Even a Dragon Warrior, First Mastered the Noodles
For every accomplished sword master, there were just as many beginners who were not so great. If you are ready to set up your first backyard cutting dojo, but are not sure where to begin, consider starting with an economical "noodler."
We offer several entry-level swords that allow you to try your hand at the sport without breaking the bank. While there is an extensive amount of information about swords available, some of it can be contradictory depending on where you look. To avoid confusion, start with an affordable sword and have some fun! Once you have developed an appreciation for the sport, we have a vast selection of swords ranging from novice to sensei grade, that will help you excel and push your skills to higher levels.
There is no shame in starting with a beginner-level sword that costs a few hundred dollars or less. Although swords in this price range are not historically accurate, they are great for backyard cutting using pool noodles or tatami to learn proper cutting technique. However, it is crucial to never use decorative swords for cutting, as they are not made of the same materials or constructed the same as real swords.
If you are not training in a dojo, we recommend starting with pool noodles as targets. They are inexpensive and soft enough not to damage your blade if you make a bad cut, which is possible with tatami or harder materials. Foam noodles also show a clear path of your cut, so you can visually see whether it was straight or curved through the target, or whether you twisted on impact.
Once you are comfortable with your technique and can make straight drawing cuts seamlessly, you may want to consider upgrading to swords that can handle more traditional cutting, such as tamashigiri. Noodles are also very affordable, so you can have a great afternoon without spending much money. Enjoy yourself and always practice safely!