View Full Version : Koniichi-wa/Komban-wa

10th October 2000, 05:04
:smilejapa Ohayo gozaimasu! Does anyone in the Puget Sound area know of a reputable dojo teaching sword arts, and not charging
exce$$ive amount$ of dollar$ per month?.(I have serious ethical problems with local McDojo outlet.) Prefer Pierce/Thurston co. area.
Domo Arigato.

Ten years after.
Sensei reincarnated,
Need new sensei.

-C.Winterfox Godfrey

10th October 2000, 18:11
I train at Ishi Yama Ryu dojo in Seattle. That may be a bit far for you to drive, but please come by and take a look. If you want to see what we do, this weekend will be a good chance (and a bit closer).

This weekend we are hosting the Western regional sword tournament in Renton, WA. There will also be a number of other styles there so you can compare and see if you like one or the other. You can check www.ishiyamaryu.com for more details on the tournament. Hope to see you there.

Karl Nygard

11th October 2000, 19:49
Domo Arigato Karl-san. I would be very pleased if you would post me directions, or at least the address (including zip)so I can find it on MapQuest. My previous training was many years ago and did not continue nearly as long as I wished it to. I found out recently that my sensei has passsed on, at the ripe old age of 97. :( So, since resuming my training with Sensei would be require greater skills at martial arts mysticism than I currently have,:shadowmas checking out the different dojos represented at the tournament sounds like a very good idea. Plus, way to spend time away from wife :up:
Once again thank you. (With no responses, I would begin to doubt my existence) (deus ex machina, etc.)

Joseph Svinth
12th October 2000, 05:20
Also check with the Tacoma Kendo Kai; Omoto Sensei trained in Japan during the 30s and 40s. The URL may be found at http://faculty.washington.edu/kendo/budo.html .

Very nice people, the ones I've met.

12th October 2000, 07:04
Thank you for the link, Mr Svinth, it is much appreciated. Do you know if they train just for kendo, or are they kenjutsu, as well? The ethical problem I have with the local McDojo in Olympia is their long-standing attitude of "Our students don't need to learn self control because they can beat up your students" and the fallout that happens as a result. :nono: (Dojo politics, yeecccchhhh!!:shot: )
On a seperate note, being a swordsmith who likes to think of himself as knowledgable about European swords, and other implements of medieval mayhem, but has no real experience with forging Japanese blades by folding the steel 20 times and laminating together several pieces, etc., (although, I have made several Japanse-STYLE blades out of bar stock, using basic forgework, for shaping), I have to agree wth the others. Any of the 440 type stainless is CRAP for a blades longer than about a shaku. Somebody mentioned exotics. (steels, not dancers) Would not know. Have NO exerience. Must be nice to play with.:rolleyes:
I stick with very basic 1095 spring steel for my stuff because it is easy to get, (auto leaf springs) holds a decent edge (mainly a function of tempering), NOT prone to breaking, rusts if you whisper water at it.:rolleyes: Must be oiled and cared for, true, but if a person has a reluctance to care for their blade, well, I have a reluctance to make one for them.:burnup: Seems to me this is part of the responsiility inherent in owning a weapon.:shadowmas
Woops! Sorry for rambling.:o

Dan Harden
12th October 2000, 11:40
I think you will find that the vast majority of leaf and coil springs are 5160 or 5168. Not 1095. for leaf springs it is a better material.
Leaf or coil springs will make very usable blades. They will not make a great temper line however. Neither does 1095 in my opinion. The hamon is to narrow.


Joseph Svinth
12th October 2000, 12:22
If you follow the link to Rod Omoto Sensei, I think you'll find he's qualified to teach most anything, as he learned in Japan during the 30s and 40s. (An Oregon Kibei; Furyu had an article about him awhile back.)

The Tacoma folks do iaido and kendo. Not doing either myself, just having attended their tournaments and written their published history, that is about all I know other than they come recommended by Nisei and Sansei whose opinions I value in such matters.

As for tradition, well, in Seattle you can find kendoka in their late teens whose great-granduncles were involved in the club, so the neighborhood roots go deep. Closer to home, Fife offered kendo instruction from 1917, Tacoma Buddhist Church had a club from the 1920s until 1942, and Tacoma Public has photo of two men in bogu and slacks demonstrating outside the Tacoma Japanese Language School.

12th October 2000, 16:16
Godfrey-san, you can either click here -> http://www.ishiyamaryu.com/tournament/2000/ or if that doesn't work go to:

You will find driving directions, an itinerary of event, some of the flyers for the event, as well as which cuts will be performed in each round for each division.

There will be competitions for kata, tameshigiri, and goshiken (sparring). Hope to see you there.

Karl Nygard

P.S. Everyone is welcome to come, also, there is still time to sign up for the event(s).

14th October 2000, 08:15
Karl-san, you for re-sending the link. I have already taken a look at the site. My browser for some reason does not show links in postings. They are there and functional, they just don't shows visibly. I found the link just a moment after I made my posting to you. Sounds very good, I do not know if I can come to the tournament Saturday. I have a 7 year old and a 3 year old. (house husband, among other talents) Both are bright, active kids,and probably would not stay quiet for the important parts of the tournament. I will be there on Sunday, however. Thank you.

Harden-san, thank you for correcting me on the grade of steel in leaf springs. I checked, and found that I had made the classic mistake of ass-u-me-ing. (we need a seppuku smilie) :seppuku: The 1095 desigation came from having worked with some leaf springs from an older vehicle, that did use 1095. Anyway, I have never had a prolem with tempering on leaf spring. I have done some clay quenching, and found that the temper line really is just a function of how you arrange the clay. Then again, I've been told I'm opinionated. :D
Joseph-san, Thank you very much for the additional information. I was not intending to question anyones MA pedigree or qualifications. I was simply interested in curriculae, as I am interested in learning sword combat and not merely kata, and was merely venting about the Lee Bros INC. and their policies, and attitudes. (Why do I need to learn Tae Kwon Do in order to learn kenjutsu? Please explain?)
P.S. Thank you At least here, nobody thinks I need to be medicated for being into all that martial arts sword stuff.

Dan Harden
14th October 2000, 13:13
Winterfox writes
Harden-san, thank you for correcting me on the grade of steel in leaf springs. I checked, and found that I had made the classic mistake of ass-u-me-ing. (we need a seppuku smilie) :seppuku: The 1095 desigation came from having worked with some leaf springs from an older vehicle, that did use 1095. Anyway, I have never had a prolem with tempering on leaf spring. I have done some clay quenching, and found that the temper line really is just a function of how you arrange the clay. Then again, I've been told I'm opinionated.


Well Two things

First, It isn't a question of whether or not you CAN temper it. You can. You can clay quench many grades of steel.

Two, The comments I made were not necessarily about the application of the clay. It was about the outcome of the hamon relative to both the carbon content and the alloying elements. I am talking about the maximum control to get a very defined and even hamon with defining characteristics!

All things being equal IE: application of the clay identical in a control group. The outcome of the hamon will be excellent to poor in the following order.

simple low to meduim carbon...water quench
simple medium carbon..........water quench
simple high carbon............water quench* your choice
simple low to meduim carbon...oil quench
simple medium carbon..........oil quench
simple high carbon............oil quench*your choice
5160 series...................oil quench*can't be water quenched
L series L6 etc...............oil quenched
O series (O2 etc).............oil quenched
other alloying steels that are deep hardening

The "performance curve" list is inversed somewhat. Meaning the ultimate combination of ductility /hardenability, wear resistence and edge holding.

other alloying steels that are deep hardening
L series......................oil quenched
O series...................oil quench*can't be water quenched
5160 series...................oil quench*can't be water quenched
simple medium carbon..........water or oil quench*your choice (AND 99%OF JAPANESE BLADES EVER MADE)
simple high carbon............water or oil quench* your choice
low carbon....................water quenched

Allow me to clarify. I can take A2 (a deep hardening steel) and air harden it, then use a specific welding heat stop product to form a hamon shape and draw the temper back. This will give you a Japanese "style" blade that will outcut just about anything you will EVER lay your hands on. But the Hamon looks like crap. On its best day it will look as bad as the "bad examples" oil quenched WW11 junk.
I can use various grades of simple carbon steels (shallow hardening) and oil quench those. You will get a far better Hamon then in the first example. In fact by taking the time and applying it correctly. You will get a decent hamon, one that many people may like. At this point you could even make various hamon shapes at will. This is the method used on the Nosuyiaido "steel iaito."
It still looks plain Jane(to me).
Now for my main point.

In all of the above examples you get hamon that perform a function. You have successfully, differentially hardened (and if you know what you are doing secondarily tempered) the blade. But, you have a plain jane hamon with diffuse Nioi, no ashi formation, no yo or sunugashi, forget utsuri (although this is more of a function of temperature control) it still encompasses depth of hardenability an d clay application.
Nothing, absolutely NOTHING will produce as precise control of the formation of ashi or the difficult choji as well as room temperature WATER. There are numerous new quenching mediums that are great and will get close but !!!
I have spent years with fellow smiths telling me try this or that. Then they tell you I got a great looking hamon with this X or that X. Then I see what THEY call a great hamon……fizzle!!

Your example outlines 1095. This produces a very thin line. You can control it but it is thin nonetheless. In fact, if you were to raise your carbon up to 1.00% and over, the line will all but disappear. It will still be differentially, hardened though.
As a side note, once your on this side of the carbon phase diagram you are not gaining in strength, your losing. You will have too much unresolved martensite. That will cause you to sacrifice ductility in the entire blade. This happens at anything over aprox. .80% carbon.

The most common leaf spring material 5160-68 makes and abysmal temper line since it has chromium in it. Great leaf spring or sword though.

If you stay in the 1070 to 1086 range, you get excellent hardness and a much more active habuchi.
Stay away from 1065. Although it says it is water quenching most guys can’t get it to work. It cracks in anything other then oil. This is the steel Bob Engnath and Slobodian used for years before swithcing to the lower carbon water quenching series (with the quality of their hamon increasing dramatically)
The lower carbon series 1050 –1060 make very lovely hamon with a very wide transitional zone. The blades just aren’t as strong.

Please realize this is just a cursory overview, with much that I could say, left out I don’t enjoy writing over coffee in the morning

“Who spent way to many years alone in the barn smithing and reading”

[Edited by Dan Harden on 10-14-2000 at 08:44 AM]

Joseph Svinth
14th October 2000, 16:31
Tacoma Kendo Kai is NOT Lee Brothers Inc. Trust me on this.

16th October 2000, 09:41
Daniel-san, you are a grouchy, grumbly opinionated old fart of a curmudgeon. EXACTLY the kind of people I like to talk with. I am going to be starting some experimentation with making Japanese blades fairly soon, and would like to have the benefit of your knowledge. Obviously, there are some gaps in my knowledge of metallurgy. :lol:
Anyway, if you would be so kind as to lend help to a young unworthy bladesmith? I would greatly apprectiate any metallurgical, and any practical advice you may have.
Unlike some that you have groused about, I WILL give you
due credit, this discussion board doth be my witness on that.
If this would be agreeable, then please go head and E-mail me.
Thank you

[Edited by Winterfox on 10-16-2000 at 04:48 AM]