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The martial arts are based on ancient forms of self defense that consist of learning a set of fighting techniques to train the body. By definition, martial artists train in physical, but also mental and emotional discipline. This whole body approach to self defense prepares a person physically and mentally for almost any challenge in this contact sport. The more popular forms of the martial arts are mainly of far eastern origin, including Karate, Taekwondo, Hapkido, Kung Fu, and Judo. These forms typically focus on unarmed self defense but because it is still a contact sport, the use of martial arts gear is recommended for safety and for skill improvement.
As a display piece, the samurai sword can be an eye-catching addition to your home or office. However, swinging a samurai sword not designed to be used as a weapon can be quite hazardous to the user and anyone else within range. If you plan to use the samurai sword as a weapon, buy one that has been properly manufactured for such a purpose and has a sharpened blade. It is also a good idea to go to a professional for martial arts training where the skill can be taught by a master skilled in the particular style of the martial arts.
Throughout history the sword has been an effective means of self defense for everyone from military personnel to pirates. Today the sword is more often used for decoration purposes but if kept sharpened and in good condition it can still be used to protect you. Since swords have basically been in use since the Bronze Age, there is a wide variety of styles which come from nearly every region of the world. What to look for when in a sword depends on what purpose it will serve. If it is only for decoration then pick out the design that you like best. If you plan to be able to actually use it as a weapon, then there are a few other things to look at in the construction of the sword:
1. Proper Heat Treatment – if this is not done correctly, it can leave the blade too soft which causes it to dent.
2. Proper Balance – required to make the sword easier to wield.
3. Tang (where a portion of the blade enters the hilt) – when the blade and tang are forged together, it makes the sword stronger.
The Ninja warrior throughout history has often viewed as covert, quick, and highly skilled. This may be why some turn to martial arts gear like the ninja sword as a form of self defense. Because there were so many skills that could be used depending on the situation, the ninja would typically use a sword for quick thrusts which explains the thick, straight shape of the sword. However, the true skill of the ninja could be seen in how they could turn that weapon into a tool. According to web-japan.org, “A ‘ninja' sword can also be used as a stepladder for climbing over a fence, and the scabbard or sheath can also be used as a respiration pipe in underwater activities or for secretly overhearing conversations.” While this is not the easiest weapon to use for self defense, the ninja sword when used correctly can be highly effective as a means of protection. Someone who becomes skilled in using the sword should also be able to turn it into a tool that can help them escape a potentially hazardous situation.