Konjaku Kioi Toyama Ryu Dojo Toyama Ryu Batto Do
Konjaku Kioi Dojo
(Ancient and Modern Fighting Spirit Dojo)
5980 66th St N Suite M
St Petersburg FL 33709
Email: info@toyama-ryu.com
Phone: 727-329-9679
Yari (Spear)

Hataya Sensei DVD
Respect for Katana
Sword Dictionary
How to Guides
    Bow In Ceremony
    Warm Up Exercises
    Bow Out Ceremony
    Wearing Uniform
    Formal Uniform
    Wearing Daisho
    Uniform Folding/Care
Katana Selection
    Sword Dimensions
    Sword Testing
Katana Maintenance
    Katana Cleaning
    Mekugi Replacement
    Katana Disassembly
    Is my sword sharp?
    Edge Geometry
    Surface Polish
    Sharpening Guide
Training Basics
    Kihon (Fundamentals)
    8 Basic Cuts
    Toyama Kata
    Toyama Kukmitachi
    Seitei Kata
Taikai Guides
    Taikai Rules
    Judging Guide
    Target Prep & Spiking
    Cutting Patters
    Cutting Videos
    Target Comparison
St Petersburg Dojo
    Intro Letter
    Femal Sensei
    Dojo Members
    Code of Conduct
    Classes and Fees
Promotion Pictues
Rank Testing

Dojo Crest 

Details of Ranking Categories

Swords are judged in groups sorted by type of sword.  Each judge rates that type of sword comparing individual swords to others of the same type.  They are allowed to change their ratings they study additional swords of that type.  They are asked to judge impartially - independent their  opinion of the theme of fittings or who owns the sword.

Balance and Feel

This category is all about individual comfort and feel of the sword.  There tends to be a wide range of scores for each sword since everyone has their own opinion about what feels right.  Those who like very heavy or very light swords cancel each other out, but the swords at the far end of the spectrum score lower.  The same is true about tsuka-ito material since everyone has their favorite.  The biggest disagreement seems to be leather tsuka-ito.  Some reviewers thought it felt slick while other swore by it. 

The final score for a sword is the average of the individual ratings.  This tends to follow what everyone agrees on.  Comfort issues with high relief tsuba or other fittings universally drive down the score for a sword.  Overly tip heavy swords also rank low in this category even if a few reviewers like them.

Back to Sword Ratings (Shinken) (Iaito)

Quality and Fittings

This category is for the quality of the blade, fittings, and saya.  Any construction issues and how well the sword stands up to wear are also considered in this category.  Reviewers are asked to ignore any personal preference to the theme of fittings.  There is usually some disagreement about what makes a sword look cheap, but the overall consensus is pretty good.  The biggest variations seem to be centered around the impact of cheap looking menuki.

Back to Sword Ratings (Shinken) (Iaito)


Tameshigiri is performed on single Mugen Dachi tatami omote that are soaked overnight.  Reviewers are asked to use minimal force and let the sword do the work.  Kesa, Gyaku Kesa, and Sui Hei cuts are performed using different swords.  If the reviewer is uncertain about the rating of two swords, they repeat the cuts.  The improved cutting ability of some of the new swords has raised expectations and lowered the scores of some older blades.

Back to Sword Ratings (Shinken) (Iaito)


The Overall rating is simply the average of the three previous categories.  We do not have permission to cut with all the swords being reviewed, so some overall scores are either hurt or helped by this.  We previously had both a "cutting" and a "cutting out of the box" category, but this tended to unfairly bias the overall rating of some swords.

Back to Sword Ratings (Shinken) (Iaito)

Cutting Bang for the Buck

The Cutting Bang for the Buck score is a scaled version of the Cutting score divided by the price.  The values are scaled to give a 10 to the highest score.

Back to Sword Ratings (Shinken) (Iaito)

Overall Bang for the Buck

The Overall Bang for the Buck score is a scaled version of the Overall score divided by the price.  The values are scaled to give a 10 to the highest score.

Back to Sword Ratings (Shinken) (Iaito)

Copyright 2006 by Konjaku Kioi Toyama Ryu Dojo, All rights reserved.

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