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Old 05-02-2009, 01:51 AM   #11
jimalvarez's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Livermore-Shinrei Dojo/Livermore, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5
Re: Iaito Sword Question

Hi Asley,

All comments so far have been great.

One thing I would also suggest is that you ask the other students in the dojo if you can swing their iaito's to see if you prefer the models that they have. If there is a good variety to sample it will give you a good idea of what you like and don't like.

Try to note weight, balance, tsuka shape (narrow, wide) and how it fits in your hand. Check the tsuka-ito (wraping) and fittings (tsuba, fuchi/kashira) to see if they are loose. If the iaito is not that old and things are loose the construction is not at a higher quality.

There are also models made of steel rather than zinc/aluminum alloy. They tend to be heavier and are closer to what a shinken might feel like. Being steel they are less prone to flexing like the alloy blades.

I know David Goldberg personally and his iaito's are superbly constructed. They are made of steel and he can probably accomodate your sakura theme.

As far as Bujin hakama they are great and come in a variety of materials, blends and cotton. They do tend to cost but the quality is more but it's like buying a good set of clothes over something from a Walmart type of retailer.

Take your time in choosing as you probably only want to do this once as a good iaito and hakama can last you quite some time.

Good luck with your training.

Jim Alvarez

Chief Instructor
Aikido of Livermore-Shinrei Dojo
Livermore, CA
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