Thread: Katana metals
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:19 AM   #13
Michael Cardwell
Dojo: Snake River Aikido
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 78
Smile Re: Katana metals

Owen Matchim wrote:

I know that stainless steel isn't so great but I really have no idea what was used back in the day or what's preferrable now. Can anyone suggest anything?
I think that pure Swedish steel is what is considered best at the moment.

Although this is true in most cases. Katana after a certain era (the name escapes me sadly) are found to be much much thicker and harder for the first few inches above the habaki. They were in fact designed so that that portion of the blade could be used for "full on" blocking technique while sustaining only minimal damage.
Not sure about the name, but that makes sense to me that the bottom edge of the blade was used for blocking. I've always wondered about this, if the first third of the blade was the only part used for cutting, why would you care if you messed up the the bottom edge of your sword? I mean, sure if it was a priceless family heirloom or something, but if it came to life or death who would choose to save their sword instead of their life? You could always get another sword.

Blocking with the flat part seems like a good idea, but I'm guessing that works best in the manner described, a deflecting movement. After all the sword strength is going the other way, hitting a katana on the side is how you break it with a jo. My sensei once showed a block using the back edge of the sword. But this puts the edge towards you, so if the sword gets driven back, you're out of luck. I guess the moral of this is don't let anyone hit your sword, or you.
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