Bastard Sword: Your Comprehensive Buying Guide

The bastard sword, also known as the hand-and-a-half sword, aptly fits neither the one-handed nor two-handed sword category, boasting a longer grip for versatile handling. This variant of the longsword, popular in the 15th and 16th centuries, carries multiple monikers.

Choosing Your Sword Style

Swordsmanship Instruction

The allure of swords has seen a revival in recent decades. Now, you can select from an array of authentic, hand-forged swords produced by various specialist forges. Picking a martial art style requires significant dedication and resilience. The choice between Eastern and Western swordsmanship helps narrow down the vast options of sword disciplines. It's feasible to learn from both, but this distinction is a good starting point.

Western Martial Arts

Western martial arts offer diverse sword styles, from the early Roman gladius to the colossal two-handed great swords of a fully armored knight. The elegant Renaissance rapier is also included. The first step is to identify your interest area. Learning fundamentals out of curiosity is fine, but serious students should consider enrolling in an accredited institution. Many Western martial arts teachers have modernized medieval sword manuals into esteemed combat arts.

Eastern Combat Arts 

Eastern martial arts styles, like Tai chi, kung fu, iaito, and tameshigiri, are practiced worldwide. The katana's draw and cut are crucial skills in the martial arts forms of Iaito and Tameshigiri. If you're drawn to katanas, this is a good starting point. Both Japan and China have a rich history in swordsmanship; you could even join a school where techniques are orally passed down. 

Equipping with the Right Weapons

Reliks, a sword specialist, can provide the perfect blade and accessories for your chosen art. Our range covers from beginner swords to top-quality sensai swords for skilled practitioners. Even if you're not ready for a real blade, it's important to have the right gear for your skill level. We offer wasters and bokens to enhance your striking or martial arts skills. We respect those who study and use the sword as much as we do the sword itself, thus, we never compromise on quality. We strive to find the perfect weapon for your academic success. 


The bastard sword was the standard weapon for a knight in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its hilt design changed over time but always featured a grip for one or two hands. This longsword variant remains popular among HEMA enthusiasts, military historians, and collectors.