Re: Research on Japanese swords
Sensei Alvarez has advised us (very wisely) that one should seek individual, professional advice when selecting a katana for martial arts. His opinion is that serious danger abounds when novices are swinging a yard of razor-sharpness around, especially when chopping things. Although he did mention liking Paul Chen and Last Legend katanas in the $600 to $1,000 range, he stated that one should take some good training and have their instructor recommend the specific length, weight and balance, then buy accordingly.
Thanks again, Sensei! That was great advice!