The Kukri knife notch (cho) – purpose identified?

The kukri notch (cho) has been much discussed on my channel. It’s not for blood-letting and it’s not for blood-channeling or diversion. It is blunt and neither of …

31 thoughts on “The Kukri knife notch (cho) – purpose identified?

  1. Acyutananda das says:

    I have heard the Siva explanation often. BTW 'Gurkha' means protector of the cow. Go Raksha.
    Go means cow and raksha –protector. AYO GURKHALI!!! is their battle cry –''The Gurkhas are here!!''

  2. Greg Wurn says:

    The Cho is simply a notch to stop the Chakmak when sharpening the blade, the Chakmak (one of the small knives that usually comes with a Khukuri is the one without an edge), it is used to sharpen the blade by starting at the tip and drawing it back until it is stopped by the Cho.

  3. wacko wacko says:

    Is it possible that the notches were intended to catch flesh and stretch it, putting it under tension? This would allow the blade to slice through flesh easier, and since it is intended to be a slicing weapon I would think this the most probable. If you've ever tried to open a plastic bag with a pair of scissors, often times stretching the bag out allows the scissors to cut through the bag easier instead of it ending up twisting at a 90 degree angle and getting caught parallel between the two blades. Bladed weapons are designed to be practical first and foremost – so I would tend to believe that the notches have an eminently practical purpose. It's possible that there might be a traditional purpose or a decorative purpose, but those tend to be much more showy, like the makers mark on the blade in the video.

  4. Colimarche says:

    I was told by several kamis in India and Nepal that the cho is the kami's mark. I believe this to be the correct answer, as many khukri feature a closed cho, and other khukri feature a fairly ornate "lingam" that does not follow the pattern of a rudimentary protrusion.

  5. Dan 5675 says:

    Bollox, i just came on here to settle an argument a mate was looking at my kukri and came out with the stopping blood running on the handle thing, i having (worked) with the gurkas said oh no it’s to scratch yourself if you draw the blade and don’t put someone elses blood on it. As we bet on everything we owe either you or shiva a beer !

  6. Coach Ron Helping To Heal says:

    Hello Matt, I did not know this was such a debated topic. The notch is indeed ritualistic and an offering to the pagan god shiva. The notch is symbolic of the phallus of shiva. It is not meant to catch all the blood, which is rubbish, but to gather a few drops on the finger to possibly weaponize and direct the blood to be a ritualistic offering to their god. Well done in your research and I hope this video I share from Sanatan Shastarvidiya, a native weapons master that knows his heritage/beliefs, helps refine and solidify your debate points. The part about the notch is at the 3:06 mark. Continue the great vids Matt.

  7. David Koloc says:

    You're reading things into this which just aren't there. The notch is simply for safety and control while whittling or carving. As the knife has no quillon (guard) but is a utility tool as well as a weapon, this notch is a resting place for the index finger. It keeps your finger from sliding down the blade while working and the nub in the notch keeps your finger from sliding back and forth in the notch itself, offering the greatest possible control over carving motions.

  8. tomaszstempski says:

    over a year late, but well … what would happen, if You'd slide really thin, long piece of wood through the cho, pressing the wood towards the blade with a thumb? Have You tried to featherstick this way perhaps, Matt?

  9. Lane Hershberger says:

    Everyone seems to have a good reason for the notches existance, so maybe they're all true. The notch originated as a religious thing and then had so many uses that they kept it around.

  10. SkyHighGame says:

    Might be a sort of handguard in knife fighting, for when Blade meets blade and you'd like the opportunity to grab and break your opponents blade. An idea from my own peoples traditions (Swedish Romano).

  11. Birker Rasmussen says:

    My first thought was, kind of confirmed on a website about the notch. I would suggest it is for rope, the bowie knife notch, is known as the spanish notch and is believed to be used as a tool for strippiping sinew, and repairing rope. as a utility knife I would think that it is pretty plaussible that the notch on the kukri is also for stripping sinew and repairing rope, also why it is blunt since a sharp edge would cut and damage the sinew or rope.

  12. John Edwards says:

    Must agree with Dirk Diggler's comments. My brother served with the British Army and was stationed on the same camp as a Gurkha regiment. He came home with two genuine knives purchased from servicemen. The notch on these knives was really sharp (as were the blades) and he was told that in battle a Gurkha would not draw his Kukri without drawing blood. The Kukri is a close quarters weapon, ideal for removing heads, and the stealth tactics of Gurkha's are legendary.

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