The quality problem seems to be solved in Europe. Nearly each dealer knows that the swords (=Iaito), offered for Iaidotraining, must be stable enough after liability law. A Iaito as sporting gun is not sharply, hardened or folded. It has a (relative) blunt blade from diecasting alloy and decent, solid fitting.
Hover downwards over the parts of the sword-picture, to experience the full description of the individual parts.
The blade length is indicated by respectable dealers in Japanese longitudinal dimension Shaku (1 Shaku = 30.3 cm). The sword length is measured from the blade point to the Habaki. Notion for the selection of the correct length offers the following table. Strong persons and progressing select a larger length. Women and small Iaidoka can take also smaller swords.
|Body height||Shaku||Length in cm|
|155 - 160 cm||2,30 Shaku||69,7 cm|
|160 - 165 cm||2,35 Shaku||71,2 cm|
|165 - 170 cm||2,40 Shaku||72,7 cm|
|170 - 175 cm||2,45 Shaku||74,2 cm|
|175 - 180 cm||2,55 Shaku||75,8 cm|
|180 - 185 cm||2,60 Shaku||77,3 cm|
|185 - 190 cm||2,65 Shaku||78,8 cm|
|190 - 200 cm||2,70 Shaku||83,3 cm|
Under normal conditions women with a Iaito begin to practice with 2.45 Shaku and men with 2,5 Shaku length. It is best, if one can try different sword lengths out of training partners in your Dojo. Let the own coach keep an eye on it. With his view you definitely will find the right length.
The correct entrance time to practice with sword can be selected calmly. Intensive learning of the Kata wakes the desire, to try out everything with a sword. A Bokken seems to take too little requirement at the practicing. In the »swordless time « however much can be learned. Bokken practicings are better for beginners. The forms and courses of motion are relieved from complex sword handling.
First one learns the expiration of the forms themselves. The refinement of the technology, the memorization of technical terms and control of some details (e.g. Chiburi) last. This process can quite take one year up for Seitei Iai. An Iaidogi is purchased — easy movement in Iaido clothes is fastidious. Correct putting, walking, folding up the Iaigi again needs habituation time. With adapted movement the Hakama does not slip no more, the Obi does not diminish and the knots fits closely. Now an Iaito can be purchased.
As a beginner one should buy an used Iaito. Many people change the sword length to relatively short time (1 to 2 years training) and buy a new blade. So one can buy the first Iaito on good terms. There are some quality characteristics, which you should examine before the purchase of an used iaito. Safety first!