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Sword Length
Step 3


Welcome to Step 3: This page will discuss a little information regarding sword length. If you’re only interested in a sword for display, please go Step 4. All swords if use for practice must be use with caution and with experience.

Typically, sword length concerns those who practice with it. And if so, the balance, weight and length of Tsuka (handle) will concern you. For example, if you have big hands, its best to purchase a sword with longer handle, as discuss below.

If you train at an academy, its best to ask your sensei for advice. They can point you in the right direction by picking up a replica or a live sword to get a realistic feel. Practice play is best done with shinai, bokuto, plastics, Iaito with blunted edge. Sharpen swords should be avoided.


General Rule

  1. Ask your sensei first for advice

  2. Check the Tsuka (handle) length


If you have large hands, you should choose a sword with a longer Tsuka or also known as Hilt. This is the handle. And vice versa, choosing a shorter Tsuka is the best if you have smaller hands. This is important because if your hand isn’t gripping the handle solid enough, it can reduce the impact of thrusts.


Check the Nagasa (blade) Length or Bokken / Shinai / Plastic swords.

A Question you must ask yourself, do you practice Kendo, Iaido, Kenjutsu or just general play.

Shorter swords such as Wakizashi and Katanas are suited to close quarter combat. Longer swords are suited to open area combat. The Tachi is longer and was suitably used whilst fighting on a horse. There are of course longer and shorter variations of all swords.

Step 4:  Sword Selection

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