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  1. #1
    Account Closed at Members Request WhiteDragon's Avatar
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    Default so whats so bad about a 440 stainless steel 60$ katana

    i got one at china town san francisco. it looked nice. they had it mounted all nice in the "good swords' section. its covered in leather, the sheath, the handles. but it doesn't have taht little block of wood where u tie the string to. the blade has 'china' and 440 Stainless written on it. and then a little weird symbol of a european shield with a european sword in front with teh initals PS or DS (don't know which one) on it. it was 60 and i thought it was good. but reading through the forums i realize i made a mistake? i wasn't planning on having a sword to go cut bamboo stuff all the time, but i did want one that could cut, just so i know i can. it seems like my blade is a mold and not folded one. i feel taht its some cheap copy imitation. like it will break if i even tap it against a piece of wood or hit a pillow with it or swing it to hard or fast. i would like to know the pros and cons of 440 stainless steal made in china katanas bought in a store from chinese couples in san franciscos china town. theyr'e stronger tahn those aluminum practice ones right? please say yes. damn i knew i should a gotten the white one..... also the blade seems very not wide

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Jay Bell's Avatar
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    The base of it....440 is a mold, it isn't forged at all. It's very weak grade steal.

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  3. #3

    Talking Cutlery catalogues... avoid them like the plague...

    Hmm.

    Looks like no tameshigiri for you, young grasshopper.

    Your best bet would probably be one of those [name of product deleted on account of age of respondee] that seems to be a topic of much debate and discussion at, er, the "other" place.

    Gonna cost you a bit more that a Ben Frank, though.

    ... and only AFTER getting some kenjutsu or iaido experience.

    Preferably lots of it.

    El-cheapo 440s and aluminum blades are best utilized for practicing draw cuts until you're confident and competent enough not to accidentally amputate any fingers, nick any arteries, or impale anyone within a 50-foot radius.
    Last edited by kirigirisu; 08-10-2004 at 02:20. Reason: Just realized I'm talking to a kid. No sharp pointies for you, young man.
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  4. #4
    Account Suspended: Noncompliance with full real name rule SteyrAUG's Avatar
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    For basic minimum swords look into a Paul Chen.


    Anything with a cutting blade and proper balance and handle length is gonna cost about $200.

  5. #5
    The Nephilim
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    Internet only shop blades unlimited can sell you some decent but not good enough to cut wet straw. But they have an age policy and are in the UK.

  6. #6
    Junior Member ACRAWFORD's Avatar
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    if live blades are what you require, you can also check out coldsteel.com.


    However I do agrea that one should start with a bokken or iaito"unsharpened blade" before any serous work with a live weopon is attempted. Best of luck to you.


    Oh and yes a decent blade will cost a good bit more than 100.

    As fare as cheap 440's they are meant for looking at. If you do decide to get one be be careful what you do with it.


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  7. #7
    Super Moderator jjaje's Avatar
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    Default

    http://sickjokes.about.com/gi/dynami...s/TV/sword.wmv

    It's all about the steel. But the video above, of a 440 stainless steel sword, shows why you don't want to try cutting anything real with it. You may just hurt yourself.
    The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly. - Theodore Roosevelt

  8. #8
    Account Suspended: Noncompliance with full real name rule SRK85's Avatar
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    I seriously doubt anyone could find a good sword in Chinatown SF. I was just there and all their swords looked like crap. Anyways I check ebay a lot and they have a lot of good swords at good prices check this one out. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...48948&tc=photo

  9. #9
    Account Suspended: Noncompliance with full real name rule SteyrAUG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteDragon
    well i have a little iado experience from teh seminars my teacher would hold every now and then. but we never learned any basics n such, just went straigt to forms. i really wanna add kenjutsu or real iado to my martial arts EDIT! i just found the exact sword i bought here it ishttp://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=43338&item=2238072 968
    same exact one. i would like to know please: what is the company (onimusha? isn't taht a video game?). if it is good, is it a well known company? will it break if i put it in the sheath hard. can it be sharpened (not taht i would). how long the tange is? will it break if i swing it in the air as hard as i can? is ita good beginners sword buy taht i got for 60?

    Besides poor balance the handle is probably plastic. The blade could take and edge and might hold up to some cutting but the handle would probably not survive it and who knows how long the tang actually is.

    As said before it is for decoration. All the swinging around in the air probably wouldn't hurt it and I can't imagine why anyone would slam it into the scabbard.

    So it is a good fart around blade for goofing off but I wouldn't recommend anything beyond that.

    If you want a quality sword for real training let me know. I can get you the same P. Chen blade that most of my students use for about $225.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Paul B's Avatar
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    I don't even know what to say!! Please listen to what others have told you about practicing with a "live" blade!

    Please,please please find a qualified instructor and learn to use a katana correctly before hacking away at anything! The danger is VERY real!

    If you simply "must" have a sword, please buy a bokken(wooden sword) or Iaito(unsharpened) before you buy a "live" one. Even with an Iaito there could be danger, so I again reiterate about seeking qualified instruction.

    Sorry, but a couple "seminars" doesn't cut it(pun intended)! Seek out a qualified instructor, PLEASE.

    Best Regards,

    Paul Bladen

  11. #11
    Account Suspended: Noncompliance with full real name rule SRK85's Avatar
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    If you want a good katana and wouldnt mine paying between 350-600$ check out this sitehttp://swordstore.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.../1jpsword.html

  12. #12
    Member lightninrod's Avatar
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    That video was hilarious.

    I have a question, if someone will indulge me.
    I have read (and re-read, and re-read) Musashi's book of five rings, and he seems to be a self-educated swordsman. He says more than once that he had no teacher.
    Now, I'm sure he wasn't running around with a "made in China" 440 stainless blade, but he apparently figured kenjutsu out for himself. He doesn't recommend any of the conventional schools of his time. Am I just misinterpreting what I read, or was he really totally self-trained? If he was really self-trained, and he did well enough to win numerous duels before he was even eighteen years old, then what is wrong with a person purchasing a quality weapon and figuring out for their self how to use it, providing that they are careful?
    I'm just curious, as I am happy with my hanbo and I have no intention of teaching myself the nuances of cutting flesh with a real sword. A stick is much more explainable to the authorities!

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  13. #13
    Account Suspended: Noncompliance with full real name rule SteyrAUG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    That video was hilarious.

    I have a question, if someone will indulge me.
    I have read (and re-read, and re-read) Musashi's book of five rings, and he seems to be a self-educated swordsman. He says more than once that he had no teacher.
    Now, I'm sure he wasn't running around with a "made in China" 440 stainless blade, but he apparently figured kenjutsu out for himself. He doesn't recommend any of the conventional schools of his time. Am I just misinterpreting what I read, or was he really totally self-trained? If he was really self-trained, and he did well enough to win numerous duels before he was even eighteen years old, then what is wrong with a person purchasing a quality weapon and figuring out for their self how to use it, providing that they are careful?
    I'm just curious, as I am happy with my hanbo and I have no intention of teaching myself the nuances of cutting flesh with a real sword. A stick is much more explainable to the authorities!

    Sincerely,
    Justin Mears
    Musashi had a few teachers. Also before becoming a preeminent fencer he was already a swordsman with some combat experience.

    That said a person could learn the basics and train very hard and become a very efficient fencer.

  14. #14
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    It should also be noted that Musashi was a product of his culture. He lived in one of the most violent eras in history. He saw people fight with swords regularly. Many people walking down the street carried them as a matter of course. Musashi was in an excellent position to literally watch people duel to the death, and see for himself what things worked and what things didnt.

    Its not like he was going off of "book knowledge"... he was watching the book be written in blood right in front of him.

    Of course, he also had a natural aptitude for Kenjutsu that few can claim to equal.

  15. #15

    Talking Indulging the young'uns...

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    That video was hilarious.

    I have a question, if someone will indulge me.
    I have read (and re-read, and re-read) Musashi's book of five rings, and he seems to be a self-educated swordsman. He says more than once that he had no teacher.
    At the time he wrote his book.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    Now, I'm sure he wasn't running around with a "made in China" 440 stainless blade, but he apparently figured kenjutsu out for himself.
    Nope. He figured out how to win "by himself."

    He'd already larn'd hisself some mad pimpin' skillz from some great and not-so-great swordsmen, fo'shizzle.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    He doesn't recommend any of the conventional schools of his time.
    No, he just warns against certain types of schools that fall into what he considered tactical traps as far as methodology and mindset were concerned.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    Am I just misinterpreting what I read, or was he really totally self-trained?
    The former.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    If he was really self-trained, and he did well enough to win numerous duels before he was even eighteen years old, then what is wrong with a person purchasing a quality weapon and figuring out for their self how to use it, providing that they are careful?
    Because:

    1. He had already learned hisself the mad pimpin' skillz from several different teachers. Typical modus operandi: find teacher, learn everything teacher has to teach, having completed training with teacher, find new teacher, repeat.

    2. He had combat experience fighting on the losing side in at least a couple of different battles. Instead of doing the "honorable" thing, he ran off and became a bit of a ronin.

    3. He had a natural aptitude for swordwork that most young grasshopper types can't even begin to comprehend.

    4. Most young grasshoppers aren't really all that careful.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    I'm just curious, as I am happy with my hanbo and I have no intention of teaching myself the nuances of cutting flesh with a real sword. A stick is much more explainable to the authorities!
    Focus your curiosity upon increasing your reading comprehension skills (an epidemic in today's MTV soundbite society), and perhaps you'll get a much more rewarding experience from Musashi.

    Get the Cleary translation. It's got the stuff from the head of the Yagyu family in the back. Interesting contrast.
    Last edited by kirigirisu; 08-11-2004 at 03:42.
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  16. #16
    Junior Member Bob Hubbard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjaje
    http://sickjokes.about.com/gi/dynami...s/TV/sword.wmv

    It's all about the steel. But the video above, of a 440 stainless steel sword, shows why you don't want to try cutting anything real with it. You may just hurt yourself.
    LOL The infamous "Sword Like Object" strikes again.
    It looks like a sword.
    It feels like a sword.
    But its more dangerous to its holder than any enemy...or tree.


  17. #17
    Junior Member Bob Hubbard's Avatar
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    I attended a sword buyers lecture in Toronto a while back given by 2 dealers, 1 of whom is a professional blacksmith.

    They went into quite a bit of detail on the types of metals used, proper handling, etc.

    The < $100 swords are what they refered to as "Wall Hangers" or "SLO" (Sword Like Objects) in that they look nice on the wall, but are useless for -any- sword type use. That means even dulled down for 'practice'. The steel simply isn't designed to handle use or impact.

    A reasonable amount for a practice blade (no contact) is in that $100-$500 range. The balance is better, the tang is usually full (goes all the way through the handle) and it is designed for limited use, usually solo iaido type.

    A functional blade will NOT be stainless steel. It works for pocket knives, but not swords due to the sword blade requiring flexibility. Knives don't need to flex.

    A functional sword can easily run you around $1,000 and a good one, several thousands.

    I made the mistake of buying several 'Wall Hangers' with the intent to practice. They now hang on my wall, and I save for a personal weapon of quality.

    Good Luck.

  18. #18
    Member lightninrod's Avatar
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    Kirigirisu,
    Your subject was stated as "Indulging the Young'uns." Thanks for the compliment! I have reached an age where many of the young ladies think of me as "too old". What a relief it is to be called a young'un. You are too kind.

    Quote Originally Posted by kirigirisu
    At the time he wrote his book.
    Obviously, that is the case. However, I can't help but get the impression that he wanted us to understand that his method was his own - that no one had taught it to him. He figured it out for himself.


    Nope. He figured out how to win "by himself."

    He'd already larn'd hisself some mad pimpin' skillz from some great and not-so-great swordsmen, fo'shizzle.
    He apparently had some of these "mad pimpin' skillz" before he came across some of the teachers he is reported to have studied with. After all, he won his first duel at age 13, or sometime around then. I don't know what type of sword training a pre-teen recieved back then, but it would seem that it would have been rudimentary at best.


    No, he just warns against certain types of schools that fall into what he considered tactical traps as far as methodology and mindset were concerned.
    But it was the prevelant schools of the time that promoted these "tactical traps", was it not?



    The former.
    Obviously. Somebody taught him how to hold a sword, and somebody probably gave him some idea of how to execute a proper strike with a sword. But, beyond this, he seems to have figured out his own methodology. Did practicing with a bokken as a child teach him to cut real flesh effectively? Did he learn the timing, which was key to his approach, from someone else? What about his psychological tricks? He seems to be a man who learned from his own life experience more than from anything or anyone else.



    Because:

    1. He had already learned hisself the mad pimpin' skillz from several different teachers. Typical modus operandi: find teacher, learn everything teacher has to teach, having completed training with teacher, find new teacher, repeat.
    If a person can learn everything that their teacher has, then their teacher has stopped at some point. Good for him that he knew when to move on.

    2. He had combat experience fighting on the losing side in at least a couple of different battles. Instead of doing the "honorable" thing, he ran off and became a bit of a ronin.
    So he could see that contemporary ideas of "honor" were crap. Another good thing that he figured out for himself.

    3. He had a natural aptitude for swordwork that most young grasshopper types can't even begin to comprehend.
    Maybe they don't comprehend it because the law doesn't allow for duels. Who knows what someone can do until the situation demands it? Of course, he was something of a prodigy, but how much of his skill was natural, and how much of it was forced upon him through circumstance? Desperate circumstances can bring out alot in a person which they may have had no idea that they were capable of.

    4. Most young grasshoppers aren't really all that careful.
    Therein lies the rub. Musashi learned by actually fighting to the death. So this is the real core of why someone can't teach themselves kenjutsu in modern society. This is also why we have alot of weapons for sale that don't "make the cut". (Pun intended.) So that's the real problem with 440 stainless "made in china" weapons. They are a product of modern society where people don't duel on a day-to-day basis, and where superficial appearance has become more substantial than functionality.


    Focus your curiosity upon increasing your reading comprehension skills (an epidemic in today's MTV soundbite society), and perhaps you'll get a much more rewarding experience from Musashi.
    My reading comprehension skills are fine, thank you. Maybe you should focus on coming down from your pedestal and realize that different people can get widely different meaning from the same reading material. Forgive me if I don't have such a "high" understanding as you do.
    Get the Cleary translation. It's got the stuff from the head of the Yagyu family in the back. Interesting contrast.
    Will do. I have read some of Ittosai's "stuff" and it seems fairly synonymous with Musashi. I have found that their "stuff" has wide application, other than just swordplay, so I read it again from time to time, and I always find some useful point that I missed before. I'm sure that Yagyu will be equally "enlightening".

    Thanks for your indulgence.

    Justin Mears
    Young'un in disguise.
    Last edited by lightninrod; 08-16-2004 at 01:39.
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  19. #19

    Talking Indulging the non-Young'un guy. Or something like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    Kirigirisu,
    Your subject was stated as "Indulging the Young'uns." Thanks for the compliment! I have reached an age where many of the young ladies think of me as "too old". What a relief it is to be called a young'un. You are too kind.


    Obviously, that is the case. However, I can't help but get the impression that he wanted us to understand that his method was his own - that no one had taught it to him. He figured it out for himself.
    Your "impression" misses the point.

    Deal with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    He apparently had some of these "mad pimpin' skillz" before he came across some of the teachers he is reported to have studied with. After all, he won his first duel at age 13, or sometime around then. I don't know what type of sword training a pre-teen recieved back then, but it would seem that it would have been rudimentary at best.
    More than the typical 21st century young'un, it seems.

    Speaking of which, they tend to pick up a lot if'n you start training them at an early age and they're into the whole "slice your enemy up with a 27-36" razor-blade" thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    But it was the prevelant schools of the time that promoted these "tactical traps", was it not?
    Nope. Just the schools he didn't like.

    Lots more have "survived" long after his own two-sword school faded into semi-obscurity.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    Obviously. Somebody taught him how to hold a sword, and somebody probably gave him some idea of how to execute a proper strike with a sword. But, beyond this, he seems to have figured out his own methodology.
    For strategy, yes.

    For technique, possibly.

    For basic fundamentals, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    Did practicing with a bokken as a child teach him to cut real flesh effectively? Did he learn the timing, which was key to his approach, from someone else? What about his psychological tricks? He seems to be a man who learned from his own life experience more than from anything or anyone else.
    So you've bought into the same hype all of his opponents bought into, haven't you?

    Em to the Eye to the Enn to the Dee to the Eff to the You to the See to the Kay.

    He was quite the master of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    If a person can learn everything that their teacher has, then their teacher has stopped at some point. Good for him that he knew when to move on.
    Yup, it was.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    So he could see that contemporary ideas of "honor" were crap. Another good thing that he figured out for himself.
    And, like the Chris Rock sketch, you're one to give props to folks who want props for stuff they're supposed to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    Maybe they don't comprehend it because the law doesn't allow for duels. Who knows what someone can do until the situation demands it? Of course, he was something of a prodigy, but how much of his skill was natural, and how much of it was forced upon him through circumstance? Desperate circumstances can bring out alot in a person which they may have had no idea that they were capable of.
    Sure. Why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    Therein lies the rub. Musashi learned by actually fighting to the death. So this is the real core of why someone can't teach themselves kenjutsu in modern society. This is also why we have alot of weapons for sale that don't "make the cut". (Pun intended.) So that's the real problem with 440 stainless "made in china" weapons. They are a product of modern society where people don't duel on a day-to-day basis, and where superficial appearance has become more substantial than functionality.
    Bingo.

    So stop encouraging other young'un's to "figure it out for themselves" without the proper context or fundamentals.

    Unless you wanna go slicing and dicing Ronin-Death-Duel style to give them the proper feel of things.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    My reading comprehension skills are fine, thank you. Maybe you should focus on coming down from your pedestal
    Wow.

    Maybe tone that inferiority complex thing down a wee bit, eh?

    I just calls 'em as I sees 'em.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    and realize that different people can get widely different meaning from the same reading material.
    Yes, and if said meaning extracted from the given reading material is utterly wrong and silly, I'll taunt it mercilessly until it goes away or I have to taunt it a second time.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    Forgive me if I don't have such a "high" understanding as you do.
    See response above regarding your inferiority complex.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    Will do. I have read some of Ittosai's "stuff" and it seems fairly synonymous with Musashi. I have found that their "stuff" has wide application, other than just swordplay, so I read it again from time to time, and I always find some useful point that I missed before. I'm sure that Yagyu will be equally "enlightening".
    I hope so, young grasshopper.

    Enjoy.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    Thanks for your indulgence.
    You're welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightninrod
    Young'un in disguise.
    Possibly some developmental retardation, then?
    Last edited by kirigirisu; 08-16-2004 at 03:17.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Bugeisha's Avatar
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    I"m glad we've managed to stay on topic, without making personal attacks based on our differences of opinion. That's what I love about you guys!
    Dillon Beyer

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