No, don't cut it in half. Unless you want the locking mech to be SUPER noticable..Which would look really bad..There's not much you can do..You could, however, make the hand guard a slip cover that slips over the bottom of the blade, but you would need a way to keep it together still..
Cosplay DA Regular DA
-Fate Testarossa (Mahou Shojo Lyrical Nanoha A's) ~90%-
-Ryouko Ookami (Ookami san and her 7 companions) ~75%
-Amy Sorel (Soul Calibur) 25%-