Kobra vs. Sirupati???

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Helmut_S, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Helmut_S


    Feb 12, 2012
    Looking for a 'short-swordish' self-defense weapon, must be practical indoors. Both the Kobra and the Sirupati are available in 20" length which seems reasonable and manageable. Both are advertised as good for martial arts. What are the differences, and which would be better suited as a close-up weapon with some reach? Or should I go for the 25" versions?
    Thoughts are appreciated. Thanks,
  2. steeldust


    Aug 3, 2005
    Great question! I have wondered exactly the same thing. Looking forward to the reply's.
  3. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
    Of the same length, the Kobra will tend to be a bit thinner, lighter and more agile than the sirupate, depending on the kami that makes them.
    Most would find either of these models weapon enough in the sizes less than 20".
  4. davidf99

    davidf99 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 27, 2011

    Extra length can be a disadvantage for practical indoor use. There's a scene in the martial arts movie "Kill Bill, Vol 2" where two women fight with katanas in a trailer home. It's rather comical as one of them has trouble even drawing the blade from its scabbard, let alone swinging it in the narrow confines.

    For any given model khukuri, extra length tends to mean extra weight. That might not matter if you're strong and expect to swing the blade like a berserker, but that type of usage is better suited to open spaces, not indoor self-defense. You might break a lamp instead of decapitating the person who is invading your home. :D

    Remember also that the effective reach of a bladed weapon includes the length of your extended arm.

    All that said, a very long blade might intimidate an intruder and thus avoid the need to actually use the blade.

    -- Dave
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  5. seatownlion


    Dec 9, 2011
    That is all well and good. But which one for bushwacking trails through (himalayan) blackberries (invasive species in my parts)? For general trail clearing, I am used to a machete due to it's light weight, but I could see an advantage in a slightly more robust blade for thicker branches.
  6. PghMitchS


    Oct 13, 2007
    Karda nailed it, as usual, on the physical differences between the two styles you are looking at. I'd also add my nickel (inflation!) that 25" is starting to get too long for indoor use if you really had to take a swing at some(one)thing. I have a 20 inch Sirupati and I feel it is more than adequate for the job. Mine is within easy reach of my bedside, should I need it.

    What would be ideal is if you knew people that owned both styles so you could handle them and decide which balance and weight suited you better, the Kobra or the Sirupati. I too was trying to decide between a Kobra or Sirupati and I did not have the opportunity to handle either. I chose on personal taste: I liked the open cho of the Sirupati and the belly of the Sirupatui was closer to what I had envisioned my ideal blade to look like. Did I make the wrong choice? I'll never know, but I am VERY happy with my Sirupati and we've developed a good relationship. I feel I have a friend I can always count on. Can't ask more than that from a blade :-{)}
  7. Helmut_S


    Feb 12, 2012
    Good points all, so today I did a bit of informal testing: I have an antique WW1 bayonet, which is 20" long. It swings easily in a standard American height room, but does not particularly extend reach so as to keep more than one attacker at bay.
    A 28" escrima stick still swings fine, even in a hallway if needed, and now we're getting into some reach, where it would be very difficult for an accomplice to close in from the side while I engage the first man. A 36" mall sword (Excalibur!!! - I didn't buy it, it was a gift, don't ask…) is a bit long even with careful handling.
    Around 30" is where an opponent might still reach your wrist (but barely) while avoiding a straight thrust. So, the original question stands, as both Sirupati and Korba are available in 25" and even 30" length, I believe. Another concern, again in cases of multiple attackers, is, which blade is more prone to cause a disabling first blow, as there is probably no time for a second one at the same opponent? Taking into account that the swing/stab might be hasty and suboptimal. The Kobra seems significantly lighter, hence quicker and easier to bring into play and direct, while the Sirupati would have devastating force behind each swing.
  8. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    The Kobra is going to be a lot more sword-ish than the Siru...maybe. I've seen Siru's that could chop through tree stumps, and I've seen them dwarfed by a Kobra. Likewise, I have a 25# 2lb Kobra that is more like a war-sword designed to take a horse out at the knees rather than a "fighter".

    My most martial khuk is a 20.5" 20.5oz kobra made by the Amtrak kami circa 2003(?). It's a fearsome slicer.
  9. alexs


    Nov 26, 2009
    I am 6'4" and with some martial-arts background. Where I live, it is legal to carry an ASP-type baton so I carry a 26" version (extended) and swing it with much more confidence than the usual 21" or even the 23" versions. I prefer reach in such situations that would necessitate a baton or a knife. The main difference from your case is that a 25" Kobra will still weigh quite a bit more than a similar-length baton (and also you can't fold it :). Then it also matters how in-shape one is.

    P.S. I sent you a visitor message on your bladeforums profile as I don't seem to be able to PM you here.
  10. Helmut_S


    Feb 12, 2012
    Doing more thinking and research, I guess a chiruwa style heavier tang would balance the blade nicely for fighting, somebody had a Chitlangi done that way, and it seems to make sense.
  11. davidf99

    davidf99 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    The Chitlangi is a very good khukuri for all-around use. Chitlangis are not warranteed for heavy chopping, but it doesn't sound like you're going to use it to build a log cabin. I wouldn't bet on a 2" or 3" branch giving a Chitlangi any trouble at all, let alone a person who means to do you harm.

    For any given length the weight is going to depend on which kami makes the blade, and maybe on the particular chunk of steel he starts with. The ones I've seen mostly have a 3/8" spine, which is pretty massive compared with most non-HI knives of any length. Yangdu always gives the weight and often the spine thickness in her forum deals.

    I also prefer the chiruwa-style handle, but you might have a long wait for a chiruwa Chitlangi. Most Chitlangis that I've seen on the forum come with the regular full-tang, peened at the end for strength, but not chiruwa-style. There have been some, but they seem to be few and far between.

    The kind of feedback you're getting in this thread illustrates why so many forum members end up with more than one khukuri. You wrote earlier about multiple attackers. The solution: two khukuris and a lot of practice. Just watch out you don't cut off your own leg. :eek:

    Good luck.

    -- Dave
  12. Shann


    Sep 2, 2004
    I have a bunch of HI khuks and find that the 18-20 inch ones are the most usable for me, balancing size, length, weight, etc. My 25-30" sirus are heavy and I think that they would be impractical inside. My 20" chainpuri is probably my favorite that I would want as a "weapon"
  13. JayGoliath


    Mar 27, 2010

    Siru all the way!
  14. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Man, I wish I could hang out with a bunch of Gurkhas:D
  15. arbiter

    arbiter Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    Don't overlook the Chitlangi or Gelbu-either one of these would be most suitable in the 18-21" range for indoor emergency use.
  16. Dirtbiker


    Jul 2, 2010
    To be honest my 14" spear vala (smatchet) is hands down the sharpest and scariest HI knife I own.

    But if I'm defending my home it will be my 870 remington that gets picked up.
  17. crimsonfalcon07


    Dec 27, 2010
    I find that 18" is a pretty much perfect length for my fighting style. But then, I do tend to fight pretty close in...

    May I also suggest you look into the Ultimate Fighter as well. That's a sweet blade.
  18. Helmut_S


    Feb 12, 2012
    I can't find any 'Ultimate Fighter' either on HI website, or on the net in general. No argument about 18" overall, but I have stuff around there, and would like to look at something longer which can presumably hold off several attackers, or else disable one before others can rush in…

    Anyway, I asked Ms. Yangdu to look into a custom Kobra for me, 25" to 28" with full tang, i.e. chiruwa style, not for sturdiness but for balance. Looking fw...
  19. topgun0728


    May 15, 2009
    Yo Helmut,

    Just a suggestion, I own a beautiful 25" Kobra made by Vim (Nepalese Flag Kami) and among all the swords, short-swords, and long-knives I own (at least a dozen by the latest count), it still feels quite forward-balanced and a little on the heavy side. Now it can chop like a beast, even compared to my longer katanas (just holding it will give you a sense of its power like this thing can decapitate a bull in one stroke) and due to its blade geometry can hold its own against pretty much any big mean chopper. BUT...if you want something that feels very lively and martial (compared to, let's say, a Philipino handmade Ginunting or a Kris or other Kali weapons designed to be swung at high speeds almost like a whip in the hands of a trained fighter), I suggest that you ask Auntie Yangdu to have the kamis craft you a Kobra made with a thinner blade (by my eye, probably even 50% thinner would still be acceptable). It could be that Kami Vim had made mine a little on the beefy side on purpose (to compete with Sher the Tiger :), but as the Kobra is still a khukuri at its core, the forward-balance will be an inherent trait. You'll need to have one made with a thinner blade to alter that feel. Rest assured that it can be accomplished, however. Just compare a Foxy Folly to a Dui Chirra, for example, and you'll see what I mean. I am sure others will chime in with their experience as well.
  20. Helmut_S


    Feb 12, 2012
    hmm, may I ask how heavy yours is? Lighter than average is certainly a good idea, also as I said above, a full tang would tend to move the balance a bit backward. The idea is of a cleaver with some reach, something that will do damage even if swung sub optimally. Like landing with the spine or flat of the blade, it would still have the impact of a crowbar like object, while also being able to stab and slash. Just a little exercise, not really a necessity :)


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