Looking for a katana that will be easy to use for kata

Discussion in 'Japanese Swords and Sword Arts' started by skribs, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Right now I have a katana with a full tang and a corded wrap over the hilt. It's also a tiny bit too long for me (maybe 1-2 inches longer than I'd like).

    I'm going to use this pretty much for kata. I won't be sparring with it. Price is a more important consideration than quality to me, so long as it looks good and won't fall apart when slashing through the air. I also care about these other factors:
    • Lacquer finish (or similar) on the hilt, with no cord wrap
    • Dull/unsharpened blade
    • Blade preferably 27-28" long, but no more than 29" long
    • Overall length under 39" (40" with scabbard)
    • Lightweight, preferably with a half-tang
    • Scabbard must include the knob and cord to secure against my belt
    So far, I've found some that meet what I'm looking for but are sharp, some in which the sword is perfect but the scabbard doesn't have a way to secure it to my belt, or some which are what I'm looking for, but are significantly more expensive than what I'm looking for. Does anyone know where I can find the type of sword I'm looking for?
     
  2. oldwarrior

    oldwarrior Green Belt

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    Try Katana Mart ...It is a Iaito your looking for...We could talk all day and most of the next as to what on offer is it a Katana or a ko-Katana or a Jin-dachi etc etc etc..Yes there are standards and they are set out but as to if they are adhered to lol..that is well.... lol anyways unles you are with a sword master then it doubtful they will know lol...

    As to half tang I wouldn't as even in kata you are going to put strain on the sword as on the tang/tsuka so a full tang to me is better...also with a full tang if you find a blade you like but the tsuka , tsuba , tuska-maki are not to your liking then you can change them yourself.You can buy saya separately but you might not get the best "fit unless you do some modifications ...the sageo you can easily get but with most swords it will be there as to if you like it well if not change it ...

    To me the blade is the important bit the rest you can over time and when you use it you can change

    just my thoughts
     
  3. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hmm.... I'm going to ask precisely what you're wanting to use this "sword" for? What system do you train in? The main reason I ask is that your description is almost precisely what us sword guys would say is not a sword... it's an "SLO", or "Sword Like Object"... there is absolutely nothing I would recommend along those lines for anything relating to actual martial arts usage... it's not an Iaito, not even close... so I do not second oldwarrior's recommendation.
     
  4. oldwarrior

    oldwarrior Green Belt

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    so what is a iaito then please do tell
     
  5. oldwarrior

    oldwarrior Green Belt

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    From what the op said he is not looking for a "sword" as you obviously think ...

    I'm not being argumentative at all but if you wish to debate swords etc then I'll happily oblige you in that

    If it is not a Iaito he is looking for then what is he looking for ???

    Are you going to recommend he goes and buys Gendaito or Shinsakuto ???
     
  6. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Properly built, for one thing.

    An Iaito is a training sword designed to replicate (in a safe manner) a real sword... so no "lacquered handle", no "half-tang", those are traits of what we refer to as "wall hangers" (ie for no real practical, or safe, usage, designed for looks only). Technically, of course, an Iaito is any sword you use for Iai... but the term has been used to dominantly refer to a specific type of training sword.

    You're kidding, right? The title of the thread is "Looking for a katana..." pretty much means "looking for a sword"... he then mentions "to use for kata"... which implies some kind of training... but he's not asking for a sword? After asking for a sword?

    You're kidding, right? Look, I know I've been off the site for a bit, but I'm going to advise taking a look through my history, then deciding if you think that you're in a position to debate... and, honestly, you are being argumentative... as you are in many of the threads you've posted in, with little actual knowledge of the topics being apparent... I'm about to go through another of your recent sets of comments to highlight a fair bit, so fair warning there...

    You did see where I asked for clarification of exactly what the OP is using this tool for, yes? I'm not suggesting anything until I get an answer to that... currently, my instinct is "nothing, you don't know what you're doing with it". But I hope to be proven wrong there.

    Good god, no... of course, considering a shinsakuto is a subdivision of gendaito (in other words, shinsakuto are gendaito, but gendaito are not always classified as shinsakuto), I'm wondering if you thought they were different, or thought you were going to somehow trick me into claiming they are different items?
     
  7. oldwarrior

    oldwarrior Green Belt

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    different dates ...and I'm not looking into your history at all so chill out

    I do know what I am talking about as far as swords are concerned I may not have lifted one in a while but I do know and I am not trying to trick anyone
     
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  8. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    A shinsakuto is a newly made sword... a gendaito is a modern sword... different dates? No, not really... the use of the description gendaito is applied further back than shinsakuto, but a shinsakuto is still a gendaito... the "different dates" is like differentiating between the 70's and 80's as opposed to the late 20th Century...

    That said, I do recommend you at least look into what my background is, and my postings here... as far as your knowing what you're talking about in terms of sword, what exactly is your background with the weapon? Your posting indicates Aikido... but nothing to do with Iai, Ken (do or jutsu), koryu, or anything else of the ilk... considering your pronouncements of koryu in another thread, and being me, that does pique my interest and curiosity...
     
  9. oldwarrior

    oldwarrior Green Belt

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    I follow your thoughts on what your saying but to my mind there is a difference in date as a shinasakuto is a sword that to me is made after the ban was lifted ...a gendaitio is a new sword from the meiji up to end of war (ok not the full meiji but from that era up to 1945)

    Tamiya ryu
     
  10. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    How long did you study Tamiya Ryu for? I'm assuming it's not Kuroda Tetsuzan's line... so the guys in Wakayama probably? As for dates, gendai is "modern"... so there is no "end date" for a modern sword... applying one seems... odd. Of course, as these "dates" are less firm and definite (getting absolute agreement on when the Meiji period began is an issue all of its own), some do apply their personal interpretation of them... but, at the end of the day, a sword made today is both a shinsakuto and a gendaito... or, less commonly, a Heisei-to...
     
  11. oldwarrior

    oldwarrior Green Belt

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    I do agree gendai is modern just I got a different slant on it

    and no not Koroda lol although I have had the pleasure once Ikeda

    I have not picked up a sword in 10 years but I may well again when I feel ready ....

    The Kendo I was taught I'd get thrown out of a dojo today for lol as who taught me (privately ) was different and I'd think you will know what I mean

    as for if you are thinking menkyo nope and no

    Aikido Iwama
     
  12. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Okay... the question was how long you studied Tamiya Ryu, as well as who with... nothing about kendo... I knew about the Aikido... I didn't mention anything about Menkyo... and yes, I know what approach to Kendo you mean (the Tokyo riot squad might be familiar to you then...). Could you possibly go back and try this again? There's a lot of confusion in what you're referring to ("I have had the pleasure once Ikeda"...? "I have had the pleasure to train under Ikeda once?" "No, not Kuroda [not Koroda], although I did have the pleasure [of training with him] once... I trained with Ikeda...") Can you see the confusion?
     
  13. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    The main thing for me is I want something lighter than what I have right now. I don't need it to be combat functional...just needs to look good while I'm using it.

    In my Taekwondo class, we do plenty of weapons, and we have weapons designed for demonstrations (like metal nunchucks that whistle, fiberglass staves that are really thin and weigh barely anything) and weapons designed for actual use (solid wood nunchucks and solid wood staves). I'm looking for something more like the fiberglass staff or the hollow alluminum nunchucks...but for a sword.

    It's a small portion of my Taekwondo curriculum. Take a typical Taekwondo or Karate kata and add a sword, and you've basically got what I'm doing. A pre-defined pattern of blocks and strikes against imaginary opponents.
     
  14. oldwarrior

    oldwarrior Green Belt

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    are there TKD tuls for the sword ???

    hmmm why then f your looking at fibre glass etc look at the cold steal poly bokken it might be what your after as there not a lot can go wrong there and they are cheap
     
  15. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Okay... just for the record, before any of the other JSA guys get here, these types of things are looked upon with scorn and derision... but I think I have an idea of what you're after... just be aware it's nothing like what we'd consider actual swordsmanship at all...

    TKD has no "Japanese" weapons... the usage is most commonly brought in for interest, with wildly varying degrees of success and knowledge or skill... but you should look for "weapons" designed for XMA. It's basically gymnastics and flash masquerading as martial arts, focusing on impressive physical feats rather than anything combatively genuine, but that leads them to a range of lightweight versions of a range of weapons... including sword-simulations (I just can't call them swords... I tried, I just can't... ha!).

    Check out things like this:
    XMA Wave Blade Sword | Century Martial Arts

    Please note I am in no way endorsing or promoting these items... but they do seem to be closer to what you're after.

    Yeah... sword kata aren't really like that, so you know....
     
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  16. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I'm talking about my Taekwondo school. Where we also do some hapkido techniques, and my master has a 2nd Dan in Kendo. Just because it's Taekwondo doesn't mean we can't learn weapons from other places. We do Eskrima too, even though Taekwondo doesn't have "Filipino weapons".
     
  17. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Woah, relax there... your first response was much better...

    But, if you're going to go about it this way, let's clarify.

    Yeah, I get that...

    You did see where I said that these things are brought in (from outside) with varying levels of success and knowledge or skill, yeah? That means there are some who a decent, some who know the weapons, and a number of others who are little more than playing with toys they don't understand... I never indicated that your school was in one place or another on that list... however, if you're going to get that defensive, other than the mention of a kendo Nidan ranking (which isn't that high, honestly, and is well before the study of sword [as in kata] is done in earnest in most dojo...), all the hallmarks of not having much real basis are in your posts... the desire for "light weapons that look good"... a "lacquered handle" (which, frankly, means it's just more likely to fly out of your hands)... the idea of taking a TKD form and adding a weapon, and thinking that is anything close to the actual way of training the weapon, and more indicate to me that there is a reasonable chance that the weapon use you do is not really based in anything like the actual usage of the weapons... I mean... you also do Escrima? What is your teachers knowledge and experience with that? What line did he study? What rank did he achieve? Or does he just teach paired short sticks, and refer to that as "Escrima"?

    Look, if you're interested in weapon work, great. And if you're enjoying what you do in your class, awesome. But you really should be aware that it really isn't anything like actual sword training... and, while there's no rule that you can't learn weapons from other sources (arts, cultures etc), there's a world of difference between adding weapons without basis and actually studying them.
     
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  18. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'd really recommend you do.
     
  19. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    Not a sword guy, but your specifications of what your looking for immediately have me questioning why.
    • Lacquer finish (or similar) on the hilt, with no cord wrap---You intentionally want something with less grip as your hands gets sweaty?
    • Dull/unsharpened blade----understandable
    • Lightweight, preferably with a half-tang----You want a blade between 27-29" long to be supported by about 6" of tang? To save weight? Do you not think the balance of the sword may be more important?
    @Chris Parker can and has gone into more detail about what you are looking for, I'm just having trouble following the logic of intentionally looking for inferior product.
     
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  20. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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