|Memory 118 Guide •|
Klingons have a genetic predisposition to combat. They are immensely strong, and are able to sustain serious injury yet remain functional, thanks to their unique biological structure, which incorporates duplication of all essential organs to allow for damage to vital bodily functions. This is known as brak'lul in the Klingon language, and is what makes Klingons superb warriors in close-quarters combat. Klingons are proficient in the use of ritual hand-to-hand weapons and unarmed combat, and will actually prefer to fight using these methods over beam weapons. They frequently train in off-hand weapons training in order to surprise opponents. All Klingons will train in at least the bat'leth and the d'k tahg, and many frequently train in some of the other ceremonial Klingon weapons. Some also train in Mok'bara - the Klingon martial art form.
However, such hardiness is not matched by Klingon medical technology, advanced though they are in many other fields. This is primarily due to the fact that, in Klingon society, death in battle is the ultimate vindication of Klingon life, to be celebrated as the freeing of the warrior's spirit. Indeed, a wounded Klingon unable to face his enemies is expected to perform the ritual of Hegh'bat - literally, The Time to Die - a ritualised suicide akin to the rite of Seppuku practiced in the Japanese islands of Earth, until the 20th Century. Klingons also have a ritual bonding ceremony known as R'uustai in which participants can become brothers and sisters. In Klingon society, the death of a warrior is not mourned, especially a warrior who has died honourably, as in battle or the line of duty. In such cases, the survivors celebrate the freeing of the spirit. Although Klingons believe in an afterlife (traditionally Sto-Vo-Kor, or an alternative version called "The Black Fleet"), but there is no burial ceremony. They dispose the body in the most efficient means possible.