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Jiri Model – a khukuri with enhanced defensive capabilities

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Howard Wallace, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999

    Several months back I sent a drawing off to HI in Nepal via Yangdu. The recent Jiri model had a number of the design elements from the drawing I sent, but also some significant differences.

    A little bit of background. Kami Sherpa has explained how the Gurkha warrior uses a few basic cuts and chops, and also is willing to "trade up." Trade up means trade a finger for an arm, or an arm for a head. This attitude is part of why the Gurkhas are so respected as warriors. It also may be part of the reason why modern military khukuris lack any type of guard. Another reason is that a guard adds additional expense to the khukuri, and it is not simple to produce a solid guard of good quality.

    Guards are seen in some of the ancient Nepalese military khukuris. Throughout the world, where the user is considered too valuable to rely on the trading up strategy, guards are used. They will be found in private dueling weapons, and on the bladed weapons of officers. The guard provides the ability to parry, deflect, or in some cases disarm, without such a high risk of losing body parts.

    The Jiri model has a large S guard made of brass.


    One of my primary reasons for getting this was to see how HI did with the guard.


    The guard is solid, with absolutely no rattle. It appears to be very sturdy and I do not hesitate to trust it. The guard arms have smooth oval cross-sections that are comfortable to the hand should they come into contact. The downward pointing arm is a hair closer to the handle than I would like. My knuckles touch it when I am choking up on the knife in my preferred chopping orientation. Fortunately the smoothness of the guard does not make this uncomfortable, but I can imagine some discomfort when chopping hard wood. By backing off down the generously long handle I can maintain my preferred orientation with no contact to the guard.


    This gives the user some options. One can choke up in a fencing situation when capitalizing on the defensive features of the guard, and can back off in utility situations like splitting firewood.

    The circular disc pommel with conical keeper is similar to, but smaller than those seen on ancient military khukuris. There was no comfort problem with the small disc against the heel of my hand.



    The small disc offers less protection to the hand than the larger ones on the old museum khukuris, but I think it is probably considerably more comfortable in utility use. The pommel is of highly polished brass. The dots in this picture are reflections from the dotted countertop.


    The cylindrical handle with no central ring caused me a bit of concern. It was in fact quite solid in the grip. It has a swelling in the center of the handle which serves to secure the grip.

    Many of the features can be quite handy. When Red Flower found me with another new khukuri she attempted discipline with a broom.


    As you can see the forward guard saved my clock from a perhaps well-needed cleaning.


    The pole-arm test complete, and Red Flower’s ire not yet abated, it was not hard to convince her to poke at me with a thin-bladed foil. A parry with the back combined with an immediate twist served to capture even the thin foil.


    For someone thinking of getting a khukuri, but concerned with the lack of a guard as would be found on a bart jam dao or a bowie knife, the Jiri model provides an alternative option worthy of consideration.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  2. uncouth


    Nov 26, 2009
    That is awesome, is that going to become a regular model, or is it only special order?
  3. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Great review:) Thank you, Howard.
  4. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999
    This is the first one to show up. The way to see more is to let Yangdu know if you want one.


    Jan 16, 2012
    If BOTH guards were pointing towards the tip I would buy one.
    I would not buy one with a "S" guard.
  6. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999
    He he he ... It's in the works. Drawings and models are already prepared, and they're just waiting for Yangdu's next trip to Nepal. The design concepts are subtle enough that we need someone fluent in both languages to speak with the kamis about it.


    Jan 16, 2012
    My dog and I are in for 1

  8. JayGoliath

    JayGoliath Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    I certainly hope that more variations of this is produced in the future.
    Here's one made by Bura years ago:
  9. Yangdu

    Yangdu [email protected] Himalayan Imports-Owner Moderator

    Apr 5, 2005
    Great review and pix, thank you Howard
  10. falar

    falar Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2012
    WOW on that Bura-made piece.
  11. Abaniko

    Abaniko Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 2, 2006
    :eek:Very Wow
  12. FuriousFist


    Mar 27, 2011
    I Like I Like I Like!

    Especially that Bura with the butterfly sword guard; would be awesome with Howards' S guard top quillion
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012

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