Well - within the next few hours the December edition of my online magazine, the Sword Buyers Digest
is set to go out to my regular crowd of subscribers. But you might notice that one featured section that has been there from the beginning is missing...
Due to my publishing of a 'contraversial' article on Backyard Cutting - which is in the eyes of Sword Forum International is effectively taboo without first getting proper instruction - Adrian Ko from SFI politely asked me to remove the Sword Forum International Logo and links from my magazine (as well as removing a thread about my Shirasaya competition on the forums).
I can see where Adrian is coming from - and generally agree. I think that it is obviously prefferable to get proper instruction before cutting with a sword, because if something goes wrong, you can get seriously hurt or even killed.
But to be fair, my article on backyard cutting start with some pretty important basic safety considerations - and the fact of the matter is, people are still going to do backyard cutting if they are so inclined wherether they have an instructor or not... So better to give some guidelines on what to cut and how to be safe than just say 'don't do it'...
For this and other reasons, I that this clearly marked seperation from SFI was probably inevitable...
My focus is on solidly built sub US$300 swords. And many people at SFI refuse to acknowledge or even look at swords priced under $500.
Yet despite that, I've still heard stories of swords in this price point failing too - and occasionally from routine activities that all the swords I have personally reviewed have handled without any problems at all... So price doesn't always equate to functionality (though the old adage "you get what you pay for" is still pretty accurate, and I am not saying that a $200 sword is better than an $800 sword, but it doesn't neccessarily mean that the $800 sword is four times better...)
Anyway, just so you know - there is no bad blood between SBG and SFI. And I still think SFI is a fantastic resource and will continue to post there from time to time (though I have to be careful not to talk about my site). The Sword Community is too small to be divided against itself, so my thoughts are always - come to SBG for the basic info and begin your journey. Then, if you want to go from the intermediate to advanced levels, participate at SFI! :-)
One last thing before I go.
Since a lot of beginners tend to get shot down or mocked at SFI for posting or asking questions about entry level swords, I am planning to introduce my own forum for beginners and intermediate sword enthusiats within the next couple of month - so watch this space! More is coming soon! :-D
Talk to you all later, and see you inside the next issue of my mag!Paul