Framing Kung Fu in the Information Age

  Algorithms and Hand Combat This essay began as a thought experiment.  After that it evolved into a real experiment.  It is not a terribly scientific exercise, certainly not the sort of thing that involves actual databases and statistical analysis.  Still, it might be heuristically useful as we attempt to unravel some questions about the…

Kung Fu Comes to Australia in 1886

  A month ago I was chatting with my friend Joseph Svinth (a prolific author and editor within the field of Martial Arts Studies) over email.  At the time I was still recovering from the last round of conferences and let things slide. But earlier this week I decided to take another look at one…

Muay Thai and the Two-Level Game

  Introduction Earlier this morning I was faced with a choice.  Should I write about Nietzsche (and a certain martial art), or Robert Putnam (and an entirely different fighting system).  Its hard to sit down and read the news these days without thinking of Nietzsche, so I opted for Putnam.  Both provided interesting thought experiments,…

A Kung Fu Pilgrim: Travel, Community and the Production of Knowledge

  The Pilgrim’s Progress Observers have noted that while the meaning and object of worship varies, the pattern is universal.  I cannot help but agree as I contemplate the events of the last month.  First there was the ritual separation from family and friends.  While many have doubted the actual effectiveness of the TSA in…