If you are a martial artist based in the UK? If so, I have a request.
The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) (Amendment) Order 2008 bans all curved swords. This includes Japanese katanas, Chinese Dao, Russian shashkas, and so on. It does not, however, ban straight swords – so if I moved back to the UK, I could not take my shashkas (which are blunt replicas) but I could take a genuine, sharpened jian. The reasoning behind this is not clear to me.
In any case, the new coalition government in the UK has set up a new ‘Freedom‘ website, and is asking UK citizens to submit suggestions for the repeal of laws which should be repealed, since they restrict civil liberties or are simply unnecessary.
I would ask you to take a look, and add your voice to calls for the repeal of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) (Amendment) Order 2008. There are already several posts addressing that. I would suggest that you contribute to an existing conversation rather than start a new one, in order to keep the argument focussed. Please don’t launch into a spur-of-the-moment rant; try to make thoughtful, well-reasoned (and spell-checked) contributions; this will help the argument to be taken seriously, and less hard to dismiss us martial artists as meat-heads.
Also, please only contribute if you are a UK citizen; I’m sure that our transatlantic cousins will take an interest in this exercise in democracy, but please don’t muddy the waters by weighing in on a matter that doesn’t affect you.