First Sword Purchase
Swords are so beautiful, and attractive- everybody wants to have one and be able to swing it around like a ninja. Even though, Kung Fu have nothing to do with Ninja, people still think Ninja is cool, that’s all. Well, so what is good for a first sword purchase? A crappy and cheap blade from ebay? Or a super fancy blade from Hanwei, Cold Steel or other famous forges? A sword can vary from about $15 to over $1000 and even more depending on the quality and craftsmanship.
AVOID Wushu Chrome Plated Weapons
I personally had an accident when I am young while I was trying to swing the sword around like a ninja, I had cut a big and deep piece of meat out of my right arm behind the elbow. It was bleeding like crazy, and I was shocked that such a cheap sword can do so much harm.
That’s right because they are cheap, there is nothing put into consideration, even safety. For a properly made blunt sword, the edge should be at least 1-1.5mm thick and rounded off to be safe for practice and so even there is a sword accident, it will not cut into your flesh at all.
These Wushu supplies are dangerous and not safe for practice. On the other side, they are way too light to be a sword, it’s very bad for developing anything. It’s something you MUST avoid.
The first sword you get should not be too heavy and not too light like the Wushu swords. A normal “real sword” weight about 2lb and a bit more which is for sure a sturdy blade and it don’t flex much. The swords that are under 2lb are considered to be light weighted.
The dragon well forges does sell a lot of regular swords that are well made for a normal standard. These swords are usually not that expensive, but they do serve their purpose for a beginner’s sword. They weight about 1lb and the blade do flex a little bit if you press it down the ground, but it will bounces back to the normal position after you release the sword.
These swords feature a full tang which means the whole blade is made out of one piece of metal, hammered and forged, tempered and polished. Yet, it is not expensive due to the fact that they are mass produced and the low cost labor in China. The edge is mostly blunt, with a 1mm edge or 1.5mm edge. These swords are great for practicing your forms and learning a sword form. Even if you hit yourself, your friend or things around you by accident, it’s not going to do much damage. Remember, these are not for cutting and should NEVER be used for cutting. They are only for forms practice.
Now that, we are down to choosing some blades that are blunt and semi-flexible, it’s much easier to decide which sword to buy. There are many styles of hand guard and pommel that you can choose from, and they all feel different in hand for a different purpose. What’s your style or what’s the form you are trying to do?
The blade might be made with stainless steel which is usually referred to 440 stainless steel for swords. These blades are good for beginners because they require very little maintenance and they don’t rust much. All you need to do is use the sword often and wipe it down with a cloth or maybe with some silicon oil once a while then that will take care of the sword already.
The higher quality swords are usually made with high or mid carbon steel which is referring to the 1045, 1060, 1095 carbon steel. These blades are more expensive and better quality, but they require a lot of maintenance and if you don’t treat them well, they will rust for sure. This is why most beginners swords are made with stainless steel instead of carbon steel.
If you want to feel what a “real sword” is like, which have a solid stiff blade, you want to try getting one of these below:
As you can see, the spine is more define, the blade is thicker and it is fore sure heavier than the previous one. These can range from about $50 and up. They are usually made with low carbon steel (which don’t rust as bad as high carbon steel) and they are not flexible like the previous ones. These swords weight about 2lb and are more closely like the real deal in an affordable price. Again, these are NOT for cutting. These swords always come blunt and are meant to be use for forms practice only.
AVOID Extendable Swords
Enjoy Your Sword, It’s Not The Only Sword You Will Have!
Yes, you will think that now you brought a sword, and you look at the high end swords now while thinking how bad your sword is compared to those higher quality pieces. You might think your sword is not sharp and so it is not a “real” sword too. That is not right!
This is your first sword, and not your only sword in your life time!
A true swordsman or martial artist will always have more than one sword because they need to progress with different stages in their learning and cultivations. There will be a time when you need a heavier one, a lighter one, a sharpened one, or even a blunter one. Who knows?
For now, this is the basic beginner sword you are getting, and it doesn’t need to be sharpened. If you want a sharpened sword, you can get that in the future too. If you got a sharp sword at first, you will want a blunt one very soon too.
The theory is simple, you will not only need one sword for learning and cultivating kung fu. Never limit yourself. It’s the experience you need to gain by using different types of swords. A true martial artist should NEVER stick with just one sword in their life time. Trying out different sword’s design, blade materials, and even sharpness level! This will get you more beefed up with knowledge, and that’s how a martial artist learns to have taste.
Enjoy your sword for what it is, soon you might get second, third or even more swords. It doesn’t mean that this sword you got now is not good, it’s just ONE out of the many swords you will possess.
Mak Jo Si
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