Hey, I thought I would do a little followup on what I said before. As we were doing a little weapon cleaning session at the studio, I was cleaning one of our 9 ring broadswords and someone else happened to ask what the rings are for. One of our oldest senior students was with us and she told us that there was a story of an old chinese swordsmaster who was accused of a few murders in his town. (although he had killed hundreds of times before for legitimate reasons) He denied that he was the murderer and to prove it put rings on his swords, to prove that he wasnt sneaking up on people and killing them.
cute little story if it's true (obviously debateable but interesting none-the-less)
Also the rings are great for dulling an opponents blade.
Just thought y'all might be interested in hearing a cool little blurb.