@Kenning - While I agree with what you say about European swords and the over-hyping of the katana (which is a fine weapon, to be sure, btw) perhaps your main problem here is in your approach in presenting your facts. What you see as passion to a cause, others may interpret as hysteria. It's probably not a good approach to take particularly on this site, which is known for its chaotic and irreverent nature. ;)
thank you, sir.
Aright, its time to look what has been done meanwhile to stop nonsense I complained about
StephenTurnbull: Katana The Samurai Sword. Osprey 2010
Although Turnbull is still praising the "immense strength, flexibility and sharpness" of KatAnas, he does not say a word about european swords. The onyl thing he mention sis that parrying and striking in Japan was similar to Rapier fencing in Europe. That's it. No more European sword bashing in Turnbull's books! He learned his lesson!
History Channel: History of the Sword © 2011(?)
I watched the whole thing, and OMG they mentioned that medieval fencing manuals do exist! Matt Galas and Colin Richards are seen in this docu, as well as some reknown German HEMA-practitioners.
Now the less good part; despite the acknowlegdement of Medieval fencing arts they stubbornly repeated the myth of a "big hunk of iron used with brute strength". The silly "Broadsword VS KatAna" from the infamous National Geographic docu was recycled too - although they were forced to admit that "european swords were as sharp as katAna" they still tried to play the "weight-card".
As a result you got a docu which was kinda weird, on the one side they admitted (finally) that there were Martial arts and sharp swords in Medieval Europe, on the other side they couldn't resist to repeat the usual crap avbout their "tremendous weight" and "clumsiness whcih required brute strength".
But yeah, it is clear that HEMA community created lots of enlightenment and slowly puts Japanophiles or Saracen-o-philes to the places they belong, preventing them from spouting biased nonsense. And I proudly count myself to HEMA too.