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Bought a new katana today...
Villager
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From County Down, Northern Ireland
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Bought a new katana blade today, was very happy with the price only £40 (about US $80) from toledo imperial, anyway when i drew it from the scabbard the hand guard round the base of the blade was 'creaking' as though something were loose (i assumed that the blade and handle were all one piece but this looks like its welded together). Is this common with all new swords or is it what i get for buying cheap from an army surplus store? Obviously i dont want the blade flying out during training and killing/injuring myself or someone else so id be like some feedback on this one!

Cheers!

Posted on: 2007/9/4 2:37
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Re: Bought a new katana today...
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Hi,

I have seen several months ago a young guy who almost cut off his own leg with a katana while attempting to do tameshigiri on a straw mat . I do not want to talk about the details. It was during a big seminar and somehow his teacher alowed him to have a go without proper instruction. I have this picture clear in fornt my eayes. He was really lucky not to get injured. It was clear that he had not done enough practice with a bokken with a good teacher before picking up the blade.

for the sake of your safety, I would strongly suggest the following:
- have somebody experienced with swords look at our new posession to judge its usability, it is practically impossible to do this by intenet . If something wobbles in a sword, then it sounds like danger. You may try to return the thing gto the vendor or hang it on wall and never use...
- make sure that you have some significant practce time with bokken with a good teacher before you even start performnig any moves with a live blade (maybe you already have, I do not know; and cannot judge this without knowing you).

peace and stay safe!
mariusz

Posted on: 2007/9/4 14:38
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Re: Bought a new katana today...
Kutaki Postmaster
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Why people choose to begin with a live blade is beyond me. Actually, I understand but it is a terrible idea. Live blades are not toys and should only be used once you have proficient skills with a bokken AND are under the supervision of an experienced instructor.

There is no shortage of horror stories, here is a good example of what can happen:

http://www.martialartsplanet.com/foru ... .php?t=53303&page=1&pp=15

Also, the basic fact that you paid so little for the blade tells me it is garbage, I mean no offense to you but you should seriously go with a bokken until you have proper training and your instructor can educate you on choosing a nihon-to.

Good luck with your training.

Markk Bush
www.bujinmag.com

Posted on: 2007/9/4 16:17
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Re: Bought a new katana today...
Village Old Timer
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Quote:

tommy_8_ball wrote:
Bought a new katana blade today, was very happy with the price only £40 (about US $80) from toledo imperial, anyway when i drew it from the scabbard the hand guard round the base of the blade was 'creaking' as though something were loose (i assumed that the blade and handle were all one piece but this looks like its welded together). Is this common with all new swords or is it what i get for buying cheap from an army surplus store? Obviously i dont want the blade flying out during training and killing/injuring myself or someone else so id be like some feedback on this one!

Cheers!


It is obvious that you must not use that sword for training. Toledo swords are wall hangers. Nothing on that sword will be descent.
You must train 3-4 months with a boken and plastic Saya and once you feel ok with that you can go to Iai-to (which still can kill you with the sharp tip of the sword) but maybe you can take more time with boken. I still have a scar from iaido training (Nuki-uchi Kata).
After a few years of training with iai-to you can get a live blade and put it on your wall and watch it I kept buying sharp blades but then sold all of them. Now I only got an Iai-to and it is so convinient.
If you insist on buying a live blade do not go to toledo stuff, the cheapest sword must be around $400 and still this will be nothing like a shinsakuto.
Just my opinion.

Posted on: 2007/9/4 19:25
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Re: Bought a new katana today...
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thanks for your replies-
I showed the sword in question to my shidoshi last night who explained the problems with it, although very critical he wasnt entirely against me bringing it back for training purposes. He said that as long as i get the blade blunted and dont use it for any overhead swings then it should be safe. Apparently the cause of the wobbling blade was a lack of sufficient support into the base of the handle. I am not entirely disheartened though, I may triy and find an antiques or weapons dealer experienced in modification and repairs who can rectify this and prevent the creaking that i first heard.

Posted on: 2007/9/4 23:33
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Re: Bought a new katana today...
Village Old Timer
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I make Katana alterations and some restoration.I think your sword has no pins, so you can drill two holes on the handle (make sure that there is tang inside)and use some kind of mekugi (originally bamboo pegs)to make it a bit safer. It is not very hard to do but then you must wrap the handle again (tsuka Maki)which is a hard thing.Your Shidoshi may help with that.
If you take it to a sword maker, you will be amazed with the amount he will charge you
Try to do it your self (you can not loose much) and you will step inside the creative world of sword alteration.
Gambatte

Posted on: 2007/9/4 23:40
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Re: Bought a new katana today...
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As you have no experience altering swords, and I doubt your instructor does as well, and this thing is already dangerous, it might be a good idea to hang it on a wall and look at it from time to time. People should not be practicing with any kind of blade that isn't constructed properly.

Posted on: 2007/9/5 0:06
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Re: Bought a new katana today...
Villager
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From County Down, Northern Ireland
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hi
thanks for your concern, but i may take Toruko-jin's advice on this one as i'm kind of on a budget so spending 100's on weapons isnt really an option for me. Anyway, i like the look and feel of this sword so it seems a shame that i should keep it away from the dojo, even if it isnt the most prestigious. What i may do is take a look through the yellow pages, Northern Ireland isnt a big place and it isnt the most diverse land either so i doubt there are many places here with much experience of oriental weapons. Nonetheless, i'm still in hope that i can get the job done without the cost involved of buying a top range blade. Failing that, i may even do some research and complete the job myself.
Thanks for all your advice.

Posted on: 2007/9/5 4:46
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Re: Bought a new katana today...
Kutaki Postmaster
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What kind of budget do you have for hospital bills? Personally I would be extremely upset if someone training near me injured me due to training with poor tools with KNOWN flaws. Even if you fix the blade it will never be as strong as it should had it been made correctly. Also, even if the blade is dulled and blunted, the part where it cracks at the hilt will be sharp.

Please reconsider your situation, if not for you then your training partners sake.

Markk Bush
www.bujinmag.com

Posted on: 2007/9/5 5:07
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Re: Bought a new katana today...
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Quote:

Tengu6 wrote:
What kind of budget do you have for hospital bills? Personally I would be extremely upset if someone training near me injured me due to training with poor tools with KNOWN flaws. Even if you fix the blade it will never be as strong as it should had it been made correctly. Also, even if the blade is dulled and blunted, the part where it cracks at the hilt will be sharp.

Please reconsider your situation, if not for you then your training partners sake.

Markk Bush
www.bujinmag.com


dear Mark,

thank you for your concern, regarding hospital bills, Im fortunate enough to live in a country where we are covered by free NHS treatment but joking aside I'm not going to bring in a weapon which i feel poses a threat to myself or others.
As ive said before, ive shown the sword in question to my shidoshi who has expressed his grievances with it, and in any case feels the weapon in its present state would be useable for rolls and horizontal slashes. Hopefully, some modifications will address these greivances. If it is good enough for his standards, then they are good enough for mine. If i cannot trust him then my training is not worth the effort.

Posted on: 2007/9/5 6:59
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