Imagining the Martial Arts: Hand Combat Training as a Tool of the Nation

Introduction: The Martial Arts and National Identity in the Popular Imagination While few people can really claim to be experts in either the history or practice of the martial arts, the last six decades of popular culture have given most individuals in the west a set of shared beliefs and impressions about these fighting systems. …

Is Martial Studies Doomed to Disappoint? A Reader Response.

By Stanford Chiou This post is my contribution to the recent discussion at Kung Fu Tea on the place of theory in martial studies (see here and here). There is no escaping the assumptions—or “theories”—on which perspectives are built, and it is indeed preferable to be explicit about such assumptions. However, there is a distinction…

Martial Arts, Embodiment and Transformation: What Do We Know?

Alex Channon and George Jennings. 2014. “Exploring Embodiment through Martial Arts and Combat Sports: A Review of Empirical Research.” Sport in Society (February). Introduction: Why study embodiment in the Asian martial arts? One of the major trends that we have seen in the academic literature on the martial arts over the last decade has been…