The sword has been revered for many centuries. It symbolizes chivalry, faith, bravery, and strength, all attributes of a good warrior. This Collaboration will attempt to do the sword justice, and provide a guide for starting on the journey to become a swordsman/woman.

Step 1: Getting Started and Practice Weapons, & How To Make Boffer Swords

First, some terminology:

Fencing: Is the art of armed combat involving cutting, stabbing, or bludgeoning weapons directly manipulated by hand, rather than shot or thrown. Example weapons include swords,knives, pikes, bayonets, batons, clubs, and similar. It also refers to the modern sport fencing, which is the most developed of western swordsmanship to be seen. For the purpose of this Instructable, unless otherwise noted, it will refer to the first explanation.

Sword: Good grief, if you don't know that one, go find something else to do.

Swordsman: One who wields a sword.

Practice Weapons (or waster): A weapon that has been modified, or made outright, to be safe enough for
use for practicing.

Many people seem to believe that they can buy a sword online for $50 bucks, go beat up some cardboard boxes, and boom, there a swordsmen. That is a good way to get started fast, and experience the sound of ringing steel and massive, bleeding wounds.We don't want to do that.
The best place to start is with either with wood swords, or my preference boffer weapons. A boffer weapon is a combat arts practice weapon, which consists of a core (usually pvc pipe) covered in foam (pvc pipe insulation), with some sort of coating (duct tape,fiberglass tape, latex, etc). They are extremely safe, for example, whack someone in the head with a real sword, they'd be dead, with a wood sword, there unconcious, with a boffer sword,they get really mad, but there still alive and healthy. Boffer weapons are versatile (fight with them anytime,anywhere), durable, safe (you're hitting people with foam, whats safer than that?), fun, cheap and easy to make. For these reasons they are great for
all swordsmen, regardless of skill level.
Wood swords are also a good starting point, but as mentioned, they can still inflict some damage. There are many good Instructables on making wooden swords (go to the group Soul of the Sword, it has the best sword Instructables, we made it) so I'll just show you some pictures of mine (with notations on how to make them).

Notes on the pictures describe how to make them.
Your commentary is insulting to those who do have actual, pre-1870's samurai sword that were captured during WW2. I personally have one that , with research, I found was made in 1865 (year of the ox on a lucky day by Sadatoshi and was passed down in the family of Lt. Suhuki (killed May 14, 1943 at the battle of Attu). So, not only is it a true samurai sword, but was captured ON American soil with provenance. Please, in the future, refrain from making blanket statements that tend to devalue high end historical pieces. Thank you.
For the most part the samurai swords captured in ww2 were mass produced, that is not to say that there were not authentic ones captured, but the majority were not.
How did you get it? I want one...
Cool story, brah!
Good tips, but just to add some things, i partially disagree with the hamon part, i know that traditional hamons are irregular because of the hardening process, but having a regular hamon doesnt mean its a crappy sword, it just means it wasn't hardened the traditional way, so it may not be what collectors or enthusiasts are looking for, but it can still be a good chioce beacause today there are newer techniques to harden steel, just look at modern japanese knives, they do not have the hamon, but are as good as if they had. However a irregular hamon can sometimes be fake, as some makers use acid to draw it, and acid is no regular. For instance, the hamon may not be the guarantee of a good sword, but can be used to determine if the seller is lying when offering a traditionally handmade sword with a regular hamon.
Actually, a well made sword will have a true harmon. The art of Samurai was such that if it was not true, it was passed on to training. The best samurai swords were absolutely true. Only the best were considered worthy of use by a warrior.
<p>no.... a true hamon /just/ means that it was differentially hardened. </p><p>people really need to stop glorifying samurai and katana as the pinnacle of swordsmanship...the katana is a wonderful weapon, and excelent at what it did, but the japanese didnt have some secret trick to making their blades god-like. </p><p>differential hardening creates a steel with a soft core/back, and a hard edge. this is because steel (and nearly everything else, for that matter) becomes very brittle when it is hard. like glass... it will shatter if you make it hard enough and strike it on a solid surface. the soft core will bend instead of snapping, and steel with such treatment is springlike, and will bend back. however a soft steel cannot hold an edge for long, nor can it be made near as sharp. the differential hardening creates a compromise between the two, and draws as much of the best of both. </p><p>that's not the whole of it, and in fact a far more important piece of the puzzle is how the swordsmith would seperate his iron into low and high carbon by testing the ingots for hardness and rust, and other variables which are hard to describe. the smith just knows with practice. mild carbon steel was used for the center, and high carbon for the edge. again because of hardness and tempering qualities. </p><p>but here's the thing. it doesnt matter anymore. Modern steel and modern forges are capable of making a classic katana look like a toy in terms of edge retention, durability, and strength. even if the blade was made by stamping out a blank and sharpening it. (which is a terrible idea, but, it works...) a sword without a hamon may not be traditional, nor near as pretty, but it can certainly be as, if not more, functional. the quality of the maker is really the only way to tell...</p>
<p>(we STILL dont have an edit button?)</p><p>yeah, i know, this is a serious necro post. but if i can find it now in 2015, so can someone else.</p>
<p>Hi my friends,</p><p>Really swords samurais, are the best weapons.</p><p>I watched a video very good about katana.</p><p>Dou you know how much the best sword? </p><p>Around 15.000,00 dolares! </p><p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLnaOSNEiEE</p>
<p>Wow... you did your research!</p><p>I love the tanto/wakizashi you made. I can't tell which one it is, because I can't tell how long it is. Tantos are about 21 inches long, and wakizashis are 31 inches, so it looks like it is a wakizashi.</p><p>Great job! Fantabulous!</p>
My Grandfather found a soilders helmet and a katana off a dead soilder during the war. He gave eveything away, most likely due to it associating bad memories.
Just buy a brokken...they are just 10 dollers!
a brokken don't you mean bokken<br>
another key thing to look for would be a production stamp such as &quot;made in China&quot; of &quot;made in Afghanistan&quot; those are obvious proof that it isn't authentic.<br>sadly to point out though, replicas are getting better.... i saw one in a pawn shop awhile back with a plastic hilt and the crappiest acid job i've ever seen with a Marumasa blacksmith stamp.
why not use those n-force swords, they're safe and the look cool!
and painful! :D
when I wrote this, they werent sellign those yet. PLus they are expensive for the big ones.
in a documentary on katana makers, the master swordmaker tried to get a regular hamon and he was pretty close
LOL @ the people who think 7ft. swords are capable of the same performance as a dueling sword such as a rapier or katana. Dood it'll be just like FF7!!!!!!!1111
lol at the ww2 part
i have found a nice katana while searching two years ago and it costed only 69$ (without shipping) and it was GREAT!!(altough the handle was pretty crappy). performed excellent to all test i put it. it's bad to know that this is an exception :( another thing: this sword is out of stock right now, so posting a link would be useless<br />
<a href="http://www.tokyo-top-guide.com/Japanese_Swords.html" rel="nofollow">Japanese Swords</a> making is considered an art, and the professional knowledge was kept secret. Only few sword smiths in Japan today have the knowledge to produce Katanas, and the government grants them with the title 'a living cultural monument'.<br /> The craft of making Katanas was kept alive through the efforts of a few individuals - Imperial artisans. <br /> They produced excellent work that can be compared with the best of the Katanas the Artisans made for the Emperor and other high ranking officials.<br /> <p>Under the United States occupation at the end of World War II, production of Japanese swords was banned.<br /> Antique Japanese Swords of artistic value could be owned and preserved. Many authentic Japanese swords were sold to American soldiers. In 1958 there were more Katanas in America than in Japan.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Ninja were <a href="http://www.tokyo-top-guide.com/Ninja_Samurai_Sword.html" rel="nofollow">Japanese warriors</a> - Samurai.<br /> The Japanese warriors were a military class who defended the land of their Daimyo - lord, during feudal periods in Japan. <br /> They were actually high ranking servants of the shogun - the military leaders of Japan. <br /> Making a mistake as a <a href="http://www.tokyo-top-guide.com/History_Of_The_Samurai.html" rel="nofollow">Japanese Samurai warrior </a>required committing Seppuku - The most famous of the Rituals in ancient Japan - Samurai suicide.<br /> <p>The Japanese warrior would stick his sword in his stomach. This is probably the most famous aspect of the samurai culture.</p> <br /> <br /> <br />
&nbsp;I fence and its not really bludgeoning unless you use saber but if you want gentleman you should do foil.
&nbsp;i would suggest you use a fiberglass rod as a core.<br /> it's much thinner, and more flexible. using that i have seen some really well balanced swords. also a good idea is to make a lead weight as a pommel- it really gives a good feel to the sword.
a good katana which is hand made will be able to pass many tests. The first thing you should note is end polish given to the katana. (some katanas take years to get a perfect polish). A true Katana has a good weight and will cut as if it was butter. Real hand made katanas can easily cut bullets without receiving damage.
It depends on what you mean by cut.&nbsp; Lead is a soft metal and a katana may be able to cut it if it's not moving, but if you mean cut as in slice the bullet as it comes out of a gun? You need to&nbsp;watch this video&nbsp;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY7li8Lb1eg
"a good katana which is hand made will be able to pass many tests." Let make note there is Americn Blacksmith who make Katanas styled after the Japanese Blade but are not true Katana's. "The first thing you should note is end polish given to the katana. (some katanas take years to get a perfect polish)." Not true on the average its 3 to 12 months. Most of wich is spent by the Master conteplating the line wich is applied and heated. A true Katana has a good weight and will cut as if it was butter. Real hand made katanas can easily cut bullets without receiving damage." This is the biggest misconception by Americans caused by Hollywood. You are Taking a soft metal (lead) and slamming it into a brittle hard metal there will be at least scratches and in most cases large part broken out of the edge if not compleate breakage of the blade.
The "ultimate test" for a blade, in feudal Japan, was to take an actual human, either a bandit or a condemned prisoner, and give them thousands of small cuts up and down the arms, legs, and torso. If the blade went through this easy and came out sharp, it was a good blade. The last and final cut, however, was often through the mid section of the body. The legs would stay attached anywhere from 30 seconds to a full minute, because the sword would pass through so fast and easy that the entire body would not realize it and would continue working normally as if it was not cut in half, allowing the legs to stay attached for a long period of time. In a more modern demonstration, straw mats are placed upright on stakes and are cut rapidly into chunks to show off the swordsmen's ability. Another common show is to hold a piece of rice paper up, and let it drop onto the blade. the rice paper would contact the blade and would fall right through, cutting it in half.
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypG4KQAvqWU">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypG4KQAvqWU</a><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJZ5J7h_L1w&amp;feature=related">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJZ5J7h_L1w&amp;feature=related</a><br/>Bullet split by Katana.<br/><br/>In the second video, you can see that the Hamon is irregular. But these two are just handguns. <br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TFIQ-7TxMw&amp;feature=related">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TFIQ-7TxMw&amp;feature=related</a><br/>The Katana faces off a howitzer. <br/>
Actually any decent, heavy knife will cut a bullet fired at it. A popular western shooting trick is to shoot at a bowie knife pounded into a stump and hit 2 targets behind the knife with the bullet fragments. The You-tube video is cool, but not unique or original. American marksmen were doing it back in the 1800's.
I was refuting the statement that "This is the biggest misconception by Americans caused by Hollywood. You are Taking a soft metal (lead) and slamming it into a brittle hard metal there will be at least scratches and in most cases large part broken out of the edge if not compleate breakage of the blade." In the Katana versus handgun video, you can see that there was no large part, if not no part broken off.
First, i said i have been exagerating. I know the physics of the bullet being cut. In addition, the katanas are very strong in coparison the soft lead. The thing that surprised me was the howitzer though. I thought the howitzer would destroy the katana right away (from a previous reply). And by the way, i am not from USA (if American is meant by USA).
I exagerated by ¨years being polished¨. It is true, a katana will get scratched if they get shot by a bullet but the bullet will get cut. In most cases the blade will break if it is too brittle. Even so, a good katana will be able to cut through a bullet being shot dirrectly on to it with some minimal scratches. (when i mean good is perfect katana, very rare because most are not perfect)
heres something easier...buy a plastic sword and cover it in black and/or red electric tape T__T
surely something like a "boffer" will feel completely different from a real sword, less weight, more air resistance, etc. and, for a beginner, any sword that is made from carbon steel with a full tang should be fine. it won't be the greatest fighting weapon, but it won't shatter like a stainless wall hanger, or have the blade come flying out and decapitating your neighbours dog...
The idea of a boffer is for a completely safe way of doing combat.
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/swords-online.html">http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/swords-online.html</a><br/><br/>This link might help.<br/>
When swords are mentioned in mythology, legends or folklore, it is a veiled allegory to the sword of truth The tongue How do i know? i'm the beardless boy with a god given sword ... it cuts both ways
what do you think of my sword? Its on my homepage if you want to look
what you called a handle is called a grip in the 4th picture
whos that kid flicking me off
From where did you get the picture in the intro?
Google image search
Nice title.
just to tell you a tanto is a dagger sized weapon a wazakashi is a short sword and a katana is a long sword.
I told him that before you did.
I added a pic
Please remove it, it is offensive.

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Bio: Holy cow, celebrating over seven years with this website. Formerly known as RocketScientist2015.
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