Never bring a Kukri to a Gunfight”


“Fighting the enemy in battle is my duty as a soldier; taking on the dacoits in the train was my duty as a human being,”
-Bishnu Shrestha

The new Zombie Tools Vakra with its good pal, the AR-15.

The legendary heroics of Gurkha warriors lives on to this day. Last September 2nd, 40 train robbers found themselves outnumbered by a lone, retired Gurkha soldier. Yesterday (India’s Republic Day) he received further honor and accolades for his gallantry by the Indian government, bestowing upon him its Sourya Chakra, Bravery Award, and Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Medal.

Story, via BlackFive:

The band of about 40 robbers, some of whom were travelling as passengers, stopped the train in the Chittaranjan jungles in West Bengal around midnight. Shrestha– who had boarded the train at Ranchi in Jharkhand, the place of his posting–was in seat no. 47 in coach AC3.

“They started snatching jewelry, cell phones, cash, laptops and other belongings from the passengers,” Shrestha recalled. The soldier had somehow remained a silent spectator amidst the melee, but not for long. He had had enough when the robbers stripped an 18-year-old girl sitting next to him and tried to rape her right in front of her parents. He then took out his khukuri and took on the robbers.

“The girl cried for help, saying ´You are a soldier, please save a sister´,” Shrestha recalled. “I prevented her from being raped, thinking of her as my own sister,” he added. He took one of the robbers under control and then started to attack the others. He said the rest of the robbers fled after he killed three of them with his khukuri and injured eight others.

During the scuffle he received serious blade injury to his left hand while the girl also had a minor cut on her neck. “They had carried out their robbery with swords, blades and pistols. The pistols may have been fake as they didn´t open fire,” he surmised.

The train resumed its journey after some 20 minutes and a horde of media persons and police were present when it reached Chittaranja station. Police arrested the eight injured dacoits and recovered around 400,000 Indian rupees in cash, 40 gold necklaces, 200 cell phones, 40 laptops and other items that the fleeing robbers dropped in the train.

Police escorted Shrestha to the Railways Hospital after the rescued girl told them about his heroic deed. Mainstream Indian media carried the story. The parents of the girl, who was going for her MBBS studies, also announced a cash award of Indian rupees 300,000 for him but he has not met them since.

“Even the veins and arteries in my left hand were slit but the injury has now healed after two months of neurological treatment at the Command Hospital in Kolkata,” he said showing the scar. “Fighting the enemy in battle is my duty as a soldier; taking on the dacoits in the train was my duty as a human being,” said the Indian army nayak, who has been given two guards during his month-long holidays in Nepal.

“I am proud to be able to prove that a Gorkha soldier with a khukuri is really a handful. I would have been a meek spectator had I not carried that khukuri,” he said.

Read the whole article.

Bishnu Shrestha, a brave Gurkha soldier in Indian Army who defeated 40 train robbers while returning home after the voluntary retirement from the Indian army, is going to be awarded with Sourya Chakra, Bravery Award and Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha medals during the Indian Republic Day celebration on January 26

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These are the guys who guarded the US Embassy in Iraq in 2006-07.

Hoo whee! A man Jim Bowie would be proud of…

I believe the Gurkhas also proved themselves in Korea. These men were taught by the British Army of old and have carried on the great tradition given them by their forebears. The heroism is legendary and, I think, once a Gurkha always a Gurkha. Kinda like once a Marine always a Marine. Semper Fi.

Gurkhas are one group you want on your side in a fight. Tough SOBs.

Wrote about this yesterday on Wizbang:

Score: Lone Ghurka 11, Forty dacoits* 0

“Don’t [frak] with guys who carry short swords for fun.”

These guys are fantastic. During WWII I was in a Japanese women’s camp in Ned.Indie. [Indonesia]. When Japan capitulated, the Gurkhas entered our camp to rescue us. They did not take any prisoners but hung them all in a big field in the center of the camp. I remember we all danced under the poles where they were hanging. I was all of 8 years old. My mother and I had been in the camp for 4 years.They are my all time heros. Jeanne.

Two things, the Nepalis use Kukris all the time and from the time they a little. It is the universal tool for the country folk. They chop, slice, hammer, scrape and everthing else with them. As a result they don’t think about using them, they just intend to cut and it is done. They cut so damn quikly and precisely that it is unreal. The never get in a knife fight with a chef rule.
The other thing is if you have a pistol and someone comes at you with a knife and they get within 6 yards of you they are pretty likely to cut you. There have been a number of instances where a knife weilder was shot but the closed and killed the guy with the pistol. A number of police departments now advocate a shot to the pelvic girdle on someone with a “contact” weapon. It is more likely to put them on the ground than a center of mass shot.

I find that the HEROS are all so humble and yet still so powerfull
when facing their ennemies,IT’s admirable to see, one stand out in a crowd where trouble start,to appease and protect all, that’s a one man show


7 yards / 21 feet is the magic number. Do not allow an opponent to close within that range if you are using a pistol as that constitutes danger close. If you must engage within that range keep shooting until they fall down.

If you have a knife and the opponent has a pistol, don’t show the knife until you have stuck it in.

Go forth with love in your heart and a knife in your pocket!

Wordsmith, the term Leatherneck comes from a leather collar worn by sea going Marines, when men were iron and ships were wooden: it was to protect the old Marines from saber cuts to the jugular, at least that is what they told us on Parris Island, a long time ago, during boot camp.

It is easy to see why Ghurkas have such a strong reputation in the military community.
Lots of cheers for this guy.

I am Proud to Say that ” I AM GORKHALI “.

That was good Word. People always act as if I am foolish for carrying my bokken and a wide variety of bladed instruments instead of a pistol in the car. This video will allay some of their worries. My latest acquisition is a hand made short handled broad ax from Sweden with a nine inch blade and a twenty-four inch handle. I practice with this weapon by de-limbing palm trees. Once you see that blade cut through thick date and Washingtonian branches you realize it will slice through human limbs like a hot knife through butter. It is an awesome weapon. and completely legal sitting on the passenger seat next to my bokken

Word: Thank you for the points to ponder. Years ago before the cell phone was practical and reliable, I would be working in unfamiliar big cities and need to check in with my office and home in the evening. Thus I had to look for pay phone booths. It wasn’t as easy as you might think.

Some of these phones were on darkened streets in neighborhoods that were past their prime. Occasionally in the middle of a conversation, I’d see a group of teenage boys walking toward the booth. I’d end the conversation and walk to my vehicle and leave. The wife, bookkeeper, and others would be frustrated and say that no one would bother me because of my imposing stature. I assured them that a group of savage boys has the advantage and that I must always trust my instincts.

It is situational awareness, it is best to avoid a confrontation by being aware of potential danger, but when confrontation is inevitable, it is imperative to respond with an appropriate method.

Being aware and prepared also means having confidence in your demeanor. This attitude works against the cunning predator mind of the street punk: in his primitive mind, there are easier fish in the pond. This even helps with animals like a Grizzly, Mountain Lion, or a dangerous horse; an air of self-confidence will serve you well, but a starving or provoked animal and a desperate human riddled with fear will toss caution to the wind.

Thanks for the thoughts, I believe being prepared and aware is partially why I have enjoyed a full life.


Actually sir, the legend about the war like Moro’s of Mindanao (Southern Philippines) is true.

The Moro was in fact the reason why the U.S. military had to adopt the .45 caliber and replace the .38 caliber which was standard issue at that time, as the .38 caliber was not able to stop a determined Juramentado in his tracks, and the Juramentado was able to kill a number of soldiers (Spanish and American) before eventually succumbing to multiple gunshot wounds, hence the U.S. military had to come up with the .45 caliber to address this problem.

Just to clarify, the “Leather Neck” legend still needs further proof and I am doubtful about its authenticity; but the .45 caliber and its connection with the Moro is for real, a fact.

There are several books written about them, for example… the book “Swish of a Kris” by Vic Hurley mentions of these Moro Juramentado attacks during his time in the Philippines, If I remember right, Vic is an American who lived in the Philippines during the American occupation (colonization) of the Philippines.

At one part of the book, Vic tells of a Moro Juramentado attack that left 15 Spaniards dead, with bodies getting cut in half.

Another book would be… “MoroLand: The History of Uncle Sam and the Moros 1899-1920”, which was written by Robert A. Fulton.

Actually the Moros have been written in several historical records. The Moros of Mindanao have a well earned reputation as seafaring raiders (pirates) and adept naval tacticians in history, they have the reputation of being the feared pirates of the Malay world; there are several books that mentions about this, the book… “The Pirates own book- authentic narratives of the sea robbers” by Charles Ellms, published in 1837, in a part of the book, it talks of how the battle of Quallah Batoo took place, where the U.S. had to battle the Malay pirates of Sulu and the Illanuns with regards to the trade route in the region (these two are Moros, Sulu is a place in Southern Philippines in Mindanao and the Illanuns or Iranuns is one of the tribe that composes the Moro ethnic group).

Another book that mentions of the Moro’s fierce reputation as seafaring raiders is the book… “Pirate Wind: The tales of the sea robbers of Malaya” by Owen Rutter, this book also talks of the Iranuns, which is a tribe which belongs to the Moro ethnic group.

Moro is an ethnic group composed of several tribes, like the Iranuns, Tausugs of Sulu, Samal, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, etc.

A Juramentado is quite different from an Amok, an Amok will try to kill anybody in his way (friend or foe) during his fit of rage.

The Juramentado on the other hand is different… he will only kill his enemies, he does this systematically with the pure intent to kill as many enemy as he can during an attack, he undergoes certain rituals (gets blessing from an Imam, shaving of hair, ritual binding, etc.), he also chooses a strategic location where he can make his attack to inflict as much casualty and make use of surprise; also a Juramentado is adept with the blade (Moro Kris or Moro Barung).

The word Juramentado comes from the Spanish word “Juramentar” which means- one who takes an oath.

The Juramentado has taken an oath to kill as many infidels or enemies that he can, knowing that he himself will die during his attack.

If the Khukuri is the symbol of the Gurkha’s, then the Barung is the symbol of the Tausug of Sulu and the Sulu sultanate, the Tausugs are said to be the bravest among all the Moro tribes.

Like the Gurkhas, the Moro are also still in the battlefield up to this day… in the form of the separatist groups Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front and the terrorist group Abu Sayaff.

In my opinion, the Moro same as the Gurkha are a warlike people.

On another note, two of my favorite blades out there are the Gurkha Khukuri and Moro Barung, both having been battle tested and symbols of these war like peoples.


Yes sir, I was able to read your comment #11 and I do agree with everything you said, I also find a lack of written documentation about the “Leather Neck” urban legend to corroborate it, but I also agree that… it would not be a surprise if some of the Marines stationed in the Philippines at that time individually added the leatherneck to their gear as some kind of precaution, as the locals in the Philippines at that time used bladed weapons frequently, actually even to this day they still do, working tools… short swords/machetes and knives also doubled as weapons.

I also agree with what you just said about some people underestimating the blade (knife, short swords, machetes, etc.) just because they have this false sense of security with the gun.

I think people should understand that it takes a couple of seconds to

1. recognize a threat
2. draw your gun from its holster
3. aim the gun
4. shoot it

Unfortunately… this precious seconds is only what’s needed by an attacker wielding a sharp object or knife to close the gap on you and eventually cut you or seriously hurt you; people should also keep in mind that an attacker would also conceal his intentions until the last minute, when its already too late for the victim to respond properly.

Here is an example of a failed assassination attempt on the former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, the attacker was wielding a Bolo or Itak (a local short sword in the Philippines, which is also used as a utility tool).

Youtube Link:


Yes I understand what you’re saying, that there seems to be a lost/incomplete history regarding the evolution of boxing after the U.S. Marines exposure to the Filipino method.

Before their exposure to the Filipino methods, boxers were using the Gentleman Jim stance, but after the U.S. Marines were stationed in the Philippines and exposed to the Filipino methods and fought the Filipino fighters (who were usually knife fighters) everything changed, and the stance and movement used by boxers eventually changed into what we see now in modern boxing.

So, you have Krises? Nice!

Actually, I too enjoy learning about history and Martial Arts.

With that said… I hope that someday I’d be able to acquire an authentic Moro Barung and a Gurkha Khukuri myself, sort of an aspiring, budding ethnographic arms and armor collector here, but that will have to wait until I have the needed money, which to tell you frankly… I don’t have right now. Hahaha!

I’ve admired the Gukhas since I first read of them as a child. Because of growing up in a household where pre-Meiji values were upheld and my parents took me to every new Samurai film when I was little, I have a real interest in fine blades. I believe the Kukri to be one of the finest close-quarter designs ever. Not only have the Gurkhas been feared in every major war during close combat, but if you study the best known of historic swordsmen and Warriors, they all tended to be larger and stronger than the average (e.g. Timurlane and Musashi). The average height of a Gurkha is 5’2″. All these reasons are why I’ve been testing the Kukri and training up with one. Since I won’t use mine like a typical Nepalese as a do-everything tool, I rehoned my blades to a narrower angle which takes a nice hone, yet still strong. I have taught def/tac firearms for over 20 years, but there are often times I’d rather have my Kukri with me. Going through a large roast takes little force and I’ve bisected a steer femur which was harder than a fresh bone because it was dessicated:


Thank you so much for your warm welcome. I haven’t had a chance to look at the other articles yet but I will 🙂
Re: Bishnu Shrestha who fought 40 armed bandits on the train. I saw something which a lot of people might miss in the articles I read. Here these days I read on many good credible armed/unarmed defense groups (often authored by LEOs) more than half the posts by people who consider themselves to be sheepdogs say if they saw someone it trouble, they’d avoid it and try calling 911. I understand it has to do with our laws and the torte system, but it’s almost as if a Kitty Genovese philosophy is something to be proud of (often recommended by the LEOs writing the articles). I know the laws are different there, but this retired Gurkha was going to give up his things and let things go until the young woman who was about to be raped pleaded with him. In today’s society where the first thing the average person thinks of doing is grabbing his or her cellphone to take a movie, I wish that more trained warriors/ronins/spartans would try to help using the courage they are proud of to make a decision despite problems with the law.
Re: Moros and .45ACP. Moros also were known to use decorative ties on their extremities as TQs just before closing with the enemy. Ammunition has come a long way since that time and the use of .45ACP FMJ. A lot of not-talked-about research has been done during our WOT to improve the 9×19. Calm, multiple shot placement at speed is all important. If you didn’t catch my link to some of the history of the Kukri’s use in history is here
Re: Shooting at the hip girdle is still controversial even in the most credible circles. The place to hit it and drop an attacker is not the whole pelvis and is still a small target. You have to count on about 10 seconds of continued action except for CNS hits. (not simply head hits either).
Re: Choice of weapons. They are just tools. Training under realistic situations is paramount. For me, small knives – even my Mk II aren’t enough except as last resort. It’s an ugly thing which takes multiple cuts and thrusts even if you know every last artery. Yes, I often carry one of two Benchmade folders all the time as well.
I would still rather have access to any firearm, but that’s why I have sent 100s of thousands of rounds downrange in training (no plinking in over 20 years). That means whether .22lr or .380ACP on up. Even 12Ga 00buck or Foster slugs don’t always work immediately.
🙂 I have done the Tuller drills where you’re facing away from the attacker.

Great thread and I’m happy you enjoyed my input!

I praise such braves to be so confident as to take on which outnumbers them,
and succeed to win the battle,
this is outstanding, and you mentioned the origin of the GURKHA which have been taken by CHINA,
you must have been forbiden to fight them by the DALAI LAMA HIMSELF FOR SEEKING PEACEFUL RETURN IN THIBET

Nepalese hill people – I’ve got a good link I’ll find and post from a BBC documentary

one part of the history of the Nepalese I love is how England couldn’t conquer them, so they were smart enough to hire them as mercenaries! Short and all!

I hope that England will someday allow retired Gurkha to become citizens. I also wish we could hire them and send them in to some of the MOUT/WOT we’ve got going.
Got a very flattering complement on a Gurkha on my Kukri handling when he happened across one of my video clips – whoot!

@Colin McCauley: sorry to say but you are totally ignorant of the warrior history of india. As such you presume that every good deed is an.issue.of the colonial.era.of the British. The gorkhas have always been fighters from times immemorial. British didnt teach them to fight with kukris. But they were witness to many cowardice backstabbing, unwarrior like acts of the the british in war in india.