Readers may be amused to hear some of my swords and sabers have what I would call balance problems: with swords the minority of the weight of the blade is toward the tip as opposed to toward the handle. You are giving up some mass to resist an opponent’s beat (strike against your blade to take it off the line) in order to be faster. Straight swords have a somewhat simple geometry – they tend to narrow and get thinner as they approach the point. Especially with the more flexible swords the bulk of the weapon is near your hand and not likely to be doing much. If things are going well in a sword set (or fight) most of the action will be at the point and along the first six inches of edges nearest the point.  Sure, there’s a pommel strike every once in a while, but the real business is conducted at the other end.

For several reasons it is very common to see swords have a tassel attached. Here in the land of limited shopping opportunities sword tassels come in two lengths – 18″ and 36″. The latter are, of course, much more photogenic and dynamic, but also much more difficult to control, especially when it comes to keeping them off the ground or on windy days. I’ve never heard of, let alone seen, anyone trying to attach a tassel to a sword near the point – as one might see in a spear. I can’t see any simple way of attaching the tassel without weakening the blade. And I am not convinced the opponent would be so confused that any loss of speed would be worth it.