By Unit Correspondent
Close Quarter Combat (CQC) has been formally reintroduced into the Combat Infantryman’s Course (Gurkha) with Recruit Intake 2012. So, what is CQC? Simply, it is a type of fighting skill in which usually small units engage the enemy with personal weapons at a very short range, potentially to the point of hand to hand combat or fighting with hand held weapons such as swords or knives. CQC demands a rapid assault and precise application of lethal force. Personnel involved in CQC must have a great proficiency with their weapons and also the ability to make split-second decisions in order to avoid counter attacks. This can only be achieved by detailed planning, surprise, speed and violent action.
Needless to say in contemporary Martial Arts teachings of bladed weapons have been very popular. Long before it became synonymous with the Gurkhas, the kukri (khukuri) had been used in CQC by Gurkha soldiers, whose knife skills were developed not by formal training but by their lifestyle up in the high mountains of Nepal, where life is often harsh and kukri fighting skills are inevitable for daily survival.
Use of the kukri by Nepalese men can be traced back into history. King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who came from Gorkha district of Nepal, completed the unification of Nepal in 1768 AD and became the first King of Nepal. He was able to defeat his adversaries due, in part, to his army’s ability to close with the enemy and use the kukri proficiently.
CQC philosophy using the kukri combined with Martial Arts has provided additional sharpness to Gurkha training. We are confident that this combat method, taught within an intensive programme in Gurkha Company Catterick, will enable the new generation of Gurkha Recruits to demonstrate mastery of kukri techniques and continue this great Gurkha tradition.
Jai Gurkha Company!