An illustration from Hans Talhoffers "Fechtbuch" von 1467.  Source: Wikimedia (public domain).
An illustration from Hans Talhoffers “Fechtbuch” von 1467. Source: Wikimedia (public domain).

The following is guest post by Sixt Wetzler, dvs-Kommission Kampfkunst & Kampfsport (  While Martial Arts Studies is, by its very nature, an international and interdisciplinary subject, we generally see relatively little discussion of the scholarship that is happening in languages other than English.  Due his academic background and research interests Sixt Wetzler is well positioned to discuss some of the exciting developments that are currently underway in the German language literature, and I am very happy that he agreed to write the following review to share with the readers of Kung Fu Tea.  I think that anyone who is interested in the development of Martial Arts Studies as an academic field will find his essay to be just as interesting as I have.






In March 2011, the first German conference for martial arts studies was held at the University of Bayreuth. Initiated by Prof. Peter Kuhn (University of Bayreuth) and Prof. Harald Lange (University of Würzburg), this conference also marked the beginning of the ‘Commission for Martial Arts & Combat Sports’ (Kommission Kampfkunst & Kampfsport) within the German Association for Sports Science (Deutsche Vereinigung für Sportwissenschaft – dvs). With their interdisciplinary approach, the conference of 2011 and the newly founded commission can be seen as a turning point for the German speaking literature on martial arts studies.

However, the following research projects are far from being the first ones in Germany, Austria or Northern Switzerland to deal with the various aspects of martial arts and combat sports. This article will shed light on several of the roots of German language martial arts studies, before discussing the topics, approaches, and protagonists of the Kommission Kampfkunst & Kampfsport in detail. Furthermore, relevant, ongoing activities outside the Kommission are included in the review.

I will try to draw a complete picture of the current situation of the field. Of course, I am fully aware that this is a difficult task to set for oneself. I hope the readers will forgive me if this article fails to name all important authors or works. The reason is not ill intent, but the dispersed and heterogeneous character of the relevant literature. Only recently has the Kommission begun to compile a bibliography on martial arts studies, and the work is far from being completed.



An Old Tradition


In a way, Germany is one of the earliest hotspots for the composition of martial arts literature in Europe – although this early literature, of course, was not written from an academic, but from an instructional perspective. Manuscript I.33, supposedly written around 1300, is the oldest exiting European fencing manual. Its Latin text is interspersed with Middle High German termini technici of the art of sword fighting (Forgeng 2003). It was soon followed by a vast corpus of fencing manuals, describing and also illustrating all kinds of techniques for close quarter combat.

It may therefore be no surprise that the oldest German works on what we could call ‘martial arts studies’ are texts on this German tradition. With a historical perspective, several authors of the late 19th century aimed to analyze and describe the technical properties and settings of the Medieval and Early Modern German martial arts: There is, for example, Karl Wassmannsdorf’s Sechs Fechtschulen (d. i. Schau- und Preisfechten) der Marxbrüder und Federfechter aus den Jahren 1573 bis 1614 […] (Wassmannsdorf 1870; “Six ‘fencing schools’ (i. e., fencing for show and competition) of the Marxbrüder and Federfechter, from the years 1573 to 1614 […]”), Hans Kufahl’s and Josef Schmied-Kowarzik’s Duellbuch. Geschichte des Zweikampfes nebst einem Anhang enthaltend Duellregeln und Paukcomment (Kufahl & Schmied-Kowarzik 1896; “Book on the duel. History of personal combat, with an attachment containing rules for duels and for students’ fencing“), or Gustav Hergsell’s edition of the famous fencing manual of Hans Talhoffer (Hergsell 1887, original from 1467).

Research continued in the 20th century. Karl Lochner, a fencing teacher in Vienna, wrote about Die Entwicklungsphasen der europäischen Fechtkunst (Lochner 1953; “Stages of development of the European art of fencing”), and Martin Wierschin’s work on Meister Johann Liechtenauers Kunst des Fechtens (Wierschin 1965; “Master Johann Lichternauer’s art of fencing”) paved the way for Hans-Peter Hils’s seminal book Meister Johann Liechtenauers Kunst des langen Schwertes (Hils 1985; “Master Johann Liechtenauer’s art of the long sword”), both texts dealing with the 14th century fencing master Liechtenauer. Rainer Welle’s “… und wisse das alle höbischeit kompt von deme ringen.” Der Ringkampf als adelige Kunst im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert (Welle 1993; “’…and know that all courtesy comes from wrestling.’ Wrestling as an aristocratic art in the 15th and 16th century“) deals exclusively with the various systems of unarmed combat and sports wrestling of the period, and with their social implications, while Heidemarie Bodemer discussed the corpus of European fencing manuals from an art historian’s perspective in her dissertation Das Fechtbuch.Untersuchungen zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der bildkünstlerischen Darstellung der Fechtkunst in den Fechtbüchern des mediterranen und westeuropäischen Raumes vom Mittelalter bis Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts (Bodemer 2008; “The Fencing Manual. Research in the historical development of artistic depiction of the art of fencing in the fencing manuals of the Mediterranean and Western European area from the middle ages to the end of the 18th century”).

Editions of medieval/early modern fencing books usually discuss some of the cultural contexts of the martial arts depicted, for example Johannes Giessauf’s and Ute Bergner’s Würgegriff und Mordschlag. Die Fecht- und Ringlehre des Hans Czynner (1538) (2006; “Stranglehold and killing blow. The teachings on fencing and wrestling of Hans Czynner (1538)”), Matthias Johannes Bauer’s Langes Schwert und Schweinespiess. Die anonyme Fechthandschrift aus den verschütteten Beständen des Historischen Archivs der Stadt Köln (Bauer 2009; “Long sword and boar spear. The anonymous fencing manuscript from the buried archives of the City of Cologne”), or Rainer Welle’s …vnd mit der rechten faust ein mordstuck (Welle 2014; “…and a killing blow with the right fist”), an edition of the famous Codex Wallerstein manual. Besides the occupation with medieval martial arts, researchers have also worked on understanding and reconstructing Roman martial techniques, both from the military and the gladiators. Marcus Junkelmann is internationally recognized as an expert in this area.

In the last years, the Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft has funded the ongoing research project Der mittelalterliche Zweikampf als agonale Praktik zwischen Recht, Ritual und Leibesübung (“Medieval one-on-one combat as agonal practice between law, ritual, and physical exercise”), headed by Uwe Israel; the title of their publication Zweikämpfer. Fechtmeister – Kämpen -Samurai (Jaser & Israel 2014; “Combatants. Fencing masters – judicial fighters – samurai”) indicates an opening of the perspective towards the Asian martial arts.

As we can see, academic interest has shifted over the decades from phenomenological questions to the socio-historical surroundings, the personnel, and the cultural sub-texts of European martial arts. Both these older and newer studies provide valuable information that can be compared with material from Chinese or Japanese contexts. Often the similarities are striking – not only when it comes to the physical techniques of combat, but also where question of the (secretive) transmission of knowledge, didactics and medialization of movement, teacher-student-relationship and the sociodynamics of martial arts are in question. In other words: The research on European combat systems that began in the middle of the 19th century is a small but well established branch of German martial arts studies, and one that should not be neglected once our attention shifts to other – mostly Asian – cultural contexts.


An illustration from Hans Talhoffers "Fechtbuch" von 1467.  Source: Wikimedia (public domain).
An illustration from Hans Talhoffers “Fechtbuch” von 1467. Source: Wikimedia (public domain).




The Discourse on the Asian Martial Arts


From ca. 1900 on, Germany became increasingly aware of the existence of Asian martial arts. German troops fought the so called Boxer of the yitehuan-Movement, and the first Jiu Jitsu practitioners brought their system to the German Empire. In 1933, Kano Jigoro held Judo seminars in Berlin and Munich. In 1954, F. K. Mathys, head of the Swiss Museum for Gymnastics and Sports, uttered his doubts about the Japanese origins of these wrestling systems in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, in what could be called a first attempt on comparative martial arts studies (Mathys 1954). Being familiar with the European tradition of fighting manuals, he concluded that the art of wrestling for sport and self-defense was brought to Japan by European sailors in the early modern age; this opinion was adopted by some of the German Jiu Jitsu protagonists, namely Erich Rahn, one of the – albeit rather controversial – founding fathers of German jiu jitsu. Extremely influential, not only in Germany, but also in the English speaking world and even Japan, was Eugen Herrigel’s Zen in der Kunst des Bogenschießens (Herrigel 1948; “Zen in the Art of Archery”) written in 1948. His linkage of Zen and Kyudo is now disputed, but it served as the model for the commonly postulated semi-religious qualities of the Asian martial arts in general.

The second half of the 20th century in Germany saw a growing number of instructional martial arts handbooks. Often, these books on Judo, Karate, Kung Fu would be introduced by a short history of the respective martial art. In general, such introductions duplicated widespread martial arts myths, like the monk Bodhidharma and the beginning of Asian martial arts at Shaolin, the empty handed Okinawan rebels, or similar fables. Several martial arts encyclopedias collected these amateur approaches (Velte 1976; Weinmann 1991; Lind 1996), and the translation of Dolin’s Kempo. Die Kunst des Kampfes (Dolin 1989; “Kempo. The art of fighting”) from Russian contributed greatly to the solidification of legends as true history among German martial artists.

A – rather recent – exception was the magazine cultura martialis. Das Journal der Kampfkünste aus aller Welt (cultura martialis; “The journal for martial arts from all over the world), published by Dietmar Stubenbaum and Marc Pion. In beautiful layout, the magazine tried to establish an educational yet entertaining forum for martial arts related topics; unfortunately, only 8 volumes were printed, between 2004 and 2006.

Other researchers investigated martial arts systems and communities with an ethnological/anthropological interest. But even an in-depth study like Hiltrud Theresia Cordes’s Pencak Silat. Die Kampfkunst der Minangkabau und ihr kulturelles Umfeld (Cordes 1990; “The martial arts of the Minangkabau and their cultural context”) did not succeed in starting a wider academic discussion on the martial arts.

In 1988, Colin Goldner criticized blind faith in the myths and pedagogical capabilities of the martial arts in his book Fernöstliche Kampfkünste. Zur Psychologie der Gewalt im Sport (Goldner 1988; “East Asian Martial Arts. On the psychology of violence in sports”). Goldner became notorious for his general critique of all martial arts as a transport means for fascist ideologies. He received widespread media coverage, but his work on martial arts must be understood as a polemic motivated by a clear ideological agenda.

Ten years after Goldner, Axel Binhack presented the book Über das Kämpfen. Zum Phänomen des Kampfes in Sport und Gesellschaft (Binhack 1998; “About Fighting. On the phenomenon of combat in sport an society”), in which he tried to develop a phenomenological understanding of fighting in general, in respect to sports, and as codified form in the martial arts. His approach is psychological and philosophical; being a long-time practitioner of Karate himself, Binhack divides “good” (budo) from “bad” (e.g., MMA) martial arts.

In the following decade, in 2004, Ulf Neumann, Matthias von Saldern, Ralf Pöhler, and Peter-Ulrich Wendt edited the book Der friedliche Krieger. Budo als Methode der Gewaltprävention (Neumann et al. 2004; “The peaceful warrior. Budo as a method for preventing violence”). The collected articles argued for a philosophical, post-combative approach to the martial arts – necessarily operating with a distinction between socially “useful” and other, “undesirable” forms of martial arts.

The book represents a very strong branch of German martial arts studies, the educational approach. After Ringen und Raufen (roughly: ‘wrestle and scuffle’) was incorporated into school physical education programs, the need for a pedagogical discourse on the subject became evident. Between 2003 and 2007, three conferences were held at Hannover University that discussed Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Kampfkunst in der Gewaltprävention (“Chances and limits of martial arts in preventing violence”), Ringen & Raufen im Unterricht (“Wrestle and scuffle in school education”) and Boxen als gewaltpräventives Angebot in Schule und Jugendhilfe? (“Boxing as an opportunity for violence prevention training in schools and youth care?”). The work of the Kommission Kampfkunst & Kampfsport reflects the educational approach, but also goes beyond it.



Kommission Kampfkunst & Kampfsport



At the 2011 conference in Bayreuth, which saw the birth of today’s Kommission Kampfkunst & Kampfsport, a position paper was passed that defined the academic interest, theoretical approaches and organizational outlines of the commission:


“Even though the phenomenological description of the martial arts is well developed, such descriptions are often strongly affected by legend, taboo and cliché. Reasons include the low number of translations of Asian martial arts literature, and a tendency of martial artists not only to exaggerate, but to even mystify their arts. Since the original – combative – aim of the martial arts is no longer legitimate outside self-defense, the martial arts are in a (yet to be studied) phase of searching for meaning and self-definition. Also, the educational possibilities of the martial arts are presently being discussed in sports science, from where the educational field ‘fighting’ has developed in a school-didactic context. […] The multitude of martial arts and combat sports is the result of diverse aspects and influences, e.g. geographic origin, area of application, competition formats and their rules (if existing), movement system, repertoire of techniques and their interpretation, (pseudo-)religious undercurrents, and club etiquette. This leads to a wide perspective of research, which includes questions of history, sociology, economy, law, psychology, physics of movement, training theory, biomechanics, medicine, philosophy, pedagogy, didactics, media and information sciences, and art. Against this background, the need for the founding of the Kommission Kampfkunst & Kampfsport arises from three systematic demands […]: To describe, to explain, and to interpret. In doing so […], we will not only enter fruitful new grounds for the sports sciences, but will also help society to understand itself.”


The initiative to found the commission came from sports sciences, and this defines the outlines of its work. Nevertheless, under this umbrella, a great variety of disciplines have gathered in the last years to contribute to German martial arts studies. The conferences held in 2011, 12, 13, and 14 included key notes and shorter lectures, round table discussions, poster presentations, and practical training sessions. At the risk of simplification, these contributions could be divided into three main branches: a) educational perspectives and health care, b) historical and anthropological perspectives, c) movement and training theory.

Many of the contributions resulted in articles in the conference proceedings. So far, three volumes have been published (Kuhn et a. 2011; Happ & Zajonc 2013; Liebl & Kuhn 2014). Their titles and their contents are listed at the end of this article.

The topic of the 2014 conference was martial arts from the perspective of gender studies. Obviously, German martial arts studies felt the same need that Channon and Jennings formulated:


“[W]e consider several substantive issues to be particularly conspicuous in their absence from the literature. First, research has rarely focused on martial artistry and sexualities, and given recent attention among wider sociology of sport scholarship to the interplay of sport, the body and sexuality, this is a pertinent area for further investigation.” (Channon & Jennings 2014, p. 10)


The respective volume is not yet published; a list of the presentations can be found at the end of this article.


An illustration from Hans Talhoffers "Fechtbuch" von 1467/  Source: Wikimedia (public domain).
An illustration from Hans Talhoffers “Fechtbuch” von 1467/ Source: Wikimedia (public domain).




German Martial Arts Studies outside the Kommission Kampfkunst & Kampfsport


Since German martial arts studies are still in a phase of institutionalization, not all researchers in the field could be contacted and asked for possible collaborations. Two examples may help to demonstrate the academic work being done outside the Kommission.

At the 2013 conference of the Deutsche Vereinigung für Religionswissenschaft (“German Association for the Study of Religions”), a panel on martial arts in the context of Religion in Bewegung (“Religion in movement”) was organized by Horst Junginger. The presentations were:

Esther Berg: Media, martial arts, and material religion. Shaolin Kung Fu as a (religious) practice of self-actualization and self-improvement.

Markus Wagner: Taijiquan. One martial art, many traditions?

Horst Junginger: The way of doing things: Martial Arts “forms”, using the example of the kata in karate.

Wolfgang Fanderl: Jigorō Kanō (1860-1938). Education politician and founder of modern Judo.

Another research group is the bunbu-Forschungskreis (‘bunbu Study Circle’) founded by Julian Braun. It has gathered scholars from the field of Japanese studies working on various aspects of the Japanese martial arts. According to their homepage, the bunbu members aim to “provide reliable and authentic information on the Japanese martial arts […] and to better connect researchers in this field.” Recent bunbu publications include the Bibliography of Japanese Karate and Kobudo Literature from Andreas Quast (2013), Henning Wittwer’s Karate – Kampfkunst – Hoplologie (Witwer 2014; “Karate – martial arts – hoplology””), and Julian Braun’s Samurai und Kriegskunst. Kompendium aus klassischen Texten der Tokugawa-Zeit (Braun 2012; “Samurai and the art of war. Compendium of classical texts from the Tokugawa period”).

Finally, the research conducted at the Institut für angewandte Trainingswissenschaft IAT (“Institute for Applied Training Science”) should not be omitted. The Leipzig-based institute supports professional athletes from the Olympic combat sports and shotokan karate to optimize competition performance, and works hand in hand with their national organizations. Members of the IAT consult during the training process, do performance diagnostics and accompany German athletes to international tournaments. There, the results of the research in technical and tactical aspects of the combat sports are directly applied.



Future Outlook


The Kommission Kampfkunst & Kampfsport is now in the fourth year of its existence. The 2014 conference has demonstrated both the achievements made so far, and the (mostly methodological) problems that have yet to be dealt with. During the first three conferences, the aim was mainly to gather the individuals and institutes that are working in some branch of martial arts studies in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland. Although this is, of course, an ongoing process, the Kommission was successful in building an active and productive network of researchers from a wide range of academic disciplines.

Occasionally, very different underlying concepts clashed – no wonder, with so many academic and martial arts backgrounds coming together. The martial arts world being a marketplace in which both money and social prestige are dealt, the Kommission is at the same time painfully aware of the danger of being abused as an advertisement platform for certain systems, schools, and individuals. The important task ahead is therefore to develop a clear, scientifically sound and, if possible, unified methodological approach which includes all serious research and excludes exploitation.

Consequently, the topic for next year’s conference (to be held at Mainz University, September 29th – October 02nd 2015) will be “German Martial Arts Studies: Defining and Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries” (working title). The Kommission wants to strengthen the collaboration with international researchers; thus, participants will be encouraged to hold their lectures in English.

As the first joint publication (besides the annual conference volumes) members of the Kommission are starting work on a volume of martial arts and martial arts studies for an online handbook of sports and sports science. Further publications are planned.

As in other parts of the world, martial arts studies in Germany is an extremely lively, energetic, academic field, with highly motivated researchers. We look forward to the work that lies ahead, and the contacts still waiting for us within and outside the German scientific community.




An illustration from Hans Talhoffers "Fechtbuch" von 1467.  Source: Wikimedia (public domain).
An illustration from Hans Talhoffers “Fechtbuch” von 1467. Source: Wikimedia (public domain).





Literature & websites


(Bauer 2009): Matthias Johannes Bauer. Langes Schwert und Schweinespiess. Die anonyme Fechthandschrift aus den verschütteten Beständen des Historischen Archivs der Stadt Köln. Graz.

(Bayreuther Autorengruppe 2011): Bayreuther Autorengruppe. Positionspapier zur Gründung einer dvs-Kommission “Kampfkunst & Kampfsport”. 07.04.2011, S. 1-3. URL: [23.10.2014].

(Bergner & Giessauf 2006): Ute Bergner’s and Johannes Giessauf (Ed.). Würgegriff und Mordschlag. Die Fecht- und Ringlehre des Hans Czynner (1538), Universitätsbibliothek Graz MS. 963. Graz.

(Binhack 1998): Axel Binhack. Über das Kämpfen. Zum Phänomen des Kampfes in Sport und Gesellschaft. Frankfurt/Main et al..

(Bodemer 2008): Heidemarie Bodemer: Das Fechtbuch. Untersuchungen zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der bildkünstlerischen Darstellung der Fechtkunst in den Fechtbüchern des mediterranen und westeuropäischen Raumes vom Mittelalter bis Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts. Stuttgart. URL: [23.10.2014].

(Braun 2012): Julian Braun. Samurai und Kriegskunst. Kompendium aus klassischen Texten der Tokugawa-Zeit. Schmitten.

(Channon & Jennings 2014): Alex Channon and George Jennings. Exploring embodiment through martial arts and combat sports. A review of empirical research. In: Sports in Society, 2014. URL: [23.10.2014].

(Cordes 1990): Hiltrud Theresia Cordes: Pencak Silat. Die Kampfkunst der Minangkabau und ihr kulturelles Umfeld. Köln.

(cultura martialis): cultura martialis. Die Zeitschrift für Kampfkünste aus aller Welt.

(Der Spiegel 1989): [anon.}. Nackte Gewalt für den Straßenkampf. Brutale Sportarten aus Fernost wie Kickboxen haben in Deutschland Konjunktur. In: Der Spiegel 1, 1989. URL: [23.10.2014].

(Dolin 1989): Aleksandr A. Dolin. Kempo. Die Kunst des Kampfes. Berlin.

(Forgeng 2003): Jeffrey L. Forgeng. The medieval art of swordsmanship. A facsimile & translation of Europe’s oldest personal combat treatise, Royal Armouries MS I.33. Union City, Calif..

(Goldner 1988): Colin Goldner. Fernöstliche Kampfkünste. Zur Psychologie der Gewalt im Sport. München.

(Hergsell 1887): Gustav Hergsell (Ed.). Talhoffers Fechtbuch aus dem Jahre 1467. Gerichtliche und andere Zweikämpfe darstellend. Prag.

(Herriegel 1948): Eugen Herrigel. Zen in der Kunst des Bogenschießens. Konstanz.

(Hils 1985): Hans-Peter Hils. Meister Johann Liechtenauers Kunst des langen Schwertes. Frankfurt a. M./ Bern/ New York.

(Jaser & Israel 2014): Christian Jaser and Uwe Israel (Ed.). Zweikämpfer. Fechtmeister – Kämpen – Samurai. Berlin a. o..

(Kufahl & Schmied-Kowarzik 1986): Hans Kufahl and Josef Schmied-Kowarzik. Duellbuch. Geschichte des Zweikampfes nebst einem Anhang enthaltend Duellregeln und Paukcomment. Leipzig.

(Lind 1996): Wener Lind. Das Lexikon der Kampfkünste. Berlin.

(Lochner 1953): Karl E. Lochner. Die Entwicklungsphasen der europäischen Fechtkunst. Wien.

(Mathys 1954): F. K. Mathys. Ursprung des Jiu-Jitsu. Die japanische Verteidigungskunst eine europäische Erfindung. In: Die Zeit 49, 1954. URL: [23.10.2014].

(Neumann et al. 2004): Ulf Neumann, Matthias von Saldern, Ralf Pöhler, and Peter-Ulrich Wendt (Ed.). Der friedliche Krieger. Budo als Methode der Gewaltprävention.

(Quast 2013): Andreas Quast: Bibliography of Japanese Karate and Kobudo Literature. From the First Karatebook to the 21st Century. More Than Six-hundred Most Important Sources. Self published.

(Velte 1976): Herbert Velte. Budo-Lexikon. 1500 Fachausdrücke fernöstlicher Kampfsportarten. Wiesbaden.

(Wassmannsdorf 1870): Karl Wassmannsdorf. Sechs Fechtschulen (d. i. Schau- und Preisfechten) der Marxbrüder und Federfechter aus den Jahren 1573 bis 1614 […]. Heidelberg.

(Weinmann 1991): Wolfgang Weinmann. Das Kampfsport-Lexikon. Von Aikido bis Zen. Berlin.

(Welle 1993): Rainer Welle. „…und wisse das alle höbischeit kompt von deme ringen“. Der Ringkampf als adelige Kunst im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert. Pfaffenweiler.

(Welle 2014): Rainer Welle. …vnd mit der rechten faust ein mordstuck. Baumanns Fecht- und Ringkampfhandschrift, Edition und Kommentierung der anonymen Fecht- und Ringkampfhandschrift Cod. I.6.4º 2 der UB Augsburg aus den Beständen der ehemaligen Öttingen-Wallersteinschen Bibliothek. Pfaffenweiler.

(Wierschin 1965): Martin Wierschin. Meister Johann Liechtenauers Kunst des Fechtens. München.

(Wittwer 2014): Henning Wittwer. Karate – Kampfkunst – Hoplologie. no place.

Attachment: Articles of the Kommission Kampfkunst & Kampfsport conference volumes.




Martial Arts and Combat Sports in Research and Teaching 2011


Key note

Sigrid Happ: Single Combat (Zweikämpfen) – a phenomenological inspection of the sphere ‘in between’



Martin Johannes Meyer: Motivation in shotokan karate
Jens Niepagen: The concept of flow in the context of eastern notions of self-regulation for a different consciousness

Holger Vos: Asian martial arts and movement systems – eastern methods of self-regulation

Medicine, training science and movement science

Janina Burschka, Peter Kuhn, Uwe Menge & Patrick Oschmann: Taijiquan and multiple sclerosis

Jens Bussweiler, Hans-Dieter Heinisch, Ronny Lüdemann & Dirk Büsch: Recent research projects in combat sports at the Institute for Applied Training Science

Kerstin Witte & Peter Emmermacher: Spirometrics in karate kumite in respect to competition activity

Martin Hofmann & Kerstin Witte: Bio-mechanical diagnosis of the gyaku tsuki technique in karate kumite in respect to different variations of execution


Cultural history and philosophy


Sixt Wetzler: Blow and thrust. On the impact of culture on combative movement, exemplified by the European art of fencing.

Nils Baratella: Why we fight. On the performance of the agon.




Stefan Käser & Arwed Marquardt: Boxe Éducative. Light contact boxing: “Developing feeling.”

Uwe Mosebach: Comparative perspectives on different forms of combat sports and their impact on school sports.

Thomas Leffler: Fighting in school sports.

Sebastian Liebl: Does judo make children strong?

Cornelia Rieder, Sandra Kaltner, Katharina Dahmen-Zimmer & Petra Jansen: Changes in disposition for violence, self-consciousness and empathy in children via karate training

Matthias Huber & Marija Sklizović: Protect yourself from violence. A project of the German Ju Jutsu Association.

Christoph Ritz: Socius project. The city of Würzburg getting rid of violence.

Olaf Zajonc: Preconditions for martial arts as a tool to prevent violence.



Martial Arts and Combat Sports in Research and Teaching 2012


Key notes

Jürgen Funke-Wieneke: Thoughts on the educational intentions connected with martial arts.

Larissa Schindler: Combat skills. An ethnographic approach.

Olaf Zajonc: Martial arts as a tool to prevent violence. Conditions, requirements, and perspectives.


Cultural history

Marcus Coesfeld: Martial arts in the Third Reich. Tools of ideology.

Jan Christoph Rödel: Combat sports in Olympic tradition? Classical pankration and modern Mixed Martial Arts.

Christian Weinert: An epilogue from the 17th century and its role as a source for the Chinese Martial Arts.

Sixt Wetzler: Myths of the martial arts.



Gero Goroncy: What is kalarippayatt? Inscribing meaning in a South Indian martial art.

Arwed Marquardt: On discipline in martial arts. Pedagogical remarks.

Christian Peter Oehmichen: Karate-dō as a tool for social integration?

Michael Staack: Generating knowledge by going native? On the ‘interaction ritual chains’-theory as a topic and tool for the ethnography of martial arts.

Michael Staack: Sport or spectacle? Approaches to a sport-sociological reflection on Mixed Martial Arts.

Jan H. Winter: Culturally embedded martial arts as a didactic problem. The example of Chinese Martial arts.


Psychology and Medicine

Günther Bitzer-Garvonik & Human-Friedrich Unterrainer: Karate-do and resilience.

Janina Burschka & Peter Kuhn: Taijiquan and multiple sclerosis. An explorative survey.

Katharina Dahmen-Zimmer & Petra Jansen: Karate training in late adult age. Impacts on cognitive functions and emotional situation.

Tobias Hawelka, Janina Burschka & Peter Kuhn: Impacts of taijiquan as a movement therapy on the subjective life quality of patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. An interview survey.


Pedagogy and Didactics


Florian Hertnack: Developing social-emotional competence via combat sports games and exercises at school.

Markus Klein & Monika Frenger: Martial arts rich in content. Thoughts on the pedagogical potential of combat sports and martial arts.

Peter Kuhn, Eva Beurer, Magdalena Finzel & Christopher Landgraf: Expectations of parents towards martial arts.

Thomas Leffler: Combat sports at school from a students’ perspective.
Sebastian Liebl, Peter Kuhn & Ralf Sygusch: Facilitation of psycho-social resources in judo. A project concept.

Julia Zeyn & Sigrid Happ: Qualifications for trainers of violence prevention programs. The development of modular tool kit.




Dominique Brizin & Keith Ronald Kernspecht: Movement principles of WingTsun. The ‘system of levers”-model of K. R. Kernspecht.

Helmut Gensler: Blow guns as an introduction into martial arts for severely handicapped people.

Martin Johannes Meyer: Martial arts in the cinema. Genres of martial arts movies.

Karl Sören Michaelis: Malícia. Cunning in capoeira angola.



Human Beings in Martial Arts. Martial Arts and Combat Sports in Research and Teaching 2013.


Key notes

Matthias von Saldern: The term ‘master’ in the martial arts.

Ralf Sygusch, Sebastian Liebl & Ralf Lippmann: Development of personality and team spirit. Facilitation of psycho-social resources in judo.

Petra Schmidt: On the philosophy of the term ‘ki’. Rather Bohr than Newton as a model for explanation of ‘ki’?



Sixt Wetzler: Comparative martial arts studies as a cultural-historical discipline. Possible objects, required sources, applicable methods.

Martin Johannes Meyer: Martial arts as a catalyst and instrument of social ideologies.


Pedagogy and didactics

Mone Welsche: ‘Wrestle and scuffle’ as a seminar for development-facilitation in curative pedagogy. A survey among students on the outcome and relevance of the course.

Hans-Joachm Schröder: Budo pedagogy. Exemplified by a recent project with socio-emotionally conspicuous children.

Uwe Mosbach: Black-belt kata with white-belt beginners.

Anja Marquardt: ‘Martial Arts Arena’. A field of research.

Alfred Richartz: Video sequences in the schooling of judo trainers. How can they help to improve the educational quality?

Dania Lippitz & Mone Welsche: How do children experience school classes on ‘wrestle and scuffle’? Analysis of a survey concerning the requirements for a positive experience.

Hans-Joachim Schröder: Budo pedagogy in practical application, using the example of the project ‘father and kid wrestling’.

Helmut Gensler: Approaches for a better understanding of disabled persons in self-defense training.


Psychology and health related topics


Peter Kuhn & Sabrina Macht: Fascination karate. First results of a qualitative survey.

Björn Pospiech: Developing competences in curative education, using the example of traditional Tae Kwon Do.

Björn Pospiech & Anna Brechtel: Situational fighting competence and the role of the teacher.

Ansgar Gerstner: Healing aspects of Chinese Wing Chun. A preliminary explanation, using the example of siu nim tao, the first form of Wing Chun.


Sociology and gender studies


Christian Peter Oehmichen: The (inter-)cultural dimension of martial arts and combat sports. The handling of foreign body concepts, using the example of Karate-Dō.

Michael Staack: Practices of violence? Randall Collin’s concept of ‘confrontational tension/fear’ in analysing martial arts training.

Florian Hartnack: Fighting genders – constructing genders? ‘Feeling gender’ in combat sports at school.

Mone Welsche: How do girls and boys experience ‘wrestle and scuffle’? A qualitative survey via gender specific group discussions.


Trainings science and movement science


Ronny Lüdemann, Hans-Dieter Heinisch, Roland Oswald, Jens Bussweiler & Dirk

Büsch: Recent research projects at the Institute for Applied Training Science.

Markus Klein, Monika Frenger & Thomas Sommer: Inter-rater reliability of point judge decisions in Taekwondo form competitions.

Mario Staller: Teaching fighting in a police context. On the necessary competences of deployment trainers.

Mario Staller & Axel Racky: Structure of competition in Ju-Jutsu Fighting in the perspective of time. An analysis of world class athletes.

Alexander Bochenek & Mario Staller: Violence against police officers. On the need of a model of competence for the defense against violent attacks.

Gero Goroncy: Fighting against one self. Empty hands forms in South Indian Kalarippayatt.

Michael Andres: In search of Mr. Miyagi.

Martin Johannes Meyer: Control, search for, and commercialization of risk and injury in UFC events.



Male and female fighters. Martial arts and combat sports in the perspective of gender studies. Martial Arts and Combat Sports in Research and Teaching 2014.


(the practical workshops have not been listed)

Key notes

Heike Tiemann: Combat sports as a subject for gender studies. Selected perspectives.

Hans-Dieter Heinisch: Different forms of ‘male’ and ‘female’ combative behavior in the perspective of training science.

Silke Andris: ‘Female Boxers Inside the frame’: Audio-visual Methods in Research about
Body Techniques.

Stephan Yamamoto: Reception problems of traditional martial arts in the Western World, using the example of Karate.



Ralf Pfeifer: Punches: stopping = pervading.

Mario Staller: Fight like a girl. Self-defense for women in the Israeli self defense system Krav Maga.

Sebastian Liebl & Sigrid Happ: Which training opportunities for whom? Motives in Judo in a gender perspective.

Florian Hartnack: Girls fighting boys? Coeducational combat sports in school from the children’s perspective.

Viola Dioszeghy Krauss: Undoing gender in Aikido.

Georg Endler: Automatized recognition of Kung Fu movements via magnetic field and acceleration sensors.

Jeannine Schröder: Banzai-Budo. Facilitation of self-competence for 4-6 year old children.
Hans-Joachim Schröder: Budo pedagogy for the children of imprisoned fathers.

Martin Meyer: Conflict and fight management of doormen.

Christian Peter Oehmichen: Transmission of positive male role models. Analysis of sensei, trainer, and sempai in Karate-Dō and their function as models for boys and young men.

Leo Istas: “Boxing is not part of school sports.” The paradox development of the school syllabus for North Rhine-Westphalia.

Jeannine Schröder: ‘Moving strong girls.’ A project in budo pedagogy for social work.

Ralf Pfeifer: Forensic chi research. Strategies to debunk deceptions.

Frauke Mutschall: Gender competence among sport students. Social construction of gender in the field ‘Fighting with and without partner.’


(All book and lecture titles throughout the article translated by Sixt Wetzler)





About the Author: Sixt Wetzler studied religious studies, Scandinavian literature, and medieval history at the universities of Tübingen, Reykjavík, and Freiburg, and is currently finishing his PhD on “The Martial Arts of Medieval Iceland: Literary representation and historical form.” He is a member of the board of spokesmen of the commission Kampfkunst & Kampfsport (Martial Arts & Combat Sports) in the DVS (German Association for Sports Sciences) and works for the German Blade Museum in Solingen, with a focus on the European fencing tradition.

His focus of research lies on the comparative study of martial arts as a cultural-historical discipline, European martial arts, and blade fighting systems in general. Wetzler has published on martial arts issues both in German and English. He has trained in various martial arts since childhood, received a black belt in Enshin Karate, and is among the highest ranked European practitioners of Pekiti Tirsia Kali, a Filipino martial art.



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