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Thread: James Williams cutting festival!

  1. #76
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    I don't get it:

    1) How does these two performances, messieurs Steeves and Williams differ? Yes I understand that mr. Williams had a chance to go to a "better" show that had some fancy camerawork, but fundamentally was there really any difference. Is it really so, that better production sanctions all?

    2) Why does anybody need to be qualified to call someones performance "bad taste"? And let's not go down the live like you preach road; If Tom Cruise were to make a cheap adult movie, I believe that even Ron Jeremy had the right to call it as he sees it! Or if he were to cut animal carcasses with a chain saw "let's see if the Texas chain saw massacre could be real!" It would be a show of bad taste even if; 1- Tom knows it all when it comes to movies. 2- It would be entertaining, I would watch it for sure! and 3- It would be informative, in its limited way.

    And no, I don't think the movie people would get into an argument whether it is "classical" movie making, or if Tom claims to make "classical" movies...

    BTW: I am in no way qualified: I have seen both the Steeves, and the Williams performance, numerous times now, I would watch Tom and chain saw and while I am not an advocate of the adult industries, I would applaud Tom's brave new career!
    A.J. Vedenkannas

    "A horribile Haccapaelitorum agmine libera nos, Domine."

  2. #77
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    Mr Sims,

    While we agree that one's behaviour may change for the worse during a remote exchange, we have a fundamental difference of opinion when it comes to the reason for this adjustment of demeanor, and to the question of whether or not it is a useful to hear what someone really thinks once they feel that social and physical threats have been mitigated. I think we can both say that being rude in correspondence is poor behaviour, but I seem to prefer that this come out in the open than be suppressed for any reason. I see merit in your viewpoint as well, and in your lack of cynicism as to an individual's motives for behaving more courteously in person. We shall have to leave it at that.

    Mr Reyer,

    Thanks for the clarification. I agree with your assessment and am now satisfied.
    Last edited by 100110; 15th December 2008 at 13:36.
    Suhail Merchant

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by 100110 View Post

    The threat may be physical or social, but it is still a threat. You may not mean it, and it may be in the other person's mind, but the reality of the situation will be that they are suppressing their true feelings for fear of reprisal.

    What you describe here is, really, a person with very low self confidence. If you can't go to a martial arts school and speak to the merits of your arguments, in a civilized manner, because of what you describe above, then that person reaaaaally needs further martial arts instruction (to boost self confidence maybe). I cannot imagine feeling this way (suppresing my true feelings for fear of reprisal) just because I disagree with someone and I tell them. No one has threatened anyone from what I see here. I don't know, maybe my career choice has made me into a "knuckle dragger". But, if you can't go up to another man and voice your opinions, even on the subject of martial arts, because you are afraid ("fear of reprisal"), then you are a sorry martial artist. I mean, I've disagreed with other operators on the subject of reflexive shooting, but I've never felt like I should be afraid of being shot for it. That's would just be plain stupid, wouldn't it? Now, if I went to a penitentiary to openly disagree with a convicted fellon, I better be prepared to fend off a shank. Somehow, I just can't see Mr. Williams, or any of his students, as convicted fellon-types. Even if they could indeed cut me to pieces in about two seconds.

    Really, this logic of yours, in my opinion, does not make sense in this case. It really does not.

  4. #79
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    I am not saying that this is my way of interaction. I am urging a better understanding of the many subtexts of social intercourse, and certainly not condoning the sort of behaviour we're discussing. But it does exist, and it is inadvisable to insist that others must be behaving* in accordance with one's own principles. My career choice is not so different from yours, so I do not consider you to be a "knuckle dragger". As for our conclusions on what is poor social behaviour, in this case, and how we would act in similar circumstances, I think we would not be at odds.

    I accept your view. As I said to Mr Sims, we must leave it at that. Our differences of opinion stem from fundamental differences in how we see the relationships between individuals. If we were swordsmen from different schools, one might say we cut differently. I'm satisfied with that. Maybe in ten years I'll adopt a similar viewpoint. Until then, we needn't divert ourselves with this engaging but ancillary colloquy any further. To reiterate, and conclude: I accept your reasoning.


    ____
    * Not "must behave".
    Suhail Merchant

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirk.bruere View Post
    Times change.

    Maybe you should just get the Pope of Koryu to excommunicate the guy.

    Dirk
    We have a pope?
    Awesome!
    Dan Weber

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Weber View Post
    We have a pope?
    Awesome!
    It is an interesting analogy - excommunication. The Pope can certainly remove one from his flock, but this power will not apply to one who follows a different faith.

    Those involved in a JSA, will know there is much politics in all ryuha, having a government to police budo is simply not possible.

    Each line can only govern themselves, and as Mr Williams is the head of his line - well then that's his problem.

    A Hamon only will apply to a servant of a said Koryu and in this case will not apply to Nami Ryu as in this case Mr Williams is the Pope.

    Having said that, I am not of Mr William's flock so my interest is merely as an observer, but I do like the analogy.

    Cheers

    Jason

    BTW, I don't agree with his use of the words overuse of the terms -Samurai and Classical... but not enough to get upset by.
    Jason Anstey

    "I'm not very smart but I can lift heavy things"

  7. #82
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    FIGHT...(real, koryu guys would just cut each other down.)

    That will settle it all.

    Aaron Fields

  8. #83
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    Maybe it's just me, but - in the scheme of it all - does anyone else realize how utterly pointless this discussion was?

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juan Perez View Post
    does anyone else realize how utterly pointless this discussion was?
    It gave me something interesting to look at during some boring classes, so I would say that it served its purpose well.

    Oh, wait, did the rest of you not know that your purpose in life is to amuse me?
    David Sims

    "Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum." - Terry Pratchet

    My opinion is, in all likelihood, worth exactly what you are paying for it.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juan Perez View Post
    Maybe it's just me, but - in the scheme of it all - does anyone else realize how utterly pointless this discussion was?
    It's not just you
    Suhail Merchant

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDATFUS View Post
    did the rest of you not know that your purpose in life is to amuse me?
    [cue Governor of Rome voice] "Bring me James Williams - he amuses me"
    Andrew Smallacombe

    Aikido Kenshinkai

    JKA Tokorozawa

    Now trotting over a bridge near you!

  12. #87
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    I have never posted before on ebudo. It is to those of you having issues with Mr. William's that I address this clarification. I have known James William's as a fellow student, a loyal teammate, and a lifelong friend. Our acquaintance spans some thirty-eight years.
    When we first met, Mr. William's and I became embroiled in several bloody, painful battles: gloved, bare-knuckled, brandishing sticks, holding bricks, knives, guns, and yes, even farm implements as we trained. Later, I had the honor of traveling throughout the world fighting along side him in numerous kickboxing and ‘anything goes’ contests, and full-contact stick fighting events. We attended these full-contact fights everywhere and anywhere we were invited. And some that we were not. We had the great fortune to have been trained and coached under a man whom was twenty years ahead of his time, Dr. Frank Scalercio, in Santa Rosa California.
    Later, James and I trained under the instruction of Soke Don Angier and Sensei John Clodig for many years. We also studied with several other well-respected instructors, including the Gracie's and Machado’s, in their old backyard garage, before they went on to greater recognition. Over time, the techniques and principles gleaned from these varied instructors were compiled by Mr. William's into his core curriculum. Folk dance, wind fighting, colored belts and ‘secret techniques’ were not included.

    I spent several years traveling with Soke Angier to attend a variety of events and seminars. During that time, and still to this day, I have only seen a handful of legitimate true Aiki jujitsu systems that are recognized both inside and outside of Japan. Soke Angier spent years searching for others of like knowledge to discuss and share the principles of Aiki Jujitsu, but few were found. Many professed to be knowledgeable, but very few actually possessed the true principles of Aiki jujitsu. Sharing the same desire for learning from additional Aiki masters, Mr. William's began hosting seminars. He brought Soke Angier, Kuroda Tetsuzan Sensei, Okamoto Seigo Sensei, Mikhail Ryabko, and many others from all over the world into his Dojo for demonstrations. The search for others exhibiting this elite wisdom is ongoing. So to me it’s amazing that suddenly, out of the blue, there are so many expert voices. Twenty years ago, you could count the legitimate teachers and recognized systems outside of Japan on two hands.

    As for Mr. William's and his business, let me just say that without his dedication to improving the practice-sword market, none of us would have access to the inexpensive, yet extremely functional blades that we benefit from today. It was not long ago that the only swords on the market were those you might find at garage sales or gun shows. There just wasn’t anyplace one could go to purchase a functional, new blade.

    In the late 1980’s, several of the top Aiki jujitsu and kenjitsu practitioners were gathered in Soke Angiers front yard test-cutting. I and many others witnessed several extremely expensive, antique, museum-quality blades, broken during the demonstrations. That was the spark that inspired Mr. William's to develop Bugei. He brought blades to the market to be used as practice tools in an effort to spare those ‘destined to greatness’ in the museums and collections throughout the world.

    It took several blade smiths and prototypes to find the correct combination of quality and economy. (Believe me, I know. I have had several in my garage that did not make the grade.) Demonstrations are often times used in business to validate ones product. Test-cutting is no different. It validates the blade.

    As with the spirit of the blade comments, let’s examine history. The Japanese practiced test-cutting on thousands of live and dead prisoners during every era, including countless thousands in WW2. Soke Angier has numerous Hojojitsu ties that were designed for just that purpose: to hold prisoners in specific positions to enable practice and testing of ones blade. This practice was handed down for hundreds of years in many styles and family systems including Yanagi Ryu. Perhaps it takes live human blood to create the ‘spirit of the blade’. I personally don't see that as part of a current legal curriculum.( Hence todays use of tatami for tamashagiri ). However, it was a strong and legitimate practice up until the forties. I don’t hear much discussion about the past brutality that inspired these systems in the first place. Instead, esoteric view points about the mysticism that makes everyone feel good are uttered.
    As for the legitimacy of Nami Ryu ,It is far from an American concoction. To say that it is an American concoction implies challenge to the legitimacy of Soke Angier and Yanagi Ryu. It is true that what Mr. William's teaches is a body of his life's experiences, a compilation, based on core principles taught by Soke Angier and others, rather than movement for movements sake.

    I do not practice or claim to be some big shot in any system. Rather ,I seek what works. I always have, and I always will. I could care less about ranking and things to hold up my pants. I apply what Soke Angier has taught me within the application of western martial sciences, combined with a strong George Silver influence. Both men share many similarities as one would expect. It has been my experience when studying the Asian arts, that more time was spent on hypocritical politics and arguments about legitimacy than truly learning how to fight. Many
    so-called practitioners are focused on being all dressed up and most could not fight their way out of a martini bar.( Not that there is anything wrong with martini’s ) I always thought it was the ultimate goal of the martial arts TO FIGHT, not talk.

    If you show up to any of the Brazilian, MMA, or realistic combat science schools (as Mr. William's and I have done for many years together) you will see it’s all about what you bring to the mat, the ring, or the cage that counts . It doesn’t matter how many scrolls you have on the wall. The only thing that matters is what do you have and what can you bring to the fight. It is the same thing when working with the dog brothers and others like them. They bring the true fight to reality. That’s what it’s all about. In a more traditional manner that's what Mr. William's brings to his students. His realistic approach maintains both the modern and ancient concepts and principles of combative application.

    Maybe it’s fear or jealousy that causes people to resent Mr. William's his freedom to search for alternates to the older set patterns of folk dance and wind fighting for a curriculum... knowing deep inside that they might have wasted several years in pattern-play while not being tested for a real bout on the floor or mat.

    There are those that have been asked and have excepted the responsibility to carry on a particular style and system as recognized as fully legitimate. I have only the greatest respect and admiration for the sacrifice and dedication to what they do. However, to those that believe that one needs some kind of license from some political body I reply: How many legitimate styles and system are out there that some maverick, at some point didn’t split away from some other system or style because of politics and bad blood? Again, I say, almost all of them.
    It only gets to one thing in that dark alley or when you are confronted with a bad situation.....and that is what can you do and how fast and efficiently can you eliminate the threat. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just bring it on and it better be real and effective. As doctor Frank Scalercio said, if it takes more than ten seconds, someone screwed up. If not, then its all smoke and mirrors and fancy period costumes. It’s what Soke Angier calls, the golden rain shower of mystical magical nonsense.

    Respectfully to all,
    This is just one mans opinion.
    Cheers,

  13. #88
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    Excellent commentary Mr. Slocombe.

    Speaking from an "old school" perspective...

    The interesting thing about the commentary criticizing Mr. Williams as against classical/traditional/old school ways is that the comments are being made by persons who don't have authority. Giving an opinion about someone, publicly, without consulting your sensei, and their sensei, and their sensei, and other powers in your budo world is NOT old school. We, as students, don't have an opinion. Our opinion is that of our teacher unless told otherwise by our teacher. That's the way it is. By stating an opinion (again from an old school perspective) your stating that opinion for everyone in your group and you're the designated spokesperson for that group. Is that the case here? I don't know. I'm not defending Mr. Williams; I don't have an opinion. But I will argue the logic being used by persons criticizing his way as non-traditional without having the authority to do so.

    Happy New Year to everyone.

    Yours in Budo,

    Andrew De Luna
    Daito Ryu

  14. #89
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    I wasn't going to write this, but I just couldn't help myself!
    If either one of you gentlemen would take the trouble to actually read what was written, you'll find that the original poster is the only one vilifying Mr. Williams and his art. For some odd stalkerish reason, he tends to do that every time Mr. Williams is mentioned. The vast majority of the rest of the posts simply mention how some people didn't care for the fact that he was cutting up foodstuffs for TV, and some people didn't care for his flashy promotional ways, and still others didn't care for his insistence and useage of the words "Classical" and "Samurai", which implies koryu, when it's his own created art.

    There's nothing at all wrong with expressing an opinion on a forum such as this one. I know of no koryu school that forbids its members from having their own opinions. How you express that opinion is a reflection of your school, but every individual is required to have their own mind, no matter what school they train in.

    It doesn't matter one bit how incredibly talented, or not, Mr. Williams may be, how many years he's been practicing, or whether he personally defeated Frank Dux at the the illegal kumite! People can (and will!) express their opinions on anything that is thrown out on the internet for public consumption.

    Also, while it's true that Bugei's work with Paul Chen's Hanwei forge upped the quality of the work he produced, I believe his first Japanese style swords were already on the market before Bugei became involved with him. I think that's correct, but the mid-90's is stretching my memory back a bit.
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

  15. #90
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    Paul,

    Like I wrote before, I'm writing from an "old school" perspective and writing about PUBLIC opinion. Of course, you should have your own opinion but you keep it to yourself until you've paid your dues to be credible and respected, either within an organization or the public at large.

    Yours in Budo,

    Andrew De Luna

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