View Full Version : Sword Show Demonstrations
04-13-2001, 06:39 PM
A sword show occurs soon. Several Japanese martial arts demonstrations are staged there. One of them is by a group that are a well-known fraud. At least two e-budo readers contacted the organisers to apprise them of facts they may not have known regarding this group. The response they got from one official they passed along to me, asking me to comment on it, since I have written before about fraudulence in the classical martial arts. The exchange was so educational for me I hope e-budo readers will agree and forgive me for the length of this post.
In the belief that even those who make near-perfect asses of themselves in private correspondence ought have some protection against unfair public humiliations, to save him the embarrassment he richly deserves, I will not name this official, and refer to him only as OO: Officious Official. I shall, as well, paraphrase the responses OO made to the readers, confident—looking forward, to be more accurate—that he will post here to correct me if I misstate his arguments.
OO began by acknowledging the “controversy” but insisted he is not qualified to make judgements.
[Really? Then why are you in charge of selecting these demonstrations? And if you are aware of a controversy, don’t you have some obligation to investigate? OO was provided with names and websites like Koryu.com. He was invited to bring the issue up on e-budo. Surely if there was a “controversy,” both sides could present their positions, rendering him more able to make the judgements needed. He showed absolutely no interest in consulting with any authorities they suggested.]
OO did feel adequate in judging the character of the person in charge of the fraudulent group, calling attention to his reliability and deportment.
[Lovely to hear he is a swell fellow. Also utterly irrelevant to the concerns and to the facts given the OO. Nothing I read in their letters to him included any personal comments about the person demonstrating. Instead, the facts were presented. The group was rather convincingly fingered as fakes who have claimed a lineage that does not exist. They may be polite fakes. Amiable fakes. But they are fakes. They are participants in a fraud. Their demeanour does not alter that, though I can understand how it might be more uncomfortable to confront them over this.]
OO maintained he refrained from criticizing that which he did not understand or with which he did not agree.
[Good for him. Every once in a while in life, however, we have to investigate, particularly when we have some powers of discretion over a public event and must make decisions about what is presented. There is a wealth of information available about this group and plenty of experts who can be consulted. “Not understanding” is entirely different from refusing to try.]
It was pointed out that advertisements for this show noted several styles of Japanese swordsmanship would be presented and so did he not owe it to attendees to make some effort to insure that’s what was being demonstrated?
His response was pure Clintonian. It says “several” styles of Japanese swordsmanship, he stressed. Not “all” or “exclusively.” At this point I began to get the picture. The Parse & Wriggle Show.
It gets worse.
OO was asked if any resumes were submitted by those demonstrating. No sirree bob, he explained. He announced that he hails from a part of the country where handshakes are as good as a contract and personal integrity is worth its weight in gold, podnur. Resumes? We don’t need no stinking resumes. So I presume if you have a sword to sell, you ought to make a stop at this show; sounds as if you needn’t worry about them high-falutin’ green papers or other documentation. Heck no. You say it’s a Masamune blade, that’s good enough for them.
OO also said that in his neck of the woods, you don’t get judged by your “past mistakes” but by your present actions. (If OJ, Tim McVeigh, or Idi Amin happen to be readers here, take note: you might want to head on down OO’s way. So long-uns you hain’t murdered nobody here of recent, you’re welcome!)
This OO’s down home philosophy is leavened however, with a bit of Buddhism Lite. While acknowledging sympathy for those who object to frauds insulting the koryu, he preferred to leave it to ”karma,” and claimed he was not the one to “decide and enforce” what others should do.
[This must be the sort of person for whom criminals pray to see on juries.]
Double Ought's line of reasoning became, against all expectations, even more absurd. He argued that by juxtaposing legitimate ryu with the phony one, the latter might be enlightened, the scales falling from their eyes.
[So he implicitly admits suspecting at least that the group is as fake as the correspondents have maintained but so what? Lining them up with the real thing is actually doing them a favour. Never mind that it compromises the reputation of the legitimate ryu. Rather like a jewelry store palming off the occasional ersatz Rolex just so people can use it to compare with the real ones.]
It would have been instructive if the exchange had continued. Unfortunately, the OO responded to the facts not by presenting any facts of his own, not by consulting those accused to see if they could present their own facts, not by consulting the authorities cited by the correspondents. No, he responded by demanding to know the backgrounds of the correspondents. Both demurred; they explained that other members of this group had been harassing and threatening in the past. The OO responded by citing his passion for “integrity” and refused to continue the conversations.
This demand for those presenting facts to provide their own personal histories and ignoring the facts themselves, is a curious one. It’s as if to say the emperor is not, as the boy observes, naked, because the boy refuses to provide proof of his skills as a fashion designer. I noticed both correspondents refrained from personal attacks and instead presented facts that could easily be proven or disproven. They urged the Double Ought not to take their word for anything but to check out all they said. A person with the integrity OO claims would have tackled those facts, I should think. Places like e-budo provide a perfect forum for discussing them openly or, if preferred, for soliciting comments privately. Changing the subject to ask about the backgrounds of those presenting the facts is a convenient way of ignoring the facts. It also told me pretty much all I need to know about OO or any events in which he might be involved.
OO concluded by urging the correspondents to come to the show and have a sit-down with the frauds in question so the frauds might come to see the correspondent’s point of view and vice versa. Gee, and maybe they could roast marshmallows around the fire and sing “Kumbaya.” Sorry, OO. These people are frauds. They are using the cultural traditions of the koryu for their own purposes, claiming lineages they do not have. If I come to your town and begin using your name and reputation as my own, if I glom off that, I doubt that even non-judgmental you would want to have a compromising chat about it. You would make every effort to insist they stop. That’s all the correspondents were doing, so far as I could tell. It's truly unfortunate that someone in OO's position does not share similar impulses.
OO finally requested that the correspondents who were presenting facts he clearly does not want to hear, try to understand his position and to not confuse “simple” with “stupid.” I don’t. I understand the difference.
I know too, that sometimes you can be both.
04-13-2001, 10:47 PM
Dave Lowry writes:
"A sword show occurs soon. Several Japanese martial arts demonstrations are staged there. One of them is by a group that are a well-known fraud. At least two e-budo readers contacted the organisers to apprise them of facts they may not have known regarding this group. The response they got from one official they passed along to me, asking me to comment on it,..."
Wow, that's a lot of commenting for a exchange in which you were not even involved.
Dave Lowry also writes:
"In the belief that even those who make near-perfect asses of themselves in private correspondence ought have some protection against unfair public humiliations, to save him the embarrassment he richly deserves, I will not name this official, and refer to him only as OO: Officious Official."
That is opposed to one who makes a near perfect ass of themself in public by writing about conversations in which he/she did not take part, and without naming any of the particulars of the conversation, such as what group is actually being discussed.
In all fairness Mr. Lowry, most can probably guess the group of which you are speaking, and it is admirable that you refrained from mentioning them, thus avoiding the almost inevitable and deplorable bash festival. However, without actually naming the subject of which you are speaking, your post becomes a non-sensical tirade.
I have enjoyed reading many of your books over the years, and though I have not agreed with everything you have said, I do have a good deal of respect for you as a writer. However, I feel that you have really missed the mark this time. Sorry, just my opinion.
On a separate vein, why do so many seemingly respectable martial artist, and others, keep beating their chests over fraudulant claims in the martial arts? On e-budo, you are preaching to the choir. Outside of such forums, you are speaking to the unwashed masses (in terms of their knowledge of budo), or in the case of OO, to a deaf ear. I understand wanting to inform those possesing less knowledge than you about the facts. But why argue?
It might have been much more helpful to the martial arts community, had you named the sword show and the group with fraudulent claims, without making subjective commentary. That way, a reader would be able to decide on their own if they wished to give their support to the show. Then, if they went to the show, they could then decide on their own if they wished to give their support to individual demonstrations. Then, if they gave their support to individual demonstrations, they could then decide with an informed mind, what they thought of the demonstration.
Why is their still so much ranting and raving on a subject that has been beaten to death so many times? Anyone?
Michael D. Heiler
04-14-2001, 04:33 AM
I all fairness I have to disagree.
I dont think you have to participate in a conversation to comment on it, otherwise we might as well go and bin all the history books.
Mr Lowry is an authority on the koryu and as such he is, in my opinion, qualified to comment on matters relating to that field.
As it is, the post dealt with the questionable logic ( perhaps ethics might be more appropriate ) of the event organiser. It that respect, I found Mr Lowry's comments perfectly clear. You may have found them inappropriate, but they were hardly nonsense.
As to why the matter of frauds is brought up, it is clearly explained in the post. Respect for honesty, culture and those that have earned, and I emphasise earned, rank in the koryu.
After several decades of effort practicing and promoting koryu, Mr Lowry feels he has earned the right to voice his opinion.
I for one have no arguement with that.
04-14-2001, 06:52 AM
I personally found Mr. Lowry’s essay to be well written and tactful, and I certainly would say that he has every right to criticize those who would seek to make a name for themselves through claiming fraudulent history in the Koryu arts community. While I understand that some people who have committed a certain amount of their time and training to those who have less than legitimate credentials may feel hurt when their instructors or former school is subject to criticism, I find it interesting to watch as every time the topic is addressed, there is invariably at least one person who jumps up to declare that pointing out the false nature of certain claims is somehow detrimental to the Budo community by means of not letting bygones be bygones. This would possibly have merit if the individual responsible for the false claims were to give up their stories, and cease to claim membership in whatever fictitious community. A gentleman on another forum came to a realization that the art he had defended for so long was in fact a modern creation and not an authentic koryu art…Consequently, he resigned from that community. He is deserving of respect for making this decision, and to continue to criticize him from this point onwards would indeed be petty. For those who continue to maintain the legitimacy of a made up art or tradition, despite a thorough lack of serious evidence, this tolerance is less justified. If I were to attend a colloquium on cellular biology with the fictitious title of a Professor in the Biological sciences and then try to give a presentation on my research into cloning technologies, I would be rightfully challenged by the other attendees. The argument of “ Well, what harm is he really doing?” would not be well received in that community. This is called quality control.
Let me also say that Mr. Lowry’s article is very responsibly written. While there are some people in the Budo community who are known for their sharp tone and strong words directed at specific individuals, Mr. Lowry is not one of them. His writing is characterized by tact, reason, and wit, and he has every right to apply it to those topics he finds to be worthy of his attention
04-14-2001, 02:02 PM
Mr. Becker writes:
"Mr Lowry is an authority on the koryu and as such he is, in my opinion, qualified to comment on matters relating to that field."
Yes, Mr. Lowry is considered as an authority on koryu by many, but it is not clear from his post that he is writing about koryu. Rather, he seems to be commenting on the ability of some individuals to turn a blind eye to the truth. On this topic, he is probably just a qualified, but not any more qualified, to comment on such matters as the rest of us. This is a forum on koryu history and tradition, and not one on the study of human behavior when faced with a fault in our own reasoning. Of course, I'm kinda' violating my own statements by going on this tanget.
I am only an occasional browser of the sword forum, here on e-budo and elsewhere. As such, I can guess, but do not know for sure, which sword show and martial arts group to which Mr. Lowry is refering. For me, and possibly others, it would been much more helpful to know which show and group, and the facts surrounding the questionable claims of the group. That way we could go see such things for ourselves with an educated mind. Having taugh at a few universities for several years, people tend to learn and understand a little better when presented with a few facts, and then allowed to discover, or experience, the truth, rather than merely reading the same volumes of information over and over.
Normally, I do like Mr. Lowry's writing very much. As I said, I just think he really missed the mark this time. And I still don't know for sure what sword show or martial arts group of which he was speaking. If Mr. Lowry wanted soley to comment of OO's behavior, I would say that his post was reasonably well written. If he also wished us to be informed of a sword demonstration by a group with a questionable past, then I would say that the post was not that well written. And I repeat, I still don't know for sure what sword show or martial arts group of which he was speaking.
- Michael D. Heiler
04-14-2001, 08:35 PM
Does it really matter what sword show?? What Mr. Lowry points out (at least as I read his post) is that we've come so far as to not "care" about whether or not someone is authentic in their claims. It would be one thing if someone claimed to be the "super soke-grand master of Hoochi-Koochi Ryu" which they invented this morning. That is something entirely different. But when someone claims to have rank, certification or training in a specific extant ryu-ha then that person should be able to verify said credential.
If I attended Stanford University and was giving a lecture would you allow me to say I received my PhD from Stanford, when you know for a fact that I didn't even receive an undergraduate degree there??
Would someone running a car show advertise John Doe, former President of Ford Motors, if they knew he was a sales rep for Ford??
I won't argue whether or not it is Mr. Lowry's responsibility to say who, where and when, but I do agree that the people running the sword show have a responsibility to advertise only what they know to be true. Would anyone be upset if they advertised "over 150 sword vendors" and when you went to the show there were only 5??
If they advertised a demonstration by John Doe, Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu, I can say as a spectator, I would expect to see some authentic TSKSR. If I didn't I would be looking for the person who set up the demonstrations.
I don't think this is just a matter of the typical "who's good" politics. This is a question a letting someone advertise a credential or affiliation that they don't hold. That's just plain bad business.
04-15-2001, 09:54 AM
Okay, so I don't think the article is that well written, that the article covers two separate topics less coherently than what I've come to expect from Mr. Lowry. Also, I'm a little disappointed that the article is a slam on OO, who some people on this forum can probably identify, and who according Mr. Lowry's article, does not seem to frequent this forum, and therefore is not really in a good position to defend himself. Yeah, yeah, I know, he was invited to join in the conversation. But, if you were still in high school, would you have accepted a offer to a fight with a group of high school gang bangers after class.
Others believe the article to be quite well written, feel they understand the point quite clearly, and is an important one to make on this forum. Enough said, I respect your point of view, and I hope that you respect mine. And I still do not know what sword show and martial arts group are being discussed, so that I might be able to go see this group and other known legitimate sword groups at the sword show.
Now onto a slightly different topic, and a question for Mr. Lowry which this discussion has spawned.
Mr. Becker writes:
"Mr Lowry is an authority on the koryu and as such he is, in my opinion, qualified to comment on matters relating to that field."
Mr. Lowry writes:
"The response they got from one official they passed along to me, asking me to comment on it, since I have written before about fraudulence in the classical martial arts. The exchange was so educational for me I hope e-budo readers will agree and forgive me for the length of this post."
One of the reoccurring questions on this forum seems to be that of legitimacy, and rightly so. This is a forum on koryu history and tradition, and legitimacy as a koryu is the central to anything that should be discussed. When discussing the question of legitimacy, one of the key considerations is, do the paper documents exist to back up the claims being made. For example, Dr. Friday has a Ph.D. in (I believe) history with several years living and studying in Japan, and also is a menkyo-kaiden shihan in Kashima Shin-ryu. All of these things can be verified via a paper trail, and by people who know him from these times.
Many people on this forum regard Mr. Lowry as an authority on the koryu. Now fair is fair. Mr. Lowry, do you consider yourself to be an authority on the koryu? Do you have any documentation to support the belief that others seem to have of you being such an authority? Do you have any degrees in Asian studies, anthropology, cultural anthropology, sociology, or history? If so, what was your area of concentration, when did you graduate, with what degree, and from what institution. What martial traditions have you studied? Who where your teachers and what rank/license did you receive in each of these? Did you live in Japan for any length of time? Do you read Kanji and Kana, and, if so, how well?
I do recall reading that Mr. Lowry has studied aikido and Yagyu Shinkage-ryu in America, and has written for (is it) Black Belt Magazine and a column for Americans visiting Japan. Also, I have read a few of your books, and remember reading that you speak Japanese. I do enjoy your writing quite a bit, however, all of these things I've mentioned combined is still a long way from being an expert on the koryu.
Michael D. Heiler
04-15-2001, 10:36 AM
The great thing for me is that I do Aikido where there is no agreement at all about what is authentic and what is not so I can do whatever I want and I don't have to call it anything but Aikido. Saves me a lot of trouble and i can't be accused of being unethical. That said I think it would be too much to ask of most organizations which sponsor demos to educate themselves about the ins and outs of the martial arts.
Considering that even on this forum, populated as it is with professionals, ther is often some heated debate over whether someone is legit or not. The number of people who seem to be unambiguously accepted by all parties seems regretfuly small. I can't see any non-martial artists being at all interested in trying to get involved in quarells which seem to be arcane even to many people on this forum. It's just too much to ask even if it were desirable. The people who put these things on are very busiy organizing the events, finding the presenters, doing the thousands of little thing sthat make an event work. The very last thing they want is to have someone like Sensei Lowry, an expert in something they don't even want to know about telling them that they have to deal with a problem that they don't even care about.
I think that the issue of fraudulence in the martial arts is important. The ones who are responsible for carrying on the legitimate traditions are demeaned by those who make false claims and teach that which they are not qualified to teach. I think that these issues should be made public ie. through "Bad Budo" etc. But I can't see oustiders taking any interest in these things at all. I think the reaction of the Oficious One would be the reaction of all Officious Ones in a similar postion.
04-15-2001, 01:10 PM
QUOTE : "But, if you were still in high school, would you have accepted a offer to a fight with a group of high school gang bangers after class...?"
YAMANTAKA : You seem to be taking it all very personally against Mr. Lowry, Sir! And, by the way, that's your opinion about us?
04-15-2001, 02:46 PM
You asked how is Mr Lowry an authority?
Recognition by his peers and you know who they are, so please spare us a further post asking for names. You also know why they are considered experts in their field and you know that it is ample enough verification.
Academic qualifications have no bearing on this whatsoever.
You already knew fine well why Mr Lowry is considered an authority before you asked, so please spare us the smoke screen. Mr Lowry is not the subject of this thread.
04-15-2001, 06:35 PM
Sorry, I just realize that some may not be familiar with the proper use of the term "gang banger." It's most commonly used by law enforcement to mean "gang member," such as a member of the "bloods" or "crips." I did not mean for it to be used as it is more widely known, that of a groups of rapists. Again sorry for any confusion or negitive reaction this may have caused.
Michael D. Heiler
04-15-2001, 06:47 PM
Sorry if this comes out twice.
Michael Becker states:
"Mr. Heiler does a full circle and starts attacking the messenger?"
I had a feeling my question might be interpreted this way. However, it was my first post in response to Mr. Lowry's first post that was an attack. I did not like Mr. Lowry's last post or his attack on OO. My previous post was just curiousity. If you look around, Friday, Bodiford, Skoss, Skoss, etc. have all made their qualifications very public. Mr. Lowry has not. Yes, his works are on the "koryu.com", but documentation of his qualifications is not. Given that Mr. Lowry is attacking OO for not banning a group the he (Mr. Lowry) believes is not authentic koryu from OO's sword show, it is not to much to ask for Mr. Lowry to present his own qualifications as an authority on koryu.
Michael Becker states:
"You already knew fine well why Mr Lowry is considered an authority before you asked, so please spare us the smoke screen. Mr Lowry is not the subject of this thread."
No. I believe Mr. Lowry is considered an authority because he has been writing on martial arts for a long time. However, I do not know what is the source of his actual knowledge base. Also, a smoke screen for what? A smoke screen for the fact that I disagree with others on the quality of his last post. I'm guilty. I didn't like it, others did. I always thought the subject of the thread is whatever the posters of the thread collectively wish it to be.
"YAMANTAKA : You seem to be taking it all very personally against Mr. Lowry, Sir! And, by the way, that's your opinion about us?"
I have nothing personal against Mr. Lowry. As I have said several times in this thread, I have a lot of respect for Mr. Lowry, own a copy of several of his books, and will continue to purchase his books in the future, which I hope he will continue to write. Neither do I have a low opinion of members of this forum, otherwise I would not interact with you all on this forum.
What I am saying is simple. I did not think Mr. Lowry's last post was very good.
What I am asking is simple. What sword show and what martial arts group? Had I not given my opinion of Mr. Lowry's post, someone would have probably have answered me by now.
My second question, that concerning Mr. Lowry's credentials is not an attack. It is a legitimate question for this forum, one that is asked of many martial arts groups and individuals on this forum. It seems to be that basis of Mr. Lowry's objection to the mystery groups presentation at the mystery sword show. There demonstration puts them in a place of authority, over show goers who are not in a position to know any better. My question came about because I cannot recall ever seeing an explicit statement of his credentials, even though many assume that he is an authority on koryu. On it's own, is this question too much to ask of anyone speaking from a position of authority. If it is not, then what is the big deal?
I believe my questions are reasonable, and I know they come from position of sincerity. I would appreciate anyone answering the questions I have asked.
- Michael D. Heiler
04-15-2001, 07:39 PM
While I have not read through all the posts, I have no opinion on the yeas or nahs either way, so enough said on that point. I would just like to think Mr. Lowry for all his efforts in helping to maintain the dignity and legitimacy of true koryu arts, or at least shed light on fakes that have no conviction OR legitimacy <chuckles>. Call me a snob or a whatever your derogatory word of choice, but as a person studying under a very old art that will keep me here for decades, I am deeply thankful for those in the koryu community for their constant vigilance and strength of character to open themselves up to attack just to "do the right thing." Earlier in the post, someone asked why Mr. Lowry keeps "beating his chest" or something to that effect. Why? Probably out of principle or love of the traditions. I am not saying that those who don't study long years in a koryu don't have strong principles or concern for koryu, so keep your pants on people. I am saying that those that have studies under a master/teacher for decades (often without a hint that they will ever teach or be given teaching permission) have a deep love and respect for their own koryu in specific and koryu in general, that makes them unusually sensitive to the occurence of frauds and other such nonsense. Those that have not walked the path should show a little $%%# sensitivity to that fact. People telling Mr. Lowry and the other koryu guard to pipe down is like telling consumer rights organizations, the Holocaust socities, any anybody else that has the same aims (but different focus) to pipe down because everybody's sick of listening to it. Humans, by choice I believe, have very short memories. Those people and organizations that continue to keep a lamplight on fraud, barbarism, and any other unpleasant or unjust phenomena, should be applauded and encouraged, not brushed aside.
So maybe you don't like Mr. Lowry's approach. I personally see no problem with it. He and other koryu guard merely ask people to use reason and logic, as well as take the reigns of the burden of proof, if they are going to make the claims that they do. Is this so much to ask? What other objective instruments do we have as humanbeings to learn from each other, the past, society as a whole, and anywhere else?
As to whether Mr. Lowry is an authority or not, none would argue that he isn't an authority in his own tradition. As to the traditions of others? Perhaps not. Is that what is he claiming to be? I doubt it. One doesn't need to be an authority on jack$%#$ to ask people to prove the claims they make. Well, one would need the requisite skills in assessing the authenticity of materials and doing the legwork to determine if a certain school had a heritage in Japan, of course. Perhaps Mr. Lowry has all those skills. Perhaps he doesn't. But I have no doubt that he would have the integrity to call on the skills and abilities of other veteran members of the community if he felt he lacked the certain skill required to make a judgement. I have never met the man, but for me, his writings, behavior and his trainining are a good enough indicator to me. Enough with my ranting. That's all have to say. So show a little $&$%$ respect.
04-16-2001, 07:16 AM
Do I consider myself an “authority” in koryu? No.
Authorities in this area, to my way of thinking, generate and reveal facts and theories. I lack the talent, experience, and scholarship to qualify as an authority on koryu. I marshal those facts and theories of the authorities and draw conclusions and observations from them, into various forums: articles and books I hope readers will find interesting, thought provoking, and meaningful.
..all of which is so irrelevant to my original post I wonder why it has been raised as a topic.
My topic was NOT the fraudulent group demonstrating. (Their humbuggery has been extensively detailed and established by some of those authorities; it is neither a matter much for serious contention, nor I reiterate, the subject of my post.) A person in a position of some power was approached by at least two well-intentioned men who were polite, sincere, and objective in presenting some facts and pointing in directions where those facts would be corroborated. The facts were pertinent to decisions that person was making; pertinent as well to the matter of koryu, which is the ostensible reason, we are convened at this site. That person’s response was evasive and petulant. Subsequent responses were uncivil, abusive, and anti-intellectual. My lack of authority is notwithstanding nor germane to my rebuke of these replies. I dislike incivility, abuse, and stupidity; said so, and provided specific examples of their instance. That was the subject of the original posting.
I am gratified the majority of readers seemed to have grasped that not terribly obscure point, agreed with my sentiments, and were kind enough to tell me so.
04-16-2001, 09:14 AM
Thank you for your honest and concise response. A good writer need not be an expert on his subject, as long as he is able to capture the facts, as you say, generated and revealed by the authorities. I meant no disrespect with my questions as to whether you are an authority on the koryu. I was merely curious on your thoughts, as so many, as indicated by the responses given in this thread, consider you to be an authority.
As I indicated in my second post, I had thought your first post was about the "anti-intellectual" response of the individual coordinating the sword show. I understood the point, but thought your method of delivery distasteful, and did not mean to stir up so much commotion.
Lastly, I do agree with "gmellis" that fraud in the martial arts needs to be uncovered. However, I think a simple statement of the facts would be sufficient.
Michael D. Heiler
04-16-2001, 08:46 PM
Well said! I have read the entire thread, twice, and could not agree more with your position, nor with the clarity and succintness with which it is presented. Your views are excellently presented and supported with coherent thought. Keep up the good work. It helps maintain a high standard of discourse on the Board!
04-16-2001, 10:44 PM
I'm demo-ing Shin Shin Sekiguichi Ryu Batto Jutsu at the "Show", so I'm involved. I received some of those private emails concerning certain fraudulent claims of some of the demoees and made arrangements to talk privately with those demoees after I emailed OO.
Unforunately OO went public and attacked the senders of those "private" e-mails on a sword forum, using rude and often silly comments. If she/he had kept those comments "private" like the emails we would not be back at this conversation again. I know that OO is under a great deal of stress as I've set up a dozen Tai Kai over the years. Please cut her/him some slack over this. Hopefully she/he and all of us will learn from this.
I would appreciate the chance to discuss those histories/lineages at the "show" without having to cut through too much anger/defensiveness. If we could conclude this conversation soon it would help me.
I'm a Koryu/Gendai, practitioner/teacher, not much of a scholar/researcher, who is 50 years old with 32 years in the arts. Even though I know, train or have trained with Otake, Yamada, Nakamura, Hataya, and Saruta Sensei; I look forward to reading anything people like Dave, Guy Power, Darrel Craig, Karl Friday, Bob Elder, ect have to say. Most everyone on this forum could and should learn something from listening to them.
Hope to see all of you at the show. We plan to, demo, drink sake, buy swords and have a great time. I will be in Japan from April 24th through May 10th. If anyone would care to discuss this through private e-mail please expect a response after that or bring it up at the show.
04-17-2001, 05:15 AM
<B>"Thank you for your honest and concise response. A good writer need not be an expert on his subject, as long as he is able to capture the facts, as you say, generated and revealed by the authorities."</B>
I believe Mr. Lowry is very much an "expert on his subject". A look at his kiezu should confirm this. Here is a fellow who has devoted thirty or more years of his life to the martial ways, under extremely competant sensei of legitimate lineage. Should he not be upset ?
I bet that Yagyu Munenori could recognize fraudulent swordsmanship when he saw it. I wonder precisely how many university degrees in anthropology, cultural anthropology, sociology or history he held....
Perhaps Mr. Lowry has the humility not to strut around proclaiming his expertise or authority. There are many in the martial arts who would do well to emulate this quality.
04-17-2001, 08:01 AM
I am going to the Shinbukan, but don't know the exact days. Scott's been talking to Sensei about the time, but has been in mainland China with Sifu Ue training for the last two weeks and is just getting back to Sakai this week(lucky kid). I'll let you know as soon as I do. Hope too see you there.
Scott D. Harrington
04-17-2001, 09:28 AM
Mr. Lowry, thank you for an excellent April Fools letter, entitled ‘Sword Show.’ What a goof! I really laughed and enjoyed your erudite and loquacious comments. So tongue-in-cheek some might have taken it actually serious.
I have enjoyed not only your books, but also your columns. With your material, I sometimes ponder on your message, picking up some budo trivia or Japanese cultural tidbits, always learning from your writing. I look forward to any future works you may release. Though I sometimes wonder what would have happened if you had taken up Tae Kwon Do as a youth. Might we be reading excellent articles on ancient Tae Kyon and Admiral Yi, the influence of Shotokan Karate on the kicking art, or thoughts on Korean crafts with an occasional dig at Japanese hegemony and the resulting insults on the Korean peninsula and people?
Back to your ‘Sword Show’ article. Perhaps I should explain this excellent goof and why it is a joke to some of the newer e-budo readers.
Your Officious Officer is approached by two unknowns, and told to be an arbitrator on (to him) unknown arts from a foreign country by people he doesn’t personally know about a demo which doesn’t make him one red cent. Arranging a show, his only hope about the demo is that they DON’T cut somebody. He has to worry about catering, security, concerns of the attendees and vendors, parking, etc. and not some half-time show.
Next weekend your Officious Officer has a snake show with boa constrictors and rattlesnakes and a host of other problems. Maybe he will have a demo there of religious snake-handlers. That’s a problem! He might have conflicting sects – some claiming the other is not properly pious or use improper biblical interpretations than the other.
The Officious Officer will probably be polite, understanding, point out his ignorance of the relevant verse, and say he has no right to exclude based on interpretation. If pressed, he’ll say it’s God’s will on who gets unbitten or bitten. Kinda like karma – get it?
I really laughed when thinking what the Officious Officer probably told his wife that night. “They then said I should believe them on who to exclude since they have been to Japan. Maybe they can tell me why people over there eat bait.”
You are sly, Mr. Lowry. Most couldn’t have pulled off an April 1 joke like this. I can’t wait till next year.
Maybe you’ll spread a rumor that Koryu Cops have been hired by the BATF. Or Musashi‘s Book of Five Rings is about what he left behind in the bathtub. Or that someone not in the hobby of martial arts took our petty politics seriously.
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