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Thread: James Williams cutting festival!

  1. #31
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    Happy Holidays everyone! I think that the main difference is in the way one "views" (or regards) the sword. I think that if you are not part of a koryu sword school then you will tend to view this type of program as interesting or even educational, because of the tendancy to view the sword as simply a tool, rather than something with esoteric or spiritual value.
    Edward Koschmider

  2. #32
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    As much as I dislike budo for TV or the fact that Mr Williams shows bad judgement in his choice of promotional videos, it is nothing like this, er, fellow:

    http://www.g4tv.com/attackoftheshow/...r-Steeves.html
    Scott Halls
    Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Kenjutsu - Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai
    兵法二天一流剣術 - 無双直伝英信流居合

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottUK View Post
    the fact that Mr Williams shows bad judgement in his choice of promotional videos,
    Hi

    I went back and looked again

    what exactly is he promoting.

    He does not at any time say buy your swords form him or train with him or even say come and see me for classes.

    Whats he promoting???????????

    Looks like he just made an appearance on a tv show and did some sword cutting
    Paul Richardson - Shidoshi
    Bujinkan Lincoln Dojo

  4. #34
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    IIRC budo (inc. the selling of budo-related stuff) is his business. Any time he appears in public he is representing his school and ultimately his business. That is my opinion anyway - and you know what opinions are worth.
    Scott Halls
    Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Kenjutsu - Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai
    兵法二天一流剣術 - 無双直伝英信流居合

  5. #35
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    HI Scott

    then he failed in his promotion of his business then didnt he.

    Not one word of it.

    I think people are looking too deeply into things that are not there.
    Paul Richardson - Shidoshi
    Bujinkan Lincoln Dojo

  6. #36
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    Like I said in my post, it is my opinion and nothing more.

    If dojo leaders/ryu founders such as Mr Williams (or Mr Steeves for that matter) want to cut up animal carcasses on TV for entertainment purposes, then that is their prerogative to do so. Whether or not we think it is bad budo* to do so is ours.

    * unless, of course, carving up meat is part of the curriculum of their ryuha.
    Scott Halls
    Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Kenjutsu - Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai
    兵法二天一流剣術 - 無双直伝英信流居合

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by poryu View Post
    you dont happen to be a vegan or animal rights campaigner do you
    What if he is?
    Alejandro Villanueva.


  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flintstone View Post
    What if he is?
    Well, the question might be asked a little differently: would Sebastian be objecting if the cuts had been confined to rolled tatami, or is it
    "James Williams" he objects to?
    Aaron J. Cuffee


    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    - H.L. Mencken

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by elder999 View Post
    Hello, Captain-thanks, it's good to be back!

    And Happy Holidays back at ya! I hope it's not too hot where you are....
    Thanks, Mr. Cuffee ... and crazy as it sounds ... it's "major" now.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juan Perez View Post
    Thanks, Mr. Cuffee ... and crazy as it sounds ... it's "major" now.
    Congratulations!And thank you for your service
    Aaron J. Cuffee


    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    - H.L. Mencken

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by EddieK View Post
    Happy Holidays everyone! I think that the main difference is in the way one "views" (or regards) the sword. I think that if you are not part of a koryu sword school then you will tend to view this type of program as interesting or even educational, because of the tendancy to view the sword as simply a tool, rather than something with esoteric or spiritual value.

    And Eddie makes an especially valid point, in that Mr. Williams is likely using swords from his company, swords that could have been made the day before the performance was filmed, and thus tools, and not something with representative esoteric or spiritual value beyond that imbued by their user.
    Aaron J. Cuffee


    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    - H.L. Mencken

  12. #42
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    Just my .02:

    First, as I understand it, James Williams does train in at least one koryu sword art under a Japanese teacher. If that is so, then whether or not he has done something wrong in this case is largely between him and his teacher, between him and his students, between him and other people closely involved.

    Secondly, I admit that I'm very leery of some of these cutting demonstrations. There is an excellent article on the website of the Takamura Ha Shindo Yoshin Kai that touches on some of the dangers of these public cutting demonstrations. I think that behind the esoteric and mystical reasons for not using swords in this manner lies the simple common-sense concern that it gives the wrong people the wrong ideas. Do we really want to give those high school kids who have already gone online and bought themselves a 440 stainless Sam-o-rai sword the urge to go out and buy a leg of lamb and start making their own youtube videos?

    Safety concerns like that aside, I also think that some of this stuff is in very questionable taste. The previous incident that we all remember with the (Jinenkan?) sword instructor who cut up melons and sides of beef on a television show definitely struck me as a bit over the line, and a lot of other people felt the same way. If James Williams did the same thing, the same standard should apply. For what it's worth, I think that what he did was slightly different-- as people have pointed out, the nature of the show itself was a bit different, and the whole thing was treated more as an experiment than as a chance to show off. I'm still not entirely comfortable with it, to tell you the truth, but I can see how reasonable people could differ in whether or not he did anything in bad taste. As a side note, I would have been a lot happier if they hadn't referred to him as a "samurai" in the show, or if the show had been a historical documentary. But that's not entirely within his control.

    Finally, I think that it is actually important that we talk about this as an online community. After all, what James Williams does on television reflects on other sword-swingers in America, and some of us might find ourselves facing similar choices. Sharing opinions about what is right and wrong in this case and debating our reasons why is probably healthy, but at a certain point we have to remember, as one person has already commented, that we aren't the budo police. Scott really summed it up early in the thread when he said,
    If dojo leaders/ryu founders such as Mr Williams (or Mr Steeves for that matter) want to cut up animal carcasses on TV for entertainment purposes, then that is their prerogative to do so. Whether or not we think it is bad budo* to do so is ours.
    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.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDATFUS View Post
    we aren't the budo police.
    Pity.

    Mr. Williams' choice to cut up meat and other food items is clearly his own. Doing it to test and/or demonstrate the cutting ablility of a katana is his moral dilemma.

    How it affects us is largely dependent on how it affects the individuals (or induhviduals) with no understanding of budo watching the program. Do they see the cutting as a detatched, clinical demonstration, or do they perceive martial arts as some kind of gladatorial entertainment? (Remember the host on the program Steeves appeared on - "go on, let's see you cut this" attitude)

    Finally, there is a lesson for anyone who appears in the media. You have little control over how the media represents you.
    Andrew Smallacombe

    Aikido Kenshinkai

    JKA Tokorozawa

    Now trotting over a bridge near you!

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew S View Post
    Pity.
    Okay, have it your way: from now on, we are the budo police.

    "You have the right to use silent kiai; any kiai you vocalize can and will be used against you in a court of law. You also have the right to commit hara-kiri; if you cannot afford a second, one will be provided for you."
    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.

  15. #45
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    I will advise some people here to be more cautious in their words as you may be subject to a duel proposal in Sensoji's courtyard at dawn

    For the moderating I will only say that there is a great lack of clear judgement
    and a great amount of double standards from some moderators on this forum, without naming any names, of course, but they know who they are.

    As for James Williams, well, what can I say...

    From kenbu hakama, osoraku horimono on tanto, theories on 'real' warriors sporting extra long tsuka, Blackbelt Magazine to cutting up Miss piggy on The Discovery Channel. Now he is also claiming 30 years of training in kenjutsu. From where? 10 years training with Kuroda Tetsuzan?(in reality his ten years is a few days or a few weeks every 1 or 2 years which in reality would amount to a year or 2 of training in kenjutsu). His 'classical' perspectives and theories always smell of someone with a big ego "look at me!" type of mindset, and all this coming from someone who can't read, write, speak or understand standard Japanese. Mr. "Don't touch the sword while performing noto" because that's not classical, and then goes on and chops up full of oily stuff on TV.


    Futhermore, this has nothing to do with being a vegan or an animal rights activist, those hippies are usually all BS anyways. What it's really about (putting this in a 'classical' perspective') is the respect and value of food in the past and the quantity of people it would of fed.
    Tom Karazozis
    °®«ΛιΘ -Kanshiketsu!

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