Hi, I've been a practitioner of Muso Shinden Iaido for quite a few years. I have recently become an enthusiast of Tamashagiri, as so many do :), and i have a beginner cutting sword. Ive been using a Cold Steel katana but the wrapping came off and the fittings are loose... Now normally i would just rewrap the handel and throw in a new seppa but since the sword was cheep and i've been using it for a while now, im looking to buy a new cutting sword instead.. However im not looking to spend a rediculous ammount on it, as its only my second cutting sword.. Does anyone know where i can look for a good cutting sword that is relatively cheep? ( <$1000 preferably)
Good luck with your study and search for a good cutter, I'm in the UK so I'm not going to be much assistance with pointing you in the right direction, I know there's a small number of us here on this forum, some of whom may be in the US and able to help.
Might I suggest however; that a visit to Sword Forum International would be a good online starting point and to add, perhaps a chat with your instructor may be useful.
May I ask how long you've studied MSR and to whom you study under ?
Because I'm in a good mood...
Here's the specific forum you require on SFI
Japanese Swordsmanship Arts - Sword Forum International (http://forums.swordforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=16)
BossI think this might be better on SFI Nihon-to Forum - Sword Forum International (http://forums.swordforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=14) the Nihonto rather than the Japanese swordsmanship forum. He should probably be reading both though before parting with the readies.
Thanks for all the help! And my Sensei is Mark Chevalier, but we mainly practice together. Him and i study under Sensei Richard W. Babin. A few other people in the area include Sensei Harry Dach, Sensei Bob Elder, Sensei Gary Chase, and Sensei John Aquadro, all located in the Memphis, Tennessee area. Sensei Babin has a couple books out, one on Muso Shinden Ryu iaido and one on Tameshigiri. As far is I go i've been studying for about 6 years off and on.. Unfortunately i've missed my chance to test a few times in a row due dealing with school and am just recently getting the chance to test for my black belt.
Ok mate well as I said good luck with your search, perhaps post back if you get somewhere.
No need to call everyone "sensei" in your posts (even if they are your teachers etc) Whilst I understand the connotation of respect in its use, there's absolutely no need on the internet - especially here.
Hope all goes well with your yudansha test - When you say "black belt" I'm assuming you don't actually wear a coloured belt other than a suitably matched kakuobi to your hakama and keikogi? or... do you wear a black belt to denote yudansha?
Edit : Do you study Seitei and that's what the gendai menjo is for?
Ha ha, no we don't use a color belt system. By black belt i just mean the rank of Shodan. And yes, since we constantly get new students we do mainly Seitei but every so often we get to break out a little of the Omori, Eishen, or Okuden katas.. Also im sorry i know this is a noob question but, what is "gendai menjo"? Im not familiar with this term >.<
Now I know you said you didnt want to spend a lot, but http://www.angelsword.com/ is hands down the best thing you will find in the states. I have known several people that have bought weapons from here and not only is the quality the best, they have an incredible guarantee...
My friend bought a katana, and wanted to see how sharp and tough it was so he went hacking through sapling. Well, he made it up to a 5 inch diameter tree before his technique faltered and he got the sword stuck indie the tree. Needless to say he dinged up the sword a bit, but they took it back and fixed it up free of charge.(he does live a few hours away from the foundry so he didnt pay for anything but gas to get there)
GENDAI - Modern
MENJO - Certificate
"Yudansha" being a very modern method of offering certification for students often known as the "kyu/dan" system. prior to this most martial systems in Japan used the Menkyo system which neither had coloured belts or grades for that matter.
Why not just ask Bob Elder? Isn't he heavily into cutting things up and runs a shop etc?
It's at least worth a look since you can play with the good before ordering.
Bob Elder is a good fella, you can learn a lot from him!
check out what hanwei has to offer, they have some good blades as well.
www.casiberia.com hit he japanese link. Folded can be pricey, they have some good economy forged blades.
I like the Bushido blade- its folded and cuts very nicely through green and yellow bamboo for harder targets.
Kris Cutlery is another interesting place, I think they get the blades made in the phillipines, and from what I've read the quality is very good for the price, I especially like the look of the 29A, as the curvature of the blade continues through the tsuka, the same thing you get on iaito, the chen stuff is typically a straight tsuka with a curved blade on the end, they feel a bit 'dead' compared to my iaito.
The more i'm looking around I see that most of the "cheap" nice blades are ~$1200 so im thinking i'll probably end up spending about that.. Hanwei has some appealing items indeed.. I think i may pay Bob Elder a visit along with Hary Doch and see what they have in stock
Im not a big fan the E-Katana that Elder carries, small tsuka (8-10") big heavy blade, point of balance not to good, but to each their own. Other then that he carries several other blades that are nice.
I started off with a practical pro plus as my first cutter, still using it 3 years later and the blade has not lost its edge!
Scratch that last post. Tom Smyth is coming down to hold a seminar with us the 17th and 18th and we wont be having a class until then.. So my options now seem to be either re-wrap my tsuka on my old one, choose one online, or see if i can make my way up to Memphis somehow to see what i can get out of Harry Dach or Dr. Babin. Any sugestions?
I looked over Kris Cutlery's site and none of their swords seemed to jump out at me, not to say they weren't good looking blades, just not really what im looking for i guess. Thank you for the link though.
No problem, the KC stuff is meant to be purely functional I believe, their early blades were even bonded into the tsuka because of that. It's entirely up to you what kind of package you're after. The Chen PK I don't like much, but then I wouldnt be using it for kata, just cutting, so for the price it can't be beat, for example.
Horses for courses and all that
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