SHTF swords and swordsmanship

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Cerberus

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Hey guys,

I made this topic because it is a necessity.
Plenty of young folk want a sword as a prep, primarily katanas.
Being fairly young myself, I know the allure of a sword when you can't have firearms is great.

So before they go off and buy a sword that breaks because it was not made for use, or that wastes away because it's owner does not know how to use or take care of a sword.
I believe that sharing our knowledge on these things here will help make a difference and save a lot of people some bucks.​

This place is NOT just for katanas, although I suspect these will be the favorite topic.
This place is NOT to talk people into other types of weapons for self defense.
This place IS for exchanging Tips, Knowledge, Ideas, guidance and sharing your bad-### sword pictures.
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A sword is build purely to KILL. To use a sword in self defense is your commitment to butcher your enemy. There are no other uses for it, in theory you could chop down a tree but it will only serve to dull your blade.
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Before you buy a sword.
Consider what you want it for. Most likely you want it as a prep. To walk around with it when SHTF and slash up those zombies. For this you need to look for a sword which is easy to maintain. It needs to be able to get wet and not rust, be easy to clean when it gets dirty, and be light enough to carry yet lethal in YOUR hands.

Consider your own fighting style. Where do you want the balance to be?
A sword with forward balance will feel heavy like a big hammer. It will be slower to draw, slower to wield but give you a lot more damage. A sword with the balance near its hilt, will be faster to draw, easy and fast to wield but it will do less damage against an armored opponent.

Size of the sword also place a huge factor. If you get for example a large two handed claymore the weight will slow you down in your travels too. whilst a short sword would do less so. The benefit of size, is of course reach and most often, power. where as shorter swords are lighter, faster but less powerful.

Make sure the sword you buy is combat proof. The blade should run all the way down into the hilt.
An example of a bad sword: Katanas made for display. They often don't have their blade all the way into the hilt. when you draw the sword and make slight movements with your arms. for example shake them a little. a bad sword will feel fragile, rattle or snap right off then and there. MAKE SURE THE BLADE EXTENDS INTO THE HILT.

Ask and/or research how you take care of your sword, how to sharpen it should it run dull and how to clean it when it gets dirty.
____________________________________________________________________


When you bought your sword.
Buy a good holster for it. Just tucking it between your belt and pants will suck when you take a walk.
There is a large range of holsters down at ravenswoodleather.com which are simple enough to understand, decently priced and relatively simple to repair. Do compare to other places and their assortment, for there may be holsters that better suit your needs.

You also should learn how to use it. Whilst there are of course Training DVD's for every style, learning through sparring and competition is still the most effective.

Where to go to learn to use your sword? Google what the original fighting style is called for your sword.
Then google to see if there is a school for this style in your area.

"I bought a katana and there's too many styles out there to choose from. which do I choose?"
I chose to learn kendo. Kendo is a style created to intimidate and fight armored opponents. You'll yell and strike simultaneously in order to attempt to overwhelm the senses of a lesser opponent. It also focuses on defense and its attacks are mostly aimed at getting 1 good strike in that would win the fight.

Is kendo the best for katanas? No, all styles have things in which they excel and none is truly supreme. If you want to be the best swordman around, Learn all the styles applicable to your katana. That includes: Iaido , Kenjutsu, Kendo, Haidong Gumdo and even aikido. (aikido is a hand combat style which teaches you to use an opponents force against him/herself, this principle can easily be used in your sword fighting and will make you hold out longer when sparring.)


If anyone has anything to share, be it pictures of their sword, tips, knowledge or experience.
Please feel free to share it.


My katana, manufactured by Toledo. It's Balance lies about 1 and a half hand above the tsuba. The blade is combat ready, but not SHTF proof.
It's hilt which is covered and bound with cloth would become a hassle if dirty and in need of cleaning.
 
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Kenprep1979

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Yea it was a joke ! dont appreciate your comments next time keep them to yourself and show people a little respect!
 
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Roninsensei

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I would change your statement to say "through the hilt or handle". The sword has to go "INTO" the hilt in order to stay attached . I think your talking about the tang of the blade which is the metal that extends into the handle and not many katana's are full tang. Most good katana's are 3/4 tang at best this is historically correct and helps the balance of the blade. The katana is a terrible blade for survival and kendo is an even worse recommendation for an art to learn to use the katana. It's like saying that using a nerf gun helps you learn how an AR-15 works in combat. You fight how you train and if your training has rules you've already failed yourself. Competition has rules and therefore is already not combat or good training for it. Honor in blade fighting is what the guy who won claims he has. The best blade for and real survival combat is going to be smaller and more agile. I would recommend a machete or Wakizashi or even a Chisa katana before a full katana. Plus the maintenance of the katana is great. Also the scabbard or sheath "holster" as you put it, in the case of the katana is not very easy to work with. A Kydex or leather case is easier to work with but the katana doesn't get along well with either. As an individual who has had to use machetes, blades and katana's in defense of my life I can say with confidence that most should look else where. I have been formally trained in the katana by some of the best, but it's not my first go to.
 

Gazrok

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The katana is cool, but I always hated the way the scabbards are designed to tie on. Is it so sacrilegious to adopt a more modern attachment? Personally, I'll just stick with having a machete, as it's more expected as a normal piece of hiking gear. It also has a more modern and practical scabbard. As for encountering a swordsman, won't matter, as at about 60 feet, he'll be shot anyhow. ;)
 

Cerberus

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The katana is a terrible blade for survival and kendo is an even worse recommendation for an art to learn to use the katana. It's like saying that using a nerf gun helps you learn how an AR-15 works in combat. You fight how you train and if your training has rules you've already failed yourself. Competition has rules and therefore is already not combat or good training for it. Honor in blade fighting is what the guy who won claims he has. The best blade for and real survival combat is going to be smaller and more agile. I would recommend a machete or Wakizashi or even a Chisa katana before a full katana. Plus the maintenance of the katana is great. Also the scabbard or sheath "holster" as you put it, in the case of the katana is not very easy to work with. A Kydex or leather case is easier to work with but the katana doesn't get along well with either. As an individual who has had to use machetes, blades and katana's in defense of my life I can say with confidence that most should look else where. I have been formally trained in the katana by some of the best, but it's not my first go to.
You mistake me Roninsensei, I am not recommending the use of a katana for survival. I merely gave the knowledge I have on them.
I also agree, that smaller, lighter and more agile blades would be recommended. I did not say kendo was the best choice for the katana, and I would not mention honor in a fight.
The holster I mention is not the sheet. The holster I mention is the rig for carrying the sheathed sword. Just like for a gun, it placed in for example a drop leg holster. Holster in modern days is also used for what used to be called a Baldric (which is what a rig is derived from.

I fully agree that a Katana is a terrible choice as a survival weapon. Kendo's virtue is gaining some form of combat experience and gaining reflex moves which are all lethal if carried out. To become someone combat ready though, I believe reflexes both for defense and offence are needed. The other styles I mentioned that apply to katana's all have their own virtues and disadvantages too. I merely talked a small portion of my post about the katana because that is the one sword I have some knowledge off. Since you seem to imply you have sufficient knowledge about machete's and wakizashi's please share your knowledge on these weapons. Not from the view that these are superior to others, but from the view of someone who chose the weapon and fill in all the knowledge you have on them.

The katana is cool, but I always hated the way the scabbards are designed to tie on. Is it so sacrilegious to adopt a more modern attachment? Personally, I'll just stick with having a machete, as it's more expected as a normal piece of hiking gear. It also has a more modern and practical scabbard. As for encountering a swordsman, won't matter, as at about 60 feet, he'll be shot anyhow. ;)
My SHTF bags do not go past Machetes either. I personally prefer a bow and arrow with as backup a machete even though I have not learned a style that fits a machete. This is also for the reason that I believe I will have more use for a machete or perhaps even an axe then a sword. would you perhaps be willing to share what you know on machetes and show us how you carry it around? do you pack it or do you strap it? which machete do you have and what styles are there for learning to fight with it? ^^
 

Tyler

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I take weapons classes as a part of my martial arts training and in my experience there is no way any one without training should even go near a katana. My reason, it was made for slashing, not hacking. Other swords such as the german long swords or the roman short blades are much more suited to the role that people would typicaly go for. When I go for favourite weapons I swing to my hanbo first then to my blades. (Effective weapons handling for the machetes think tanbo)

Just my 2 cents
 

Gazrok

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I wouldn't recommend it as a dueling blade. But, that said, I wear it much like I wear a sword when dressing for a Renaissance Faire, etc. It's in a scabbard on my left, and I reach over with my right and draw it.

It (machete) would be dulled and nicked pretty bad if used against another blade (I would assume). If I was surprised, etc. though, then my first goal would simply be to get some distance so I could draw my pistol and shoot the bastard. So, at that point, I wouldn't mind getting it banged up. I've had some basic Kenjutsu training for mostly mock combat swordplay, but nothing I'd want to bet my life and limbs on.

I will say, I fight dirty. If forced to sword-fight, I'm going to go for hacking off the body part closest to me (i.e. your sword hand). I also use anything and everything around me, in any way I can imagine (and I'm pretty quick to imagine something).
 

Cerberus

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How did you secure the scabbard to your left ? did you get a baldric for it or did you manage to secure it to your pack or belt ?
I agree gazrok, In a fight, The one who fights dirtiest wins :p
 

Gazrok

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How did you secure the scabbard to your left ? did you get a baldric for it or did you manage to secure it to your pack or belt ?
I agree gazrok, In a fight, The one who fights dirtiest wins :p
Scabbard for the machete has a belt loop (But I can also use any of the carabiner clips on the pack to just hang it from the pack too). The only baldric I have is for a staged combat made broadsword (so blade isn't sharp). Most other swords I own have their own scabbard, so can be worn easier with a weapons belt.
 

Roninsensei

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A machete will ding up about the same as any sword with the difference being how deep the ding would be. However machetes made with good steel will hold up fine. The reason blade proficiency is recommended by me is because bullets will become rare and costly and let everyone know your there post SHTF. Unfortunately in my travels gun use was not always prudent or allowed. We were ordered to go completely silent in our missions at times and that means gun fire only if necessary silencers aren't that silent. The machete and combat tomahawks were our preferred method unless it got closer then, a good fighting knife was next. I've used a couple of differing shapes and sizes as I evolved. I've found that, in the end, three styles of machete work best in combat and survival. My bias is for cold steel machetes because they have never failed me. The first is a latin or jungle style machete.
jungle machete.jpg
This is my first go to. The one pictured is an African jungle style. It is capable of removing anything and that includes hacking down trees.

Next is the barong style machete.
barong machete.jpg
This style is a great fighter because it's quick and small enough for true close quarter. Not the greatest tree hacker but does fairly well with brush and throws well.

Last is the saber or cutlass.
cutlass machete.jpg
This is the king of the long fight and the D ring handle will protect those fingers you need to pull the trigger Gazorak!! lol!! Cold steel made sure that the D ring handle has metal all through the ring. Others not so much.

There are many other styles of blade but none that are as versatile as these.
 

Tyler

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I'm looking into getting a few cold steel machetes within the next year. I'm also looking into getting 1 or 2 fixed blade 6 inch knives. I also want to pick up some more folding knives
 
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I prefer the older styled weapons, like knives axes bows etc. I have a couple ranging from about an inch and a half to 8 inches. I am no expert and the only formal cqc training I have is a few muy Thai classes and YouTube videos. But if you ask me I'd take a machete over a katana any day, the machete was made to clear brush and hack at limbs, the katana was used in very specific combat that had rules and was not made for the cuts you see on tv, especially modern katanas which are made more for display than functionality. I can throw knives hatchets and tomahawks fairly well so I am spending a lot of time looking into those weapon types at this point in time. I want a bow and or a crossbow as well, these seem like rational weapons to me, because not many people know how to shoot them very well, if at all. And most people go straight for the bullets when they loot, they don't even notice the arrows or bolts, I also have a slingshot that I am farely good with. I would love some suggestions on brands and types of weapons please!
 

Roninsensei

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I prefer the older styled weapons, like knives axes bows etc. I have a couple ranging from about an inch and a half to 8 inches. I am no expert and the only formal cqc training I have is a few muy Thai classes and YouTube videos. But if you ask me I'd take a machete over a katana any day, the machete was made to clear brush and hack at limbs, the katana was used in very specific combat that had rules and was not made for the cuts you see on tv, especially modern katanas which are made more for display than functionality. I can throw knives hatchets and tomahawks fairly well so I am spending a lot of time looking into those weapon types at this point in time. I want a bow and or a crossbow as well, these seem like rational weapons to me, because not many people know how to shoot them very well, if at all. And most people go straight for the bullets when they loot, they don't even notice the arrows or bolts, I also have a slingshot that I am farely good with. I would love some suggestions on brands and types of weapons please!
These are great tomahawks

Pipe hawk or trail hawk
frontier hawk.jpg
trail hawk.jpg


These are my favorite fighting knifes

Warcraft tanto or the Recon scout Or the S.R.K (survival rescue knife)
warcraft tanto.jpg
recon scout (2).jpg
SRK.jpg


As for bows I've fallen in love with my folding survival bow


http://www.goprimalnow.com/
 

Roninsensei

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Dump the fast hawk its crap. Nearly took a friends head off!! It broke during training against a cold steel plastic trainer!! Also all over the net are people complaining about the same problem. The break always happens in the same place...


The bow assembles soo qiuckly!

 

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