Gotta break your heart. Kendo and its kendo cousins use the shinai as a weapon. It is a bundle of rattan splints with a string down one side to show where the spine would be, if it had one. Their forte is sparring. Heavily armored pairs try to score points against the opponent's head, wrists and body.
Iaido teaches the use of a blade in kata. Bokken (wooden replica) in sparring.
Tamashigiri uses real blades to practice cutting targets, usually rolled tatami mats mounted in vertical holders.
Many colleges have fencing clubs that teach the use of foil, epee and sabre. The US has had some great Olympic medalists in sabre.
The schools are out there. Good luck.