2011 news archives
December 22, 2011
- In the past 10 days or so, we have completed a series of blade tests at our new forge in South Korea. We took several L6 katanas and tried to bend them (unsuccesfully), test cut various frozen hard woods, and cut more than 1,000 green and dried bamboo poles (with and purposely without good blade algnments). We twisted and curved the cuts to simulate all kind of cutting mistakes, and the blade did not suffer any damage at all. We are very glad to report that the all L6 blades produced by Mr. Wang Kim meet strict MAS quality standards and we can take new orders now. In addition, Mr. Wang has incredible talent in fitting design and blade and tsuba carving. We will be able to continually offer horimono service.
- We are extremely confindent with our blade quality that we will again offer lifetime blade guarantee on all our new swords. Also, all previous MAS swords are continually being covered by the lifetime blade warranty.
- MAS will discontinue several in-stock models and will introduce new in-stock models, as well as fitting options.
December 10, 2011
- MAS staffs will be in Asia conducting the final tests of the sword at our new forge. We won't be able to ship any swords between December 10 and December 31.
- We are accepting custom orders again now.
October 23, 2011
- Our search in finding a new master smith is going well. We are currently ironing out some of the details with the master smith, Mr. Wang Kim, in South Korea. We have been extremely impressed with his talent and we are looking forward to offering his excellent work to our customers. We will keep you posted on the progress. Our current plan is to start offering custom products again before Christmas.
October 2, 2011
- Many customers were asking about the availability of our proucts. Any item that is marked as in stock is available for sale. We cannot make any modification to any of these items.
September 19, 2011
Thank you for your support and kind words you have sent regarding our master smith's health while we were shut down in the month of August. MAS started about 15 years ago with a goal to serve martial art communities by providing high quality training equipment. As we set out to produce katanas and jingums, we decided to employ the traditional 'art' of sword making but with help of modern metallurgical engineering technology. We had assembled a team of craftsmen and engineers who specialized in different areas of sword making and metallurgy. We used the most expensive and highest quality steel from Japan (we could have imported steel from China at a fraction of cost but we did not choose that option). All blades were forged and heat treated using modern equipment with high precision control. And we tested, and tested, and tested our products. As a result of our extreme quality control program, MAS has gained a reputation for producing extremely reliable swords, and we received endorsement from many martial art practitioners and colleagues. The founders at MAS believed that everyone involved in the manufacturing of our swords should have accountability for their work, and this was a departure from pretty much all other sword vendors in the market. Our master smith basically handled the forging, heat treating and blade shaping part of work.
Early this year, he was involved in a motorcycle accident. After a few reconstructive surgeries, he came back to work (and we had to extend the delivery time to 10~12 weeks from previous 6~8 weeks) but recently his doctor warned that he should stop working or risk loosing his arm mobility permanently. While it is our desire to continue to operate the forge, we cannot take such risk for Mr. Park. After many days and nights discussion, we regret to say that we decided to close the current MAS forge. We spent the last month finishing the remaining orders and also saying farewell to our colleagues, most of whom will be moving on to other opportunities.
However, We plan to continue MAS operation, albeit with some setbacks (please continue to read).
- We still have quite few completed swords (katanas, jingums, kagums and iaitos), and we will sell the stock items as soon as we finish counting inventories. These will be the last of MAS first generation products and there are less than 500 swords in circulation in total.
- We are in process of contracting 2 other forges to produce swords for us. MAS will transfer the manufacturing know-hows (such as steel sourcing, handling, heat treatment, etc) and enforce our quality control standard. MAS will also conduct testing of the finished products. The MAS master smith and a metallurgical engineer will be working as consultants on site at these forges (or it could be just one forge). This means we will continue to offer high quality swords that are comparable to the current MAS swords.
- The potential setbacks include initial delay in production (because MAS has to be sure of the product quality before we can start selling them), longer custom sword delivery time (possibly up to 12 weeks) and changes in custom sword options.
We are very positive that the our new contract forge(s) are capable of producing quality products for our customers, and we are very much looking forward to returning to serving you. We have had so many happy customers who have regularly provided us positive feedbacks, and that really motivates us to continue to do good job.
August 19, 2011
We are temporarily halting our retail operation. We apologize for the inconvenience.
- Due to our master smith's health problem, MAS is not currently accepting any new custom sword orders. The existing custom sword orders will be fulfilled.
- MAS stock swords are temporarily unavailable for purchase as we need to fulfill existing delivery comittement.
January 27, 2011
- Dear UK Customers: MAS will ship Jingums and Katanas to UK for free in the month of February. Please use 'ukfship' coupon code.
January 5, 2011
- We are back from the holidays and we will be introducing some new models soon. Please stay tuned.