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#277903 - 08/10/06 12:23 PM katana sharpening
corsair Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 8
I just bought a katana, not a really good one yet, but I'm saving my pennies for a Paul Chen one? I know it's made from two different steels etc. so I need someone to help me out with getting it sharpened? Is there somewhere I can go to find a sharpening service or can I buy a tool to do it please? I live 30 miles North of London in UK 01525 306 117 afternoons?

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#277904 - 08/10/06 12:34 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Why in the name of all that is sane would you want to sharpen a "katana, not a really good one yet"?

You don't practice with sharp ones, and what does it matter if it's dull, if it will just hang on your wall?

PS - Welcome to the forums.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#277905 - 08/10/06 03:43 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Quote:

I just bought a katana, not a really good one yet, but I'm saving my pennies for a Paul Chen one?



I'm with Matt on this one. If you consider a Paul Chen katana a really good one, and it is that much better than the one you bought, you don't want to sharpen it. The one you have seems like it would make a good wall decoration, but I urge you not to use it for anything else.
_________________________
Paul

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#277906 - 08/10/06 04:04 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: pgsmith]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Yeah, there's really not much below the level of the basic Paul Chen's that is usable for much beyond hanging on the wall. Although most wallhangers are quite the eyesore so their utility for that is questionable at best.

What kind of sword did you get? Is there an online shop or something where we can see it?
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#277907 - 08/10/06 08:22 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Charles Mahan]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
If it didn't come sharp you should not sharpen it. If you cannot dissassemble it, assume that it has a rat tail tang and is too dangerous to use. If it is a full steel tang then you can swing it around in the air for a laugh, but don't hit anything with it if you don't want it to break.

Nowadays you can buy production swords for really cheap, 90 bucks for some of the lower end ones which for all their crappy furniture, offer decent enough cutting blades.

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#277908 - 08/11/06 12:06 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
Couple of points.

First, quality steel is expensive, and quality workmanship is more so. Any sword that you get under the price of £80 is automatically considered suicidal to use, and under £500 is considered suspect.

Wallhangers, especially stainless steel, have a tendency to shatter explosively when hitting things, sometimes directly at the wielder (I've seen some nasty scars).

If they blade you bought was not sharp, then it is one of two things.
A: It is a wallhanger that was never meant to hit anything, and the manufacturer was smart enough not to give it an edge.
B: It is an Iaito, a training blade that is made from Nickel and not meant to hit anything

Either way, don't hit anything.

Anyway, a traditional Japanese sharpening costs on the order of £250-500, and that is the lower end. A grinding wheel messes up the temper of a blade by softening the edge unevenly, and attempting to sharpen/polish the blade without training can completely destroy the finish of the sword, creating an ugly mess.

Sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear, but that's the truth.
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#277909 - 08/11/06 10:11 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Benjamin1986]
Saarna Offline
Member

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 56
If you sharpen it your only increasing the chances of injury. If the blade flies away and you just sharpened it...well just imagine.
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“Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.” -Miyamoto Musashi

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#277910 - 08/11/06 12:18 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: pgsmith]
corsair Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 8
In my country now, drug fuelled violence is quite common for burglars. I'm old and small and vulnerable here, so I need something to take on a knife carrying intruder. I don't want a wall hanger, I want something I can learn to use, to save my life.

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#277911 - 08/11/06 12:22 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Saarna]
corsair Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 8
I need a life saver, not a wall hanger. If it is obviously not shapened, it will make an attacker laugh? I think if I can obviously handle it, they will think twice about attacking me?

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#277912 - 08/11/06 12:29 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Wow.....just buy a gun, you'd be better off with that. Really.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#277913 - 08/11/06 12:57 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA
Corsair

Just an FYI.

There is almost no way--short of touching it--that one can tell a "live" blade from one with no edge at all.

From a few feet you would VERY hard pressed to tell if what you have is even a steel weapon at all.

(esp in a "heightend" situation.)

One of the better "ticks" is to do "sword demos" with an zinc alloy iaito, which not only is NOT sharp--it CAN'T be sharpned---but can cut melons and carrots just like it was the "real thing."

Think about it--say instead of a sharp sword you were holding a 3 foot length of rebar.

You can easily seriously injure or kill a man with that.

And it has no "edge" at all.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#277914 - 08/11/06 01:01 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: MattJ]
corsair Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 8
I have a practice katana thanks. I don't need a wall hanger thank you, I need a life saver. Here in UK drug fuelled violent burglars are quite common, I'm old and small, so I'm vulnerable. If I have a katana and can obviously handle it I think I wouldn't be attacked so easily? If it is obviously blunt, the intruder would just laugh at me?

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#277915 - 08/11/06 01:01 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: MattJ]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
Matt, he's in Britain, guns aren't exactly legal over there, sorry about that my friend.

I'd suggest either a baseball bat or a big knife. A katana is a terrible choice for home defense. You have huge numbers of things that will get in the way of your swings, narrow hallways that will restrict you to thrusts and slashes, and a confined enough space to make drawing a problem. A large knife such as a Bowie (or a large dog such as a german shepard) would be significantly more useful.

If you did use the sword for home defense (which I have already strongly recomended against above due to high risk of shattering. "Practice" katana are generally of no better quality than wallhangers, just with a different name), they wouldn't laugh even if it isn't sharp. Ever get hit upside the head with a baseball? How about with a baseball bat? You hopefully wouldn't even have to use it.

Also, you will be in a much less precarious legal position from defending your home with a baseball bat than a sword. Always assume that you will be sued by your burglar if you beat him up. If they convince a jury that you are a violent nutcase who keeps swords around in hopes of stabbing people, kiss all hopes of ever retiring goodbye.

The police officers that I've talked to tell me that the number one choice for defence is the sound of a twelve guage shot gun being cocked (the cha-chunk sound that you hear in the movies). Too bad about English law, where now only the outlaws have guns.


Edited by Benjamin1986 (08/11/06 01:03 PM)
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#277916 - 08/11/06 01:08 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Charles Mahan]
corsair Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 8
I bought it from the knife center on ebay usa. It seems quite solidly made. I have a practice katana which is completely blunt. I don't need a wallhanger, I need a lifesaver. If I am under attack by a knife carryinbg burglar, I need something to protect myself? An obviously blunt katana would be an invitation to attack me?

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#277917 - 08/11/06 01:18 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: paradoxbox]
corsair Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 8
It is a Chinese made copy, quite well made, but low cost. I don't want a wall hanger, I need a life saver. If I'm confronted by a knife carrying intruder I need to have a working sword that won't be laughed at? I have a second blunt one, which I can learn to handle competently. I am old and small, so I need something for my own protection? Maybe I'll get a working practice Paul Chen katana, just to do the job? This one is too obviously blunt, the edge is two mm wide?

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#277918 - 08/11/06 01:20 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA

Corsair

For the 2nd time.

YOU CAN'T TELL IF A KATANA IS SHARP OR NOT WITOUT TOUCHING IT.

Nothing "obvious" about it.

If you don't know that much---and refuse to listen when people take the time to try and help.

Well, if your that foolish, then you REALLY should not be playing with sharp objects of ANY kind.

Probably should steer clear of forks and use the blunt "kiddie" sissors as well.

And also for the 2nd time.

You think a 3 foot chunk of rebar is NOT a dangerous weapon???

Little difference between that and a unsharpend blade.

Buy a baseball bat, or get a length of pipe and stop whining about not having "killer" sword to protect you.

Judgeing by your posts---we are doing you a favor.

Guy like you would just end up hurting himself----or others, with a sharp blade.


Edited by cxt (08/11/06 01:24 PM)

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#277919 - 08/11/06 01:29 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Benjamin1986]
corsair Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 8
I appreciate what you say here. I need a life saver, not a wall hanger as I'm old and small and vulnerable. If confronted by a knife carrying intruder, I need to show I can handle it and it needs to be obviously sharp. This one has a blade where the endge is round about two mm wide, so it would make an intruder laugh! I would have to be very careful not to strike anything too hard, in case it might shatter? I can get a decent Paul Chen Practical2 sword for £130 on ebay? If I had a knife, I'd run away from someone waving a katana?

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#277920 - 08/11/06 01:38 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
Corsair, if you swing that at a man's neck, he will go down. 2 mm wide? If you can get a good amount of force on that, you will bite into his neck, you will draw blood, and you will probably give him a concussion, crush his windpipe, and/or snap his neck. Humans are rather fragile creatures.

Besides, the average burglar is out to get a few quick bucks and get out without getting hurt or the cops on his tail. If they feel that they are being threatened, most will cut and run rather than risk a fight. If they see a man with a sword, their mind will not think analytically. Even if the light is perfect and they have 20/20 vision, almost no one wouldn't realize that it isn't sharp outside of three feet. Their response will be one of two things, shoot or run. Unless they have a gun already drawn, the response will probably be to run. If not, aim for the neck or the stomach. You cannot afford to hesitate in that situation.
_________________________
Fencing Club at UH

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#277921 - 08/11/06 01:44 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: cxt]
corsair Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 8
Well my friend, If I look at a blade which is 2mm wide at the edge, it is obviously blunt isn't it? I thank you for your well-meant advice. I'm not whining, it's not my nature thank you. I simply want a decent chance to live. Of course a cheap sword is dangerous to use, due to it's fragile nature and I understand that I don't think I could handle a steel bar or a baseball bat convincingly enough? I still think a katana is a viable option for me.

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#277922 - 08/11/06 01:44 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA
Corsair

Dude, buddy, pal.

Either get real or stop wasting everyones time.

If your too "old small and vulnerable" to swing a ball bat---you could not swing a katana effectivly either.

Like I said, you can't tell without touching if a katana is sharp or not.
You certainly can't tell in a dark home, high stress stituation etc.

Your raiseing bogus objections.

You hit a guy in the head with a zinc iaito and your going to drop him.

Yeah YOU "would run away."
But then again YOU are not likely to be invading anyones home either.

You assumeing a thug will be as easy to frighten off as you--being "old small and vulnarable" would be.

What makes you think you can even get to your sharp katana should someone break in????

What if your sleeping--the "old" generally sleep pretty soundly.
What if you don't hear them?
"Old" people sometimes have less than perfect hearing.
What if you can't get the blade out in time?
Reflexs tend to slow down as we age after all.

Bogus objections.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#277923 - 08/11/06 04:15 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Quote:

I appreciate what you say here. I need a life saver, not a wall hanger as I'm old and small and vulnerable. If confronted by a knife carrying intruder, I need to show I can handle it and it needs to be obviously sharp.



OK, I'm going to take the pretty obvious troll bait. Corsair, I personally think you are yanking everyone's chain. You do not sound at all like who you are proclaiming yourself to be. However, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and will assume that you are being honest. What you are proposing is an assinine solution to your problem. Sharpening a cheap sword is not going to save you from anything or anybody. If you are truly worried for your safety, then I suggest you get a medium sized to large sized dog. It's easier to learn how to train a dog than it is to learn how to use a sharp sword without losing body parts. It will protect you from intruders a LOT better than you can protect yourself.
_________________________
Paul

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#277924 - 08/11/06 07:59 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: cxt]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
I disagree that you can't discern a mogitou from a shinken. Fake / purposely dull blades have a thick edge. Yes a dull sword can still kill someone. But a 2mm wide dull edge is pretty noticeable especially if light hits the blade right.

A real cutting blade that's been dulled on purpose looks like a live blade, but it won't cut nearly as well as one.

For the purposes you are wanting to use a sword for, I would really recommend you get some form of training in swords. I'm not going to preach to you about this, but I will tell you, when you're facing off with someone that has a knife or screwdriver, you'd better know what you're doing. Swords are not magical and in some ways knives are better than swords. Swords are big and long, and if you don't know how to use it properly, your opponent may get the better of you.

Also remember that blades are dangerous in all directions. If you drop it, move your whole body out of the way, do not try to catch it.

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#277925 - 08/11/06 09:54 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: paradoxbox]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
In addition to all of the other good reasons you've been given, I'll point out something a little more tactical in nature. Swords are a poor choice indoors. Walls, ceilings, furniture, etc all get in the way. You need space to swing a sword. They aren't meant for enclosed spaces. I'd rather pickup a kitchen knife.
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Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#277926 - 08/12/06 08:41 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
May I be devil's advocate for a minute, presuming corsair is serious?

What self-respecting British gentleman, no matter how old or frail, never in his life played cricket? He quite likely would have kept a vintage cricket bat as a bit of (legal) memorabilia.

Corsair, I would wager you have one or could find one at a secondhand store. Edge on those things look vicious.

If you are determined to have a metal weapon, edged, get a machete. More maneuverable inside a house and you can sharpen the bejeebers out of it.

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#277927 - 08/13/06 12:47 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
Kendo_Noob Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 22
Loc: Wisconsin
Every week or so I am able to find a thread about how somebody has to protect themselves with a katana....
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#277928 - 08/13/06 01:10 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Kendo_Noob]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Well, if you can't defend yourself with a gun for whatever reason, why not a sword? It's the next best thing in lethal defense weapons.

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#277929 - 08/14/06 12:23 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: paradoxbox]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
The problems are multiple, Paradox. The first, as Charles and I said, is manuverability. With a gun you only have to worry about what is behind the person you are shooting at. However, with a sword, you have to worry about everything in the vicinity. Second, unlike a gun or dog, a sword doesn't make any noise to speak of. If you cock a shotgun or pistol, the burglar will know you mean business and will probably surrender, and if a large dog growls or barks, they start running. If you draw a sword, they have no idea unless they are looking at you.

Third, and most important. Lawsuits. It is currently fashionable to commit crimes because you are downtrodden. This is the only explanation I can come up with to explain huge settlements given to injured intruders and burglars. Several officers that I have spoken to have said that you are better off aiming to kill an intruder than to shoot their arms/legs (even if your aim is good enough that you could disable them). You gain a vengeful man who suddenly has a whole lot of time on his hands and free access to an attourney. The same holds for cutting an intruder's arm off with a sword.

Also to consider is that, unlike in America, where any and all available force is allowed anytime someone forcefully breaks into your home, other countries take a more "enlightened" view on home defense. For example, in Australia, it is the burden of the home owner to show that the force they used is necessary, and British Law does not accept deadly force as a means of home defense. In those countries, you may be acquitted, but you will be tried in front of a jury. It is best to not use deadly force if avoidable.

In both of these cases, it will be far better to defend yourself with an everyday item, such as a baseball bat or chef knife than with a sword. If you use a sword, the prosecution will attempt to paint you as a bloodthirsty maniac just itching to draw blood. Also, you will enlist less "just like me" empathy from the jury than if you are an average Joe defending his home with a baseball bat or his hunting rifle.
_________________________
Fencing Club at UH

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#277930 - 08/14/06 05:04 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Benjamin1986]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Well I'll just have to cite difference of opinion.. If you have a sword and train in swords, you should be ready to use your sword if you need to use it. Otherwise it's just glorified chambara.

IMO if your home's being invaded, the laws be damned, better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6. If you weren't in enough danger to defend yourself with lethal force, you shouldn't have used a sword in the first place.

Not all swords are unsuitable for indoor use. There are a number of short swords like wakizashi, ninpo swords (long tsuka short blade), etc.. that are fine for indoor usage. I use a full size katana for indoor practice in my home.. not suitable near doorways but fine everywhere else even from a swing from daijoudan.

Just my opinion though, everyone's free to do what they like

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#277931 - 08/14/06 10:55 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: paradoxbox]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
A difference of opinion indeed. I'll thank you to keep your opinions about "glorified chambara" to yourself.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#277932 - 08/15/06 08:19 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Charles Mahan]
crablord Offline
th3 t4sty sn4ck

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 1530
Loc: Australia, QLD, GC
Well i live in australia and our law says that you may only use equal force against an attack, that means if he comes into your house for a few bucks and he is unarmed, then you slice his head off with a sharpened katana, you go in the slammer for murder. Ok? look mate the obvious solution here is for a baseball bat or something, If that doesnt comfort you maybe a large knife in your drawer. But a machete/katana is nothing short of ridiculous. GIGGITY GIGGITY GIGGITY!
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"They say the only way to kill a lion is with a rear naked choke, but I'd just kick it in the head"

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#277933 - 08/15/06 09:14 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: paradoxbox]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA
Paradox

I guess it comes down to if you "need" to use it.

Given the situation described, the pro's and con's of the self defense, the respective laws involved.

I would say that a less than lethal response is what is "needed."

The plus side is that if you "need" to--you can kill a intruder with a baseball or criket bat if you "need" to.

Bokken are evry bit as deadly as a "live" blade in the right hands.

I'm still trying to figure out how someone that is too "small" and frail to weild a ballbat effectively expects to be able to use a katana.

Oh, and in the situation described, I think you would be VERY hard pressed to tell if someone was using a zinc alloy iaito or a "live" blade.

Were not talking about a row of katana all set up and laid out under bright lights for display here.
Where tallking about dim rooms, very heightend situations, with split seconds to make choices.
Even then you can do serious damage with a zinc alloy blade.


Edited by cxt (08/15/06 09:18 AM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#277934 - 08/15/06 11:20 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: cxt]
Subedei Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/04
Posts: 479
You want a taser, yeah, that's what you want.

Swords WERE meant for ONE thing...well..two things - War and civilian duels. They're not self defense weapons, they're not good at that.

Furthermore, if you DID want to use a sword for self defense a Katana probably isn't the best choice. I can't think of anything better than a cutlass, it was designed for tight spaces and makes for a better thrusting weapon than the Katana, it's balanced for one handed use.

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#277935 - 08/15/06 11:25 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Charles Mahan]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
Charles, I believe what Paradox meant was that it's simply theater if you aren't willing and able to actually use the sword. I agree, to a point. You should never draw steel, gun, or any weapon on an intruder unless you are willing to kill them, stand in front of a jury, and admit to it. Otherwise, you might as well pistol-whip yourself and hand them the gun along with the rest of your possessions. You may bluff the intruder, but intent is a huge part of your appearance.

And Subedei, my choice would be either a bowie or an Arkansas toothpick. Nice, compact, good stabbing damage, and more deadly than anything else on the street.


Edited by Benjamin1986 (08/15/06 11:28 AM)
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Fencing Club at UH

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#277936 - 08/15/06 11:32 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Benjamin1986]
Subedei Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/04
Posts: 479
I dunno Ben, if a burgler attacked you with a cutlass I think you'd be at a large disadvantage.

I urge you to rethink your decision, it could cost you your life!

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#277937 - 08/15/06 01:10 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
shinsetsu777 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 3
Even Samurai did not use their katana to defend their homes. The blade is simply too long to be effective indoors. They would either use their shotou or a specially made shortened katana known as a chisagatana, which were specifically for indoor fighting. The katana was hung up in the shrine at home.

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#277938 - 08/15/06 04:34 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: shinsetsu777]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Quote:

I dunno Ben, if a burgler attacked you with a cutlass I think you'd be at a large disadvantage.



If a burgler attacked me with a cutlass, I'd think I was in a bad pirate movie! Sorry, but that is an absolutely ridiculous statement!
Quote:

They would either use their shotou or a specially made shortened katana known as a chisagatana, which were specifically for indoor fighting. The katana was hung up in the shrine at home.



Ummm .... no!
Chisagatana were not made specifically for fighting indoors. Katana were not hung up in shrines as nobody worshipped their swords. The katana was placed in the stand by the door that was there for that reason. You are correct in that a shoto would be used, if necessary, indoors.
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#277939 - 08/15/06 08:02 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: pgsmith]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
As can be seen in this thread there's a huge variance of opinions.

For those of you who live in or near Vancouver, I'm sure you have heard of the home invasions that happen basically every day, where the victims are either beaten badly or tied up and left to rot as their belongings are stolen.

There have been numerous incidents this year where senior citizens were tied up and killed by intruders in their home.

Last year, about 11 months agp to the day, someone tried to invade my home and was definately armed with something.

It's a lot easier to justify your actions if someone breaks into your house with the intent of doing you harm. No, it's not good to cut off the head of someone who walks into your home unarmed without explanation.

But it's definately not good to try to take on 3 knife wielding thugs with a bokken or iaito who probably plan to tie you up and perhaps kill you.

I'd rather err on the side of caution. Besides, an armed 'guest' in your home is breaking the law to begin with. The courts are not going to see them in a positive light especially if you're a senior citizen, disabled, etc.. regardless of if you killed them. They broke into your home, they brought knives, they were going to commit even more crimes. Swords may be big and bad and scary to stupid juries full of sheep, but if you were really justified in using lethal force, it will be cut and dried.

Again, if the situation didn't require use of lethal force, you shouldn't have brought the sword out in the first place, deal with it some other way.

As for swords not being for self defense, well I beg to differ. The katana could be seen as the original Japanese sidearm. There are better sidearms available now, but various legalities and drawbacks prevent them from being viable alternatives. I.E. guns - illegal in many places, illegal to use even in life or death self defense. Knives are good but don't give you range from an aggressor. Short swords are good too but offer shorter range from an aggressor.

Katana are long and give you a good 3 or 4 feet of distance from an attacker, they're heavy enough to get the job done, good ones won't break, but even if they do the broken part still has an edge and can cut people. And even the dumbest criminal is not stupid enough to try to grab your blade, so provided you have some kind of skill, that means you're sitting behind a shield the attacker probably won't try to get past, at least with his own body.. Doesn't stop anyone from shooting you or throwing something..

Yeah there's drawbacks, but there are pro's and con's to every self defense solution.

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#277940 - 08/15/06 10:28 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: paradoxbox]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Sounds like what you need is a shotgun. Not a sword. It's a heck of a lot more intimidating. Don't even have to load it.

BTW, you shouldn't sell the iaito short. Paul is fond of relating the story of a guy at one of the Orlando Taikai who picked up the wrong sword before going out to cut in a tameshigiri competition. Did pretty well. Placed in the middle of the pack. Bent his iaito all up, but cut just fine.

Add that to the fact that most people can't tell the difference when looking, especially in poor light under the heightened tension of a combat situation...

Iaito are still too long to be used in the average modern house. There are walls, furniture, lamps, other people, etc. All of which can get in the way. A shotgun is a far better choice.

Somebody points a sword at you, and maybe you think about grabbing a pillow off the couch, or a lamp and taking the chance that you might be able to rush them. Or maybe they just pull out the saturday night special and shoot you. A shotgun strikes a ridiculous amount of fear into people. Any weapon which can blow you, quite literally into pieces... Well lets just say it's gonna make people run for the hills. Just hearing it cocked.

BTW, if you are so worried about an untimely death, I'm wondering what you are doing to prepare for traffic accidents. Far far more people die in traffic accidents every day than are killed in home invasions. Have you thought about having racing brakes installed in your car? how about a safety seat and a roll cage? Perhaps some extra defensive driving courses?


Edited by Charles Mahan (08/15/06 10:36 PM)
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#277941 - 08/16/06 01:24 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Charles Mahan]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
No need to give the shotgun talk on me, I already have 2, one specifically for blowing people away the minute they threaten me in my house (A 14inch barrel remington 870 12gauge shotgun legal in Canada but not the US! Go figure). But that's not an option for everyone.

Some countries have a policy where if you defend yourself with a gun, no matter the circumstance, you're going to jail for a long time. It would make sense to use an alternative in that case. Europe comes to mind.

It's also not the best option every time, or it could happen that the shotgun's on the other side of the house and you just happen to be near your dojo room, etc etc.

Swords may not be ideal for indoor defense but they're no slouch. As long as you're mindful of what's around you, you can still chop someone to bits, even inside your own home.. heh.

Keep in mind as well that a strong cut will go right through drywall very easily and unless you have terrible cutting skills, the kissaki probably cut through or bounce off of any studs in the wall.

The ceiling is a different story, but I've actually never had a problem with hitting the ceiling in my practice. Just keep your posture low and don't go crazy on the daijoudan thing.

There's a good scene in Tasogare Seibei (Twilight Samurai) where a samurai gets his sword stuck on a rafter inside his home after trying to strike down the main character in his home. Remember situations like that and you won't do it in real life either, whether in practice or real defense..

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#277942 - 08/16/06 08:50 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: pgsmith]
shinsetsu777 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 3
Quote:

Quote:

I dunno Ben, if a burgler attacked you with a cutlass I think you'd be at a large disadvantage.



If a burgler attacked me with a cutlass, I'd think I was in a bad pirate movie! Sorry, but that is an absolutely ridiculous statement!
Quote:

They would either use their shotou or a specially made shortened katana known as a chisagatana, which were specifically for indoor fighting. The katana was hung up in the shrine at home.



Ummm .... no!
Chisagatana were not made specifically for fighting indoors. Katana were not hung up in shrines as nobody worshipped their swords. The katana was placed in the stand by the door that was there for that reason. You are correct in that a shoto would be used, if necessary, indoors.




Sorry, pg, went back and checked my sources. Seems I was blowing smoke about the chiisagatana. Thanks for the heads up

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#277943 - 08/16/06 11:08 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: shinsetsu777]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Ok... We're getting hoplessly lost in the world of what if? So far as I'm concerned that's the first strike against a thread on it's way to being locked. Not locking it yet, just pointing out that this kind of silly speculation... well what if... can get totally out of hand and completely destroy a thread.
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#277944 - 08/16/06 03:21 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Charles Mahan]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
On the other hand, Charles, these tangents and speculation has gotten us some of the most interesting conversationin months.
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#277945 - 08/16/06 06:17 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: shinsetsu777]
Subedei Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/04
Posts: 479
I can understand how you feel, but you must understand, there is a serious pirate problem in my country. Many people have been attacked in their homes and aboard their Hanseatic merchant ships by pirates and I feel I need to take measures to defend myself against the tactics pirates have been known to employ. This is no laughing matter!

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#277946 - 08/16/06 08:48 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Subedei]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Quote:

I can understand how you feel, but you must understand, there is a serious pirate problem in my country. Many people have been attacked in their homes and aboard their Hanseatic merchant ships by pirates and I feel I need to take measures to defend myself against the tactics pirates have been known to employ. This is no laughing matter!




Thanks for that useful contribution

Some may consider swords obsolete but they're still being used to kill people in the middle east right now, and they were used to good effect by both sides in eastern europe 10-15 years ago... Many people on both sides were killed by swords of all kinds in the Balkans.

Swords also happen to be a favorite of criminals in the UK and Australia these days.

Why swords conjure up some kind of special idea in some people's minds I don't know, it's just a long sharp knife. Suddenly discussing hypothetical situations is taboo, but the same kind of talk of guns is abound on these forums.

If you have a sword in your home and it's the only thing you can defend yourself with, then use it if you need to. There's nothing special about a sword that makes it a forbidden defensive weapon. Jeez.

If we want to start talking about the drawbacks of defensive weapons, why not consider the fact that pellets from a shotgun will travel through all but brick walls and hit innocent people in other homes around yours, or if you're using a rifle, you may put holes through the walls of 2 or 3 other houses if you decide to start shooting. At least with a bladed weapon the carnage is pretty much restricted to your own domain.

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#277947 - 08/16/06 09:41 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: paradoxbox]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote by paradoxbox -

Quote:

At least with a bladed weapon the carnage is pretty much restricted to your own domain.






Not sure if that is going to help your case or not!
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#277948 - 08/17/06 02:51 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
Kendo_Noob Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 22
Loc: Wisconsin
I want a naginata to defend myself in my home......

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#277949 - 08/17/06 11:20 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Kendo_Noob]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA

Nah, I want some of those gladiator gauntlets with the blades attached to the front like in the Conan movies.
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#277950 - 08/18/06 08:46 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: cxt]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Quote:


Nah, I want some of those gladiator gauntlets with the blades attached to the front like in the Conan movies.



or Wolverine

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#277951 - 08/18/06 09:10 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: cxt]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
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#277952 - 08/19/06 02:12 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: oldman]
Subedei Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/04
Posts: 479
You!

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#277953 - 09/01/06 03:11 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
Woku Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/01/06
Posts: 18
I'd have to disagree. A lot of the folks on here have to much Chen on the blade. I am in China right now, and I can tell you, there are quite a few gifted smiths here. It is a larger world then some of these folks know when it comes to swords, and Chen is not the only Rooster in the hen house, as they say. Keep an open mind, and don't be so quick to form elitist views of products that may or may not be good. Who made the sword you have, is it differentially temepered, and if so, whats the rockwell? Any idea if it is plain high carbon, a spring steel, or something else? Doe's it pass any key stress tests, email me if you wish to know what tests. Paul Chen, while having become a popular name to compare quality blades to, is crap for the most part, so I actually have higher standards then most of the folks here. What makes me different in one aspect, although I am likely different in others, but in this aspect, it's an open mind. Good steel is good steel, look for it and you may find it in places you never imagined. Don't look, and you'll be convinced only very few people make it, and you'll never really find much or any of it, as many here can likely attest to.

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#277954 - 09/01/06 09:23 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Woku]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Excuse me for saying this, but you seem to be the person with Paul Chen on the blade. Most of us at this forum, the one's who know better anyway, recognize Paul Chen as fairly entry level stuff of lower end quality and a real quality assurance problem. The usual advice is that if you plan to buy one go through someone who will take the time to put them through a second QA procedure before selling them. It's not entirely Hanweii's fault. They crank out a truly enourmous number of blades. Problems are to be expected during that kind of mass production, if you're trying to keep the costs as super low as they do.
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Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#277955 - 09/01/06 12:26 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Woku]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Mr. Woku,
You seem to be suffering the same misconception that most people who don't actually practice a Japanese sword art have. You seem to be obsessed with steel and blade. Most people are, and talk incessantly about Rockwell hardness, how shiny the blade is (or not), what the hamon looks like, and how much abuse it will handle. I suppose this is important if you are planning on abusing your sword. However, for those of us that actually use our Japanese style swords in the manner in which they were intended, the fit and finish is of overriding importance. If the wrap comes loose through regular use, it doesn't matter how well made the blade is. Likewise, if the sword is misaligned in the tsuka, or the saya is warped or poorly shaped, or the tang is loose in the handle, or the tsuba is mounted at an angle, or the kashira is loose enough to slip off the end of the handle, the sword is then useless unless repaired. (I have seen all of these things on Chinese made Japanese style swords) At several hundred dollars for a new handle, or a new saya, what good is a cheap sword then?

In my opinion, the Chen swords, as well as Masahiro, Cheness, and others, are barely adequate if they are thoroughly inspected first. You really do generally get what you pay for in the Japanese sword world.
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Paul

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#277956 - 09/05/06 01:16 AM Re: katana sharpening [Re: pgsmith]
JAD Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 20
Loc: Michigan, USA
I' new here, but it seems to me that our "old guy" just wants to frighten off the attacker. Almost 25 years in prison work has shown me that criminals are very good at "reading" their intended victims, ergo, trying to scare them off won't work unless they can see that you intend to hurt them. The sword is only a tool. YOU are the weapon!

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#277957 - 09/06/06 03:35 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: Woku]
HcCCRI Offline
Stranger

Registered: 09/06/06
Posts: 1
Ok, i have just purchased 2 Very sharp Masahiro Katanas, Hand forged, the whole bit.

One will be for cutting and demonstration, One is for sale and hanging on my wall until somone buys it.

is there a tool you can buy, or a cheap way of resharpening a katana without messing it up?

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#277958 - 09/06/06 03:56 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: HcCCRI]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Katanas are not sharpened, they are polished. It's a significantly different process. What's more, unless you abuse it, a good katana will not need polishing for a good long time. They hold their edge VERY well.

Where did you purchase these swords?


Edited by Charles Mahan (09/06/06 04:01 PM)
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Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#277959 - 02/22/09 02:53 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: corsair]
windgypsy333 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 02/22/09
Posts: 1
Hi Corsair, I understand your point and in my mind there is a perfect answer for you.

Try a Ko Katana it has a normal handle but a shorter blade.
So it is very light and easy to use. Cheness makes them
at a good price and they are live cutting blades!!!

I can't understand why nobody has not already said this.
I belive in the freedom of choice and if thats what you want
go for it!!!

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#277960 - 02/22/09 06:30 PM Re: katana sharpening [Re: windgypsy333]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Hey Gypsy. This thread is nearly three years old. I doubt the original poster still needs advice. Please don't resurect threads that are this old in the future.
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Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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