Monthly news & updates
July 1st, 2021 | Issue # 159
Swords in the News
Positive Sword Related Stories in the News
There is a kind of irony when the Queen of England uses a curved 'illegal' blade to cut her birthday cake with..! (curved swords are very heavily controlled in the UK, but all commentary on crazy sword laws aside - good on her for doing her birthday HER way).
Plymouth Grandad Colin Steer discovers that a bump in his carpet conceals a 500 year old well with a sword and other treasures in its depths. More houses should come with these!

It is always cool to see DIY articles like this one hit the mainstream - and who know, maybe this tutorial might inspire you some of you at home.

Giant, oversized swords like Cloud's Buster Sword and Gut's Dragon sword from the Japanese anime/manga Berserk were all the rage about a decade ago. But with the recent death of the series writer last month, we take a deep dive into the origins of this massive, but used oh so effortlessly (in Gut's hands anyway), oversized beast of a sword.
Top 10 lists are always by their very nature hit and miss. But this list has a few unexpected entries along ll time classics. Have a look and see if some of your favorites are there.

What better way to enjoy sword related gaming with a dedicated gaming chair complete with a side mounted Katana? Now I have seen everything..

After a recent announcement that it was back on, one of Australia's largest Renaissance Faires originally scheduled for October has sadly again been cancelled due to concerns over a recent spike in Covid-19 cases..
Sword Industry News
Another 'mixed bag' month - with an almost equal measure of good and bad news as the industry continues to struggle with severe supply chain issues, massive upward price pressures and demand still far exceeding supply..

But as I note, it is not all bad news.. Cas Iberia (who are the master distributors for Hanwei, Kingston Arms, Dragon King and many others) are expecting a fresh restock sometime this month. Ronin Katana were able to re-open after receiving their much anticipated restock last month and refreshed almost all of the swords in their various product lines (though it appears this may be short lived, as the Euro line in particular are once again running low).

Ryujin received quite a few component and blade restocks (and a new model, a Chinese Pudao Polearm), and Forge Direct Chinese was successfully relaunched - and has actually already shipped out a few of the most recent orders ahead of schedule.

And in the midst of all this, there are new swords and new collaborations coming to the fore. One such collaboration is between one of the last of the 'old guard' - sword designer Bruce Brookhart, industry legend Clyde Hollis and the team of artisans at Blade Culture International to produce the exclusive Bruce Brookhart Line.
While there are only 4 blades in the series so far, they are filling a much needed gap in the market for more unique and rarely reproduced sword lines, such as this Sidesword above, a Seax, a Falchion and a Cavalry Saber (three of which are available to pre-order right now).

All in all, it's a balancing act as distributors and suppliers try to keep up with the increased demand - and is likely to remain chaotic for the foreseeable future. But price pressure is a VERY real thing, and while the industry is doing its best to weather it, low supply, high demand and shipping costs are the perfect storm that could make affordable swords a lot less affordable in the not too distant future..
New Swords at KoA
The Digest's best picks from Kult of Athena' New Product Section.

This month we see a wide range of improved and affordable Viking and Medieval Swords from Deepeeka of India, some new Chinese Swords from LK Chen as well as a new sword from Valiant Armories 'Craftsman Series'. Check out all the new offerings below:
Video of the Month
"Let's Ask Shogo - Your Friend in Kyoto" is a YouTube channel by an English speaking Japanese martial artist whose videos frequently include information rarely taught to or known by Sword Artists in the West.

In this video, Shogo-san takes a deep dive into the tsuba, tsuka and sageo various functions and forms of the parts of a Katana, why they are there, what they are for, what the various symbols can mean and much, much more.
Almost guaranteed to learn something new!
Best Forum Posts
Properly made replicas of Viking Swords all have one thing in common - they seem to sport unusually short handles, requiring a less than intitive grip. Why was this so, and how SHOULD you use a Viking sword with a short grip - forum members discuss.

The thread starts off with a simple statement that 'when you buy a Katana made in Japan, you are not paying for the steel, you are paying for the skill of the smith. Very interesting discussion and deep dive into why Nihonto are as expensive to make as they are.

Every collector of swords should have a bottle of Windex handy (and some WD40 too). Here's why.

It is not always obvious how some swordsfolk end up cutting into a leg on bad cut. Here is what to avoid to prevent hitting your leg accidently when cutting..
SBG Funnies - Sword Frog
Hope that you enjoyed this issue of the digest. Until next month, stay safe and happy swordening.

  • Paul Southren