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Thread: Weight of your Blade

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    St.Louis, Missouri
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    Default Weight of your Blade

    Hello everyone

    With my next paycheck i will be able to finally buy my first iaito!

    Having borrowed my Sensei's Iaito a few times i have enjoyed using it. However my Sempei's new iaito has a habahiro or "extra wide" blade from torzando ( beautiful sword btw).

    From my understanding most Iaito are made of an alloy not steel.

    In order to have a realistic shinken weight is it worth going for an an extra wide blade? Obviously, custom iaito are more expensive so that is something for me to consider.

    Just curious as to what others think about the weight of their swords.
    Last edited by Valscorn; 19th January 2014 at 15:20. Reason: Shortend text
    Nathan Pashia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA
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    Nathan, I strongly recommend that your first iaito be an aluminum alloy, rather than steel. I have students who have started with both, & almost invariably, the ones using the lighter blades do much better. What you're first learning is control of the blade &, of course, of your whole body. One new student is a Marine about 6'2" & 220 pounds, & he is having problems with his relatively short (2.30) iaito, so it's not a strength thing. I've trained in MJER for several decades, & only switched to steel about 5 years ago.

    So a simple iaito with a basic suguha hamon (fake, of course) will do you just fine. Tozando has a great selection, so I recommend buying the least expensive one you can find, & plan on upgrading it after you earn shodan or nidan. Good luck!

    Ken Goldstein
    Judo Kodansha/MJER Iaido Kodansha/Jodo Oku-iri
    Fencing Master/NRA Instructor

    "A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it'll annoy enough people to be worth the effort."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Seattle, Washington, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valscorn View Post
    ...In order to have a realistic shinken weight is it worth going for an an extra wide blade? Obviously, custom iaito are more expensive so that is something for me to consider.
    Unless you are very tall, and thus require a very long blade (I am, and I do), you should be able to find a heavier-than-average blade at a reasonable price. For example, Tozando has a semi-custom alloy Iaito called the Dotanuki (the one that I have) that starts at US$766.08 at today's exchange rate. (With the long blade and other options I had, if I were to replace mine today it would cost $906.62, so that $766 figure is only a starting point.)

    Yours in Budo,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Blue Ridge, Texas
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    I agree with Ken, a lighter blade is better for beginners to avoid repetitive stress problems.

    That being said, I need to express my opinion about "realistic" sword weights.

    Swords come in all sorts of weights. I've used very hefty swords, and very light ones. I have a Hataya Kotetsu sword that is massive and very forward weighted. I have to be very careful if I use it for any length of time as it can make my elbows ache. The shinken that I have used for every day practice, as well as tameshigiri, for the last couple of years is very light. I had to send it in to get a new handle recently, and noticed that my Swordstore zinc/aluminum iaito is both heavier and more forward weighted than my regular shinken.
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

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