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Sword Buyers Digest - June 2013
June 01, 2013

Paul Southren A slightly lighter weight issue than normal, but with so much work going on behind the scenes my time to write this month’s edition of the digest had to be compressed just a tad.

But don’t worry gentle reader, we still managed to find a few choice pearls of info for you to digest!


1. From the Desk of Paul Southren
2. Best Forum Posts
3. Video of the Month: Krabi Krabong
4. Bargain Hunters and Clearout specials


Competition Designs Both from the inside and the outside, it’s been another busy month at SBG!

The last few months have seen quite a few changes, but we aren’t finished by a long shot. To be perfectly honest, we are just getting warmed up..!

But before we get into anything new…


You can see to the right all the fantastic entries we received for our ‘design a sword competition’ for our navigation bar. The response was awesome, and I’d like to thank everyone who either submitted a design or a design idea.

But of course, to echo the words of the Highlander, there can only be one winner, and our winner was for the ‘golden SBG gladius’ design by Lybrabys (design number 2) who won the customized Ronin Katana and Crusader Monk Scabbard Gift Voucher.

As we say ‘Congarats’ Lybrabys!

(I don’t fully remember why we say that, I think G. Scott Hoagland may have coined it back on the original proboards forum and it stuck.. Ah, the good old days..)

You can see it now features prominently on the main site, and once we have ironed out a few bugs, it will also be added to the forum’s navigation bar, hopefully within the next couple of weeks (getting the forum to where it needs to be has proved to be much more complicated than we thought initially, but we are getting there!).

Anyway, with stage one of the main sites overhaul essentially completed, last month I turned my attention to the SBG Sword Store and while it’s still a little bit of a work in progress, from what has been done so far I think it’s a bit cleaner and easier to navigate.

New Look Sword Store

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Over the coming week or so we will be adding numerous other cool features – such as special customer reward programs, facebook store version with facebook customer registration option, review features, volume discounts and more!

In the meantime, a couple of other big changes – the first is a personal one in that from this month I will finishing up my studies here in Japan and going back to teaching conversation classes again. I doubt that it will have any major impact on SBG one way or another as I’ll really just be changing from studying full time to working full time, but if occasionally my email replies are a day late or something – well, you’ll know why..!

However, to try and counter this and also set ourselves up for the future from early last month SBG moved away from being an Australian business and has now set itself up as ‘Sword Buyers Guide Limited’ based out of Hong Kong. It will become clearer over the coming months why we would do such a thing, but in a nutshell as SBG has always been an international business since the beginning it makes sense to bring it closer to my home base of two years here in Osaka – and will facilitate occasional trips over to Hong Kong and mainland China to check out the latest products and do some serious testing (which can’t be done here in Japan as sword ownership laws are incredibly strict and prohibitive)..

More on this later – we have some exciting new plans in the pipeline, and our newly formed Hong Kong based company is the perfect vehicle for what we have in mind…!

Speaking of Hong Kong and China (don’t you love the way we just smoothly segue into the next topic! Lol) – my good friend Chris from Ronin Katana just recently got back from yet another trip to Longquan – and the stories he had to tell..! Chris has now pretty much seen EVERYTHING behind the scenes of the modern day sword industry – and has promised to write a big, juicy expose on what goes on over there so that once you have read it, you’ll know the kind of secrets that most other sellers either don’t know themselves or wish that you did not!

Firing up the forge old school style

In the meantime, check out his facebook page here – on his trip he took hundreds of photos and hour upon hour of video footage that he will release as he finds the time to do so, so check it out – no one has ever done anything like this before and the discoveries he has made are truly amazing..


Did Odingaard just intentionally destroy that Albion Baron’s grip?
Yes, he certainly did – check out why even the highest end medieval swords can look even better with some customization.

Longswords True Cutting Potential
The video this post links to is a bit graphic in that it depicts what a properly sharpened Longsword can do versus a Gambeson (padded) armor wearing pig carcass.. But it dispels a few myths about what a medieval longsword could and could not do.

Learning to Spot Fake Antique Swords on Ebay
It’s amazing what some of these scammers try to pass of as antiques. This thread is a good start to educate yourself how to spot the fakes so when a real one comes by you can snatch it up with confidence.

3D Printing a Tsuba?
It’s a fantastic idea – who knows where this kind of thing will end up? Instant custom Katana’s anyone?

Is it cool? Or is it strange? It’s certainly a novel idea!
I’m talking of course about the ‘swing’ a longsword like thing that’s, well, really short for training in confined spaces or when travelling..


There are only a handful of sword arts whose unbroken line can be traced back to a time when swords were used in battle. Everyone knows about Japan and China, who can certainly make that claim – but there are other more exotic ones, such as Krabi Krabong from Thailand.

The sword in question is the Dharb – similar to the Burmese Dha – deadly effective and incredibly intimidating looking, it’s a wonder that they are not better represented out there (the only production sword I know of would be the Hanwei Banshee, though that’s more of a proto-tactical hybrid thing really).

Anyway, check the video out with an open mind – this is a routine, but check out some of the techniques hidden in the fun show of it – I would NOT want to come up against a pair of these swords, that is for sure..!

Youtube vid of the Month

YouTube Video of the Month

P.S. Apologies for the wrong link to the wrong video in last month’s Video of the Month Section.. D’oh! (it’s fixed in the backissues online if you wanted to see it… Sorry about that..)

Bargain Hunters Clearout Specials


After a very successful first run we are pleased to announce a second shipment of the Longquan “Mom and Pop” hand forged Shirasaya Elite series.

These are easily some the best blades to have ever come out of Longquan China – no frills and no fuss, they are honest, expertly crafted blades in humble Shirasaya fittings – and without a shadow of a doubt are the solid core of a future sword customization project, or just a chance to own a high end blade stripped of the trappings for a ridiculously low price.

This second run sees the series get even better, especially the Choji Hamon version which now has an even higher level of polish to really bring out the details.

Shirasaya Elite

We have decided to continue bringing these in small batches of 20 for the foreseeable future, but as supplies are limited and sell out fast if you want to secure one or other of these fantastic blades, now is most definitely the time to do so.

Whether you will be building your own mountings from scratch using a resource such as the classic free ebook or sending it off to Fred Lohman, these blades are perfect for any project and majorly underpriced, so get them while they are still in stock.

Check them out in the HOT SPECIALS section of our store!

Lots of things to do, so until next month Happy Swordening Folks!

Paul Southren

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