Sunday, March 27, 2016

Height Can Be a Factor When You're Purchasing a Sword

If you’re a fellow sword lover, then you appreciate the beauty, precision and craftsmanship of a fine sword, but there is more to selecting a sword than simple aesthetics, especially if you plan to incorporate it for duel or Cosplay. In fact, when selecting a sword, it’s just as important to select one based on your height as it is when it comes to its place of origin.

Why Your Height Matters 
If you're actually intending to utilize your sword, such as in duel fighting or Cosplay, then selecting a blade length pertaining to your body's measurements (height and arm length) is important. For instance, if you've shorter arms, selecting a blade that is too long increases head movement when executing various movements and risks knocking off headgear when drawing and going into the ready position as well as other stances, guards and fighting positions. Likewise, for people who are shorter in height, selecting a blade that's too long may allow your sword to drag against the ground when relaxed or hung at your side. 

How to Determine the Sword Length You Need 
The best way to size your sword is to try different swords in the "carry sword" position, to see how the length feels. Stand at a moderate stance of attention with your sword extended down. First, be sure the sword does not touch the ground. Next, measure the length of your sword from your eye to the "V" shape formed by your index finger and thumb. The correct measurement for your height depends on the type of sword you select as well as its intended use. 

Some basic measurements for the practice Katana (Iaito) include: 
  • 5'1"- blade length between 24"to 26," Shaku length between 1.95 to 2.1 
  • 5'4"-blade length between 14" to 27", Shaku length between 2.05 to 2.25 
  • 5'7"-blade length between 26" to 28", Shaku length between 2.15 to 2.35 
  • 5' 10"-blade length between 27" to 29", Shaku length between 2.25 to 2.45 
  • 6'0"-blade length between 27" to 30", Shaku length between 2.3 to 2.5 
  • 6'4"-blade length between 29: to 30", Shaku length between 2.45 to 2.65 

When selecting a sword, ultimately, you should consult with your master who's an expert on selecting the perfect sword for your height as well as your craft. 

Reference: Nihonashi. (2009). Selecting An Iaito Blade Length. Retrieved from

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