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Fay defends way of the sword.

Byline: By Emma Brady

A leading Birmingham businesswoman has called on the Government to rethink its plans to ban samurai swords in Britain.

Fay Goodman, who runs a media firm and sits on the board of the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, is one of the world's leading martial arts experts. Earlier this month Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said the sale, import and hire of samurai swords could be banned by the end of the year.

However Miss Goodman, a 7th Dan teacher in Iaido - Japanese for the Way of the Sword - argued that the proposed ban would not take dangerous weapons out of circulation.

While official martial arts organisations like the To-Ken Society of Great Britain and the British Kendo Association are exempt under the consultation paper, it was claimed the ban was a "knee-jerk reaction" to the number of violent crimes involving imitation samurai swords.

Miss Goodman said: "The reputation and profile of genuine samurai swords have been clouded by the national press incorrectly linking them to crime.

"But these weapons have no association with the samurai, with any values, ethics or principles practised by those who follow the Way of the Sword. The fact is criminals do not spend pounds 2,000 on samurai swords which are used in martial art disciplines such as Iaido.

"Unfortunately most crimes of this nature are committed with a common knife which is accessible in every day life from kitchen to restaurant and can be easily bought from a corner shop or supermarket. To genuinely address violent crime, we need to tackle social behaviour, attitudes, opportunity for crime and violence fuelled by alcohol and drugs"

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Fay Goodman with her samurai sword
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 19, 2007
Words:284
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