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Thread: Bohi or not Bohi? [question]

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat Rous View Post
    You'd be surprised. A lot of modern bo-hi less blades are quite brittle on the edge.

    Most production blades would chip on bone. I know. I've tried it

    Hear, Hear... I've chipped my share. The kotetsu style as pictured in the OP are especially prone to chipping.

    Really folks, it's about what compromises you're willing to make. Bo-hi or not, if you learn to use the sword, and use it within its parameters , it'll be fine. With proper technique and a little sense a decent sword will withstand anything an iaidoka or kendoka will put it through in the normal course of training.

    On the theoretical battlefield? Well use your yuma and your yari as the bushi did... when it somes down to sword play use your sword w/o thoughts of whatever damage it may recieve. At the end, if you are still alive to mourn your chipped/bent sword... it worked.

    Battle (theoretical or not) is ugly , folks. Swords get damaged, and people die...

    The toughest sword with the most chip resistant edge I have (and my best cutter) is ...(wait for it) .... a through hardened 1050 steel Oni Forge Tonbo(with bo-hi). It has outperformed most production offerings in the $200 - $1000 range.

    But it's a compromise, it's tough as hell, and cuts well...BUT IS IT A KATANA?

    Well , it's katana like...

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by NiŽl van Rooyen View Post
    Imagine that a Katana is an I beam. (More complex - but fundamentally true.)

    For most Bo-hi metal is removed from an area that does not contribute to the strenth of the I beam.

    If we assume that Bo-hi means a single groove from Habaki to close to the Kissaki then Bo-hi:-

    1. Do not reduce structural integrity.
    2. Ligtens the blade.
    3. Different lengths of Bohi make different sounds (only when passing rapidly through air) - it helps the user to learn proper cutting technique - one can hear if the blade is swung true and differentiate between angling "up" or "down."
    4. Do not decrease the "life span" of a blade.
    5. As for aesthetics - it's a matter of choice.
    6. Make polishing a chore - especially on fully hand crafted blades.
    7. A blade without Bo-hi will be "caught" easier in flesh (larger surface area) and require more force to cut - if this is significant???

    Of course the lamination type confounds the issue. e.g. A Kobuse or Makuri blade with a deep Bo-hi may have the groove extend through or deep into the higher carbon outer layer - this WILL render the sword weaker. On Sanmai / Shihozume / Hon-Sanmai a Bo-hi will not weaken the blade.

    Valid reasons exist for adding a Bo-hi but it's not appropriate for all types of blades.
    Hi NiŽl,

    I do agree with most of your points, but the i-beam comparison even if greatly simplified, seems a little flat to me. In an i-beam, the forces are exerted along the vertical axis, so the removal of material is not such a big deal. However, if you turn that i-beam on its side, do you still believe it has the same structural integrity as a solid piece of steel?

  3. #28
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    The wacky subjects you sometimes see here, and the strange tangents that threads tend to go off in...
    Keeping in with the OP's premise of "home defense", then the cheapest, easiest, method with the least legal ramifications is this:
    1. Pick yourself up a bokken. For the purposes you're intending this for, you don't even need an expensive one. A $10 red oak cheapo will do the trick.
    2. Practice swinging the aforesaid bokken daily. Bring the bokken over your head at an approximate 45 degree angle, then swing out and down - letting the bokken do the work-then stopping with the bokken roughly horizontal and the tsuka end at the height of your navel.
    3. Start out with 50 times a day and work yourself up to about 500. Do this daily without fail. After you feel comfortable with that, try cuts at a 45 degree angle. If you do this faithfully for 6 months, I will personally grant you a certificate stating that you've mastered the secrets of the "Woodchopper's Ryu".
    Now you have a lethal weapon that won't break, bend, chip, or get wedged in flesh. Not only that, but when you get arrested for killing someone, we won't have to see yet another news story about some whacko with a Sam-yoo-rye sword. Then overzealous bloodsucking leeches...er, politicians, won't be able to use the BAN SAMURAI SWORDS platform to run for office.

    If you're interested in the historical or technical aspect of bo-hi or not, you'll find a zillion threads here with people argueing both sides. However, Dave Drawdy said everything you need to know in his first post. If you're serious about learning more, you couldn't get better advice.

    P.S. On the "Buying a good sword is not a simple matter of finding something sharp and traditional looking dude"; people here REALLY need to do a little research before opening their mouths. Look up Dave Drawdy's profile, or better yet, his homepage. You'll find his opinion on what works and what doesn't, has more validity than 90% of the people posting here. On a similiar note; if you're going to use Japanese titles, please, please, please...use them correctly. It should be "Drawdy Sensei" -or more properly since he lives in the U.S, "Sensei Drawdy" - not Dave Sensei. My little brother used to take lessons with this big chain karate school that had pretentions torward the traditional. The teacher was a heck of a nice guy, but listening to them calling each other "Joe sensei" and Sensei Tom", made me want to scream and beg for mercy.

    P.P.S. I'll bet you dollars to donuts that someone will read this post and make a reply to the effect that:
    a) red oak bokkens aren't sturdy enough to withstand the thickness of your typical ruffian's skull. Therefore, one should get a traditional white oak bokken from Japan. This, in turn, will spark a furious debate as to which kind of wood is best...
    b)Correct my technique, and state that the proper technique will involve bringing the sword back further (or less further), cutting deeper, or that they should be practicing cuts from all directions. This will in turn, spark a furious debate on what techniques are best. All I can say is...my school, my techniques...

    P.P.P.S. Just for the record...The first paragraph WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN FUN....
    Last edited by Gary S; 09-12-2008 at 05:05 PM. Reason: Put foot in mouth, inadvertantly contributing to the "guys who like swords are whacko" theme.

  4. #29
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    Red or White bokken either one, as long as it as bo-hi...
    and has been christened with a ninja's sweat under a full,red moon


    Oh and practice should be kesa-giri, as well as Migi Gyaku kesa

  5. #30
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    OK gentlemen, what part of this statement from our moderator didn't y'all understand? ...
    Let us understand one thing clearly from the start though, so there is no misunderstanding. Self defense, home invasion/protection and using swords against others in a modern combative context are off topic and out of bounds anywhere on the SFI discussion boards. There are other forums where you may find a sympathetic and helpful audience for those subjects but it's not going to happen here.
    Paul Smith
    "Keep the sharp side and the
    pointy end between you and
    your opponent"

  6. #31
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    the post Paul referred to has been moved.

    Dave
    Dave Drawdy
    "the artist formerly known as Sergeant Major"

  7. #32
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    Well...that was...different... Guess, I was wrong on the reply I was going to get...horribly, horribly wrong.
    So who do I owe the donuts too?

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat Rous View Post
    You'd be surprised. A lot of modern bo-hi less blades are quite brittle on the edge.

    Most production blades would chip on bone. I know. I've tried it
    Do you know what this means then?



    Save up your money and buy a better sword

    I've been playing with swords for 7 years, now. I'm still learning what I like and dislike. I started training in JSA a few years ago, and my tastes have changed yet again.

    I want a katana that is blade heavy, has some weight to it, and was made by someone who took the time to do their thing and do it right.

    For a beginner, my beginners opinion says don't get a cutting sword with bo-hi. Your hasuji isn't good enough yet and it can be a failure point in a blade.

    There is rumor of a man who cut one or two full tatami mats with a Japanese made Iaito. One of those aluminum ones. He was a higher level practitioner and picked up the wrong sword for the cut as he had all of his swords custom mounted the same.

    Just goes to show what really matters doesn't and what doesn't seem to matter can.
    I like swords.

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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Frances View Post
    Hi NiŽl,

    I do agree with most of your points, but the i-beam comparison even if greatly simplified, seems a little flat to me. In an i-beam, the forces are exerted along the vertical axis, so the removal of material is not such a big deal. However, if you turn that i-beam on its side, do you still believe it has the same structural integrity as a solid piece of steel?
    It also doesn't cover the forces if you twist the blade in the target (very common thing, even higher level practitioners do it)
    I like swords.

    ______________________________
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    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario N View Post
    Buying a good sword is not a simple matter of finding something sharp and traditional looking dude.
    I know Dave already clarified his meaning, but the way I took it is that if you are just starting out, you don't know what you like.

    Tastes change, and being able to handle many swords will cause this change. If you like something, buy it and see how it feels, if all else fails, sell it and buy another.

    Or, join a dojo and see if you can handle a few blades and make the decision that way.
    I like swords.

    ______________________________
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    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Ellis View Post
    Do you know what this means then?



    Save up your money and buy a better sword

    I've been playing with swords for 7 years, now. I'm still learning what I like and dislike. I started training in JSA a few years ago, and my tastes have changed yet again.

    I want a katana that is blade heavy, has some weight to it, and was made by someone who took the time to do their thing and do it right.

    For a beginner, my beginners opinion says don't get a cutting sword with bo-hi. Your hasuji isn't good enough yet and it can be a failure point in a blade.

    There is rumor of a man who cut one or two full tatami mats with a Japanese made Iaito. One of those aluminum ones. He was a higher level practitioner and picked up the wrong sword for the cut as he had all of his swords custom mounted the same.

    Just goes to show what really matters doesn't and what doesn't seem to matter can.
    Of course - that's why I cut with a custom Blade now - it's big but fast.

    I've chipped a DF O-Katana (The edges are too thin with zero niku) on Wara and a Wind and Thunder on bone.

    The W&T has held up well on Bamboo but it'll just be a backup blade now it's been re-profiled.
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat Rous View Post
    You'd be surprised. A lot of modern bo-hi less blades are quite brittle on the edge.

    Most production blades would chip on bone. I know. I've tried it
    Actually, I would think any katana would chip on bone, dead bone that is. Dead, hardened and calcified bone is basically the natural equivalent to chopping a cinderblock. I cringed when Mythbusters was creating a dummy to test and used a old femur to test to see how strong a human bone is. It severely compromised their test results. Then again, when haven't people pointed out problems in their testing?

    Besides, I think the original statement about a katana without bo hi easily slicing through flesh, and the bo hi one failing to do so was rather incorrect. Just by a production standpoint, the Tiger or Kami katana from Paul Chen would greatly outcut the Orchid, or maybe even the Bushido katana. The Kami has very wide yet balanced blade offset by the bo hi. A thick, wide blade with Niku (if i remember right the Kami I had did have some niku) would cut much better than a smaller blade without bo hi.
    Every time I put on a suit for a wedding or other event, I feel like I'm wearing optimal clothing for an epic fight scene...

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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Justice View Post
    Actually, I would think any katana would chip on bone, dead bone that is. Dead, hardened and calcified bone is basically the natural equivalent to chopping a cinderblock. I cringed when Mythbusters was creating a dummy to test and used a old femur to test to see how strong a human bone is. It severely compromised their test results. Then again, when haven't people pointed out problems in their testing?

    Besides, I think the original statement about a katana without bo hi easily slicing through flesh, and the bo hi one failing to do so was rather incorrect. Just by a production standpoint, the Tiger or Kami katana from Paul Chen would greatly outcut the Orchid, or maybe even the Bushido katana. The Kami has very wide yet balanced blade offset by the bo hi. A thick, wide blade with Niku (if i remember right the Kami I had did have some niku) would cut much better than a smaller blade without bo hi.
    I'd love for the Kami to be available in Shira saya (preferably without the Horinomo). It's by far the best Hanwei blade I've seen.
    Last edited by Mat Rous; 09-14-2008 at 10:51 PM.
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  14. #39
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    Scott and Aaron, posts removed. Aaron, well intentioned but compounding the issue. Scott, no firearms, period.

    Glen

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat Rous View Post
    I'd love for the Kami to be available in Shira saya (preferably without the Horinomo). It's by far the best Hanwei blade I've seen.
    I suppose the real question I should ask of higher level practitioners: What is the best production forge out there for your money?

    Hanwei's Bugei blades are up there, I know, and I'm told Citadel as well, but, what other places are there that you can consistently get a reliable sword that you don't ever hear problems about?
    I like swords.

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    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  16. #41
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    Most of it is word of mouth I think.

    It depends if you are cutting or not realistically. Also, what mediums you are cutting and how often.
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  17. #42
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    You know, this is completely off topic, but I find it too amusing to not point out. "Bo-hi or not bo-hi" rhymes with "To be or not to be".
    "Wherever you are, that is your dojo." - Esaka Seigen

    Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat Rous View Post
    Most of it is word of mouth I think.

    It depends if you are cutting or not realistically. Also, what mediums you are cutting and how often.
    I'd say the best production line I've heard of is the hataya kotetsu, but I can't find anyone selling them anymore...
    I like swords.

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    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  19. #44
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    Doesn't Big Tony still sell them?
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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat Rous View Post
    Doesn't Big Tony still sell them?
    Tozai is down again.
    I like swords.

    ______________________________
    SCHOLA GLADIATORIA
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    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  21. #46
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    Ah!

    I find that most production blades are slanted towards "Competition" geometry which I'm not interested in. As a result I tend to get heavier blades than I would possible choose but they are the only ones with niku etc that I am looking for.
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  22. #47
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    Big Tony is still selling Hataya Kotetsu blades. He even had a new shipment in when I was down in CA last month. You probably need to contact him directly bigtony@senpokan.com to order though.
    -Scott Muller

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