Sword Handling

Do not attempt to chop down a tree with your sword.

Such an activity is guaranteed to damage your sword. Axes and machetes are well designed for this with the weight of the steel concentrated over the point of percussion. When you strike a firmly fixed object like a tree or a thick branch with a sword, a great deal of the blade projects past the object being cut, causing the blade to bend or torque. It should be pointed out that the Japanese, who believe in a lot of practice with the sword, used thick bamboo. The bamboo was resistant to a cut, but didn’t have the rigidity of a tree, and so would not have damaged a valuable blade. For a Japanese warrior to cut into a tree would have been unthinkable.

Do not bang your sword against any hard object to test it’s strength or the “sound” of the steel as it hits a hard object.

No matter how tough or strong the steel is in any sword, it will nick when struck against something equally hard. In stage plays or in movies, both choreographed stage combat and reenactments, theatrical swords with wide, thick edges are used. The edges are flat and often as much as 1 1/6″ wide. Such theatrical swords are designed to take the flashy looking punishment of banging edges together. Most of our swords are not theatrical swords they are real weapons designed so that they could fight in the manner that the originals were actually used. Since the cutting edges were often used for slashing, parries were made with the flat of the blade (not the edges). Real swords were never used for the theatrical style of sword banging that the movies or stage plays rely on to liven up the action sequences.

Do not swing any edged weapon carelessly.

Remember, this is a real weapon and must be treated with the same respect you would give to a loaded firearm. When you wish to experience how it felt for warriors to wield these weapons in battle, make sure you are well out of reach of anyone. These weapons are heavy and could slip out of your hands. Be careful not to endanger yourself or other when you manipulate these swords.

Using Your Weapon

No matter what the claim, any blade can be damaged in use. Our weapons are well tempered, and because of this are hard enough to take a very good edge yet are not so hard that they do not retain a good spring action. You have no doubt heard about Rockwell hardness. Many modern companies give a Rockwell hardness figure for their product and the general concept is harder the better. This however, especially for a sword blade is erroneous. First of all Rockwell hardness is meant to measure tool hardness and not as many people think, for blades. In a tool, depending on its use, the Rockwell hardness of the working surface is usually a small section of that tool. Over a longer surface the Rockwell will vary up and down the length of the blade 2 to 3 degrees. A knife with a high Rockwell number, once it gets dull is very hard to re-sharpen. A sword that is too soft or un-tempered will not break, but will simply bend and stay bent and if sharpened it will not hold an edge. Understanding that Rockwell hardness is for tools, not swords and daggers, our blades will range from about 45 to 49 on a Rockwell scale. Hard enough to take and hold a good edge, not so hard to break easily or be difficult to re-sharpen. When using your sword for swordplay we cannot stress enough that you should wear proper protection for eyes and face, as well as your full body. Even an unsharpened sword can cause serious injury and if precaution is not used easily break bone. In fighting with sword on sword, the opponents blade should be parried with the side of the blade. Edge to edge sword blows will nick both weapons no matter what the steel or temper. Also slapping with the side of the blade should be avoided as a very hard slap can break the blade. These simple truths go for not just our weapons but for any sword that was ever made and no doubt for any sword that ever will be made.

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