Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The Companion Sword - The Wakizashi

Called to the Castle

Akihiko was nervous. He had just been called by his daimyō (feudal lord). The crescent moon was intermittently obscured by wispy clouds blown by unfelt winds. As he made his way along the well-worn road marked by the seasonal passage of traders, he could occasionally hear the lapping of the water on the shores of the dark river to his left, cold and swift as it ran from its source in the cold mountains behind him toward its final destination, the endless waiting expanse of the ocean. As he neared the castle, he could see see a few windows shining with the soft radiance of candlelight and the occasional snatch of a conversation drifting along with the wind. Walking up the incline to the nearest gate in the imposing wall, easily twice his height, he was noticed by the guards.

“Stop right there and state your business”, they challenged him. “My name is Akihiko, and I’ve been summed by my lord.” he replied as calmly as he could manage. “Ah, yes, the Samurai. We’ve been expecting you. You know the drill”. Akihiko took off his Katana and gave it to the guards, feeling somewhat naked with only his Wakishazhi remaining as he stepped past the guards and entered the castle.

Featured Sword: Wakizashi

The Wakizashi was a shortsword typically carried with a Katana by Samurai as part of a daishō (set of two swords: one long, one short). It served multiple purposes including serving as a temporary replacement for the Katana in case of breakage, beheading opponents, and allowing ritual suicide. Unlike Katanas, Wakizashi could be worn indoors when entering a palace or castle. It could also be used for combat when paired with a Katana in the Two Heavens technique. A Wakishaszi is 1-2 shaku in length (30.3cm to 60.6cm) and worn on the left side of the bearer.

Featured Examples

The Path Ahead

Akihiko followed a servant through several hallways until he arrived at an ornate double-door. After the servant announced him and he was permitted to enter, he saw the daimyō for the first time. The man was of middling height with an air of command. “Do you know why I summoned you here?” the lord asked. “No sir”, Akihiko replied. “I have a special mission for you” the head of the castle stated ominously. “It is very dangerous, and you may not return...”

As Akihiko retraced his steps back to the gate, he noticed the elegant wood trimmings of the walls and the exquisite craftsmanship of the stone foundation. With his path now laid out for him, he knew it would likely be many more months before he would again see anything more refined than a sleeping role under the stars or the saddle on a horse’s back. When he reached the guards, he silently held out his hand and they returned his Katana to him. Feeling whole again, with the comfortable weights of both his Katana and Wakizashi on his obi, he began the walk back to his quarters to begin packing what few things he had for the long journey ahead.

Fun Fact

Wakizashi are not just shorter Katanas, but may be forged differently and are less convex.


The Wakizashi is represented by the characters 脇差 in Japanese. 脇 means “side of the torso” and 差 means “to insert, stick into”, which combined represent how the Wakizashi would be worn by the bearer.


Thursday, 17 May 2018

The Magic of the “Blood Groove”

Kuna’s Struggle

Kuna was frustrated.  It seemed no matter how hard or long she practiced, she never could  make her sword move as fast as she wanted it to. It was easy to cut with, and once it got started it would go through almost anything, but when it came to anticipating an opponent’s movements or quickly changing direction, the sword never seemed as agile as she wished.

Her teacher had been watching her quietly grow more frustrated each session and finally made a decision.  “Kuna”, he said and approached her. “You need a new sword.” “But sensei, this one is still in perfect shape”, she replied. “Yes,  but the problem is not the condition of the blade”, he explained. “Your sword is too heavy for you; that’s why you struggle.” “Sensei, if I shorten the sword, my reach will be lessened”.  Her instructor smiled. “Not necessarily” he said. “What you need is a sword with a Bo-Hi”.

“A Bo-Hi, she exclaimed, “What’s that?”

Featured Sword Terminology: The Bo-Hi

What Kuna’s sensei is referring to is a Bo-Hi (pronounced BOW-HEE): an indention that runs along the blade of a sword.  The Bo-Hi’s purpose is to lower the weight of the blade, sometimes as much as an astonishing 20-35%, without sacrificing strength, similar to how an I-beam is nearly as strong as a rectangular block of metal of the same size but with a fraction of the weight.   The longer the blade, the greater the effect. As weight limits the agility of the sword’s user, a bo-hi can allow a user to use a longer blade than would normally be practical. For wielders who like to use the sword for cutting, it may be better to get a sword without a Bo-Hi, as swords without them have the balance point shifted farther down the blade and are heavier, providing greater momentum.

Swords typically come with either none, one, or two Bo-Hi.



This sword has no Bo-Hi.  We show it for reference.

No Bo-Hi


This sword has a Bo-Hi on only one side of the sword

One Bo-Hi


This sword has a Bo-Hi on each side of the blade.
Double Bo-Hi

Kuna’s Answer

Kuna swung her new sword and listened to it whistle through the air.  “This is amazing, Sensei”. The balance was a little different then she was used to, but she was pleased with how quickly she could twist and turn the blade.  “Once I get used to this, my opponents had better watch out!”. She continued practicing. Watching her, her sensei smiled again.

Fun Fact

The bo-hi amplifies the “swishing“ sound swords make as they travel through the air, making it popular for martial arts demonstrations and movies.


Sometimes mislabeled as “blood groove”, the name has nothing to do with blood.  In Japanese kanji, Bo-Hi is written as 棒樋,where Bo (棒) means weapon, and Hi (樋 ) means trough or gutter.  So it would translate literally to something like “weapon-groove”.

Filter By Bo-Hi

You can filter by "No Bo Hi", "Single Bo Hi" and "Double Bo Hi" in Bo-Hi Filteringeach sword collection, under Refine in the left sidebar, as shown here to the left.

Check out our sword collections and give it a try!





Sunday, 11 February 2018

Are samurai swords, katana and wakizashi legal in the UK?

We're often asked about the legalities in the UK: Are samurai swords, katana and wakizashi legal?  Does one need a license to own them?

This post aims to touch on the key points of sword and knife ownership in the UK at the time of writing, with links to more detailed information.

At the time of writing this post (please see links / more detailed information below for any changes), the scenario is as follows:

  • All products sold on our website are legal to own in the UK. 
  • You can not carry a knife or a sword in public without a valid reason. 
  • Anyone purchasing a knife or a sword must be over 18 years of age.
  • Certain types of knives are not legal in the UK, such as disguised knives (flick knives, butterfly knives etc.) and therefore are not sold on this website.
  • Samurai and other curved swords are legal, *AS LONG AS* they have been handmade using traditional production methods. All swords sold on our site are made using traditional methods and are legal in the UK. 

For current laws and more detailed information, please refer to:

More information can also be found in our legal section here



Thursday, 25 January 2018

Top Katana Swords & Best Selling Katana Swords for Sale in the UK for 2017

Now that we're at the start of 2018, it's a good time to reflect:  What were the top/best selling Katana Swords for sale in the UK for 2017?

Here are the top katana swords, as seen on BladesPro:

Aaiwa Katana Samurai Sword

A sleek, beautiful katana samurai sword with a black saya, black tsuku and blade made with high carbon steel, this swords was very popular in 2017. Some feedback:
"Looks so much better in real life than in the picture. I want one for myself now (I bought it as a present)."

"I ordered a katana for my husband for Christmas. The ordering process was easy, very good and quick response to my questions and the katana arrived in time. My husband was thrilled with it especially the quality. Excellent service and product. Will definitely use the company again."


See Aaiwa Katana Samurai Sword on BladesPro > 

Dara Folded Clay Tempered Steel Katana Samurai Sword

Stunning blue-themed clay tempered samurai katana sword. 

"This sword its a stunning piece of art that i will love for years to come."

See Dara Folded Clay Tempered Steel Katana Samurai Sword on BladesPro >

Chariya Folded Clay Tempered Steel Katana Samurai Sword

T103cm in length and with a classic black and white theme, this sword was very popular in 2017 and continues to be in 2018. 

"Excellent sword for the money paid"

See Chariya Folded Clay Tempered Steel Katana Samurai Sword on BladesPro >

Iato Clay Tempered Carbon Steel Wakizashi

This beautiful red-themed wakizashi samurai sword was a hit in 2017, owing to its unique size (78cm in lengh) and stunning design.

See Iato Clay Tempered Carbon Steel Wakizashi on BladesPro >

Chintana Folded Clay Tempered Steel Katana Samurai Sword

Classic and sleek in black, this sword was also a best-selling samurai katana samurai sword in 2017. 

See Chintana Folded Clay Tempered Steel Katana Samurai Sword on BladesPro >

Ready to chose your sword?


Thursday, 11 January 2018

Top Selling Karambit Knives in the UK for 2017

Now that we're at the start of 2018, it's a good time to look back:  What were the top selling Karambit Knives for the UK in 2017? Here are some best seller Karambit knives, as seen on BladesPro UK:

Alpha Nineteen Karambit Knife

Alpha Nineteen Karambit Knife on BladesPro
Fantastic for the outdoors, this great-looking a comfortable blade has been a hit with our customers..  A top-selling Karambit Knife in the UK, it's received great reviews and been put to good, safe use on outdoor projects, fishing, hunting, hiking, camping and more.  

See the Alpha Nineteen Karambit Knife on BladesPro >

Damascus Style Karambit Knife 

A Karambit knife stylised after Damascus steel, this has also been extremely popular and received great reviews such as this one from Karen:

  "The Karambit is wonderful. Excellent for carving among it's many other uses."

See the Damascus Style Karambit Knife on BladesPro >

Alpha Twenty One Karambit Knife

With its egonomically designed handle for comfortable use, with hanging clip-on handle for easy carrying or attaching to a belt, and a stylish black design, this has been a big-selling Karambit Knife in the UK in 2017. 

See the Alpha Twenty One Karambit Knife on BladesPro UK

Scorpions Claw Karambit Knife


A slightly smaller blade at 16cm in total length, this Karambit Knife comes with a leather sheath and has been revered by martial artists and outdoorsmen alike. 

Two of the many pieces of feedback we’ve received from real customers: 
  - "Came with a surprising sharp edge and was exactly what i was hoping for!"
  - "These blades are of extremely high quality, and they handle perfectly."

See the Scorpions Claw Karambit Knife on BladesPro >

Alpha Twenty Karambit Knife


A variation of the Alpha Nineteen above, but with a stainless steel blade, this Karambit Knife has received great feedback (and become a best seller) in 2017.  

See the Alpha Twenty Karambit Knife on BladesPro UK >

You can see our full range of Karambit Knives, all with free shipping, here.