[CAM] OT: Swords and what you like to do with them

Seng Hang sh1911a1 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 17 21:16:19 CDT 2008

So I'm curious how much room there is in the SCA or at least within the
populace of the SCA for sharp swords.  Just a few random questions regarding
swords if you'll humor me for a bit... this is primarily for my own personal

1. How many people in the populace have swords? As in, do you own swords?

2. What are these swords made of (ie stainless steel, high carbon steel, an
old truck leaf spring -really!) ?

3. What do you do with these swords (ie hang them and leave them, wear them
for events, play with them occasionally, cut with them etc)?

4. If you do cut with them, what do you cut?  Brush, saplings, bamboo,
tatami etc?

5. If you do not cut, would you like to cut with them?

I'll go first in answering my own questions.

1. I do own swords (3 currently and 1 tanto)

2. Two of the swords as well as the tanto are made of low grade steel
(machine stamped).  One of the swords is made of high carbon steel and is
hand forged.

3. The swords that are made of low grade steel mostly sit on the wall.
They're pretty and they're just for looks.  Occasionally I take them down to
play with them but they're mostly wall hangers.  I do cut with the hand
forged one.

4. I cut plastic soda, water and milk bottles filled with water (all are
recycled afterwards) and tatami omote (green reed mats) when I can afford

5. I do cut however I'd like the chance to cut more often with them,
especially tatami omote since it is a truer test of technique than just
plastic bottles.

The reason I ask all of this is aside from personal curiosity, I'm also
interested in perhaps getting together with other people who share my
interests in the sword arts and enjoying the act of tameshigiri (test
cutting with swords) so as to further improve our sword techniques.  If
there is enough interest I'd be willing to arrange the occasional get
together and if people are willing to help with the cost of the tatami omote
so we can all feel what it is like to cut through something more substantial
than water bottles and bushes.

Just a note - for those of you who fight heavy weapons, this might be a good
chance for you to see if your shots would truly cut if they landed.  Ever
wanted to see what would happen if you land a wrap with a real sword?  What
about an off-side cut?  This may be a good learning opportunity in technique
too.  I don't know enough about rapier fighting to make such a shameless
attempt at wooing rapier fighters.  I'll leave that up to your own

Thank you for your indulgence.

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