Self-defense expert James Williams is the founder of Bugei Trading Company, a renowned source for quality Japanese samurai swords and armor. James Williams runs his own school in Encinitas, California, and oversees a network of samurai weapons instructors and students who carry on his nami ryu system around the United States. In this footage shot at Black Belt magazine, sword master James Williams, a five-decade veteran of the martial arts, depicts how to draw, how to sheath, how to handle and how to cut with Japanese samurai swords.

SAMURAI WEAPONS VIDEO Sword Master James Williams Shows You the Basics of Handling Japanese Samurai Swords

Sword Master James Williams on His Samurai Weapons Style, Nami Ryu:
My system, nami ryu, has kenjutsu and iaijutsu, which is a subset of kenjustu that was useful when you had to draw quickly under stress. It also includes jujitsu, which is the strikes, drops and throws that are identical to the moves done with the sword, as well as shurikenjutsu, tantojutsu, hojojutsu, naginatajutsu and some kyudo. But the big three we work with are kenjutsu, iaijutsu and jujitsu.
Sword Master James Williams on the Importance of Students Learning the History of Samurai Weapons When Learning How to Use Japanese Samurai Swords:
I find it critical [to learn the history and culture] because if you're studying a classical art, you're studying a strategy first. If you're studying a battle strategy, you need to know what the landscape is like in Japan to know why things were a certain way. And if you don't study the history, you'll only get a tiny piece of things. For example, were your techniques designed to work against armor or on the battle field or against civilian garb — flesh, bone and silk?

Japanese samurai swords are serious business. Learn more about how to use them safely in James Williams' in-depth FREE Guide — Samurai Weapons: Sword Master James Williams Shows You How to Start Training With Japanese Samurai Swords!


Sword Master James Williams on the Potential for Accidents With Samurai Weapons When Students Try to Emulate Something They Saw an Actor Do With Samurai Weapons in a Movie:
[Accidents] almost always happen for that reason. When you [train with a samurai sword], small things are always going to happen. The bottom line is, the sword never forgets it's a sword. But sometimes we forget. It bites, and that's what keeps us on the straight and narrow. Do only what you've been shown and be patient with your progress.
[Accidents also happen when] you start hacking away at things in your backyard. The blade probably isn't hitting at the proper angle, and that can cause problems. Anybody can walk out and start whacking stuff, but that makes you just another goofball. You're not doing anything that a warrior would do, and you're not respecting the sword.
Sword Master James Williams on the True Purpose of Samurai Weapons:
I look at the sword as a combat weapon. I don't look at it as a tool for personal development — although you can certainly get that from the training. A long time ago in Japan, they talked about "the killing sword" and the "life-giving sword." One aspect of that is, the only way you can protect — the only way the sword can give life — is if you can kill. If you're not capable of cutting down evil, you can't protect anybody. The only proper use of the sword is to cut down evil to protect and defend. Take your first steps toward becoming a samurai sword master! For more information about samurai weapons such as Japanese samurai swords, click here!
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

Do you want to maximize your self defense skills? Learn the game of combat chess and most importantly the queen of all moves.

Allow me to intercept those who would object to the title of this article. I'm not claiming that there's a secret move, shortcut or hack that will give you the edge in any fight. Even if there was an ultimate weapon or strategy, you likely would avoid it because you
Keep Reading Show less

Training in Hapkido, Watching Billy Jack and becoming a sheepdog

On the East Coast and West Coast, schools had been emerging and multiplying since the mid-1960s, but those of us who lived in "flyover country" had few opportunities to broaden our understanding of arts like karate, kung fu, judo and taekwondo.

At Union University in my hometown of Jackson, Tennessee, I'd been fortunate to train from 1969 to 1970 in the then little-known art of hapkido. In a field-house basement, a Korean student and former captain in the ROK Army known only as Mr. Suh organized and taught the system to a small group of dedicated students. Suh ran a no-nonsense traditional class, and for 10 months, we couldn't get enough of his instruction. Despite the bruises and the blood, we always looked forward to our next session.

Keep Reading Show less

Learn the mechanics and do the drills, then unleash the beast that is your round kick!

Because of its versatility and power, the round kick — known to some martial artists as the turning kick, the saber kick or the roundhouse kick — is one of the most common leg techniques in our world. No matter your particular interpretation, the basics are the same: You swing your leg along an arc until your foot or shin strikes the target.

Keep Reading Show less

How it stacks up agains 3 other go-to responses to an attack

In hand-to-hand combat, you face a constant and undeniable danger. Among other injuries, you can sustain broken bones, torn cartilage and ruptured organs. You also can be knocked unconscious or killed.Over the millennia, various cultures have developed their own techniques and strategies for dealing with such threats. One of the most pervasive is punching. That's the case because in most unarmed encounters, a properly thrown punch is the most efficient and effective tool a martial artist can use.

Keep Reading Show less
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter