Re: A warning! Not the chen swords!
My practical plus tang is nearly 8 inches long. I Don't think we're talking about the same sword here.
The practical series is perfectly suitable for cutting single roll tatami omote (or beech mats if you cut flimsy wara).
If you're cutting anything more than a single roll target though you are asking for trouble. The chen swords do not have the integrity to (safely) cut through multiple targets, bamboo, wood or metal. Period.
I once cut a double rolled tatami omote with mine and I could literally FEEL the blade vibrating as it exited the target. Probably one of the stupidest things i've done in my sword career.
Those swords are entry level swords to be used with entry level technique and cuts. Nothing more.