"Master, what is the best length to aim for when making one's own sword? What dimensions does the Gyokku ninja training system recommend? Do you have any advice?"
I congratulate you on making your own weapon – to make one’s own weapons is a core tradition of the Clan.
However, one important attribute of the self-made weapon is that its length is designed to the 'fit' of the person who makes it. As an example, a japanese on average, is much smaller than an american, so the same weapon does not do for both.
I will give you both the dimensions of a reasonable nagamaki, as well as a picture of a warrior wielding it in the main training area of the dojo.
Before making your own weapon of steel, my advice is to make it first of wood (bokken) and to try different techniques with it against an imaginary opponent or non-resisting training partner, to see whether the length of the weapon and hilt 'fit' you, and to alter them accordingly.
It is YOUR sword, made by your own hand. It is your right to customize it so it works PERFECTLY for you.
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According to the Gyokku Ninja training system, the length one aims for in making one's own sword depends on one's own height and other body proportions, as well as upon one's strength. The dimensions mentioned below are to the scale of the warrior wielding the blade in the image at the beginning of this article.
Blade - 21 inches; Hilt - 24 inches
I trust this will help you, honorable deshi.
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