Be Thrown Easily.
Now, I realize that throwing ANY blade is pretty controversial in a fighting scenario.
I mean, why would you ever “throw away” your primary weapon, right?
Well, I don’t (fully) disagree.
But the fact is, there ARE times where throwing a knife (or yes, even a machete!) can give you a distance advantage that your attacker doesn’t have – either as a distraction for a follow-up attack, or as a true “tactical move”.
The Kukri is extremely awkward for throwing due to its angled design, and it’s very likely you’ll hit your target with the back of the blade where it bends downward.
That’s just physics.
Straighter blade profiles are far more easily thrown.
(More on that in a minute…)
4. Blade-To-Blade, The Kukri Machete Has No “Flow”.
One of the most important things about fighting with a blade is that it must “flow.”
You’ve got to be able to keep it moving, striking THROUGH your enemy and, if necessary, through and past his own blade.
Striking blade-to-blade with the Kukri SUCKS because the angled blade shape naturally catches on your attacker’s weapon.
We found this out the hard way when developing our “Combat Machete” fighting system.
Testing out multiple types of machetes, the Kukri performed the WORST when it came to blade-to-blade fighting, and we found that, upon contact with another blade, disrupts your body’s natural balance upon contact (at best)… and can even actually direct your attacker’s blade into you (at worst)!
When you look at these design flaws, you can see why the Gurkhas had to train so extensively to take advantage of the features, while avoiding the blade’s challenges.
Chances are, you’re not training thousands of hours in a Gurkha regiment, right?
That’s why we chose the “Bolo” blade when designing our Guardian “urban survival” machete…
The Bolo Machete: The Best Survival Machete For Fighting… EVER!
Not as well-known as the Kukri, the Bolo design out-performs it on all of these points…
First, because of its symmetrical “sword-like” shape, you can thrust easily with the bolo.
Second, the bolo machete won’t get snagged, even thought its blade shape and forward-weighted design still makes it an excellent chopper.
Third, the bolo machete is can be thrown very easily if the situation calls for it.
(Note: You can see a video of me throwing a “bolo” machete from about 40′ away here.)
Finally, the bolo flows in combat just like a sword… because that’s basically what it is!
Its symmetrical design and straight spine keep it passing through your target with a flow that makes follow-up attacks a natural extension of your body’s movement – giving you more options for angles AND setting you up to better defeat multiple attackers with your machete.
I think you’ll agree that the Bolo is one hell of a combat blade, right?
In fact, it just might be the best choice for survival and for edged weapon fighting… no matter what kind of emergency you face.