Katana vs Ninja Sword? Whats the best combat sword?

kip42

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I know the Katana is sharp enough to cut through stuff that a machette and hatchett wont. I also know it never needs sharpening. Who makes the absolute best Katana that will stand up to hard use?
What swords are allowed to be used in Ninjitsu? as in names? Who makes the best Ninja sword out there? Other than the shorter length that allows you to get it out faster; are there any other advantages to a ninja sword over a Katana?
Is the ninja sword which has the longer handle to appear like a Katana accepted by Mater Hatsummi?
Who makes the best training Katana, Ninja sword, and bo staff?
 

Langenschwert

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Whoa, myth alert!

AFAIK, the straight "ninja sword" is a Hollywood invention.

The "best" combat sword is the one you're most trained in, and which is designed to be used in the situations the swordsman will be facing. A rapier would have been no good on a medieval battlefield, but reigned supreme in the back alley brawls and duels of Renaissance Europe. A Zweihander was great for the battlefield, but it wasn't carried around back alleys. Any given martial art and the weapons that it uses is based on context.

Whack your katana around, it will need to be sharpened, polished, what have you. However, sharpness isn't everything, and any given blade can be sharpened to an insane degree, but that's seldom a good idea. Even a very blunt sword will cut reasonably well. A very sharp edge is prone to getting chipped, so any given sword edge is a compromise between sharpness, hardness, edge geometry, etc. No one sword can do everything. It is a tool designed to perform a certain function. Take it out of that function and it becomes sub-optimal.

If you're looking to buy gear, ask your instructor what to get. Each style has different requirements. If you don't have an instructor, get one. Otherwise you're likely to injure yourself.

Best regards,

-Mark
 

Tanaka

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I know the Katana is sharp enough to cut through stuff that a machette and hatchett wont. I also know it never needs sharpening. Who makes the absolute best Katana that will stand up to hard use?
What swords are allowed to be used in Ninjitsu? as in names? Who makes the best Ninja sword out there? Other than the shorter length that allows you to get it out faster; are there any other advantages to a ninja sword over a Katana?
Is the ninja sword which has the longer handle to appear like a Katana accepted by Mater Hatsummi?
Who makes the best training Katana, Ninja sword, and bo staff?

Which "Ninja sword" are you talking about?
Are you talking about the Mythical Straight Ninja sword with a square tsuba?
or
Are you talking about the one which is made based off Hatsumi?
Because there are some accepted "Ninjato/Ninja sword" which may have been actually used.(Still controversial)
Cheness has made this replica called the "Oniyuri"
(Wakizashi length "curved" blade with a Katana length handle)

And my answer is no... They all do not cut as well as a practical/real Katana.(In my opinion, which I feel I'm not qualified to make final judgment on sword abilities. Since I'm a beginner, hopefully someone in here with more experience will tell you)

Also you've spoken before about your background... Why is it that you're looking for this information if you do not mind me asking? It does not match what you've told us.
 

Sukerkin

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Aye, Kip, you are deep in Hollywood/Internet myth territory with this one.

Langen gave you a pretty good short answer on the subject. Just as with empty-hand arts, the one that is 'best' is the one that you enjoy enough to get good at. Length and depth of training is the big determining factor.

For example, I am sandan in MJER {a Japanese Sword art using the katana}. I have advanced fairly rapidly to hit third dan in only seven years because I absolutely love the art and apply myself to it. I know my way around with the katana fairly well {for my time in training} but switch me to the wakizashi (which I have used very little) and I have a tough time of it because how you use the one-handed blade is very different from the short-two-hander that the katana is.

Training is king in any martial art. There are those who have a natural aptitude for a given style and will advance well early but, in the end, training evens out the field and aptitude is trumped by dedication an awful lot of the time.
 

Chris Parker

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Most has already been dealt with well in general, I'll go through in a bit more detail, sorting what is reality from the majority that isn't.

I know the Katana is sharp enough to cut through stuff that a machette and hatchett wont.

You are talking here about two entirely different construction processes and material choices which is a result of very different use. Comparing them is as pointless as comparing which is the deadlier, a shark or a lion. Well, in the ocean, I'm going to give the edge to the shark. On land, however... Understand? You would not be using a sword for the same purposes that a machette or hatchet would be used for, and by the same token you wouldn't use a hatchet where a sword is demanded.

I also know it never needs sharpening.

Now where on earth did you get that from? They aren't Wiltshire Stay-Sharps, you know. The process of sharpening a katana is polishing, and if a sword is used frequently, it is advised that it undergoes regular polishing as well. It also takes out small nicks and chips in the blade as needed, as well as giving it back it's ever-so-pretty appearance.

Who makes the absolute best Katana that will stand up to hard use?

Oh, that's easy. A top level traditionally trained swordsmith, such as Gasshan (designated a National Living Treasure in Japan). Got a spare $50,000+?

But really, what are you doing that you class as "hard use"? From your posts you have no experience with Ninjutsu or any Japanese Sword Art, instead you seem to have a rather naive fascination with it at present, and that is all. Find a school, study for a few years, and realise that what you are asking for here is not what you will need or want at all.

To explain, most swordsmanship in the Bujinkan (as that has been your focus of your posting) is done with Bokken (wooden swords) or Fukuro Shinai (leather covered bamboo swords). And most swordsmanship is based on two-person training exercises (kata), and is highly focused on evasive cutting (in other words, not blocking the other persons sword, as that can lead to damaging your own blade, as well as other reasons). Some schools may allow some form of cutting, but that is rarer rather than the norm. I suggest checking out the videos that Bob has put up in the Armoury section, particularly the one on the "Ninja Blog" one... then make sure you read the critique offered afterwards. Swordsmanship is not the focus of the Bujinkan, and that shows in quite a few places.

What swords are allowed to be used in Ninjitsu?

Okay, mentioned this before, but it seems it's not a typo for you. It's not ninjitsu, it's ninjutsu. The word "ninjitsu" is used by the less-legit people out there out of ignorance, to avoid looking like one of them, I recommend spelling it correctly. So you know, they are not the same word pronounced differently, they are completely different words, with different meanings and different written characters ("jitsu" meaning "truth", and "jutsu" meaning "practical art or skill"... although those who pronounce/spell it ninjitsu universally use the "jutsu" character, simply showing they have no idea what they are talking about).

As for what ones are "allowed" to be used, not really sure you understand things here. The sword used in training Japanese sword arts is a bokken, a wooden training sword shaped like a katana. There are also short sword versions, known as kodachi (short sword/tachi) or wakizashi (mounted on the side/side arm) predominantly, and again there are bokken forms of these. Additionally, you may sometimes use a Togakure Ryu sword, which is a shorter blade with a regular tsuka/handle and saya/scabbard. There is no such thing as a sword that is "allowed" or "disallowed", just the proper tools for training. Join a school, train, learn, and do as instructed there.

as in names? Who makes the best Ninja sword out there?

Why? You still haven't answered that question, I notice, although I've asked it a few times already. Without training in the art, what good would it do you? I could point you to a number of people, but it's completely moot if you're not training in the system. And odds are that you will rarely, if ever, deal with the Togakure Ryu Bikenjutsu kata, which is the only time, really, that a "ninja sword" would be used in class.... and that sword is the one I mentioned above, it does not have a straight blade, a square tsuba, it isn't worn on the back, or any other hollywood myth. It's really just a katana with slightly different dimentions.

IF you train then you will use a bokken. And maybe after a number of years (even decades or more) you may decide you want to get a metal blade. But maybe not. Rushing ahead is pointless, as you will not have the requisite knowledge to make a halfway decent selection, let alone have an actual use for it other than admiring it's shininess, and if that is all you want, then a good one is not needed.

Other than the shorter length that allows you to get it out faster; are there any other advantages to a ninja sword over a Katana?

It is a katana. Forget about any distinctions. Katana just means sword, anyway. As to advantages in different dimentions, join a school, train, study, and learn. You currently have no baseline that you can compare with, so anything that could be said is rather pointless.

Is the ninja sword which has the longer handle to appear like a Katana accepted by Mater Hatsummi?

Join a school, train, study, then ask your instructor what they allow in their school. Forget what Hatsumi "accepts", he isn't really concerned with what someone outside of his dojo is doing.

Who makes the best training Katana, Ninja sword, and bo staff?

There is no point giving you a list of suppliers unless you are training, and even then the standard answer is "ask your instructor". That's not us being difficult, it's that some instructors have very particular requirements as to what is used in their schools, or have certain preferences. Some will insist that you get everything through them (I, for instance, don't insist, but do strongly recommend it, and won't allow weapons to be used without me inspecting them first).

Your first step is simple. If you are really interested in studying these arts (really, though, it's coming across to me as a mild infatuation, rather than a true interest, kind of like a crush on someone you haven't met) then find a school, join, train, study, and learn. These questions are not really going to help you. Join a school first.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I have several times begun to post, only to abandon it as being mocking and condescending, with references to fanboy fantasy springing to mind. I will attempt to restrain myself.

However, there is one thing that I must ask. What on earth is a 'combat' sword in this day and age? Is there anyone on this planet who carries a sword for personal defense, or feels it is something on which they would rely to defend themselves over, say, a firearm of some sort? Who goes about on a day-to-day basis armed with a sword?

Not to say that a sword cannot be used in such circumstances, or to say that there are not experts who can wield one most effectively; I'm not saying that at all. But in terms of 'combat', a sword is about as useful as a working knowledge of ancient Greek. No offense intended.

A concealable knife, yes. A firearm, yes. A knowledge of unarmed self-defense, yes. But a sword? It's an awesome weapon, but I would no sooner take one into 'combat' than I would select an Haddock and sally forth, slapping wildly in all directions.
 

Omar B

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Bill, I was the first one to see this thread last night and after the third paragraph of I realized I was just calling him a TV fanboy and gave the whole thing up.
 

Cryozombie

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Who goes about on a day-to-day basis armed with a sword?

FWIW, I would if I could. Not as a replacement for a firearm, but in addition to. Or perhaps even a well made Sword-cane. It is Urbane and Gentlemanly, and compliments my Tuxedo well.

;)
 

Bill Mattocks

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FWIW, I would if I could. Not as a replacement for a firearm, but in addition to. Or perhaps even a well made Sword-cane. It is Urbane and Gentlemanly, and compliments my Tuxedo well.

;)

Perhaps a nice cape would compliment that outfit. They were once all the rage, I'm told.
 

Omar B

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FWIW, I would if I could. Not as a replacement for a firearm, but in addition to. Or perhaps even a well made Sword-cane. It is Urbane and Gentlemanly, and compliments my Tuxedo well.
;)

What got me was the topic title "Katana vs Ninja Sword? Whats the best combat sword?"

Who's in combat with a sword now? Wouldn't a gun be a lot more practical for combat? After all, a sword's pretty useless in the modern world, unless it's understood that the other guy is gonna show up with a sword too, and duels are illegal.
 

Bill Mattocks

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What got me was the topic title "Katana vs Ninja Sword? Whats the best combat sword?"

Who's in combat with a sword now? Wouldn't a gun be a lot more practical for combat? After all, a sword's pretty useless in the modern world, unless it's understood that the other guy is gonna show up with a sword too, and duels are illegal.

Guy comes out of the dark with a sword at me, I'm going to shoot him. I've never been much for fair fights.
 

nitflegal

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Hrmm. I'll refrain from making much commentary about sword design for the Togakure ryu (if we're talking ninjutsu anyway, I've not ever seen kenjutsu attributed to the Gyokushin and Kumogakure ryu) the since there other who know gobs more than I about that or at the least are higher up the food chain than I and have had access to primary documents. I will say I am oft amused by the regard for Japanese swords, considering their beauty is a byproduct of the fact that they had such lousy steel they had to jump though major metaphoric hoops to equal the steel being made in the west at the same time. . . I will say that I've noticed that techniques within the Kukishinden ryu change quite a bit based on whether you're using a shorter standard bokken (which is really too short for most of us westerners) a more tachi-length one, and a shorter less curved uschi gatana style sword. One of the bazillion reasons it's good to have an experienced instructor working with you to coach you through the subtleties. If he does find a teacher, I still think Bugei makes the best bokken easily available out there and Hanwei makes some very useful blunt steel training katana. I would also caution any wannabe kensei that any sword is liable to damage and destruction if you don't know what you're doing. When I first studied kenjutsu back 20 years now I am embarrassed to admit the variety of ways I figured out how to damage or bend a sword. Frankly, I think European swords are more forgiving of a slightly off cutting angle or what have you. I also think some of the L2 tool steel blades being made these days will be as good for cutting as traditional blades. Heck, just buy one of Matt Venier's blades as they're excellent cutters, superbly balanced, designed and made by a Bujinkan shidoshi for our style of kenjutsu, and even I haven't been able to damage one yet! BTW, just as friendly advice to the topic starter. I am quite sympathetic to the wanting to teach yourself kenjutsu to get started syndrome. Did it myself back in '86 when I got a copy of Dave Lowry's "Bokken", Draeger's "Japanese Swordsmanship", and Obata's "Naked Blade". This precocious training gave me bad habits, poor kamae, multiple scars, a couple of ER visits, and pretty much nothing of use for when I finally found a teacher. So, if you really want to set your training back, give yourself bad habits that will take you years to overcome, and get some fascinating scars to show off to your dates, definitely do this! Otherwise, waving 3 foot razor blades about based on incomplete photo series from books and youtube videos is a really bad idea. Matt
 

zDom

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You all are going to be SOOOOO sorry when you run out of bullets during the Zombie Apocalypse and don't have the best available combat sword to fall back on.

Just sayin' ... don't come running to ME with pack of zombies chasing you down. And you better hope they are the slow, lumbering kind and not the superhuman speed kind.
 

Bill Mattocks

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You all are going to be SOOOOO sorry when you run out of bullets during the Zombie Apocalypse and don't have the best available combat sword to fall back on.

Just sayin' ... don't come running to ME with pack of zombies chasing you down. And you better hope they are the slow, lumbering kind and not the superhuman speed kind.

Two words. Chainsaw. OK, that's one word. The other word is also chainsaw. Just sayin'. Works really well on Deddites, oughtta work on Zombies.
 

punisher73

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I have several times begun to post, only to abandon it as being mocking and condescending, with references to fanboy fantasy springing to mind. I will attempt to restrain myself.

However, there is one thing that I must ask. What on earth is a 'combat' sword in this day and age? Is there anyone on this planet who carries a sword for personal defense, or feels it is something on which they would rely to defend themselves over, say, a firearm of some sort? Who goes about on a day-to-day basis armed with a sword?

Not to say that a sword cannot be used in such circumstances, or to say that there are not experts who can wield one most effectively; I'm not saying that at all. But in terms of 'combat', a sword is about as useful as a working knowledge of ancient Greek. No offense intended.

A concealable knife, yes. A firearm, yes. A knowledge of unarmed self-defense, yes. But a sword? It's an awesome weapon, but I would no sooner take one into 'combat' than I would select an Haddock and sally forth, slapping wildly in all directions.

I'll probably regret it, but I'll assume that he is genuine in what he asks for in a "combat sword". The poster probably means one that can be used for practice and practice cutting as opposed to the "wall mount" swords a la Bud K catalog or any other decoration only swords.

That being said, read through the archives and find threads that already discuss this topic on katanas. Then ask your teacher etc. Nothing wrong with getting a cheap bokken if all you want to do is wave it around and get the feel of the length etc.
 

nitflegal

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You all are going to be SOOOOO sorry when you run out of bullets during the Zombie Apocalypse and don't have the best available combat sword to fall back on.

Just sayin' ... don't come running to ME with pack of zombies chasing you down. And you better hope they are the slow, lumbering kind and not the superhuman speed kind.

I beg to differ my friend. I have an excellent spring steel machete for that as I expect my cut geometry to get sloppy due to fatigue and I can't risk a thinner blade that may break. It also has a lovely mount to go on an oak staff for a lash-up naginata.

If the zombies are runners, I'm pretty much boned no matter what I have.

Matt
 

zDom

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I have an excellent spring steel machete for that as I expect my cut geometry to get sloppy due to fatigue and I can't risk a thinner blade that may break.

I went with a machete, too because I can't afford a combat-worthy katana yet.

I have a nice KA-BAR, but they aren't much good against the Undead.
 

Carol

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I went with a machete, too because I can't afford a combat-worthy katana yet.

I have a nice KA-BAR, but they aren't much good against the Undead.

Say what? KA-BARs are good against everything!! I just wish they made a double-edged :(
 

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