Ryujin Back to Business as Usual

At the start of this month we were saddened to hear that our good friends at Ryujin Swords had several workers and bosses test positive for Covid-19 and while their symptoms were minimal (most were only sick for 3-4 days with a fever and some coughing) the warehouse was reduced to a skeleton crew and we had to temporarily suspend the Ryujin line of Custom swords as the key workers were simply not around..

Well, as the title says – the tests are coming back negative, and as the tests come back, so do the workers – and we are delighted to say that Ryujin is back to business as usual!


Image courtesy of lastbottle wines.com – click for an article on ‘Sabering’

Definitely some good news in what has been a not so great month..

Back in Stock – our limited edition budget arming swords

When you consider the blades are made from well tempered 65mn Spring Steel, have iron fittings, genuine leather handle – and comes with a scabbard, belt and suspension for under $300, it’s pretty rare.

But how about THIS sword for $184.99?

65MN Spring Steel 13th Century Knightly Arming Sword

Here’s the review a customer left for it from the first time we offered it, giving it a 4 star rating:

Ok, so this is my first purchase from SBG. Ive been wanting a similar type sword for some time and saw the special and took the chance buying one.

The sword arrived very quickly and was well packaged preventing any damage.

It is a very good looking item, with a mirror finish blade and plain hand guard, grip and pommel. The scabbard is good and would make an excellent part of a display or costume, the attaching belt, not so much.

The blade came razor sharp and was immediately bigger than I had anticipated. My example is 34 1/2 inches long in total with a 2 inches at the base making it quite wide and was almost exactly 3 lbs.

Seems like it would be a massively good cutting weapon, especially to unarmored flesh. I tried some practice cuts on my backyard pell but immediately stopped as I felt it was abusing the blade. However, I feel like it could cut pork chops, water bottles and melons all day and still have a good edge. I found my example to be dangerously sharp.

The pommel is peened and grip/ guard very solid.

The handle is not very comfortable and is a downside. It fits one hand well and is almost long enough to be used two handed for average size hands.

The pommel is plain and is unfinished making room for it to be personalized.

I feel like if I had handled this in a shop I would have put it back instead of buying as it is larger and heavier than what I would have chosen.

For example the Windlass Agincourt sword is slightly longer has a full two handed hilt and is still half a pound lighter.

All in all an awesome sword, and I suspect a formidable cutter. Thanks SBG for a good first experience.

No problems! And if you want to take it a step fancier, we also have a Damascus folded version for just $229.99..

65MN Spring Steel FOLDED 13th Century Knightly Arming Sword

Basically the exact same sword, just with a more attractive blade and better suited to display, while the cheaper version is better for practical cutting.

Take your pick, but don’t miss out – stocks are limited and the last restock was over a year ago from memory.

Back to Business!

Though it ain’t all sunshine and lollypops..

And boy do we have a lot of catching up to do..

First there is a backlog at Ryujin that we are working through, then there are a ton of emails that need urgent attention, and we need to make a few changes and update the site and stock levels (which are, for most of our suppliers, very limited!).

Personally I spent at least 3 hours a day over the holidays working on the site so that there was no mountain of work to come back to – and also unable to see my family being locked away overseas since the pandemic started, had plenty of time up my sleeve..

But it has NOT been a positive start to the year at all. The industry in Longquan is more or less decimated – we warned about this for years, but the eBay guys have stripped it like locusts and we have seen many talented smiths retire or forges change to producing Celedon ceramics. But personally, I am saddest to see Master Michael Ye move on from sword making – and taking all his products from the Forge Direct Line up with him..

The Wuxia line he made for Legendary Swords have been discontinued for a long time. But here are the swords that have since joined the permanently retired archive..

Classic Peony Jian
Han Dynasty
Yong Lo Mk II
Feathersteel Golden Dragon
Dragon Fire
Golden Peony
Tiger Jian
Imperial Dragon
Emperor Qianlong
Shengxiao Jian
Double Dragon
Black Ebony
Dragon Sword
Boar Killing Spear

Honestly, it does not leave us with anywhere near as many Forge Direct Chinese Swords to Choose from – and as the industry continues to shrink, chances are so will the number and possibility of obtaining new models..

Anyway, it’s real shame to see him go – and sadly, the writing is on the wall. Many others are soon to follow his lead. He did some amazing work, and was part of the collaborative project to create the fantasy blade the Seraph Aegis with US artisan Jeffrey Robinson

Add to this extremely low stock levels at Hanwei – with restock expected first in November, then December and now, unknown…

But it’s not ALL bad news..

BCI USA advised me that we have a single new and unshipped Zelda inspired Master Sword still in stock! And one that was returned because the customer did not like the construction techniques and was upset that the hilt is 2mm different on one side than the other..

Have a look and tell me if you think it looks terrible or not,

Anyway, you can find them both for sale on the main page of the site. So grab them while you can!!

Okay, now I have an absolute TON of work to get to, so will post again when I get a chance or if something new and noteworthy happens. But I must say, 2021 feels like 2020 but worse..

Forge Direct Custom Katana Update

It has been a NIGHTMARE year for Forge Direct.. By June 23rd we realized the supply chains had been DECIMATED by Covid-19 and for months and months, while halted all new orders, we did our best to work through the backlog.

We got a lot of really nice emails from people thanking us for the sword once received and saying it was worth the wait. And we also had some customers get rather nasty with us – and so as we wind up the last orders, at the end of it, we should see quite a few bargains for sale from abandoned orders (our official policy is that custom orders cannot be cancelled, but this got so bad that we had to abandon the policy for now and just keep on taking hit after hit).

Here’s a sneak preview at one of some of the unloved and abandoned swords (many actually finishing up just a week or two after the customer lost patience and lost the farm)..

In the meantime, I am tweaking the actual listing to get us to Forge Direct Custom Katana 4.0. Saya choices are a MAJOR issue now, and the folded steel option will also have to go. Additionally, we have had to raise the base price because of higher (almost double) shipping costs and much higher costs at the forges as they need to pay their workers more as they leave the industry in droves.


We will keep you updated as we go.. If these swords were not so well made and not so well received, and I did not get those emails from appreciate rather than impatient or angry customers – there is no way it is worth doing. But we will try one last time, and if it fails – we did our best..

Covid at Ryujin and some sad news at BCI..

First off, I posted earlier on Facebook the very sad news that the father of Blade Culture International Mr. Fernando De Guzman Snr passed away Sunday morning at 4am local time.

Fernando with his son

I had the honor of meeting the man personally, and he was a quiet, humble and hard working type. While he was not well known, his work is – think Kris Cutleries best work, because it HIS forge that made all their acclaimed early blades still in demand to this day and who now make under their own name, Kingdom of Arms and Legendary Swords.

The whole family were so kind and so welcoming. So it is with great regret that I advise of his passing and vow to ensure his legacy and BCI live on.

Ryujin Custom Line temporarily on hold

In other news, first one and now two workers at the Ryujin warehouse have contracted Covid-19 and so the warehouse no longer has enough staff to make the custom Katana series until several weeks later.

Neither of the workers are showing severe symptoms, but 2021 isn’t starting off so nicely and feels a lot like 2020 may go on for years..

We will keep you updated of the situation and wish the workers effected a speedy recovery. Take care out there everyone.