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Re: Katana Inquiry
Kutaki Postmaster
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I almost forgot...

As far as blade lengths are concerned, I am about 5'11" and I like a blade which is about 28-30" and a handle which is a minimum of 11". Of course different Ryu-Ha may have specific fetures of dimensions for their katana.

For "off the shelf" types of Katana, I have seen the majority of people be okay with 28" blades with 10.5"-11" handles. I am strictly speaking for basic practice cutting "tamishigiri" and what I have seen to be okay for most people.

If your are shorter 5'6" or taller than 6' than these dimensions may not seem to feel as comfortable.

I would also recomend you purchase a "suborito" and practice your cuts (kihon to ho). This will strengthen your grip, wrists, forarms, etc. and hopefully lessen the chances of you letting go of the sword and/or cutting yourself. Obviously, in addition to what I have written; Train with your instructor on this and he/she should be able to let you know when it's the best time to play with a live blade.

Of course these are my opinions!

Posted on: 2007/3/19 13:53
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Mark Franco
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Re: Katana Inquiry
Village Old Timer
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From Istanbul Turkiye
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I had a dragonfly katana of cold steel and it was very solid but you do not feel it as it is a good cutter. It can balance on the blade. It is also full tang which changes the balance totally.
Last legend blades are very solid as well. I prefer the less curved models despite the fact that more curvature makes a better cut.
For iaijutsu, some of the chinese blades (like paul chen )have the Kurikata too below so you can not get a good saya biki (pull back the saya to draw).
Also chinese swords details are not so good. I buy from a forge in China, their blades are perceft and good balanced but then I take every fitting out and buy good quality new ones and do Tsuka Maki, saya restoration (as their sayas are mostly too thick), change the sageo (as their tsuka ito and sageos are low quality)put new mekugis and menukis.Sometimes even change the Tsuba.Then you will have a good Katana with a good price.Of course you may have a lot of bad experience to get this point.

Posted on: 2007/6/5 21:45
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Ercan SARBAT
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Re: Katana Inquiry
Honorary Villager
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Wow....

http://www.chenessinc.com/video.htm

(Destructive testing video on Oniyuri.)

Posted on: 2007/6/6 6:26
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Re: Katana Inquiry
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For those that are interested in purchasing live blade training weapons, I would highly recommend reading over this post on another forum first. It will address a lot of things people have brought up here, and maybe open up some new doors.

Kind Regards,
J.Walton

SwordForum-Quality

Posted on: 2007/6/13 5:34
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Re: Katana Inquiry
Kutaki Postmaster
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I own a sword from Oni Forge. It is a specialty sword with a pretty long nagasa (blade length) of about 32.5 inches.

Their blades are well made for a production blade. Their ukigumo blade is quite nice if you can get one (no longer produced).

The one thing I have to say is that people buying shinken need to consider the whole piece, not just the steel in the blade. The tsuka construction is very important, and I am having mine redone due to flaws. The shape of the saya, the shape of the nakago (tang), etc.

It seems like a lot, but that is just how it is. These things can be pretty dangerous.

Please make sure you study with someone who actually understands the use of a shinken. Not all instructors are qualified in this area. It is very easy to take off a thumb or finger or run your blade up your forearm, or even scalp yourself from just a small lapse in awareness.

The quality of swords coming out is improving, but none of the production blades compare in quality of finish to an actual nihonto.

Posted on: 2007/6/13 13:55
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Glenn R. Manry -

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Re: Katana Inquiry
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Hey Glenn,

Good points to bring up. I too owned two Oni Forge katanas. A Satsuma and had a Ukigumo. I sold the Ukigumo to get a Bugei recently. Sounds like you have the Kiyomaro version. I just personally felt I really wanted someone really knowledgeable to QC the katana before sending it out to me. So I went with a Bugei. Like you said, the level of the production swords are getting better. But there are still many areas that need improvement.

I also can't agree with you more about having an instructor to teach you. We all need to remember these things are extremely dangerous weapons. The last thing you want to see is the blade coming out like a missle during a cutting exercise. As you prob. know, there's a thread over on Sword Forum where an individual recently experienced an accident like this. Unfortunately even though he was away from from the person cutting, the blade came flying out and it went into his chest. So you don't necessarily need to be the cutter to get injured! The menuki ( the bamboo pegs that hold the blade in) had been manipulated or changed out with something cheap.

Personally, I feel that you can't place a price tag on safety. Especially when it comes to serious training weapons like a shinken.If you can afford the nicer production blades out there. Your money will be well spent on having the higher quality given to the sword's construction. Having a good instructor around is really important as well.

Kind Regards,
J.Walton

Posted on: 2007/6/14 0:00
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Re: Katana Inquiry
Kutaki Postmaster
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From Wyoming
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Hi,

Yes, I practice iaido (MJER Yamauchi ha) in addition to Bujinkan, because I felt I didn't have a solid grasp on my skills with a blade. I happen to have a very good teacher in the little town in which I live. This iai is very alive in comparison to the standard kendo renmei iaido.

Our sensei in Japan sends out emails about injuries with shinken. Mostly over zealous beginners, but not always. So far, a guy who rammed his own sword through his forearm, a guy who scalped himself, and then there is the infamous thumb cut at an embu a few years back (completely removed).

Yes, the story of the blade flying out is very sad, I believe it was a child that was killed in that incident.

Thanks for your reply, and have a good time in your training.

Posted on: 2007/6/14 13:50
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Glenn R. Manry -

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Re: Katana Inquiry
Village Old Timer
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Quote:

Fnord325 wrote:

Yes, the story of the blade flying out is very sad, I believe it was a child that was killed in that incident.


Perhaps you are thinking of a different incident from the one the previous poster referred to.

Posted on: 2007/6/15 12:21
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Re: Katana Inquiry
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Yes, thats a different accident than the one I was describing. If anyone is interested in reading about what happened with the incident I loosely described you can read it here:

Cutting Accident

Kind Regards,
J.Walton

Posted on: 2007/6/15 23:11
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Re: Katana Inquiry
Permanent Village Fixture
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This thread has dragged up an interesting can of worms.

Outside of Japan, I've seen very few Bujinkan people with even remotely passable skills with a katana and almost all of the worst bought sharp blades before they were taught the proper fundementals and put in enough time practicing with a iaito or bokuto.

I'm trying to be kind too.

Of the non-Nihonjin with competence and more, all either trained with Someya sensei or supplemented their training by training with competent non-Bujinkan teachers (Kuroda Tesuzan, MJER, etc.).

Training with Luke Molitor (as little as it actually amounted too; 6 days) was very eye-opening for me personally. As complete as Kukishin Ryu is, without ready access to a teacher like Luke, I (like Mr. Manry) decided to go "elsewhere" to get competence through constant correction.

With this approach, the major caveat is to be sure that the the unique elememnts of the other training don't become confused with with Bujinkan bikenjutsu which is not so easy.

Posted on: 2007/6/16 3:21
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