In terms of length... I do "haidong gumdo," a Korean form of melee saber fighting. My sword, when the blade tip is resting on the ground, comes up to my hip bone or a little bit above. My bamboo practice sword is a bit longer, and more awkward if I am doing a low block/slash. Measure from your hip bone to the ground, add about 2" and try that. Remember that that measurement includes your hilt (between 12-15" long, depending on the size of your hands). If you're a guy with big hands, it's probably going to have to be longer.