The Swords of HI

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by DannyinJapan, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. dwatts67


    Apr 3, 2003
    drool...drool, must have Bura saber...
    drool...drool, must have Bura saber...
    drool...drool, must have Bura saber...

  2. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    SWEETIES all. Danny how are HI swords as users. What I mean is could they be used in actual combat vs. another sword weilding asshole? I, just for clarification, have no training here and am just curious.
  3. Kazeryu


    Nov 7, 2005
    Thanks for sharing the pics, Danny.
  4. eswartz


    Jun 29, 2005
    Hey, that's my Napoleon! Give it back!

    Here's Yangdu's picture of my Manjushree with a horn handle. I have since cleaned all the rouge out of it.

  5. shane justice

    shane justice

    May 12, 2003
    Gorgeous Stuff Danny!
  6. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999
    Well I'm not Danny but according to an old member Broken Arrow the HI Katana's are more than battle worthy. BA Chopped a cow spine in two in several places with his and with absolutely no damage.
    Seems like BA did some other tests as well, Norm will probably remember.;)
    I can also vouch for my Tarwar. I wouldn't be afraid to go head to head with another sword wielding arsehole any day of the week, probably my Manjushree as well.:thumbup: :D :cool:
    Dave Rishar has also done some testing with the HI Sword's.:thumbup: :cool:
  7. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    Not that I'd know what to do with one if I had to. I didn't know you didn't fight edge to edge till Astrodada posted his famous thread.:eek:
  8. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    To be honest, I have never touched an HI sword. I have long khukuris and such, but Japanese customs wont allow any swords into the country if they were not made by Japanese.
    All of mine are waiting for me back home in Texas.
    But, I have no doubts that they are good, useable weapons.
    Actually, in Japan they do fight edge to edge. Normally one avoids sword to sword contact, but since a samurai would have dulled his sword before a battle, edge to edge contact isnt a problem...
  9. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999
    Why would a man dull his sword before a battle Danny? :confused: That seems counterproductive.
  10. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    It does, doesnt it...
    On the old Japanese battlefields, swords were used against men in armor. The sword was used to block other weapons and to batter, lock up and manipulate the armored bodies of opponents until the sword's point (which was still sharp) could be worked into one of the openings in the armor (usually the neck) and driven into the body of the opponent. A sharp sword on a battlefield was said to be useless, as it was guaranteed to crack or break. They would cut at sand many times to dull the edge and round it before the battle to prevent this.

    The razor-sharp cutting sword idea was later, during the Edo period of "peace."
  11. Dave Rishar

    Dave Rishar

    Oct 25, 2004
    Ah...the swords of HI. It was HI's swords that got me interested in swords in the first place, ironically enough. Pardon my lousy photography, these actually look pretty nice in person.

    From top to bottom:

    Carved handle Tibetan Sword. (33 ounces, 32", POB 5")
    30" Sirupate. (44 ounces, 30", POB 8")
    Bob White Bolo. (25 ounces, 20.5", POB 3.5")

    From top to bottom:

    Carved horn handle "Monster" Napoleon Sword. (33 ounces, 36.5", POB 5.5")
    Antler handle Napoleon Sword. (27 ounces, 36", POB 4.5")
    Wood handle Napoleon Sword. (19 ounces, 31", POB 6")


    Everest Katana w/ dressy scabbard. (42 ounces, 36.5", POB 5") Hey, if it's going to be spending 99% of the time hanging on a wall, it might as well look good while it's there.

    To be completely honest, I like every HI sword that I have. Really. I like some better than others, and all for different reasons, but while I'm kicking the idea of selling a khuk or two around I've never considered selling one of the swords. For that reason, I can't pick a single favorite. I like them all.

    Yes, they are real swords. They feature good steel, a good heat treat appropriate to the task at hand, and good to excellent geometry - at least, all of mine do. Aside from the Monster Napoleon, they all feel very good in the hand, particularly the wood handled Napoleon and the Dukti. (The Manjushree is right behind it, but as these two were some of the first and the weight has dropped considerably since then, it's anyone's guess; they ought to be nearly perfect now.) The Tibetan is excellent but I continually get the feeling that I'm not using it correctly.

    I have not gone overboard with beating on mine but I've chopped wood, done flex tests, cut God knows how many soft targets, and in the case of the Napoleons, stabbed them through interior doors. I've dropped trees with the Tarwar. If anything, they're a little overbuilt. And the warranty can't be beat, no? ;)

    As far as the edge-on-edge deal, search any forum on the Internet dealing with swords and you will read more opinions, facts, theories, and downright arguing and name calling than you'll find in any other single location. :) The short of it is that (usually) it wasn't taught or condoned, but it was sometimes done anyway. Look at it like this: if I've got to trash my edge to stay alive, that's not a bad deal, is it? The boss might get mad but hey, I'm still around to pay for a new one.

    Better a boot in the @ss than a sword in the guts, right? :cool:
  12. SASSAS


    Aug 16, 2005
    I hear there is this thing called a Falcata...:cool:
  13. Dave Rishar

    Dave Rishar

    Oct 25, 2004
    And to go with what Danny said, the more I look into the matter, the more that I think that my swords are simply too sharp. Some WMA techniques involved half-swording without gloves, or even gripping both swords together with the free hand at at the point they're binding at; it obviously worked at the time or it wouldn't have been taught, but I would not be able to do this with any of the swords that I've sharpened. (Not even with leather gloves.)

    Another benefit of a dull edge: edge-on-edge blocking and parrying (the easiest way to do either) are much safer. The edge won't get trashed if there wasn't one there in the first place. I've seen mentioned in western traditions (specifically with sabers) of intentionally dulling and even flattening the bottom half of the blade's edge, from midpoint to guard; it's not a good area to cut with but it's an excellent area to block with. Why keep it sharp?

    There are a lot of ways to hurt (and jointlock, and trip, and throw, and pin) someone with a sword and not all of them involve the blade or even the point; a sharp edge is not required to cut someone if the cut itself is good. My opinion, YMMV.

    On a related note: Danny, do you have a reference for the beating swords on sand? I've heard that before and it makes perfect sense, but I'd like to have a link or something that I could use for debates with the "katana can split a gun barrel" crowd. ;)
  14. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    I believe there is an anecdote about that from "Arms and Armor of the Samurai" by Bottomley and Hopson, but I am not 100% sure.
    Now, I am not expert in anything, and Im certainly not knowledgable about European sword arts. (Except for the close fighting with katzbalgers of the Landesknecht - I had to study that pretty good for some acting I did)

    Dave, If people want to believe that a katana can cut a sword barrel, let them. I have grown up enough to see that wisdom only comes to those who desire it. Leave them in their misery Dave..

    Maybe a sword could have cut into some hand-made damascus musket barrel from 1500, I mean different steels, different uses, its all physics, who cares?
    The fool that puts time and energy and attention into trying to cut thru a gun barrel in the middle of a battle is going to lose his head quickly! (to me!)

    Anyway, about the Tibetan sword, (which I hope to own soon) you said something important earlier: "The Tibetan is excellent but I continually get the feeling that I'm not using it correctly."
    The Tibetan sword is very clearly a martial artist's sword, not a chopper for low-rank soldiers, but something for a master, which you will soon be at your rate of self-learning.
    One does not need to swing it, nor chop with it nor even stab with it. With this kind of weapon, you simply have to hold it in your hand and move your body to safe places. The sword will take care of everything else.

    I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. With a taijutsu weapon like the Tibetan sword, all you gotta do is hold it. Don't work, nor try to work. Dave Im gonna make a training copy of the Tibetan sword (I wish I could make a nice one ,but I cant) I hope you do too.
    And then just have a buddy attack you in simple ways with another training sword.
    Go slowly and see if you can protect yourself with the absolute minimum possible movement of the sword.
    I think the Tibetan will become a jewel to you..
  15. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    Can someone make me a nice heavy wooden Tibetan training sword, an exact copy?
    Ill pay up to 50$
    OR, can someone measure their sword exactly, handle and all, and share the measurements with me?
  16. Astrodada


    Sep 9, 2005
    :eek:.........well I have since fixed the 0.3 mm nicks in the edge. That was hard work since I was only using sandpaper. :(

    And I now think that DIJ is rite. The edge made less accute for battle.
  17. Astrodada


    Sep 9, 2005
    Looking at the tibetan looks like its not too tip heavy, maybe can use it like a chinese sword ? more wrist motion ?
  18. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    OK, I HAD a deal going to buy a Tibetan sword, but that fell thru.
    So, if anybody has an extra Tibetan sword, I want to buy it!
    I guess Ill have to wait until the next DOTD otherwise, and I hope you guys will let me snag it since I live in a way different time zone.
  19. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    On the website, there are two types of tibetan swords.
    The short tibetan sword (32")
    and the Long Tibetan Sword (36")
    However, there is more than just a size difference.
    The longer sword has a fuller and a clipped point.
    We have been referring to the longer tibetan sword as the himalayan sowrd.
  20. Dave Rishar

    Dave Rishar

    Oct 25, 2004
    Danny, what you're saying actually makes perfect sense to me. Perfect sense. I'm applying WMA doctrine to a weapon that has nothing to do with WMA and it's not working.

    Making a trainer for this is probably outside of my abilities but I'll look into it. Sparring it out does, indeed, solve just about any problem, but I've got to find the right trainer. The truly ironic thing about it is that I have a WMA waster that's nearly the same size and general shape, but it handles completely differently. WMA techniques kind of work with this sword - kind of - but like I said, it feels like I'm doing something wrong. The sword is not responding like they normally do. At the risk of sounding foolish, the feeling in my arm is completely alien. I get the impression that it has potential that I just can't tap. Is that weird? Maybe I'm nuts, but this is the first sword/khukuri/knife/stick/whatever that's ever given me this kind of feedback, and that alone tells me that it's meant to work with principles that I'm not applying correctly.

    I do, indeed, believe that this is a gem. Imagine a guy who's spent his life shooting an old Winchester '94 and someone hands him a PSG-1. He may understand the basics, but it's going to take him some time to work his head around the new equipment. Now picture a guy who only started shooting last year. :) I've got some work to do.

    I loaned out my micrometer but I'll try to track it down. If and when I can, I'll try to grab some measurements of this and send them off to you. It might not be enough but it can't hurt, right?

    Thanks for the help. I've got a few leads that I need to run down. I think that Lichtenauer would've gotten a kick out of this Tibetan. It's a piece of work.

    We're drifting off topic. I recommend that we take the rest of this to email.

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