Links of Interest
Lance, the sabres custom made to model after Hanwei Beile
Dao with modification arrived today. I'm very impressed with
them. These looks a lot more
professional and better made than the standard Dao I last ordered. They feel light to hold but when
you move them
they feel more very substantial like a real sabre. Perfectly balanced and the
handle is comfortable. Stabbing techniques were improved with the straight
profile blade. Well done and thank you.
- Cuong Sam of
Peaks Wudang Taijiquan on 28-5-2012
think you did a pretty good job on these trainers. I handled Patrick's
AT1211, and the trainer you made from the same specs, and they balance
pretty closely considering one is steel and the other is a padded trainer. I
think your padded trainers are the best on the market.
Angus Trim on
26th June 2006 after handling RSW at Atlanta Blade Show
I just wanted too say that now when I have sparred a
bit with your RSW I am impressed with them. You are a very good maker of
sparring swords. I will buy a few from you in the near future. And I also
want to thank you for many good minutes of entertainment when I saw your
latest videos, that was funny.
- M. Wallgren of ARMA Sweden on 27th June 2006
A gentleman with whom I do some
sport epee fencing invited me to his martial arts gym to do some sparring
with his RSW tulwars (modified to resemble a western saber, by removing
parts of the guard). This was my first hands-on experience with
"historical" saber combat, although I've read quite a bit and done some
solo drills with my Cold Steel 1796 Light Cavalry.
I was quite pleased, all in all. The weight and handling of the RSW sabers
was quite close to authentic weapons that I've handled, and we found no
problems hitting with power while wearing minimal protection (fencing
masks and field hockey gloves). The weight and dimensions seemed in the
ballpark, and I was fascinated to notice that the weight makes it very
difficult to execute all the subtle point control that I'm so used to when
fencing; those quick little motions just aren't feasible with a heavier
weapon. In an earlier thread about Lance's products, someone mentioned
that paradoxically, the harder the strikes, the less they seem to hurt;
this matches my experience, although I can't explain why.
For a layperson such as myself, these seem fairly ideal. Coming from an
Italian epee background, I was frustrated by the difficulty of performing
binds and actions on the blade due to the friction between the two blades,
but we did not attempt to use baby oil or teflon spray. Next time we'll
have to give that a shot.
- J.B. Angiulo on 27th September
Review: Realistic Sparring Weapons
A few of us in our group got together to order some of
Lance Chan's Realistic Sparring Weapons, which recently showed up. I had
been leary of ordering these due to the expense of shipping from Hong Kong
and not having ever handled them myself. I generally don't like padded
weapons at all, though there are some that I consider adequate. However, I
got to handle and bout with a pair of the "European Bastard Sword" models,
and so some of my students and I decided to take the plunge.
Despite ordering from Hong Kong, Lance was super
responsive to e-mails, very helpful, and surprisingly fast in getting the
order out to us.
Most of us bought the longer version of the European
Bastard Sword, though two bought the shorter versions. Both handle nicely,
though I'm much more partial to the longer one, which has a little more
heft behind it. But then again, I'm 6'2, so for me the longer version felt
more like a two handed weapon that could be used with one hand for some
techniques, whereas the shorter one felt like a one handed sword that
could be used with a second hand. One of our guys bought the single
hander, which handled very nicely, and two also got the German Bastard
Sword, which is modelled after the A&A GBS. I was actually surprised, but
it really does handle remarkably like the real thing. All of the grips are
somewhat oval in cross section (close enough, anyway), and edge alignment
is easily felt without looking. Based on dry handling alone, I really
think Lance did a remarkable job.
My biggest concern in terms of realism had to do with
two things: 1) how the blades handle at the bind, and 2) will the fencers
react differently to padded weapons when compared to the sting of a
modified shinai (which we normally use for free play).
The blades, without lubricant, do definately stick,
though not nearly as bad as most padded swords. I don't know what material
Lance used as the silver cover, but it's not rubber, so it isn't so bad.
We used Armor All wipes on them, which made them work quite nicely, though
these needed to be applied quite often. We will need to experiment with
other methods (such as those mentioned on the other thread). With the
lubricant, though, I was quite pleased with them. There's still a definate
difference when compared to steel (the material slightly compresses,
naturally, in a way that steel doesn't), but I find the compromise between
realism and safety good enough.
These weapons have enough mass behind them that I
haven't [yet] found people to do anything different from when we use
shinai. But we haven't used them enough yet, so I reserve the right to
change my mind. In fact, bruises definately occurred with these. That
said, getting hit in places such as the knuckles, or any joints where the
bone is easily exposed, is much safer than getting hit with a harder
simulator. Though one word of caution, you do need to be careful when
striking fencing masks with any force. Control is always necessary
regardless of simulators, and we didn't have any problems, but I can
definately see someone getting lax about control with these because
they're padded, and a heavy strike to a mask will probably cause the mask
to hit hard from the inside due to the mass behind the sword.
The thrust is quite good on these. The swords are
rigid, yet the tip is both soft enough and wide enough that thrusts are
quite safe (again, provided participants have trained properly and
understand the importance of control).
The blades are also not too bulky. Most padded swords
cannot adequately be used with half swording, whereas these ones can. Not
perfectly, they've still got some bulk, but not bad, either. Though the
guard and pommel would be dangerous to do a full strike with unless if the
participants were wearing serious protection, so use proper judgement.
(the rubber padding on the guards isn't much at all, and I got a nice
purple mark on the forearm when I closed on my partner at the wrong time)
Certain grappling actions would be slightly effected due to the padding,
though most techniques will work just fine.
Overall, I think these are a fantastic tool for free
play, and this coming from a person who has generally not liked most
padded weapons. Our group's big on cross training, so wasters and steel
and the like are still the main part of our training, but these will make
a very nice addition to the curriculum. I wish I'd had these to take to
WMAW, I know many people were talking about them and had the same doubts
I'd had before I handled them. The only major negative I have to say is
that they're a little expensive when you factor in the shipping from Hong
Kong. If these prove to be durable and last long, though, I may not care.
Grandy on 24th September 2005
I ordered several RSWs
from Lancelot. A katana, wakazashi, 36" longsword and two custom RSWs. I
also got two sword bags.
First, I would not hesitate for a second in doing business again with
Lancelot. There are so many reasons why. Here are just a few. He answered
all my E-Mails quickly and answered every question I asked. I asked him to
beat a deadline and I later added several items to the list with the same
deadline. If he had refused, it would have been understandable, because I
was asking for the impossible. But Lancelot did meet the deadline,
including the additional RSWs. When I thought the guards were missing some
foam rubber, he quickly offered a minor refund. It would have been too
costly to return given the shipping from Hong Kong to the U.S.A. If it was
a major problem, I am absolutely sure Lancelot would have done something.
But it is all moot, because the photo he sent me had deceptive lighting
and the guard never had a foam rubber coating, like I thought.
The katana is very nice, but a little heavy for my tastes. Though I have
held real katanas of that weight. When I ordered it, I asked for a
specific length. I did not mention weight or Point-of-Balance. When using
the katana, I found it handled well and I was able to use it just as
instinctively as a real one. The wakazashi is just fine too.
The 36" longsword is perfect. I did not ask for anything special. Just the
standard package. The weight and balance are good. It handles nice and is
quick and responsive. Pretty much what I expected.
The bags are excellent quality, but a little lacking in design. When you
put the RSWs in the bag point first and then throw the bag over your
shoulder, the bag wants to turn upside-down. This is solved by putting the
RSW in hilt first. But this is easier said than done. So much so, that I
just deal with the lop-sided annoyance. I suggested to Lancelot a side
zipper. It would make it a lot easier to put the RSWs in hilt first and
would allow you to place more items in without jamming them together. He
said he would see if that idea was viable.
I ordered two RSWs based on Albion's Svante. The only problem I have with
the Svante RSW is the guard. I asked for an 'S' shaped guard which
Lancelot gave me. I just wanted it as big as the real Svante. The ones I
got were decorative. I admit I wasn't perfectly clear that I wanted it
that way. So, other than that he did a great job. The Svante RSW handles
great and is easy to move and stop. The balance on both were right on
target. Weight, again on target. Blade length on target. Hilt length also
on target. The RSW Svante does not feel like the real Svante. The real one
is more lively. But it is as close as your going to get in a correctly
Sparring with the RSWs is fun. Just put a thin coating of mineral oil on
the blades to get rid of the friction. As long as you are moving, the hits
don't hurt. When I sparred with the Svante RSW, it moved quite naturally
considering it weighed 4 lbs. The fact that Lancelot plays with real
swords, really helps him get the feel of the RSW as close to the feel of a
real sword. And that shows when sparring with the RSWs.
Overall a great experience dealing with Lancelot. I am very happy with all
of my RSWs. The only thing that I would say is tell Lancelot EXACTLY what
you want. When you do that you will get what you asked for.
I just wanted to say that
I received the sword bag today and it is fantastic! I can't wait to take
it over to the club and show it to the guys!
Thank you so much - it is
brilliant. Just what I was looking for!
Additional comment: Also... yeah,
they're working out real nicely. You should probably require people to wear
gloves (doesn't need much padding) as well as the head gear. So far I've
been using highly shatter resistant large ski goggles and a cheap old style
small motorcycle helmet. Works nicely.
Getting thrust in the face hurts .
Curse you and making the really light and fast mini-nagamaki.....
Also... did I mention the mini-nagamaki
smacked the hell out of me . So many
wrist and leg shots. I'm amazed at how difficult it gets once you get a very
fast opponent on your tail. Also... we found tossing the sword and running
very effective, most of the time it was solid thrust to the stomach XD.
-Alexander K Gee on 16th March 2005
I recently ordered two custom RSW
katana from Lance. He was very helpful and
had prompt, friendly service.
Mine was designed to have about 7/8" sori with a 30" blade and 11" handle
and looks great. Weight and balance are as I ordered - 2 lb 13-14 oz approx
and about 6.5" POB from my hand.
The other (ordered for a friend) was standard with a 15" handle (it's really
long). This one is about 2 lb 9-10 oz. Definitely handles lighter than mine.
POB is about 4.5".
Handles: nicely curved. Wrap could come loose in time (edges overlapped, so
one sticks out on the side), so I think some tennis tape would work well
here. Kashira is a little large - should be perfectly aligned with the width
and thickness of handle.
Boffer part: nice and solid feeling but when hitting flesh feels like a soft
thump (like getting hit with a very thick boxing glove). The tip isn't
dangerous except thrusting to fragile spots (eyes, throat, etc.). Knocks the
wind out of you but no bruises (I took two to the chest and one hard one to
the solar plexus before I gave out).
Overall: these are great and I would recommend them to anyone who would like
to free spar with no fear of getting hit. They won't handle as well as
well-made steel blunts - still has slight waster bounce, but slicked up with
oil, they feel great. I'm going to order some again later.
-Alexander K Gee on 14th March 2005
Having sparred in a variety of styles, with a variety of practice weapons, I
can say without any doubt that Realistic Sparring Weapons are the most
realistic practice weapons I have ever used. This realism is surprisingly
accentuated by a high degree of safety- and having broken fingers in
practice matches, I believe that safety is an essential feature of any
sparring weapon. It is my conclusion that Realistic Sparring Weapons offer
the best choice in practice weapons, whether you are a professional Martial
Artists wishing to test your skill, or an amateur enthusiast just looking to
-Jason Dudek of Haidong Gumdo
Haidong Gumdo 2nd Degree Black Belt
Seoul City Sparring Champion, 2004
J.J. and Rafael at a beach located at Guardamar in Alicante of Spain.
Hi, this is J.J. Ruiz from Spain,
Me and a friend (Rafael) decided to purchase RSW swords mainly because we
wanted to train with the minimum protections as possible, even at least masks are
recommended, we don't use them and I can assure you that we practice a very good free
sparring despite some tough hits, which actually don't hurt you, it's just the
feeling of the moment. This is for me the great achievement of these swords, and of course
you're saving in buying extra protections. Also I would like to point out that I
find them very well balanced, and easy to handle, We ordered
European Bastard Swords
(shortest version) and they fit perfectly with my technique. They look cool! Way more
than the wooden ones, even its construction is a bit rougher, because of they are
hand made. I'm not sure about the durability of these swords, they look solid, but the
guard seems a bit weak (not the material but the binding) and begins to move a
little after some hits, but Chan has told me that they are working already on
fixing this problem adding epoxy and from now on all swords are incorporating that
feature. Well, I have nothing else to say except I am happy with my sword, same
as my friend, and are enjoying a lot with them!, if I check that these swords last
a reasonable time according to their use I am sure I will purchase new ones,
there are a good bunch of amazing models and also Chan is a cool guy, very easy to get
on well with, who is very willing to solve your questions, and will help you to
carry out a very smooth transaction.
-J.J. Ruiz on 19-12-04
...Also, I was sparring with Brian in Toronto last
week and the RSWs held up well.
Thanks again for a wonderful time in Hong Kong. I'll
be ordering some RSWs as soon as I open my Dojang. If you ever need
anything, just drop me an email.
-Jason Dudek of Haidong Gumdo
Finally got to see the sword today! pretty awesome stuff.
it's got a nice weight to it.
-Ryan Ricks of
I have had a go with the katanas and these are my
Upon first handling them I was impressed with the weight and balance which
is very similar to the katanas I own. In sparring I really noticed the
difference over a shinai. Due to the weight quick flicks or parries possible
with a shinai are no longer viable. You really cannot afford to be lazy and
rely on quickly moving the weapon, but instead must focus more on distance,
timing and technique. They are rigid enough to stop a hard strike using a
"Hollywood" block yet provide enough flex and padding to require minimal
The padding on the guards has got a little cut from being
hit, but this can be easily fixed.
The bags are of a high standard and I will be using them
to transport my live blades as well.
I do have a criticism with the point of the Katana. Though it has softened
up, it does present a risk to the eye more than a rounded tip would. Though
some form head/face protection should be worn as a hard strike to the head
would still hurt. Overall though I am impressed.
-Matthew Clarke on 28-9-04
Just letting you know I received the 2 Katanas. Impressions so far have been
good, they really do feel like a real weapon in your hands. The bags are
also very nice. I have yet to spar with them though, but will give you
feedback when I do. I also let my old kenjutsu school back in Perth know
about your site, so they might get in contact with you soon ref some more
-Matthew Clarke on 23-9-04
Thanks for the Jian! It finally came, and although it
looks like the box was broken into probably at Customs, there was no damage
Overall it seems very professionally put together. Definitely it seems like
you'd need more than one for sparring purposes.
It also seems that it would be easily patched with duct tape or something if
it did get any damage. :)
-Andrew Haas on 17-9-2004
Grant and I have been playing with those Germans swords
you've made for us, and I have to say that I am really pleased with their
performance. We also slicked them up with baby oil as you suggested, and it
worked great! A little too well, to be honest; I have picked up bad habits
from the way my regular wooden swords grab each other. It was nice to be
able to fight with an SLO that has something like real balance. Well done.
-Jay Noyes of
Avalon on 7-9-2004
I have a few--they work well, durable.
RSW's for local
ARMA practice and there's been occasion to get "stunned" by strong
contact to the head, even with our hockey helmets. And then there's the
thrust to the face--face grill=good.
- Tim Merritt of
Yeah, we got some too for long
longsword (based off my
claymore). They came exactly to spec and certainly do the job - and frankly
piss on any other boffers I've seen. Also, Lance is an absolute pleasure to
do business with.
- Paul Wagner of
Stoccata School of Defence, author of
MASTER OF DEFENCE
The works of George Silver 24-8-2004
On another note, the sword handles really well, and it
has supplanted my wooden waster in all my drills, given than its feel is
much more realistic. Sparring-wise it is also great!
- Jesus Illundain of
I got the swords, and they look great. The bastard sword has a very good
feel in terms of balance and weight, and it behaves rather realistically.
The guard is a bit loose, but I do not see how it could be made more firm,
and that is but a very small issue. It is exactly what I wanted in terms of
size and weight. So far I have not been able to do much serious sparring
yet, but I have been trying it out practicing cuts and such and I love it.
The other one works great for what I wanted it!
The carrying bag is great two ... and the two pouches are for? I guess one
for the lubricant and rag ...
- Jesus Illundain of
I am interested in your sparring swords. My instructor
here (at Los ALamos, USA) got one of your swords, and is very happy with it.
My instructor is Murray Moore. So far your sword is the only one that has
withstood our sparring sessions without significant damage to the blade
- Jesus Illundain of
We finally got together as a group and sparred. We had
three newbies there as well and were kind enough to let them try. Ha ha. I
finally got to use the claymore! Very satisfying. I first fought our
sparring coach and then sparred an old friend. Two matches of 10 bouts with
the claymore and one match of 10 bouts with the katana. Everyone fought the
coach at least once. He was pleased, although his feedback is that Koreans
would need the swords to look better. He really enjoyed bashing us with them
even though he didn't like the look of them, Ha ha! My first match was
against our sparring instructor. He's very fast and strong of course so I am
quite used to losing. I will always remember how it felt to see the look of
shock on his face as the first bout went to me with a decisive clear and
cleave! I think that match went 6-4 in my favour. I'm not sure how it would
score in your system.
Everyone was in awe of the claymore and were clearly
entranced by the novelty of it. I went fairly lightly though. I restricted
myself to two basic cuts and thrusts to the torso from medium to long range.
I also chose to minimize the amount of force I used - just in case. It
turned out to be a good idea as head hits were absolutely devastating.
It caused a full second of stun at least. I will have
to use more power and learn to be a little faster if I want to use it to
batter through guards though.
The second and final match with the claymore was
probably closer in score as I was really tired and slow by then. I was
unable to keep him out of close range as a result and got hit a lot more.
I ended up taking a full power slash across my throat
with no ill-effect. One poor fellow was repeatedly struck or stabbed in the
"groin". Everyone is thrilled with the swords. Last night really opened up
their eyes to what's like to really fight. Big smiles and laughter all
around. You could easily notice the shift in style after each fighter got
hit - no pain, no restricted targets? Amazing!
Haidong Gumdo on 14-10-2004
I have lots of reasons to return to Hong Kong. Now I have
It may be of interest to some that about a day after the
matches I felt a lot of muscle soreness. In a cardiovascular sense I could
have kept sparring all day, but there is no doubt that using these
fully-weighted swords is swordwork not swordplay.
Also of some interest perhaps is that some very small,
light bruises appeared on surfaces where the bone is close to the skin
(ie wrist, shoulder, rib). These are not tender, and no more than
the size of a nickle. The only real sore spot I got was one of my
knuckles from a particularly solid hand hit. It didn't bruise and is only
slightly tender when flexed.
For all the hits I took and all the bouts I fought, I
don't think you can expect a safer result than this. Really impressive and
more fun than I could have imagined.
Boyd of Haidong Gumdo on 21-7-2004
It was a great pleasure to meet
Lancelot and his group this weekend in Hong Kong.
I really had no idea what to expect from the equipment or the sparring club
members, but I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised.
It took me much longer to adapt to the freedom allowed by the weapons
RSW have created than I would have expected. I
kept pulling shots and shifting targets at the last minute... mistakes
gladly taken advantage of by my cheerful opponents. Looking over the videos
it strikes me that I have lost all the flow I used to have and have drifted
much closer to a kendo style than I would have thought possible. The mindset
of the referrees I spar under will allow little else. It took quite a few
matches to try and find my real style again. I didn't quite get there but I
caught a glimpse of it from time to time.
One of the highlights of the day for me was the use of an honor system in
recording strikes. While the observers also serve to maintain honesty there
were more than a few times when my opponents called hits I didn't notice
landing in the heat of an exchange. Some real ego destruction has been going
on in this group.
I am looking forward to doing this again soon. I was just starting to get a
sense of things when we had to call it a day.
Lancelot and his group got a
lot of amusement from the so-called 'killer move' in my last bout. I
couldn't say why it thrilled them so much, but I was glad to bring a little
bit of joy to an otherwise rainy day...
Boyd of Haidong Gumdo on 19-7-2004
Realistic Sparring Weapons
I met Lancelot about five years ago, the first
conversation with him was ended up in some kind of “debate” about something
meaningless. Anyway, to cut the story short, at that time
Lancelot was still running Sunday Butchers, and I
asked him if he sells his weapons out or not, anyway the idea just went and
gone for good. But I had a feeling that one day he will set up his business
in selling safety weapons.
So this is it!
Realistic Sparring Weapons,
the products by Lancelot. Better than any
available safety weapons, including a page that teaches you to make
Realistic Sparring Weapons
but will actually end up breaking. Lancelot had spent his whole life trying
to make the best thing for practicing real combat, and finally, we are able
to buy his precious products.
One day, an unexpected ICQ message was sent to me. After five years of
staying in my contact list quietly, Lancelot told me that he had started his
business. Anyway, I told this to my dad, and at my birthday my dad gave me
the things I wanted for so long,
Realistic Sparring Weapons!
Of course I spent time to “give hints” to my dad. But anyway, after getting
my present, I am impressed. The feeling of the sword is just like real! The
look is great too, the feeling of inertia by cutting out is extremely good.
At once I went to somewhere near my flat and fought with my dad, the
“dueling without hurting” is a dream for us sword lovers.
As a Chinese who had been using Chinese sword for more than five years, I
chose to wield Lancelot’s
bastard, and my dad use the
Bagua jian. No specific reason but I find it to be my liking. I still
remember that the
Realistic Sparring Weapons
“uber-real-design” allow us to use some Chinese Swordsmanship’s special
moves, my dad was able to “Stir” my sword and attack me with “Point”!
I was quite beaten up by my dad, that’s quite normal because he had been
practicing martial art for over 20 years. Anyway now I am able to get a
60-40 towards him. :) After practicing a lot.
I only own a one handed Chinese jian at home, and I cannot afford a good
Realistic Sparring Weapons
is also my companion in practicing swordsmanship, now I concentrate on basic
“Thrust”, “Cut”, and something like that.
Weapons has no problem in solo drill
The only downside is, if you fought too crazily, like I dueled with my dad
over 70 rounds last Friday, I actually rubbed my palm's skin out! So if you
are going to go berserk (which I went), you will probably need a pair of
gloves, or just use some tennis wrap to wrap it.
More on berserk, I actually used half-swording to thrust my daddy’s head,
Realistic Sparring Weapons has no
problem in beating up your daddy.
Yo, forget to mention, I bought a
Realistic Sparring Weapons
single-handed sword and a
round shield later, and one day, Lancelot
informed me that the single handed sword may break,
and he actually gave me a Dao instead! Excellent
after-sell customer service.
Sparring Weapons is surely your best
choice in dueling and practicing, I am sure that you won’t be disappointed
if you buy one!
*I beg for mercy if I have grammatical mistake(s), don’t kill me
I have two of these that I gave to my mentor in Budapest
as a "guest-gift."
They are, far and away, the best padded training weapons I have ever seen,
and budget allowing, I'd order up another half-dozen in a heartbeat,
particularly for students who have to overcome blade-fear w/o losing all
semblance of realistic balance.
I highly recommend these tools.
-Russ Mitchell on 18-5-04
I have not had a chance to beat my friends with
the Hungarian Sabres, but I'll say this: for sparring thus far at speed and
power, they're a far cry superior to most of the other options I've seen. In
Budapest, they just let the injuries happen as they may, though they try to
play nice... but nice creates its own problems, too.
I think that, unless my chemistry is wrong, rather than using soap and water
to lubricate the flats, spray teflon would probably work well.
Lance made two. The prototype wasn't quite curved enough, in the image, and
I had him put more curve in the second. (I ordered a pair.) The first
handles okay, but is nothing to sneeze at (though still quite usable). The
second, with a little more curve, with very small caveats, handles PRECISELY
the way it should. Not only is the balance correct, but it feels "live," the
way that only the real blades, and my handmade, chip-carved, shaved, and
filed wasters feel. It's a real pleasure in the hand.
"Waster bounce" still exists, though spray teflon on the flats might
mitigate this somewhat. Since my method either voids or forte parries (we
WANT the blades to be stopped for split moments), that's not a giant
These things won't replace good wasters, nor dulled blades (I think "blunts"
with thickened edges are crap, and refuse to touch them -- in fact, I think
most wasters on the market are crap, too, so you're not reading a guy in the
habit of giving rave reviews), and they're certainly not as good for
technique work as aluminum blades or live steel blades. They're precisely
what Lance bills them as: sparring tools. For playing with folks from
different methods, especially doing what he does with both Euro and Asian
stylists, these are just great, imho... well, I'm just pleased as punch with
these things. If Lance ever decides he needs a distributor in the U.S., I'm
going to be first in line... I am REALLY FREAKING IMPRESSED.
-Russ Mitchell on 8-3-2004
A few months back, Chan
Ying Chih Lancelot posted a link to his on-line boffer business on
Sword Forum International.
Intrigued, I ordered a pair of single-handed European
swords with the idea of practicing some I.33 at speed. I thought I would
post a review here for everyone's information.
Realistic Sparring Weapons
Customer Service: Excellent. He responded to my posts, specially constructed
my product (single-handed European style swords
weren't previously offered) and had them ready to ship within the week.
Lancelot was willing to answer questions.
Price: The cost per sword was 72.99 USD, including a spiffy carry bag. (This
was actually a pretty big bonus for me in particular; in Japan it is rude --
and very possibly illegal -- to walk around with an exposed sword-shaped
Product: When I first received the swords, I was concerned, they are fairly
heavy for a boffer -- by design the approximate weight of a real broadsword
-- and seemed stiff enough to cause harm if used at full power.
I am relieved to say that I was entirely incorrect. However
Lancelot has managed to make these things, they
seem to be increasingly flexible the harder you strike. It seems like it
hurts more if you half-tap someone than if you just strike them full force.
Everyone who used them, and were struck by them were surprised and pleased.
This allows you to parry and wind fairly effectively, while still being able
to turn around and smack someone. Nifty.
Another nice aspect of the boffers is there excellent balance and
maneuverability. I've never been able to make anything myself to match it.
For those of us who aren't able to get real swords, it's nice to have an
alternative, especially since they can be safely used at speed.
My one safety concern is construction of the quillions (aluminum) and the
pommel (stainless steel, I believe). Without significant precautions, I'm
worried that broken hands and such are a real possibility. This was not a
problem a problem in the test fights, and Lancelot
says that he has never had a problem with it, so I may just be a worry-wart.
-Jay Noyes of
Avalon on 23-2-2004