Ronin Dojo Pro Katana # 3
Standard Dotanuki Blade
Model 003 of the Dojo Pro series features a classic Shikashi double crane ('tsuru' in Japanese) hence it's name, a relatively common design and exact copy of a popular edo era antique.
Like all the fittings of these swords, the tsuba is solid iron – but so is the fuchi (band at the top of the handle) AND the kashira (end cap) – all acting in harmony to strongly reinforce the structural integrity of the entire handle in a way that is almost never seen on other swords under the $500 price point (nevermind on swords under $300!).
The tsuka/handle assembly itself is exceptionally tight and well put together, double pegged with silk ito wrapped over REAL rayskin, wrapped in a traditional alternating style to ensure it does not loosen with use and tightly bound to a quality wooden core.
Furthermore, the handle is also properly ergonomically ‘shaped’ to follow the curve of the blade AND fit comfortably into the hand, creating a safe and firm grip - another rarity at this price point.
As you can see from the picture, these swords feature high end brass seppa (spacers) and habaki (blade collar), and the saya is strengthened with rich chocolate brown buffalo horn caps (Kurikata, Koguchi and Kojiri) with a red under-sheen that appears in direct sunlight.
The black lacquered saya (sheath) itself is made from high quality wood and can be tied to your obi (belt) by hard wearing, dark brown synthetic sageo cord.
The strength of the fittings ALONE are head and shoulders above any other sword maker anywhere near this price point, but the 28” blade takes it to a whole new level again..
These 1060, through tempered, no nonsense monosteel blades are exceptionally HONEST and RELIABLE.
Hand forged and solidly built, there is not a trace of pretentiousness about them – no fake hamon, no bo-hi and no BS.
They are quite simply just extremely practical, utilitarian blades made according to the Dotanuki forging tradition – a school of sword making that made simple ‘maru’ lamination blades with a reputation for being plain, practical and to the point (speaking of which, the kissaki tip of the blade is reinforced with a diamond shape for added durability and transitioned much nicer than most other hand made monotempered blades at this price point).
Weighing 2.6lbs with a point of balance 5” from the tsuba these swords are designed for the CUT, not fluffing around with. In short they are serious blades with serious fittings designed as SERIOUS dojo workhorses..!
How to Use
Materials and Construction
Featured positive reviews:
I am very pleased with the Dojo Pro #3. The Saya is outstanding with a thick Sageo tied in a presentation knot and the buffalo horn Kojiri and Koiguchi were well made and fit perfectly. The Handle Ito was wrapped well, but not extremely tight, which is ok since I like to polyurethane them later for preservation. I took the Tsuka off with a bit of elbow grease and baked the black paint off. It came with a flat spot right over the cranes due to shipping mishandling, but I managed to round it back up. I then polished the Tsuba to a bright silver color which I am sure will patina well since it is made of iron. I also cleaned up some of the roughness of the tang with a file and was careful not to disturb the makers signature. I polished all the brass fittings and put it all back together. It was a tight fit for sure, but at least I know it will be serviceable in the future if ever needed. I stained the rayskin Same with my secret bamboo/tea recipe and it now looks very presentable. As far as the blade goes, it is ok sharp (not scary sharp), but it whacks thru most anything with ease. I prefer a good steel blade with no Hamon or Bo-Hi and well balanced and this one met my standards. It will be my Go-To blade for all occasions for now. My SBG blade collection is growing fast!