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Thread: Katana

  1. #16
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    the length of the hilt will determine how much 'leverage' you can create with certain cuts. look at musashi's hilt length...it was insane long.

    essentially in japanese sword arts (when dealing with two handed cuts) you hold your sword with one hand directly under the tsuba/guard and the other at the end of the tsuka/hilt, to make maximum use of this leverage factor while cutting. this allows you to draw the blade quicker across the cut.

    like if you look at your standard one hand cut with a sabre you draw the edge across with one hand using your body motion to help the cut, on a two hand sabre you are also torqing/pulling with the rear hand to 'force' more speed resulting in a deeper cut...basically. it depends on the cut though, of course.

    and dude, you would be set with a paul chen blade. of course they arent the best of the best but they are live and battle ready. a standard retainer of feudal japan would have been happy to take a paul chen quality blade into battle. the blades are good you may want to replace the fittings, but the blades are ready to go.
    Last edited by Lucas; 08-12-2011 at 12:45 PM.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wenshu View Post
    What about Obata Toshishiro's Shinkendo?
    The guy who was in the Ninja Turtles movie?!
    Last edited by IronFist; 08-12-2011 at 08:29 PM.
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  3. #18
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    Make sure what you get is actually full tang. I recently read about some carbon bladed katanas that looked awesome and had the extra long hilt and claimed to be full tang, but were not (they were disassembled on youtube).
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  4. #19
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    The hilt should extend to the elbow. The traditional 10-12" hilt you see is the size of a traditional katana from back in the day when the average height of a Japanese samurai guy was shorter than the average American today. If you're 6' or taller, one of those normal ones will be too small for you. Heck, even if you're 5'6", it's still probably too short.



    edit - I'm not an expert. I think this is what I remember reading back in the day in a Bugei catalog.
    Last edited by IronFist; 08-12-2011 at 08:34 PM.
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronFist View Post
    Make sure what you get is actually full tang. I recently read about some carbon bladed katanas that looked awesome and had the extra long hilt and claimed to be full tang, but were not (they were disassembled on youtube).
    The Japanese don't use full tang blades.
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  6. #21
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    EarthDragon, the Hanwei forge blade is good enough for cutting. You shouldn't risk an expensive blade for training the technique. If you train only in tameshigiri the sheath is not important but if you also practice the draw you will have to replace or sand down the saya. Most modern replica weapons have saya that are too robust and cannot be turned easily in the obi.
    "Look, I'm only doing me job. I have to show you how to defend yourself against fresh fruit."

    For it breeds great perfection, if the practise be harder then the use. Sir Francis Bacon

    the world has a surplus of self centered sh1twh0res, so anyone who extends compassion to a stranger with sincerity is alright in my book. also people who fondle road kill. those guys is ok too. GunnedDownAtrocity

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdhowland View Post
    The Japanese don't use full tang blades.
    Wait, what? I thought all functional swords were full tang, and it was just cheap replicas that weren't.
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  8. #23
    kansuke
    What I meant is that "sensei" would come after the name, not before.
    ahh gottcha, thank you.


    Is Kimura not the kind of guy you'd feel comfortable asking? because that would be my first choice.
    I did ask and he has swords made for him in Japan, but they start at 5,000


    thasnks Lucas adn jdhowland for all your help. I just wasnt sure if Paul made a good blade or a cheap one. I was nervous that they are made in China. I really like the bugei blades but there is a Paul chen dealer in NY where you can actually hold see and feel the swords so you get a better idea what your buying then then ordering online. thanks so much.
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  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by EarthDragon View Post
    I did ask and he has swords made for him in Japan, but they start at 5,000
    Yikes. Can't imagine using anything that expensive for cutting practice. Must be beautiful swords, though...maybe you could buy a used one off him?

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronFist View Post
    Wait, what? I thought all functional swords were full tang, and it was just cheap replicas that weren't.
    No. Hilts (tsuka) and sword furniture had to be cleaned and replaced frequently. The tang was usually softer steel forged as a handle right along with the rest of the blade, not added on later, but not really a continuation of the blade steel either. They were long enough to hold securely and transmit force to the blade through the grip as Lucas pointed out, but short enough (and tapered enough) to be taken out easily. Most were held in place by a single mekugi.
    "Look, I'm only doing me job. I have to show you how to defend yourself against fresh fruit."

    For it breeds great perfection, if the practise be harder then the use. Sir Francis Bacon

    the world has a surplus of self centered sh1twh0res, so anyone who extends compassion to a stranger with sincerity is alright in my book. also people who fondle road kill. those guys is ok too. GunnedDownAtrocity

  11. #26
    So youre going to learn battodo, earthdragon? If so, have fun! It's not all that usual to find someone who teaches the art, so go for it!

    I never owned a pratical katana before, even when I was into kendo, so I all I can say is: beware of the cheap 404 stainless steel iaito's, they're horrible, lol

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdhowland View Post
    No. Hilts (tsuka) and sword furniture had to be cleaned and replaced frequently. The tang was usually softer steel forged as a handle right along with the rest of the blade, not added on later, but not really a continuation of the blade steel either. They were long enough to hold securely and transmit force to the blade through the grip as Lucas pointed out, but short enough (and tapered enough) to be taken out easily. Most were held in place by a single mekugi.
    Sounds dangerous.

    But I don't really know much about it other than what I've read online, which is basically don't even consider anything that isn't full tang unless you want 1) messed up weight distribution, 2) broken tsukas, and 3) the blade to come flying out.

    Maybe it was just sales propaganda. I dunno.

    I do know that the best steak knives I've seen are full tang. Wait. All kitchen knives I've seen are full tang.

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  13. #28
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    The practical pro plus is great beginner sword, very hardy! I've had mine for years and made many cuts on mats and bamboo alike. If you want to step up a bit and get a folded blade, the Bushido by Paul Chen is a nice blade with good fittings. If you havent been told yet, never use stainless steel swords, they can potentially break and cause severe damage to the practitioner or bystanders. The metal is not made for that kind of activity, great as a wall hanger though.

    Last I knew, Bugei used Paul Chen blades but they supplied the fittings and finish. I could be wrong on that though.

    Good luck and happy cutting.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Featherstone View Post
    Last I knew, Bugei used Paul Chen blades but they supplied the fittings and finish. I could be wrong on that though.
    Thanks for the info.
    http://www.bugei.com/raptor-series-p...na-150-ctg.htm

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronFist View Post
    Sounds dangerous.

    But I don't really know much about it other than what I've read online, which is basically don't even consider anything that isn't full tang unless you want 1) messed up weight distribution, 2) broken tsukas, and 3) the blade to come flying out.

    Maybe it was just sales propaganda. I dunno.

    I do know that the best steak knives I've seen are full tang. Wait. All kitchen knives I've seen are full tang.
    1) messed up weight distribution

    The tsuba is the answer to that. It is not a "hand guard" but serves to bring the center of mass closer to the hands.

    2) broken tsuka(s)

    This was a possibility with antique, worm-eaten tsuka, and the reason they were replaced frequently.

    3) the blade to come flying out

    My naginata teacher told me about the tendency of soldiers to stay up before a battle fussing with their weapons. They couldn't sleep, anyway. One of the things they did was to soak their mekugi in water so they would swell up and not fall out. The mekugi are always placed so that the forward hand can feel the outer end and always know the position of the retaining pin during use. There is a very sad story about and iaido "expert" in Japan demonstrating before the public when his blade flew out and killed a little girl in the front row of spectators. This was wrong in so many ways. Someone died because he thought like a showman instead of like a bushi.

    Kitchen knives do place more stress on the tang because of the resisting forces on the blade. It's a good idea, just not one traditional Japanese smiths or swordsmen developed the technology and need for.

    The curved blade of the odachi or katana transmits force differently from a short blade such as a kitchen knife. The curvature provides the angle for the cut, like the angle on a guillotine. This is the purpose for test cutting: not only to test the blade (that should have been done before it was purchased) but to train the owner in the capabilities of the blade when the perfect angle and cutting technique have been discovered.

    Remember that all cuts using such a blade are either drawing strokes or pushing strokes. There is no "chopping" of the blade. Learn to control the hara and the koshi. Don't force the blade to do work it cannot do but let it transmit your trained force efficiently and you will succeed. Tameshi giri is not a contest; it is an act of discovery.
    "Look, I'm only doing me job. I have to show you how to defend yourself against fresh fruit."

    For it breeds great perfection, if the practise be harder then the use. Sir Francis Bacon

    the world has a surplus of self centered sh1twh0res, so anyone who extends compassion to a stranger with sincerity is alright in my book. also people who fondle road kill. those guys is ok too. GunnedDownAtrocity

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