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  Subjects -> SPORTS AND GAMES (Total: 199 journals)
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Martial Arts Studies
Number of Followers: 0  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2057-5696
Published by Cardiff University Homepage  [3 journals]
  • ‘Have the Highest Righteous Fencer in Your Mind’s Eye’: Medieval
           Martial Ethic as a Conceptual Repository for Just War Theory

    • Abstract: In many cultures, war has been seen as something best avoided, but also as something that would nevertheless inevitably materialise. Hence, legitimate reasons for waging war have been sought and conceptualised in different cultural contexts. According to current scholarly wisdom, all such conceptualisations are socially constructed and hence inevitably draw from cultural resources available in a given time and place, such as axiological frameworks, religious and mythological imaginaries, power structures, etc. A question which has so far received little to no attention, however, is the role of violence experienced on the personal level in shaping these conceptualisations. This question is applied to the late Middle Ages and a unique German martial arts treatise, called the ‘Nuremberg Codex’ [HS 3227a]. A qualitative content analysis performed on this manuscript reveals an interplay between pragmatic observations obtained through martial practice and axiological frameworks. Through discussing the broader historical-cultural context of martial arts in late-medieval and early-modern Germany as well as the late-medieval just war theory, three conclusions are proposed: first, restraint in combat was seen as both a pragmatic and an ethical necessity; second, moral conduct was an integral part of martial technique, on a par with ‘mundane’ factors, such as proper physical preparation; and third, axiology found specific somatic manifestations, as exemplified by medieval Germans’ attitude towards thrusting with the sword. Published on 2022-06-13 00:00:00
  • Translating Chinese Traditional Culture into institutional Sport: An
           ethnographic study of taijiquan in China

    • Abstract: This article presents three different sites of taijiquan practice in the People’s Republic of China, where this traditional practice is organized by state institutions. This introduces new representations and norms related to modern ideas of sport as well as of national culture. By observing taijiquan practices in institutionally diverse settings, this paper explores the dynamic process by which Chinese state institutions and practitioners articulate specific understandings of traditional culture with a certain idea of national governance and the modernization of society. While institutions rely on taijiquan body technics and theoretical elements to promote an orthodox traditional cultural landscape, practitioners also actively articulate traditional values and modes of socialization when taking part in institutional activities. Throughout the discussion of the three ethnographic case studies, this paper reflects on the ways that the broad idea of Traditional Culture is accommodated by various social actors in today’s People Republic of China. Published on 2022-06-13 00:00:00
  • Framing Spirituality in Martial Arts: an Embodied Comprehension Through

    • Abstract: This study aims to frame the notion of spirituality in martial arts through a phenomenological perspective as a philosophical and a methodological point of view. It considers martial arts as embodied experiences based on pre-reflexive acts in fighting processes. In these practices, the body constantly moves and there is not much time for the practitioner to reflect before choosing and executing each technique. Thus, it is a reflection on unreflected action, linked to an understanding of spirituality based in phenomenology. As discussed by Merleau-Ponty, a movement is not only related to what we think about the world, but also to what we can do in it. This involves not only perceiving the object, but also a specific situation and how to be able to do something in a certain time and space. This phenomenological understanding suggests that a movement is never randomly executed: we do something, always engaged in a specific situation. Through this perspective, when framing spirituality in martial arts, we highlight the relationship between subject and things considered meaningful to enable or enhance such practices. This sort of experience (spirituality in martial arts) consists of an act of which one may not be consciously aware. Published on 2022-06-13 00:00:00
  • The Kalaripayattu Salutation: Movement Makes Meaning

    • Abstract: Vanakkam is the ritual salutation performed at different stages during the learning and practice of kalaripayattu, the martial arts system of Kerala. All vanakkams are united by their devotional character despite using expressly martial movements such as kicks and blocks. At the same time, there are differences in style, structure, and the interpretation of symbolism and significance even among Hindu kalaris, with even further greater variation in the vanakkams used in Muslim and Christian kalaris. Moreover, each weapon of the kalaripayattu form has its particular and specific vanakkam. This article uses the conceptual terms in the Natya Shastra, natya dharmi (what is suitable for the stage) and loka dharmi (what is suitable for daily life), introducing a very early binary of categories as separate, not interchangeable, classifications of movement. It looks to Maxine Sheets-Johnstone’s ‘From Movement to Dance’ as she examines ‘how meaning emerges in dance’ to decode the process of representation as it applies to the kalaripayattu vanakkam. It then goes on to analyse vanakkams through their shared choreographic structure in order to show how context affects the way movement vocabularies are read. How does a kick transcend its ordinary signification and take on ritual meaning, and how is this meaning influenced by Islam, Hinduism and Christianity' Published on 2022-06-13 00:00:00
  • Editorial: Where Martiality and Religion Meet: Health, Sport, War

    • Abstract: This editorial presents the main questions that drive this themed issue on the links that exist between martial arts practices and religions. How can terminological, categorical and definitional boundaries be delineated to frame the two notions' What are the contemporary dynamics that redefine their relationships, from the processes of formalisation and specialisation, to the phenomena of patrimonialization. crossbreeding, hybridisation and (re)invention' How might martial arts become a practice of peace' The various contributions in this collection provide several elements of an answer to this question, by offering insights into the violent and conflictual propensities of martial practices but also into their ethical, ritual, performative, therapeutic and regulatory dimensions. Published on 2022-06-13 00:00:00
  • Tailored Forms of Taiji for Depression

    • Abstract: This paper intervenes in the debate about the effectiveness of ‘tai chi’ (henceforth taiji) forms tailored for specific illnesses by looking at the example of their use in the treatment of depression. In the efforts to bring taiji to the West, one movement has been toward simplification. Another is the development of tailored forms. This paper analyzes two new forms of taiji for depression, created by contemporary American teachers Drs Aihan Kuhn and Albert Yeung. I argue that studies are needed to compare the medical effectiveness of tailored forms with more traditional forms. Questions to be explored in such studies would range from the clinical to the sociological. Do tailored forms of taiji provide improved outcomes for the conditions targeted' What about the usefulness of such forms for patients with co-morbidities' Do tailored forms ‘treat’ one illness, but have less effectiveness in preventing the onset of other illnesses' And finally, would tailored forms better fit into a Western perspective on treating illness and therefore be more readily assimilated into the Western health care system' The analysis of the creation and dissemination of tailored forms is significant for understanding the history and development of taijiquan in a global context. Published on 2022-06-13 00:00:00
  • Mexican capoeira is not diasporic! – On glocalization, migration and
           the North-South divide

    • Abstract: This paper contributes to the understanding of martial arts globalization processes. It focuses on the development of capoeira in Mexico, which is presented as an example of glocalization. In contrast to the diasporic capoeira observed by Delamont and Stephens in the UK, capoeira in Mexico is characterized by the proliferation of local groups with classes taught by Mexican instructors, as well as by advanced cultural reinterpretation. To explain these differences, capoeira is considered as the bodily capital of Brazilian migrants whose mobility patterns are influenced by the North-South divide. This paper hypothesizes that glocalization processes similar to Mexico’s might exist throughout Hispanic Latin America and other regions of the Global South. Furthermore, the diaspora-glocalization divide could be a pattern in the globalization process of practices that originated in the South which spread as part of migrants’ bodily capital. Finally, I ask how capoeira’s glocalization in Mexico might anticipate similar processes in the global North. Published on 2021-07-19 00:00:00
  • Book Review:The Historical Sociology of Japanese Martial Arts by Raúl
           Sánchez García

    • Abstract: The Historical Sociology of Japanese Martial Arts contains a comprehensive history of Japanese martial arts compiled by Spanish historical sociologist Raúl Sánchez García. However, it is not simply an overview intended to introduce Japanese martial arts to the West. In this work, the field of Japanese martial arts is used as a case study. According to Raúl, his motivation for writing the book was in that although Norbert Elias was particularly fascinated by the Japanese civilizing process, he finished his research career without turning his hand to it. Furthermore, Raúl himself has developed his own career as a researcher in the path laid down by Elias’ sociology, and this work displays Raúl’s zeal to tackle the challenges left by Elias. Published on 2021-07-19 00:00:00
  • Distress Tolerance Imagery Training

    • Abstract: Martial artists often use imagery training, both for technical skill development and for managing the self and others in conflict situations. There appears, however, to be no consistent method of imaging work employed to help develop such skills. We therefore present the PETTLEP approach – Physical, Environment, Task, Timing, Learning, Emotion, Perspective – drawn from the field of sports psychology, as a unifying theoretical framework for dynamic imagery interventions and propose a novel protocol for distress tolerance imagery work to help train martial artists in coping with stressful/conflict events. Such tools have a range of values and may be particularly important during periods when face to face, hands-on, or simulation drill training as part of martial arts practise may be impractical, such as during the COVID-19 crisis. Published on 2021-07-19 00:00:00
  • Krav Maga: History, Representation, and Globalization of a Self-Defense
           System from Israel

    • Abstract: Krav maga (‘close combat’) is a ‘no-rules’ self-defense practice, which has over the last thirty years become increasingly popular in gyms, martial art dojos, and combat sports centers all over the world. My research shows how stereotypes of ‘Israeliness’ and myths of an undefeated Israel Defense Force (IDF) have become key elements of krav maga’s global promotion. The article describes how first-generation instructors react to krav maga’s global increase in popularity, a dynamic I understand as a form of ‘solidification’. This article provides a cultural studies approach mapping out the various tropes that produce krav maga as a globally recognizable signifier for self-defense. Published on 2021-07-19 00:00:00
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