This two-volume anthology conveniently contains useful academic tools for studying the combative arts. Each chapter will prove special to all interested in the intellectual side to the martial arts. Some chapters provide fine details for categorizing the variety of what we commonly refer to as "martial arts." Other chapters focus on the martial arts as living culture and social implications. The quality of instruction can either encourage negative traits such as violence or allow a practitioner to experience a self-transformation that improves character. NOTE: print edition is a single volume.
Since ancient times, some observant people have made the revered Book of Change (Yijing) their lifelong study. Change is the fundamental principle found in every aspect of our lives. Change is the Way of the universe. Confucian and Daoist texts are filled with anecdotal and philosophic discourse related to this theme. There is little wonder why we find the concept of change in the diverse Chinese martial traditions. This anthology presents articles from the Journal of Asian Martial Arts that are related to the theme of change. This does not mean that the authors are writing solely about philosophic ideas such as yin-yang, taiji, five phases (wuxing), or the eight hexagrams (bagua). From the content of these articles you will see how the views, needs, purposes and understandings of Chinese martial arts have changed over the centuries. By expounding on these themes, each author demonstrates how the actual practice of martial arts has changed in tandem with these fluctuating views. Supported by in depth research, interviews, and field experience, the nine articles included here offer us a view of Chinese martial arts from many angles. Of course effectiveness is one of the criteria for skills that are valued as being truely martial. To improve the effectiveness, some leading practitioners gained insights from nature, particularly from the animal kingdom. Also, in both ancient and modern times, Chinese practitioners borrowed from other styles. The concept of “mixed martial arts” is nothing new.There have been spinoffs to the warrior arts. Even centuries ago the martial arts were utilized in entertaining “flowery’ performances, as in Peking opera. The variety of martial movements were certainly conducive for good health so there is a long tradition of incorporating these in exercises practices solely for health and longevity. In the early twentieth century, martial arts became a political tool for boosting the spirit of country, vitalizing the “sick man of Asia.” Perhaps the most notable change in Chinese martial arts can be seen in the modern sportification of it. Motivated by rank, trophies, and money, the combative elements have been forsaken in favor of competition and show. Orignally practical, techniques have been transformed into pure acrobatics. This special anthology provides an encompassing overview of the development and variety of Chinese martial arts. You will come to appreciate the ancient roots and the forces that have influenced how and why these arts are practiced today.
"Did you know that the martial arts include such former Western pursuits as dueling, gunfighting, and gladiatorial combat? Nearly 100 articles by scholars discuss specific martial arts, countries, and concepts such as religion and spiritual development common to martial arts traditions of the world. Definitions of unfamiliar terms and an index that notes the historical figures and classic texts dicussed within articles help to make this set a scholarly corrective in an area often informed by the movies."--"Outstanding Reference Sources," American Libraries, May 2002.
Chapters in this book present meticulous research into the adaptation and significance of Asian combatives as infused within American society. These chapters are presented here as published according to their original chronological appearance in the Journal of Asian Martial Arts. In the first chapter Dr. John Donohue presents an anthropological perspective on what Asian martial arts represent to Americans and why Americans choose to study them. The attraction goes far beyond the physical aspects of self-defense, embracing the symbolic associations of “warrior heros,” grasping of power and skills through mythical means, and a quest for a coherent world view. Though Asian martial systems do establish high principles, their interpretation and evolution are affected by powerful societal trends, ranging from the inclination toward mutual improvement to commercialism and militarism. In chapter two, Dr. Daniel Rosenberg brings a realistic picture of the favorable and not so favorable aspects of martial art studies. In chapter three, martial arts coverage by four major-market American newspapers are analyzed by Ellen Levitt. Since the articles reflect trends and attitudes, we should be concerned with how they and their styles are presented in newspapers. Frederick Lohse’s chapter shows that by identifying, or contrasting, ourselves with shared ideas and images, we construct an identity that is both salient to ourselves and understandable to those around us. Her examines some aspects of how practitioners in the USA use the martial arts as one means of constructing their narratives of Self. In chapter five by Geoffrey Wingard, an ethnographic “snapshot” is examined to illustrate the validity of the seminal studies of martial arts and aggression. This chapter shows how students representing traditional and non-traditional martial arts engage each other, represent their arts and exhibit aggressive and non-aggressive behaviors. The final chapter by John Donohue examines how the revolution in communications technology has altered American understanding regarding the relationship between skill acquisition/training and the end result of such training. Just what attracts people to study fighting arts? What psychological needs are met when one joins an instructional class? Practitioners and scholars will find much in this anthology to broaden the perspective and understanding of why Americans are so fascinated with the Asian martial traditions.
Many Indo-Malay martial arts are kept private, taught in secluded areas away from the public. These are arts of the older tradition, developed when combative knowledge was valued for its use in protecting the sanctity of life. This two-volume anthology brings together a great collection of writings by authors who dive into the deepest realms of Indo-Malay combatives. They offer readers a rare viewing of martial traditions that is usually hidden behind social shrouds of secrecy and a clannish quest to preserve individual tradition. A special presentation in this second volume are the writings of Dr. Kirstin Pauka forming three chapters on silat (silk) of West Sumatra. The lead chapter discusses silk history, styles, training methods, and its use in dance. In chapter 2, Dr. Pauka shows that the martial arts constitute the core of the movement repertoire of the Randai folk theatre. Her third piece reports on an extended silk artist-in-residence program in the Asian Theatre program at the University of Hawai'i. The next three chapters contains some academic coverage of kuntao-silat in the Indo-Malay traditions, garnished with technical sections illustrating the martial aspects of the arts. Mark Wiley details Silat Seni Gayong’s ethical foundation for self-defense and nine techniqes illustrating the art with the help of Master Shiekh Shamsuddin. My own chapter offers a glimpse of how cultural streams from India and China contributed over centuries to native Indonesian fighting arts to form hybrid systems. Examples were derived from personal observations of practitioners in the Willem Reeders lineage. The research shows the original intent and practices of any highly efficient combative art. Chris Parker’s insightful chapter discusses applications of specific movements, the rhythm that can be achieved when employing them, and the space they fill as being of crucial importance for defense. Pencak silat postures form the focus of this study. All who are serious about the history and practice of Indo-Malay fighting arts will enjoy this special anthology, volumes one and two. We are very fortunate to assemble the works of these highly qualified authors. We hope reading will provide information you seek. Although the availability of studying under a true silat mater is nearly impossible, the chapters here will certainly add direction and inspiration for practitioners.
This book is the most comprehensive and authoritative reference ever published on the wide range of martial arts disciplines practiced in cultures around the world. • Includes the scholarship of 67 expert, international contributors • Presents 30 images of martial arts in practice • Offers bibliographic lists at the end of each section pointing to further reading in print and online • Includes a comprehensive index in each volume
Asian Martial Arts: Constructive Thoughts & Practical Applications represents an international gathering of friends who happen to be highly qualified martial art scholars and practitioners. This martial arts book is a collection of articles from practitioners who have come together in celebration of the 20-plus years that Journal of Asian Martial Arts has inspired scholarship to higher academic standards while encouraging all aspects of responsible practice. Each article was written specifically for Asian Martial Arts, with topics representing the rich variety found in the Asian martial traditions.
'If I had to pick a single general martial arts history book in English, I would recommend A Brief History of the Martial Arts by Dr Jonathan Clements' RICHARD BEITLICH, Martial History Team blog From Shaolin warrior monks to the movies of Bruce Lee, a new history of the evolution of East Asian styles of unarmed combat, from Kung Fu to Ninjutsu Folk tales of the Shaolin Temple depict warrior monks with superhuman abilities. Today, dozens of East Asian fighting styles trace their roots back to the Buddhist brawlers of Shaolin, although any quest for the true story soon wanders into a labyrinth of forgeries, secret texts and modern retellings. This new study approaches the martial arts from their origins in military exercises and callisthenics. It examines a rich folklore from old wuxia tales of crime-fighting heroes to modern kung fu movies. Centre stage is given to the stories that martial artists tell themselves about themselves, with accounts (both factual and fictional) of famous practitioners including China's Yim Wing-chun, Wong Fei-hong, and Ip Man, as well as Japanese counterparts such as Kano Jigoro, Itosu Anko and So Doshin. The history of martial arts encompasses secret societies and religious rebels, with intimate glimpses of the histories of China, Korea and Japan, their conflicts and transformations. The book also charts the migration of martial arts to the United States and beyond. Special attention is paid to the turmoil of the twentieth century, the cross-cultural influence of Japanese colonies in Asia, and the post-war rise of martial arts in sport and entertainment - including the legacy of Bruce Lee, the dilemma of the ninja and the global audience for martial arts in fiction.
Spiritual Dimensions of the Martial Arts is a study of the meditative and religious elements that form the core of the great martial arts traditions. Unsurpassed in scope and detail, this martial arts book covers the spiritual beliefs and the practices of the fighting arts of India, China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Brazil, and the United States. Subjects discussed include: Bruce Lee's unique views on spirituality and meditation Rituals used to induce altered states of consciousness in Indonesian Pencak-Silat The unusual relationship of Korea's Hwarang warriors to Mahayana Buddhism The importance of Buddhist ritual in Muay Thai Spiritual practices in the Filipino martial arts The significance of Zen and esoteric Buddhism to the Samurai The relationship of Indian martial arts to Yoga The impact of Daoist concepts on the Chinese martial arts Psychological development and martial arts training
China can easily boast of its great martial traditions, which many would say is the richest in the world. There are a variety of styles from the north to the south that encompass an extensive repertoire of open-hand and weapon techniques. The ten chapters in this anthology illustrated this wide spectrum. Mark Wiley’s interview with Hou Faxiang presents a fundamental healing modality famous in China — qigong, the nourishing and practical use of internal energy. Its theory and practice is entwined in many martial art styles.In chapters two and three, Robert W. Smith, introduces us to two Shaolin style masters whom he met during his stay in Taiwan. Since Han Qingtang was the top notch expert in joint-locking techniques, Smith managed to photograph seven of Han’s fundamental techniques. General Gao Fangxian was likewise a practical martial artist with an overwhelming presence, even when smiling. In a technical section he shows the might of Northern Shaolin.Southern Hung Gar is the topic for the next two chapters. Allan Ondash focuses on special kicking methods usually done simultaneously with hand usage, making the kicks difficult for a defender to notice being executed. His chapter is followed by Mark Jensen’s interview with Kwok Wing Lam detailing Iron Palm history and training. Yang Jwingming is known worldwide for his knowledge and personal skills in Chinese martial arts, primarily Long Fist and taijiquan. I conducted a lengthly two-part interview that provides information about Master Yang’s early years in Taiwan through his martial arts career in the United States. Stephen Berwick is well-known as one of the first Americans to become a highly respected practitioner and scholar of Chen Style Taijiquan. The interview conducted by Richard Florence shows the roadwork Berwick took to make his dreams come true—to be part of the longstanding Chen Family art. The ninth chapter by Dr. Donald Cheung presents the unique “cow herding stick” as taught by Xiao Mingkui, a Praying Mantis and Chen Taiji practitioner. The final chapter by Jake Burroughs looks at how the head is used in various striking techniques as found in many styles. We hope you will enjoy the material in this anthology, the personal stories of dedicated masters, and the rare photographs of their history and techniques.
Most learn about martial arts through movies and print publications, primarily fictional. "Fiction is drama, the blood of drama is conflict, and martial arts are rooted in conflict," writes James Grady in chapter one. Good fiction uses martial arts well, while poor writing skills can be plain boring! This anthology is a collection of fifteen articles that cover the richness and depth of Asian martial arts in both movies and literature. After look over the array of topics, I decided to utilize writings by James Grady for the two introductory chapters. Grady is an internationally renowned writer and investigative journalist known for his nail-biting thriller novels. His early novel was adapted to film as Three days of the Condor (1975) starring Robert Redford. Grady has since written over a dozen wonderful novels and in between wrote two excellent pieces for the Journal of Asian Martial Arts: one dealing with movies and another with literature. The following chapters are greatly enriched by the informative contents in Grady’s chapters. Details about movie-making are provided in the interview with producer Andre Morgan (Enter the Dragon, Walter Texas Ranger, Martial Law, etc.), plus the inside scoop in the publishing and film industries in the interview with multifaceted Curtis Wong. Actor/producer/kickboxing champion Don Wilson provides insights from both sides of the camera in his interview. Among the chapters are Albert Dalia’s exposition of China’s “wandering martial hero” stories that have roots reaching back two thousand years; Christopher Bates’ excerpt from Xiang Kairan’s Tales of Chivalrous and Altruistic Heroes; and Olivia Mok’s research and translations of sections of Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain, a Louis Cha’s novel of 1959. In the latter, Mok extricates references to dianxue—the methods of attacking vital points. We also have fiction focusing on Japanese and Chinese martial traditions by John Donohue, Peter Graebner, John DeRose, and John Gilbey’s (aka, Robert W. Smith)—each highlighting combative experience, theory and technique with cultural trimmings. Interviews with Barry Eisler and Author Rosenfeld give insight into scholar/practitioners whose published novels contain text colored by their knowledge of the martial arts and culture. We hope you’ll find this book captivating, exciting, heroic, spellbinding, content rich, fascinating, penetrating . . .