The Philippines is well known for it's incredible variety of blade designs. Each tribal area has not just one, but a selection, of blades that are particular to their region.
What I personally
find fascinating about each and every design, is that they all have
reasons why they look like they do. And finding out what that is, is
part of the fun and the overall learning experience.
can buy many different reproduction blades nowadays, based on real
weapons and old, historical, designs. Some are made by people that know
what these swords do and how they should feel in motion, others by
people that clearly do not.
Some also have more time and effort put into their fit and finish
by craftspeople, others are mass produced as an approximation to the
real thing that merely need to look similar but not perform.
Needless to say, a blade designed and made by an expert who knows about swords and their
purpose, will feel better in the hand than a blade that looks almost
identical, but made by someone that was just copying a picture of one.
At the other end of the spectrum you have the fantasy blades inspired by
book and movies, it seems mostly designed by people looking towards
being novel for the sake of it, rather than from any thoughts of
I personally dislike both poorly made reproductions, and any kind of ill conceived fantasy blade.
There is another side to this too of course.
are people that can create functional swords that handle well, out of
any piece of metal. Who design and fabricate weapons from whatever they
have at hand, out of curiosity, or a gap that they think needs fixing.
Or as a way to discover new ideas in sword play.
I have no problem with either the folks that reproduce accurate
and well made historical designs, or that fabricate from their own minds
eye ..... as long as they know WHY they are doing what they are doing,
can EXPLAIN to me the purpose of every curve, recurve, indent, dull and
sharp edge, the shape of the handle and the balance of the blade, AND
create something that feels good in the hand, moves well, and does the
job as described.
A sword is a tool, it's FOR something.
It's pretty easy to know if it works ... All you have to do is test it,
and the ideas that it is meant to hold. Then compare it to something
that you know already does the job, and see if it is a worthy addition
to the tool box, or just derivative and pointless. It could also be
something that is close .... but needs exploring further.
Here is a training blade made by Sonny from something completely different. Even though it is a trainer, it is perfectly balanced, and feels great in the hand. The basic design contains traditional elements from the blades of The Visayan Islands, but the curves are particular to this sword and dictate how it moves best. It works great and definitely stays in the toolbox.