What would be a good practice/iado sword for me to purchase?
QUESTION: I've been reading your reviews, and I must say "Great Job!", man. Your site is very informative.
I'm looking at getting into iaido for the sake of mental growth/relaxation. I've participated in martial arts when I was younger, and did get my black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and I really liked the focus that I had. I also wasn't quite as stressed out now that I"m in college. Anyway, in your opinion, what would be a good sharp/dull sword to purchase? I already own a bokken. I know that it may be the primary practice instrument, but I'm the kinda fellow that likes to have all the ducks in one row, ya know? I'd rather purchase what I need now, and use it as time dictates. I'd appreciate any feedback. Thanks.ANSWER:
Well, the best value for money iaito around are without a doubt the Cheness Cutlery ones here
, though Hanwei make some good ones that only cost around $100 more depending on where you source them.
The very best advice though is to enquire with the club you wish to join first, as they may require you to use iaito that meet their own specifications. Cheness are in use in a lot of dojo, but each one has its own rules on what can and can't be used. Some will even only allow you to use Japanese made aluminium alloy iaito, and it would be a shame to buy a sword and then find out you need to buy another because it does not fit in with what your future sensei demands...
Hope this helps.