The Boxer Rebellion and Stories We Tell about Chinese Martial Arts

      Confronting the Boxers   It is probably an irony that I have written so little on the Boxer Uprising during my casual and academic discussion of the martial arts.  It was a chance encounter with the Boxers some years ago as I was exploring the connection between religiously generated social capital and…

Through a Lens Darkly (44): Martial Arts in Pre-War Japanese Schools

    Introduction   Today’s post is the result of a happy coincidence.  As regular readers will be aware, I occasionally collect and share vintage images of the Chinese martial arts.  Many of these come from the sorts of ephemera (postcards, advertisements, old newspaper clippings, newsreels) that contain interesting data on the social place of…

Doing Research (10): Trying to Think Inside the Box with Paul Bowman

    Introduction   Welcome to the tenth entry in our series of guest posts titled “Doing Research.”  If you missed the first essay by D. S. Farrer (which provides a global overview of the subject), the second by Daniel Mroz (how to select a school or teacher for research purposes), the third by  Jared Miracle…

Why is Ip Man a Role Model?

Donny Yen reprises his role as Ip Man. Is this “Ip Man” your role model?     ***Greetings!  I am currently on the road for research.  As such, we will be delving into the archives for today’s post.  This essay (first published in 2014) takes a closer look at Ip Man’s transformative social memory in…

Roland Barthes and the DNA of Martial Arts Studies

    Paul Bowman. 2017. Mythologies of Martial Arts. London and New York: Rowman & Littlefield. 184 pages.   Professor Paul Bowman’s latest book sets a new standard for exploring the cultural, sociological and ideological criticism of the martial arts within modern society.   It also suggests two questions that any reader will be forced to…