Traveling with swords...tips? Experiences?

Discussion in 'Misc. Sword Arts' started by Carol, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    Recently at a seminar I met a person that is heavily involved in sword training. I was intrugued by the travel case the artist was using...a black cloth shoulderbag that looked like a case for a musical instrument. The white logo of the company (which included a thinly stitched sword in the design) sewn in to the bag was the only hint of the contents inside.

    So, for you sword practitioners...how do you carry your swords?

    Have you flown with them? If so, how do you package them for the rigors of the cargo bay?

    Have you traveled internationally? Any experiences to share relating to swords and customs?

    I've heard it said before that, esepecially in the US, when one is traveling with Martial Arts weapons on one's person (or in one's vehicle), that one should also be in posession of other items that identify oneself as a martial artist....such as MA shoes or uniform or a T-shirt identifying the name of your school. Is this a practice that you follow?

    Alternatively, for the good folks that live outside of the US, is this practice necessary for where you live?

    Any tips...feedback....experiences...stories....all are greatly appreciated! :)
     
  2. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    I've flown both domestic and international and simply checked in my equipment which included "live" swords and even knives. I don't believe there are serious concerns providing they are checked in. My biggest concern was whether or not I would see them again. It was in my stick bag which was packed in a larger bag with martial arts books, videos, t-shirts etc.
     
  3. Douglas

    Douglas New Member

    Hi, I've dabbled in every sword art I could find over the last 30 years, and even traveled with swords. Heck, I once packed a spear and shield on an airplane - check-in baggage of course.

    Avoid the tendency to get a rifle case and use that; it'll attract way too much attention. Your instinct to use something designed for musical instruments is sound :) it protects delicate instruments and doesn't attract attention. Golf bags are also good.

    Bon voyage!

    -Douglas
     
  4. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    Golf bags! Never even thought of something like that.

    The shoulder bag that my friend was carrying was designed specifically for swords...but...it was so discreet and professional looking I never would have guessed she was carring bladed weapons. She could be carrying that case anywhere and no one would have batted an eye.

    Douglas, do you have any good or amusing stories to share about your travel? I personally don't. I have a few stories about lost luggage, but none about traveling with bladed weapons. :D
     
  5. Douglas

    Douglas New Member

    I was once arrested for carrying a boot dagger. I had a machete with me at the time and after the dust had cleared, the police gave the machete back to me, almost with apologies. ;)
     
  6. Sheldon Bedell

    Sheldon Bedell New Member

    Many years ago when i would hitch hike to my instructors school I carried my sword in a leather case over my shoulder. The police stopped me a few times, mostly to tell me it was illegal to hitch hick, but never once asked for my sword. They did ask why i has one and a large belt knife but after explaining where I was going and having my uniform and other weapons in my other bag the police where always satisfied.
    Also many years ago when some of the flying regulation where a bit laxer I was with a group and one of our members forgot he had his balisong on him, The officials at the airport confiscated it but the did give it to the pilot and it was returned to our member when he got off the plane
     
  7. media

    media New Member

    Recently came back from a trip to the Philippines. Brought a barong and kris (wrapped very diligently.) No problem through airport security in Manila and the States.
     
  8. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    Welcome to FMAtalk, Media! Glad you joined us :)
     
  9. media

    media New Member

    Thank you! Honored to be join a great group discussing my beloved art.
     
  10. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Just check them in and pray that they actually get delivered. If I was taking one of my really expensive swords then I would fed ex it to the hotel I was going to. (insure it and enjoy it when it arrived) Otherwise just check them in and pray! [​IMG]
     
  11. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    Ooohhh...FedEx'ing. What a great idea...and an option I didn't really think of. :)
     
  12. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    The pleasure is ours :bow:

    Don't be afraid to introduce yourself in the Meet and Greet section. We love talking about training around here :)
     
  13. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I hadn't thought of FedEx/UPS/etc. either, but now that it's mentioned it does seem like an obvious idea. They'll all benefit from the airline security concerns. Of course...they then just put the stuff on their own planes!
     
  14. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Yes, when you get into really expensive swords then Fed Ex is definately an option.
     
  15. kuntawguro

    kuntawguro -== Banned ==-

    weapons on planes

    I went to Orlando for a seminar. With me i took 2 kris 2 barong, 20 sets of sticks, 10 sibat, and a ton of small blades. I put the knives and swords into a gear bag and put th e blades in T shirts. the sticks and sibat were in a SKI bag. They made it there and back with no problems.
     
  16. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    traveling with swords.... tips

    take it from experience, FEDEX will not transport sharp and pointy items due to their security requirements.. I tried to bring in some karambits from Indonesia that I had ordered from an acquaintance who lived there.. when he took them to FEDEX, he was told that it was against their regulations to ship anything like that.

    When I traveled back and forth to the Philippines and the states with blades, I put them in a suitcase with a couple of my business cards on the outside as identifiers. There was one time when I was coming back through Manila where I almost lost my whole shipment when security there x-rayed the package that I had them wrapped in, but when they asked me why I was traveling with swords and machetes, I told them that I was an instructor who just finished a month's worth of training in the country and the blades were gifts from my instructor..

    I've had more problems with the airport rentacops and tsa than I have had in all the international travels that I've done in the last 30 yrs. I actually had a kubotan that was a gift from one of my instructors taken from me in Philadelphia when I was coming back overseas.. The argument between the rentacop and myself made me late for my plane due to this jerk wanting to be an armchair counterterrorist specialist by overstepping his grounds and authority.. I wound up having the kubotan sent back to my home on guam after expressing my opinion on his abilities to recognize the difference between a piece of metal and a keychain. After that I went to the lanyard with keys on it, less hassle and more options for use when on a plane if needed.. BTW: anyone know where I can get some lanyards made with kevlar? after all, a person always needs a place to put their pens or keys when traveling.
     
  17. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    When I was in the Philippines last year I had a bit of trouble when flying in country with my blades...it cost me some pesos to the local authorities and they let me go. On the way home I was also questioned but eventually aloud to take them out of country after they secured and banded my luggage.

    I recently came home from a seminar I did in Chicago and was detained by the police in Midway airport...they asked me why I checked a bag full of sticks and a live blade sword & knife...I am still unsure what the problem was but they hassled me for about 20 minutes or so and then let me go....

    My instructor Yuli Romo was trying to send some blades via UPS from Manila to me in Texas and UPS would not allow him to send them..thus I will bring them back on my next trip this summer....

    So make sure you have a little pay off cash on hand when your travelling in the PI and just stay cool and you should be able to bring some blades home...
     
  18. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Juggler’s Knives Inspire a Command Performance

     
  19. tjp

    tjp New Member

    One thing that has worked for me is "out of sight, out of mind".

    Generally when I fly I like to wrap my edc blades in socks and put them in an extra pair of shoes in my bag. If I am travelling with something bigger than a folder, I wrap it in clothes, and put it in the middle of my bag. I have found that packing this way adds some extra protection whether it be from rough handling of my luggage, to prying eyes and possibly sticky fingers.

    Hope this helps,
    Tony
     
  20. sjansen

    sjansen New Member

    The golf bag idea came up in a black belt magazine article that I read several months ago. You will not have to pay for an oversized bag and will not get the questions you usually get.
     

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