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Old 10-22-2003, 04:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: UK
How to choose the right sword length: T'ai Chi longsword

I've recently started studying a T'ai Chi sword form (42 step international/competition if that matters) and am absolutely loving it.

I want to buy my own sword to train with but I don't want to buy a lemon. So I was hoping you guys might have some recommendations and answers to my questions:

How do I determine the right length blade/handle/both?
Where should the sword's centre of balance be?
Can anyone recommend a good sword to look for?

Thanks all.
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: missouri
Try paul chen's hanwei forge- makes several different models and offers them in several different blade lengths- also, each model has different blade stiffness, - unfortunately I am unfamiliar with the length selection criteria, and ignorant as to why differing blade "springiness" is used.
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Old 10-22-2003, 12:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: CFB Gagetown, NB, CANADA
definately go Paul Chen.. best quality for the most economical price.
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Old 10-22-2003, 09:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I will aslo chime in with the Chen/Hanwei suggestion.

The best way to decide on the length is what feels good. For example, I find a 31" katana to be too long and difficult to wield, even though I am 6'0" tall., so I bought a 28" model. Much nicer.
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: UK
Thanks for the info guys, you've been very helpful. Good to know that the Paul Chen/Hanwei blades are well thought of. I liked the look of them myself in the various online stores I've found.

Just in case anyone comes looking for more info later on, I have dug up some purported criteria for choosing the right sword length etc. here: http://sunflower.singnet.com.sg/~limttk/ysword.htm

Length: Hold the sword in the starting position, i.e. behind the straightened arm, blade vertical. The point of the sword should be around the level of your ear lobe.

Springiness and weight are apparently a matter mostly of personal taste. Neither too springy or too hard etc etc. I guess as long as it feels natural in the hand while doing the form then it will be OK.

Thanks again guys.
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