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  • choosing the faster sword

    Hi Guys,
    I am deciding to get the one of two swords. They are both the same length 29.2 inch blade, but differ in weight and balance. One weighs 1250 grams and the other weighs 1380 grams. The one that weighs the least is a little more top heavy and the heavier one has the balance a little closer to the tsuba. Which one would be a better sword for iai? I cant actually try the sword before i buy it because the store where im buying it from has to order it in for me. Which one would feel lighter in the hands?
    Kind regards,
    Jeremy Hagop

  • #2
    I'm just a kendoka but ehm the one with the weight closest to the tsuba would feel the lightest, it would be able to control easier because the balance point is not so far from your grip.

    My two cents

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    • #3
      I'm afraid that question is impossible to answer. To many variables. It is true that a lighter sword can feel heavier if the balance is wrong, but not necessarily. You'd really have to swing both for awhile to get a good feel one way or the other.

      As for which is better for iai, that question is even harder to answer without at least knowing what style of iai you train in.

      Both of those swords sound a good bit heavier than iaito usually run so I'm assuming you're looking at shinken. Perhaps your instructor would be able to help you in this matter more than we can. There's just too many variables.

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      • #4
        I would look for one weighing in at around 900 grammes. You are less likely to get stress related injuries to the joints due to being a beginner, and you can train for longer with a lighter blade....

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        • #5
          Thanks for the replies. I have been studying MJER for some time now since last year. Weight isnt too much of a problem. I just dont want to get tennis elbow at a young age! They are shinken by the way.
          Kind regards,
          Jeremy Hagop

          Comment


          • #6
            jezah81

            I'm a Photographer by profession and I get continually asked by people which camera is best? What camera should I buy? Which camera takes the best pictures and will make me a better photographer?

            These are purely amateur questions and only exist in the amateur photography magazines. As a pro I'll use anything put in front of me, it really doesn't matter, the camera's irrelevent to the quality of the photograph.

            Back in ancient Japan could you destinguish between the professional and amateur Samurai by the way one was obsessed by miniscule details of a sword believing it would make him a better swordsman and the other simply using whatever's at hand at the time.
            Last edited by Mishima; 30th June 2004, 10:25 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jezah81
              Thanks for the replies. I have been studying MJER for some time now since last year. Weight isnt too much of a problem. I just dont want to get tennis elbow at a young age! They are shinken by the way.
              Kind regards,
              Jeremy Hagop
              Do you intend to use this shinken for waza in the immediate future? Or are you getting it with the intention to practice tameshigiri now, and waza sometime down the line? Is your instructor ok with you doing waza with a shinken so early in your training?

              If you're just getting it because, eventually you would like to use it in class to do waza, then I'd wait and get one at that time. The production swords have been improving steadily over the last few years. This is one of those times when waiting is a good thing. You aren't likely to get tennis elbow from doing tameshigiri. You just wouldn't be doing enough repetitions, unless you are far wealthier than average.

              I don't know. Still think you should get your sensei's advice and not worry about what we tell you. Even though I'm Eishin Ryu as well, I suspect we are from different branches and thus have different opinions about what is a suitable blade for training.

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              • #8
                Thanks for your reply Mishima. Are you of Japanese origin? Just curious, thats all. And thank you Charles for replying. Your insight is greatly valued. By the way, i intend to do iaido kata 2 times a week for 1.5 hours and tameshigiri 2 times a week also. i have been using shinken since i ever started iaido! Never hurt myself (yet).
                Kind Regards,
                Jeremy Hagop

                Comment


                • #9
                  As one of the instructors I have trained with would say, "Never hurt yourself? What are you doing wrong? " He's only a little bit kidding. Getting saya no uchi right and noto(particularly oku iai noto) right is very tricky with a shinken. I suspect if I had started that way I'd still be trying to talk myself into pushing the envelope. As it is, there was a period of a few months when I had to learn to trust the habbits that I had so carefully built over the previous 5 years, but once past that I seemed to go back to full on training again.

                  Just out of curiosity, I know the some schools that start beginners off with shinken take the edge off. Or some of the edge anyway. Does yours do this? They don't really need to be as sharp as they usually are, and the edge can always be polished back on when the user is no longer in danger of removing their thumb in a stupid moment.

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                  • #10
                    "I intend to do iaido kata 2 times a week for 1.5 hours"
                    Call that training, thats a warm up!!! I do more than that per session, 4 times a week! And if I am lucky I get to do a full day once a month at the weekend.
                    My teacher tells me I need to do more, as he trains 6 hours every day....
                    Now for my favourite Monty Python quote...."you tell the youth of today and they dont believe you"

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                    • #11
                      I know what you mean Tim. If I don't make it to 4 out of the 5 training sessions a week and get in a good extra half our of workout before each session, I feel like I'm slacking. There's just so much I'm still doing wrong!

                      Of course that only puts me at about 8 to 10 hours a week, sounds like you're doing more. Is that how much time you spend on Iaido, or is that including your kendo training as well?

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                      • #12
                        kendo is extra, but I've had to cut that back to only 4 hours a week, this woman who lives with me complains about having to make appointments to see me. At that point I know I've overstepped the mark....

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                        • #13
                          More power to you. Wow. 12 hours a week. That hurts just thinking about it. And I know what you mean about the wife. Believe me. I know.

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                          • #14
                            I forgot - I also teach saturday nights as well.... I'm a bit of a reverse churchgoer, I only miss on sundays....unless theres a seminar of course!!

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                            • #15
                              Man I wish I had the time. 10 hours a week on a consistent basis stretches me pretty then with the wife. Sure there's the occasional seminar and weekend trip, but I'd love to have more time for regular training. You're lucky.

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