Should You be Training with an Extra Heavy Sword?

by Bill Grandy

Many practitioners of sword arts praise the use of training with a much heavier weapon than their normal one. The general argument is that doing so is good for conditioning as well as to train more explosive speed when switching back to the normal weighted sword. Certainly, this attitude can be historically justified: Vegetius wrote of using heavier weapons to train against targets in 4th century Rome, and even on the other half of the hemisphere the Japanese sometimes used a heavier wooden sword called a suborito for strength training. There is a strong case to be made, however, that this method causes more harm than good. In fact, the data shows that a practitioner may be better off doing the exact opposite and train with a weapon that is lighter than their normal one. Continue reading