Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Melee Weapons: The Ginunting

The Philippines has a rich heritage in the use of bladed weapons for warfare. This comes from the pre-colonial tribes from across our 7100 islands that is home to a myriad of swords, knives, and the martial arts utilizing them.  It is likely that when the zombie apocalypse reaches our shores, battles will be fought & won with traditional weapons long after the last gun has run out of ammo.

One that stands out for me is the Ginunting.  An updated version of it has been adopted as the official bladed weapon by the Philippine Marines who train in the art of Pikiti Terisa Kali.  

the marines can handle terrorists and the living dead

Despite advances in technology, traditional fighting skills and weapons are in constant development to give our troops the edge in the modern battlefield. 

Vital Stats
Blade Length: 18-19.5 inches
Overall Length: 25-27 inches
Material: high carbon steel blade

The Ginunting translates to "scissors" and it gets the job done in similar fashion.  This curved design grants superior mobility and balance while maintaining its durability.  Its overall length is best suited to close-quarters combat.

The weapon has its roots in the machete or "bolo" which is an ideal junglecraft tool.  I really admire how it gets its business done as a one-handed weapon. This frees up the other for tasks such as grappling, parrying, holding a flashlight, a pistol, or even another Ginunting.

My own blade was acquired to augment the home defense arsenal.  There's nothing like having something that doesn't need  ammunition.  When TSHTF back in WW2, my granddad left one of these with my grandma plus a trusty .45 for protection as they fought a guerrilla war.  Good enough for them means good enough for us.

Use Against Zombies
It is a cutting/slashing weapon designed to attack your enemy's limbs, neck, and body at high speed.  To destroy a zombie, it is best to cut their heads off.  The design of the blade enables a skilled practitioner to dispatch a large number of zombies in a short amount of time. Just be sure to avoid the severed heads and dispose of them carefully.

Warning: Do not attempt to destroy a zombie by striking at the skull. The weapon was not designed for this, and it will take more than a single blow.  Time is life. 

The revival of the Ginunting in the military is proof that centuries-old combat techniques are still relevant in the battlefield.  Be it terrorists or the living dead, these will do the job.  

Stay vigilant!


  1. "Do not attempt to destroy a zombie by striking at the skull. The weapon was not designed for this, and it will take more than a single blow. Time is life."

    Very true. Although a properly made ginunting should double as a survival bolo and a weapon (The force recon marines use ginunting made from the same makers who made the ginunting in the first photo), so I would have no doubt that you COULD strike the skull without damaging the blade. You're very right though, it would take more than one blow and time is definitely of the essence.

    If you had a clear shot you could no doubt cut the head off at the neck. Philippine bolos/weapon purposed blades were made to cleave flesh and bone cleanly. Philippine (Southeast asian in general actually) forging and tempering techniques are very underrated, and contrary to popular belief we make some tough, tough blades. Real workhorses.

    Thanks for the post! Just found your blog and it's great!

  2. Previous tests have shown that a head blow is viable but it requires very specialized training. You are quite right, the metallurgy behind the weapon is quite amazing! They are works of art and serve all the needs of a jungle fighter.

    The wielder and his training makes it deadly, and I have the highest respect for the instructors who are educating our marines. Thank you!

    - TZH



    1. hey man sorry for the late reply. I hope all's been well since you sent me this message... two years ago! you can try searching Hanyan Blades, Panday Suba, and Kalahi Blades on Facebook, there's from the man who made my ginunting.

      Good luck. if you already have one, perhaps you can tell us about it. cheers