The Kukri (also khukri) is a devastatingly effective cleaving sword. It is most famous for its use by the Gurkha warriors from Nepal who fought alongside the British in many wars, including WWII. However, its design derives from weapons carried by foot soldiers in ancient Greece. There are stories of Gurkha warriors sprinting down Japanese battle lines and trenches in WWII, decapitating enemies along the way. The kukri is pretty much the only weapon of its size that can lop off heads so efficiently, in a single swing.

A kukri is typically about 18" long, with a 12" blade. The blade is bent (or curved) severely forward very shortly after the haft ends, making the weapon look almost like a boomerang. It is a beautiful weapon, smoothly sweeping foward toward the heavy, almost bulbous blade. The entire cutting edge is sharpened, and the trailing edge is thick and blunt, for weight. It typically has no hilt.

The standard attack is an upward, diagonal sweep, aimed at the throat of an opponent. With the curved-forward blade, the blow lands at the most powerful point of the swing, greatly increasing the kukri's force over straight or backward-curving blades. The kukri is never thrown, despite its similar appearance to a boomerang.

Gurkha warriors have the greatest respect for their kukri. It is said* that once they unsheathe the blade, they must draw blood with it, either an enemy's or their own.

Oh, yeah. Anthony Hopkins wields one to behead some vampires towards the end of Bram Stoker's Dracula

* Veen says: Just a heads up on a bit of info, the gurkhas use their kukris almost more as tools than weapons. Though a fearsome weapon, drawing blood before sheathing it is just a legend they let float to keep their fearsome image. If they drew blood before sheathing, they wouldn't live past the age of 7.

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