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  • Last Legend swords for Iaido??

    Has anyone used a Last Legend katana for Iaido? They look like they are wicked cutters, but I was wondering what the balance is like for Iaido.

  • #2
    what is the Last Legend katana for iaido?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Dr. Hellsing
      what is the Last Legend katana for iaido?
      Well, Last Legend is a company that produces sharpened swords made primarily for tameshigiri. Their web page can be found at:

      http://www.imperialweapons.com/orien.../find_out.html

      They look to be a very solid purchase and I was wondering if anyone had tried them yet for Iaido.

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      • #4
        uh...why do you want a sharpened iai? you might hurt someone and stuff...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Colin_Spencely
          Well, Last Legend is a company that produces sharpened swords made primarily for tameshigiri. Their web page can be found at:

          http://www.imperialweapons.com/orien.../find_out.html

          They look to be a very solid purchase and I was wondering if anyone had tried them yet for Iaido.
          colin,

          i haven't had any first-hand experience with last legend swords, but be aware that swords made for tameshigiri are often heavier than iaito and the balance tends to be further toward the kissaki. so if you're looking for a sword for day-to-day iai practice, it might not be a good idea (especially if you haven't used a shinken for iai practice before).

          fyi, there are other companies that make 'steel iaito' such as www.swordstore.com. they're not called shinken because they weren't made by recognized japanese smiths. might be good for comparison.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Colin_Spencely
            Has anyone used a Last Legend katana for Iaido? They look like they are wicked cutters, but I was wondering what the balance is like for Iaido.
            Colin, if you don't mind my asking, are you new to iaido? If so, talk to your sensei FIRST about what sort of sword would be best for you. Many beginners from the iaido part of my dojo start with a bokken in a plastic saya (one third down the page) and then graduate to an iaito, a sword with a beveled edge but a sharp point. You can also save yourself serious $$$ as your sensei can let you know if there's anyone around who wishes to part with an iaito you can use.

            I've promised myself to wait until I attain shodan in kendo (2004, damnit!) before taking up MJER iai, but when I do I will start with a simple white oak wooden bokken with saya as the sensei approves of this approach. If iai doesn't work out for me, I'm not out a lot of money. If it works out and my sensei says it's ok, I can then get a nice iaito in time for my ikkyu grading.

            If I'm completely mistaken and you are an accomplished student and you're looking for quality iaito or cutting swords listed as "Steel Iaito That Cut", Nosyuiaido is very well-recommended, here in KW and certainly among the iaido practitioners in Central Canada. I cannot comment personally on Last Legend or Nosyuiaido's quality but the website you've provided has some serious alarm bells going off in my head. Especially this sentence:
            "Before we go any further, a reminder that these swords are designed for one purpose and one purpose only--to help you win at martial arts Goza cutting. " The only martial arts page I could find from Google that uses the term "Goza cutting" and "iaido" on the same page is from Ishi Yama Ryu, a "Battojutsu school", described on their page as..
            "Ishi Yama Battojutsu Schools of Japanese style swordsmanship is a uniquely American expression of Japanese sword style in traditional fashion."
            No links to any national federations are provided, but a note from the US Sword Federation is provided. More alarm bells.

            If you wanted a cutting blade for tameshigiri from Nosyuiaido, you can get a sizeable discount if you choose one of the in stock steel cutting iaito instead of custom ordering, but it depends on what comes in. They also have some in-stock regular iaito you can choose from, depending upon availablility.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Colin_Spencely
              Has anyone used a Last Legend katana for Iaido? They look like they are wicked cutters, but I was wondering what the balance is like for Iaido.
              Try swordforum.com, there has been lots of talk about ll katana. I do not think the fittings looks strong enough for hard and regular iaido-practise. Ans that is what you want a sword for, right?!!!
              For iai, If i was to buy a sword over the net, I would also use a well renowned store like swordstore. I am getting more and more picky, so these days I would never buy a sword without trying it anyway. If they are good cutters as you say, they may be to tip-heavy for iaido, but that is also matter of personal taste.

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              • #8
                HEIJO SHIN

                I have just looked on their web site and I must say it impressed me. They offer a money back guarantee if you break the blade, and at the price they look the real thing.
                If I were in the market for another cutting sword, this one would be on my shortlist.

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                • #9
                  Last Legend site says about their 400 series: "We're not saying that the 400 Series are the best katanas in the world. In fact, we and Last Legend both agree that if you want the absolute best, you should buy a Howard Clark L6 katana, we can say that and we don't even sell his swords."

                  Is the L6 a kind of Űber-Katana? Excuse my simplified thinking, I thought the best swordsmiths were Japanese. Howard Clark sounds American...
                  And if it is the best, why? Materials? Cutting? Balance? Weight?

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                  • #10
                    So far I've been looking, this Howard Clark L6 katana is way the most expensive from newly-forged katanas... If the "what you give is what you take" aphorism works, then it must be surely a nice one to have.

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                    • #11
                      Hello all.

                      My name is Keven Cecil and Im a sword tester for Last Legend. I found this thread by accident and have since found that there may be a few questions here that I can answer.

                      First of all the balance is supurb on the LL swords. Very simular to Iaito.

                      Every LL sword I have handled is an excellent cutter. Unless I have damaged it already. (grin)

                      The president of LL likes to say Performance over beauty. The primary concerns for LL products is that they function well. And that they do. But they are not the pretiest swords on the market just yet. But they are working on that.

                      One reason that LL uses the term Goza is because a few years ago they were associeated with Ishiyama Ryu, and Mr Russel McCartney. So thats where the president got that term. Im trying to teach him to say Tatami or Tameshigiri.. but so far no luck.

                      I teach Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu here in Reno Nevada. Myself and my students test the swords for Last Legend and offer our input. My website is here if you would like to see what we are all about.

                      I do not want to impose, but I have a good deal of first hand on these swords if you have any questions.

                      Also I have lots of other swords to compare to, Cold Steel Katana, My tozando Iaito, several different Paul Chen, and so on. I dont want to push LL on anybody, but I would love to answer questions if you have them.

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                      • #12
                        Ahhh... someone who has actually had firsthand experience with some of these non-nihonto. Hopefully you can satisfy my curiosity. The only Nihonto that I truly desire are all in the $10k and up price range and unfortunately there are other things at the moment to spend that amount on.

                        It would seem that both the Paul Chen folded steel blades like the Tiger, Kami and Orchid and the Last legend Dragon and Bear series end up roughly the same in retail pricing, i.e. about $1k. What are your opinions in comparing them for Tameshigiri? Perhaps you could give me your experiences in the areas of cutting ability, durability, balance, quality of the fittings and how well the swords are put together with respect to specific swords from both manufacturers? You could also comment on the appearance of the swords but that is secondary to the cutting performance. Any info that might help in deciding if these are worthwile options wuld be greatly appreciated, otherwise I may just have to wait till such time as I am able to acquire a Nihonto.

                        I also apologize to the person who began this thread as this has little to do with iaido, however since it is a thread about Last Legend katana and the company does emphasize the cutting ability of its swords, that is the area I am most curious of. BTW, also for the initiator of this thread, were you perhaps aware that Last Legend has begun production of Iaito? As stated on their site, these are swords which have the same handling characteristics (weight/balance) of their cutting swords but have a rounded edge, are not forged or folded for cutting and are considerably cheaper than their Tameshigiri swords.
                        Last edited by bluemax_1; 4th February 2004, 10:45 PM.

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                        • #13
                          What do you think of this site?

                          http://bugei.com/index.htm

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                          • #14
                            Do you think these are good quality on Ebay?

                            http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...EBWA%3AIT&rd=1

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                            • #15
                              Any ebay person selling a "samurai" sword, located in HK or China is usually selling junk. They artificially age the fittings and the sword is most definitely not a nihonto of any kind.

                              Bugei is a reputable site for swords. They deal with Paul Chen and his Hanwei forge, but they perform stringent quality control checks on any sword they sell. They also sell Howard Clark's work which, while being expensive, is top quality work.

                              I've recently purchased my iaito and my wife's iaito from bugei and I should receive them on Monday. I'll post a review if you're interested.

                              I hope that helps.

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