Paul Chen's Wind and Thunder Katana is an old model. It came out awhile ago. It was released by Paul Chen/Hanwei factory a few months after Bugei released it's Shobu Zukuri Katana. Hanwei frequently takes aspects of what they make for Bugei and rolls them into their own generic designs afterwards.
For nonBugei Paul Chen Japanese styled swords, the Practical series is the least desirable for serious Japanese sword art training.
Chen's mid range swords are closer to ideal for beginner blades. Though some of the mid range ones like Golden Oriole, Musashi and Shinto are now revamped with bo-hi which wouldn't be ideal for the beginners that are involved with a Japanese sword art that includes tameshigiri in their curricullum. Tsunami, Wind & Thunder, Kin Tori and Tokugawa would be more ideal for the tameshigiri involved Japanese sword arts or the older generation of the Golden Oriole, Musashi and Shinto that didn't have bo-hi.
Chen's high end line is always the better choice.
And above that, the Bugei exclusive line that Paul Chen makes is top choice.
Any of the non-Bugei Paul Chen swords are a hit or miss cause it's there's often no quality control so you take a gamble if you get one that falls apart on you. If you get a good one, then you're just lucky. It's just russian roulette buying a non-Bugei Paul Chen.
A Paul Chen sword from the Bugei line is a guarenteed good one cause Bugei has strict quality control on their swords and will not ever allow a fatally flawed sword get into their customer's hands.
As always consult with whoever is instructing you first before your purchase. If you're not training and want buy one to swing around, get a qualified instructor first then to train you. If you're not training and just want to have one around for display only and you won't be playing with it like a monkey, then it won't matter what you get.
Edited by Walter Wong (05/13/05 05:14 PM)