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Absolutely loving the new japanese swords, Lancelot! Your craftsmanship is excellent-- and the realistic quality of your swords for sparring and martial arts practice is in my opinion unmatched. I just hope we have no problems with the local law enforcement because they look kinda real from a distance! HAHA.... Be well!

- Jason Berger on 4-8-2012


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 Three Peaks Wudang Taijiquan on 28-5-2012

Personally, I 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 2005



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.


- William 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 weighted boffer.

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.


-PJ on 26th June 2005


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!

- Frances Perry of European Historical Combat Guild on 27th April 2005


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











-戶山流拔刀道學生 森影 寫於 11-1-05


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 have fun.

Jason Dudek of Haidong Gumdo on 24-12-04
Haidong Gumdo 2nd Degree Black Belt
Seoul City Sparring Champion, 2004


之前我還沒有接觸這個活動自從在「華山論劍」看過他們的活動之後,開始有點興趣玩這個武術玩意,但無暇參與。到了現在 rsw 的出現我才開始參與這活動。玩了幾個月後,覺得與其他武術很不同。就是這些武器可以混合來玩如歐洲手半劍對日本刀。而𮨶它們講究的並不是力量。而是智慧,速度和距離感,再加上這玩意是「一」刀死的。所以持之以恆地玩是對智慧,叼應,手腕有很大益處的。而𮨶在這裡以武會友是一件樂事,除了工餘,課餘運動外,還可以舒暢一下ꈳ心,把精神和壓力在活動中發洩。比起一些無謂的娛樂及不良的事好來得更好!


-Matthew Kwok(豪劍士) 寫於 20-12-04



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 on 13-10-04


Finally got to see the sword today! pretty awesome stuff. it's got a nice weight to it.


-Ryan Ricks of ARMA 7-10-2004


I have had a go with the katanas and these are my thoughts.

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 protective equipment.


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 Katanas.

-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 or anything.

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. We use 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 ARMA 25-8-2004



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 ARMA 7-10-2004


Greetings Chan,
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 could be
for the lubricant and rag ...

- Jesus Illundain of ARMA 23-9-2004

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 part.


- Jesus Illundain of ARMA 19-8-2004

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!

-Anthony Boyd of Haidong Gumdo on 14-10-2004


I have lots of reasons to return to Hong Kong. Now I have one more!


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.


-Anthony 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...


-Anthony Boyd of Haidong Gumdo on 19-7-2004



A little review on 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 something like 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 real sword.
Realistic Sparring Weapons is also my companion in practicing swordsmanship, now I concentrate on basic “Thrust”, “Cut”, and something like that. Realistic Sparring Weapons has no problem in solo drill practice too.

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, and
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.

Realistic 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


-Alfred Wong on 16-5-2004


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 problem.

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 object).

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



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