Facing Down a Wooden Dummy, and the Myth of “Perfect Practice”

  “Practice does not make perfect.  Only perfect practice makes perfect.”  – Vince Lombardi   The Bane of my Existence   I have spent a lot of time thinking about Vince Lombardi’s famous maxim on the value of practice.  I will readily admit to hating this quote.  It is exactly the sort of tough, yet…

Research Notes: Kung Fu at the American School in Shanghai, 1936

      Martial Arts Exhibitions, Old and New   Earlier today I saw a Facebook notice reminding me that I am about to miss an event with the lightsaber combat group that I am currently doing an ethnography with.  They have been asked to give an exhibition by a local charity.  The entire thing…

Historic Martial Arts Manuals and the Limits of Authenticity

        Situating the Martial Culture of Shii-cho   All of the Jedi I know speak with an accent.  A particularly keen observer might notice them as they walk into the Central Martial Arts Academy, shedding their boots and heavy winter coats.  But anyone with a background in the martial arts can start…

Interview with the No Wax Needed Podcast

  I recently had a chance to sit down with Itamar Zadoff who runs the “No Wax Needed” podcast.  Itamar is one of the up and coming martial arts studies scholars who I had the pleasure to meet at our conference in Cardiff earlier this year.  (You can see a short interview that he did…

Martial Mastery and Olympic Glory: A Winning Combination?

  Do you feel that?  Olympic fervor is once again in the air.  As we prepare for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio there has been a distinct uptick of Olympic advertising on the TV.  Athletes whom we have not seen for four years are once again making regular appearances on the news.  Even some…