Temporary Halt to ALL Non North American Addresses..

AKA – the ‘Bad News’ (and yes, we are on it)

Prohibited by whom exactly?

The EXACT reason is still unclear – but since March this year ongoing difficulties shipping swords overseas came to a head when every single sword we tried to send to Europe, regardless of whether it was shipped from China or the USA, was getting rejected..

NOW it appears that the issue has hit several other countries, including my country of birth, Australia. So it just got VERY personal..

At the moment, it appears that there is a directive specifically targeting swords as items ‘too dangerous’ to be sent by air. Here are some pictures of a sword we tried to ship to Australia but was rejected and covered with the following series of unpleasant stickers..

Surface only limits USPS to Canada…
Potentially hazardous, prohibited or restricted now all of a sudden..

USPS was, until now, the BEST and most affordable way to ship a sword overseas. But now that it appears to be off the table, it leaves only private companies like UPS, Fed Ex, DHL, etc capable of shipping – but even these companies are hit and miss now (not to mention typically cost 3 times as much as USPS used to, incur additional fees and charges at the destination and basically make sword buying cost prohibitive if it costs almost as much to ship as it does to buy the product itself)..

And then the only other option, to use a forwarding service like those introduced on the main site here – is also becoming harder..

With everything unclear and up in the air (pardon the pun)
it is with great regret that we have no choice but to temporarily suspend all non-North American orders until we have found some kind of answer to this insidious problem.

I honestly don’t know what this directive is supposed to achieve.

Swords don’t explode or leap out of the boxes and start attacking people by themselves (well, not if the box is made well enough – and most swords have the blade sheathed when they ship, those that don’t are packed in such a way to avoid sudden ‘box piercing’ such as by using a plastic tip sleeve in conjunction with other measures). So there’s absolutely no reason for them not be allowed on a private carrier company such as DHL, etc.

Swords don’t explode…

And while in theory I suppose terrorists who somehow got into the cargo hold (unlikely) and were able to both find a sword shipment (again, unlikely), get them out of the boxes and come back out of the cargo hold without being sealed in for good could come up brandishing a sword, it sounds like a whole lot more trouble than it is worth – not to mention using a sword in a confined space is not as easy as the movies and would not be all that hard to overpower.. (these imaginary terrorists would be better off coming up with kitchen knives – and AFAIK they are still okay to ship)..

So please bear with us – so far the only country not effected by all of this is Canada, as the swords can be shipped overland. But everywhere else is out until we can find either the root cause of this apparent global manifest specifically targeting ‘swords’ and/or find a shipping company or forwarder who knows what is going on and is willing to take our business, small as it may be, just on the principle of it..

We will keep you updated accordingly. A solution MUST be found and we will do our best to find a way out of this.. So watch this space..

The Spear is Mightier than the..?

While the pen may be mightier than the sword, it was the spear that was the most common and effective battlefield weapon for millennia. Whether for hunting, war or self defense – in an open space it was almost impossible for a swordsman to close the gap while being turned into a human pin-cushion..

So to celebrate this mighty medieval weapon, until the end of August we have hot specials on not one but two classic Asian spears.

The first is the classic Yari – the Japanese spear. With a tip differentially hardened like a Katana (but on both sides of the blade) it was and still is an intimidating piece of armory – capable of keeping wild animals or wild humans at bay as the case may be..

MSRP over $610 – now below wholesale at just $333

And then there is the classic Tiger Boar Killing Spear by Forge Direct. With a Master Smith forged and folded dismountable 1095 carbon steel blade and steel pole decorated with hand carved Dragon decorations, it is both visually stunning and until the end of the month, available not for $749 but with a whopping 25% OFF bringing the price down to just $562 SHIPPED (which is no small feet, as these packages are quite long).

Stunning in every detail
Fully dismountable

Grab these deals while you can – swords are a niche business, functional swords – a niche within a niche and spears (functional spears) as rare as hens teeth. So spice up your sword collection with one or both of these awesome battle ready recreations.

Project X Japanese – Behind the Scenes & Updates

The first 10 of 20 orders for the trial run of Project X Japanese – Custom Options have just been completed and are about the leave the forge with the final 10 swords not all that far behind.

In the meantime, I requested a few pictures of the master smiths and master polisher at work on these authentic Soshu Kitae laminated and differentially hardened blades to give you a bit of a behind the scenes look at what goes into making these swords as special as they are.

First up, a couple of nice shots of the initial fusion of the 5 panels of steel – correct placement of each type of steel is critical and it is a complex procedure that ONLY a Master Smith can actually pull off and is why this type of lamination is so rare and (relatively) expensive.

Once the 5 panels are properly forge welded together its hammer time – all done the old fashioned way, with not a power tool in sight – just two master smiths working together in unison to stretch out the steel.

Once the Master Smiths have finished forging and shaping the blade, it is then handed over to another certified Master – the polisher (whose apprenticeship is actually LONGER than that of a smith!).

Here the polisher spends one FULL day on each blade, getting to know it intimately as he smooths and sharpens the blade for optimal cutting performance.

One of the hardest parts of polishing a Katana is the kissaki (the tip), which takes almost as much time to polish as the rest of the blade due to its complex contours. The effort required to polish this small part of the blade is so great it is the reason why so many entry level hand made swords have nothing more than a rough counter-polish.

Naturally, this traditional method of polishing creates the highly desirable ‘geometric yokote’ – that is to say a definite and clearly defined line where the body of the blade transitions to the tip.

From there, these stunning blades are mounted up in the customers choice of premium fittings (full rayskin wrap, hishigami silk ito, you name it – no shortcuts or inferior components are used whatsoever).

Honestly, with all the blood, sweat, tears and skill that goes into each blade its only because we trim down our margins so much that a sword like this can be made available for $1000 – its easily worth DOUBLE the price if not even a bit more, as the first 20 people who were fortunate enough to get in on the first round offering are soon about to find out first hand..

To find out when the next round of offerings is available, and get access to exclusive deals and special upgrades, be sure to sign up to the exclusive Project X newsletter.

In the meantime, you can see the various base designs offered for the first round and perhaps start thinking about how YOU might decide to customize one for yourself if you are fortunate enough to be in a position to be able to afford one of these truly droolworthy swords..

Project X Japanese

One heck of a good deal on some new training accessories..

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE!

As you know (or should know!) one of the things that make SBG different than other sword sellers out there is we only sell real swords. This means we don’t sell anywhere near as many swords as other vendors who stack their shelves with mostly wallhangers or wallhangers being falsely marketed as functional swords..

So when we were offered an exceptional deal on some really high quality polypropylene Bokken (training swords, usually made of wood as Bokken literally means ‘wood sword’) we had to pass on the savings to you guys by offering them in our accessories section – after all – there is no way anyone could confuse a heavy truncheon like sword for a steel blade (at least I hope not.. I am sure I will get at least one email asking how to draw the blade out! Lol).

Each Bokken (one a full length Katana, and the other a shorter Ko Katana) has a high level of attention to detail, with simulated ito wrap (and even menuki for a realistic grip) and comes with two interchangeable tsuba fixed in place with a tight fitted habaki (so you can also take them off entirely if you like).

But from now until the 10th of June, when you buy one you get another one FREE – either two Katana, two Ko Katana or one of each, the choice is yours!

To get started, simply select the sword of your choice, add it to the cart, click the green rewards button to select your second free sword and your done!

A couple of common questions

Question: Are these swords suitable for sparring?

Answer: Yes, but unless you want to get knocked out or break some bones, it is recommended to use minimal force and lots of control.

Question: Are they truly indestructible?

Answer: Side by side tests reveal that they take minimal to no damage on hard tests that crack or severely deform wooden bokken. However, their one weakness is that a well made Katana can slice them in half with a perfectly timed blow, while it usually takes 3-4 strikes against a wooden one.