Is there an ideal sword length that is some ratio of arm length / height?
I want a custom blade, and I would like it to be well fit to me.
In general you want to be able to attack your opponent's shins with a two-handed sword or a katana at about 45° angle, without the need to bend your knees from general stance.
Being able to attack a bit below a knee at 45° angle rule applies to the single-handed weapon, blade, sword, katana, wakizashi, rapier also. Meaning being that for a slashing move from above, You want to conceal that the target is the opponent's knee (You always have to look at your opponent's face, even when you perform this kind of move). And the purpose is not only to touch the opponent's knee, but to have it crushed, without the need to lower your weapon too much (unsafe) or bend your knees (loss of manoeuvrability and speed). Considering that the cutting area of the blade is not the tip, but about 15cm from the tip of the blade, the blade exit area comes right at the shins (after cutting the knee and the leg off.)
Kendo saves? Wear protective armor! Carbon saves!
You should concentrate on Your opponent when choosing a blade. You want to outperform by the reach distance and speed. Has she got a long blade? Then take even 5% longer one. Is her blade razor sharp? Then sharpen Yours with a lazer.
Use metal sticks first to find out the proper weight. You'll probably very soon find out that You want different weight and length for different types of training: form training, strength training, and speed training. You'll also find out that the right weight depends on your current condition. Sometimes you need recovery period and want to train with lighter weapons. Sometimes you would like a heavy sword. And when I say 'heavy', I mean 'HEAVY!'
You'll find out that You want different types of blades for different moves! Long and light for stabbing, mid-length and slightly curvy for cutting moves, shorter for slashing moves, and really short for dagger techniques.
Usually you need a reverse-curved, pointing to your opponent, short heavy blade for the reverse grip. Reverse curvature is really important to avoid hurting your own central body and legs.
You'll also find out that you want completely different blades for single-handed vs two-handed techniques. Two-handed blades are usually longer and heavier and are used for slashing and cutting moves. The grip for two-handed swords is usually 1/4 length of a blade.
The blade length and form primarily depend on what the target is. Your opponent has a long blade? Then You want even longer.
Do you plan to cut through heavy armor? Then train maces and axes.
Ask a local smith to make some custom iron sticks / blunt blades for training.
Always train with iron sticks or blunt blades. Wear finger-open type gloves to protect your skin when training with pair swords.
Never ever train with a real blade. Reasons being: you want to keep your custom blade razor sharp and polished. You want to keep the walls and furniture safe. You want to keep the people around you safe. And most importantly, you want to keep your body safe during training.
Visit a good gym with lots of swords and grab one by one, performing your usual sword workout. Connect your body to the free continuous flow of action.
Experiment with different swords as your skill, strength and agility improve.
"This one and that one have good responsiveness, smooth and free flow of action. Feels right? Yeah, this one feels good, somewhat like that is perfect!"
Take a video of the performance and check it. You'll see if the blade is too long, or light. If the blade is too light You'll feel the lack of power and momentum in movements. Controlling longer blade is harder when performing slashing movements, especially for a single‑handed blade. When the blade is too long or the point of balance is too far away from Your hand, You'll definitely notice unacceptable time lags when changing direction and blade overswing when you try to stop movement.
Rule Number One: Safety
Point of Balance is closer to the grip for thrusting, further away for slashing; for smash & slash you want a Point of Non-Vibration around the position of the index, middle, and ring fingers. The length of a single handed blade would be just short of the tip touching the ground when the weapon is held in the hand with the arm relaxed and hanging at your side. It does prevent the tip being scratched or blunted if you do swings from below. More important if the weapon is a work of art.
Your weapon is both your attack and your defence, keep it in front of you. Length of your primary blade gives you the freedom to perform radical manoeuvres to attack from an unseen or unexpected direction.
for universal cut&thrust single-handed blade the total length is usually 65 - 80cm; 77cm (30") sword is good if your height is 180cm (5'11").
for two-handed blade the total length is usually 100 - 140cm; obviously not for home use, unless you own a stone castle.
You want to have a 'L6 Bainite' steel blade.
American Style Swordplay
Uhh… are you being realistic here?
A custom blade? If it's for historical re-enactments that's one thing… But a true personal blade will cost you in the realm of $8000 and up. Who is going to make your sword?
And you probably shouldn't use a sword for self-defence. That's just not being practical at all. Even folks I know who study swords don't walk around with a wakizashi in their coat.
Knives are, arguably, a different matter. But I still think it's not the best choice for personal defence. Have you ever seen a knife fight? You don't want to see the result.
This would be for home defence.
If you are prepping for real combat, you should go for the quantity of swords, not for some kind of 'special' extravagant mythical quality.
Swords do tend to break, they also like to remain stuck in a ribcage, and in the bones.
Sometimes you become disarmed, then an extra cheapish sword on you becomes a real asset. Combat swords are an expendable material, especially in a prolonged fight against multiple opponents, which is usually the case in most self-defence scenarios. Nobody robs a bank alone.
And if you do have time to put some extra swords on you (which you definitely should), take in some battle supplements / boosters to wake you up, then do put a bullet-proof body vest, a titanium mask, and a helmet with a tongue night vision on. Remember to protect your arms and legs too. Put some protective gear on your elbows, knees and hands for possible falls. Put on some kind of enforced boots. Nobody can walk upon broken glass barefoot.
Don't forget to call 911 first. Have fun until they come. You've earned it. And they've completely deserved it.
Final advice: hire professionals. Men come cheaper than swords and guns. And they've finished all the licencing hassle already.
And the movie comes out more interesting. And the sales go up!
I've worked in various hospitals on both coasts of the US. Last month I treated two patients in our Emergency Department who came in with their throats cut with improvised blades. An effective strike from a sword is more likely to maim and mutilate than kill. After years of treating thoracic punctures, abdominal stab injuries, deep lacerations to arms, legs and face, as well as a variety of gunshot wounds, I believe it's both more "humane" and more effective to use a firearm for self-defence.
My suggestion would be to get a partner or companion to a katana, the wakizashi. Indoors, the wakizashi is obviously more effective than a katana. It is light, one or two handed, strong, and can be primary or off hand in combat. I imagine that wielding two could be effective under many scenarios. They are also more easily concealed.
Ok, just my thought on the custom made sword for home defence… Have a shotgun built into the thing. If someone breaks into your house they will most likely have a gun and if you pull a sword on them they will just have an excuse to shoot you.
Unless you're a Jedi, you will be wasting your money on a sword for home defence. I've trained for years in swordplay, and I know that there are only a handful of scenarios that home defence of a sword is the best option… And all of those options include an unarmed intruder. Because you won't know an intruder is armed until it's too late, the sword defence scenarios are out the window. Security doors and windows are a much better investment.
I'm sorry, I've seem to have given the impression, somehow, that I am lurking about my house at night like some crazed vigilante Jedi wanna-be. This is not the case.
I like swords.
I like to know how to use swords.
I was wondering if there is an ideal geometry for a particular type of blade compared to an individual.
I have the means to get a custom sword, and want to get the best value for my money as well as the most efficient tool.
That's pretty much it.
There is a non-zero chance that I will have an intruder and that kitchen knife, baseball bat, other sword, spear, chemical reagents, teddy bear, dictionary, flintlock rifle, cash, iron, fry pan, scimitar or any other potential implement of harm that I own will be farther away than this, currently potential, custom sword.
I do, however, appreciate y'all's concern that I am about to do something foolish. Thank you. I am not.
Thank you to those who replied.
Personally I like the feel and comfort of a Katana, but to be honest, I don't even know the length of the one I used to own. I just knew it was comfortable in my hands.
Buy a desintegrator. Is there any intruders at home left? Is there any home left?
I have both a handgun and a Surefire flashlight within reach. Never underestimate the effectiveness of a good flashlight in ruining an opponent's night-vision. Take a high-output 200 lumen flashlight (maglight maybe?). An ideal home-defence weapon would have the light mounted onto it.
Run a suppressor on your gun to protect your ears.
Oh, and also try not to modify your defence weapon too much - outside of basic reliability. It might be a little tougher to be seen as a victim if you blasted a home invader to molecules with your .50 Browning M2HB Machine Gun.
For me myself, I'd want something that I could swing with the right arm, and left me enough balance for a heavy metal pipe in the left. An arm's length would be a good guess?
For the love of God! Man, if you're concerned about home security get a gun and forget the highlander scenarios. In lieu of a gun, get a dog. In lieu of a dog just strategically place explosives all over your domicile, it’s almost as practical as going after an intruder with a sword. If I were you I'd find a sporting goods store and buy yourself a baseball bat. Get an aluminium one if you want to be fancy about it. With the aluminium as a plus you can always hook a car battery (plus sign) up to it and duel with your buddy (hook minus sign) and get the cool sparking effect!
Buy a ninjatō, and fix two or even six 200 lumen flashlights to its handle (use insulating tape). You’ll be cooler than a Jedi!
And you can use your MacBook with a ballistic shield! Make hooks in a ballistic shield to fix your Mac, and you can turn the video record on! Buy Mac-compatible ballistic shield!!!
Buy a helmet too! Choose one with Google Glass and one-eye-night-vision-optics attached to it!!! You can go online live!
Sell the video later to compensate for your all sword expenses!!!
Big Anti-Vehicle Gun beats all the swords!!!
Modern Weapons Training Priority:
- anti-vehicle rifle
- sniper rifle
- assault rifle
Yes, You train the knife last.