MARTIAL ARTS STUDIES - An Academic Journal of the Martial Arts (UPDATE 08/21/2015)

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by Bullitt68, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    25,020
    Likes Received:
    4,043
    ****UPDATE HERE****

    Hello, Sherdoggers. I have created this Sticky to call attention to an interesting new development in the realm of academia that I think could be of interest to a number of you hardcore martial arts enthusiasts/practitioners. Now, some of you may know me, be it as a die-hard fan of Ken Shamrock and Cro Cop who will always defend their legacies even as they struggle to retain (with varying degrees of success :icon_lol:) their former glory or as an obsessed movie fan whose taste runs the gamut from Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock to Bruce Lee and Steven Seagal, while some of you may not know me beyond being a blue name at the bottom of the forums (if that). For those who don't know me, I'm an academic specializing in film studies (if anyone knows of a way to be a bigger nerd, let me know :wink:) and as of late, my writing has been focused on martial arts, specifically as they appear in the films of Bruce Lee (of course :cool:) and Sensei Seagal (deal with it :p). In searching for places to publish this kind of writing, I became aware of an emergent conversation that has been brought under the heading "Martial Arts Studies." This nascent field of inquiry has produced a special issue of a UK-based journal and, most recently, the creation of a new journal devoted entirely to Martial Arts Studies.

    Two of the leading names in this emerging field, Paul Bowman (the leading academic Bruce Lee scholar with interests in representations of the martial arts in movies as well as fighting styles as diverse as the Keysi Fighting Method and Tai Chi) and Benjamin Judkins (a historian of Chinese martial arts with a particular emphasis on Wing Chun in combative, social, and economic contexts), are the founding editors of the new Martial Arts Studies journal, which I encourage any of you Sherdoggers interested in sustained, in-depth discussions of martial arts to keep an eye on and follow as it builds a base of researchers and readers (read their "mission statement" HERE).

    By way of an introduction to Martial Arts Studies, here is some interesting work that has been done under this banner:

    1) Instituting Reality in Martial Arts Practice - This is an essay written by Bowman and published in the special Martial Arts Studies issue of the journal he runs through his department at Cardiff University, the JOMEC Journal (in which I also contributed an essay on martial arts cinema, which any interested posters can read HERE). Bowman's concern in this essay is with the way we think of the "reality" of combat, whether as a universal notion that forms the background of our understanding of fighting or whether as determined specifically in relation to the various fighting styles out there from Wing Chun and Karate to BJJ and Muay Thai. For examples of the kind of writing one will find in this and other Martial Arts Studies essays (against the stereotypes of academic writing as either dry and hermetic prose in terms of content or dull charts and silly statistics in terms of form) these two passages can be taken as exemplary of the kind of incisive thinking being directed at the martial arts:

     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  2. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    25,020
    Likes Received:
    4,043
    THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE JOURNAL HAS BEEN PUBLISHED!

    This is the journal homepage where you can download - for free - the entire issue or individual articles and these are the essays included along with their abstracts so you get a sense of what they're about:

    1) Paul Bowman - Asking the Question: Is Martial Arts Studies an Academic Field?

    2) Sixt Wetzler - Martial Arts Studies as Kulturwissenschaft: A Possible Theoretical Framework

    3) D.S. Farrer - Efficacy and Entertainment in Martial Arts Studies: Anthropological Perspectives

    4) Jared Miracle - Imposing the Terms of the Battle: Donn F. Draeger, Count Dante, and the Struggle for American Martial Arts Identity

    5) Alexander Hay - The Art and Politics of Fence: Subtexts and Ideologies of Late 16th Century Fencing Manuals

    6) Me - History in the Making: Martial Arts between Planet Hollywood and Planet Hong Kong

    There are also four book reviews which discuss important recent publications related to the martial arts.

    Enjoy!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    25,020
    Likes Received:
    4,043
    4) "As Real As It Gets!" Producing Hyperviolence in Mixed Martial Arts - This essay was written by Greg Downey, an anthropologist interested in, in his words, the "perceptual, phenomenological, and physiological effects of long-term physical training." Downey follows threads intimately related to those pursued by Bowman and Bolelli with respect to the notions of "reality" which pervade the martial arts in general and MMA in particular. Downey delves deeper into MMA than either Bowman or Bolelli, however, as he centers his discussion on the paradox that emerged with the rise of the UFC, which he explicates in the following fashion:

    Of all the essays, Downey's is the one I disagree with the most as he argues with a naive binary logic for a split between the "real" old days of the NHB era and the new "fake" stuff of the contemporary era, but I'll take disagreement over the absence of serious MMA discussions any day (hell, if I didn't enjoy disagreeing with people so much, I never would've made it this long on here :icon_chee).

    5) From Many Masters to Many Students: YouTube, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Communities of Practice - This essay was written by Dale C. Spencer, a sociologist, BJJ student, and author of Ultimate Fighting and Embodiment: Violence, Gender and Mixed Martial Arts. In this essay, Spencer provides a unique and timely look at video and Internet martial arts pedagogy (remember that Evan Tanner first learned BJJ by watching old Gracie VHS tapes :cool:) in comparison to the old mythical days of mysterious fighting sects passing down deadly combat secrets through generations. Beyond the introductory sections, Spencer offers an insightful analysis of the specificity of BJJ techniques before ultimately elucidating the possibilities available to martial artists with the help of Youtube videos. This essay is especially relevant when one remembers the Gracie Breakdown Youtube series (I especially love the breakdown of Royce/Ken I, except of course for the part at the end where they promulgate the retarded and bullshit myth that Ken denied tapping, which he never did :mad:) or considers Cro Cop's impending "online academy" (which, in case you hadn't heard about it, you can check out HERE).

    And this is but a small sampling of the stuff that has been written in this rapidly expanding field. There has been a lot more interesting stuff written over the years and there is a lot more scheduled to appear down the road. Most notably in terms of upcoming publications are Bowman's book Martial Arts Studies: Disrupting Disciplinary Boundaries, which will attempt to officially though provisionally establish the theoretical coordinates for this discourse, and Judkins' book The Creation of Wing Chun: A Social History of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts, which will be an expanded version of the brief account provided in his essay on the invention of Kung Fu that will be interested in the wider-reaching implications of martial arts practice in and beyond China from the 1800s to today.

    I'm sure there will be some of you who will see this as an annoying if not insignificant "nerdification" of MMA and martial arts divorced from concrete issues in fighting and combat sports, but I hope even just a quick glance at some of what I've posted here will be able to change your minds. As for those of you who, like me, want to see conversations about MMA and martial arts develop along more substantial avenues than flame wars on forums or random blogs the quality of which tends to vary from readable to garbage, this work will hopefully find receptive readers. It's unfortunate, but even the bigger news sites like our own Sherdog rarely find the time to publish serious engagements with martial arts amidst the non-stop cataloging of the goings-on around the MMA world. Those of you who share these sentiments, please feel free to post any thoughts or suggestions for further reading, and be sure to keep an eye out for future developments in relation to Martial Arts Studies.

    Cheers, Sherdoggers.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  4. Kingfarthur

    Kingfarthur Purple Belt

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Kalamazoo Michigan
    Thanks for the thread. Pretty interesting stuff.
     
  5. EndlessCritic

    EndlessCritic Gold Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    22,558
    Likes Received:
    18,009
    Did you just say Ken denied tapping? Are you kidding? He tapped, and then when Royce let go, tried to keep fighting.
     
  6. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    25,020
    Likes Received:
    4,043
    No problem. Thanks for the positive feedback.

    I said I hate the myth that he denied tapping because at no point did he ever do that. He tapped, Royce let go, the ref didn't see it and told them to continue at which point Royce jumped back onto Ken's back. Ken had no idea what was going on, grabbed Royce's leg when he felt him come back on top of him, and then when he realized what was going on and the ref asked if he tapped, he confirmed that he had and said as much directly to Royce and in the post-fight interview.

    And yet people still go around acting like Ken was trying to pull a fast one.
     
  7. Troublesome10

    Troublesome10 non serviam belt

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    7,494
    Likes Received:
    1,871
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm not too sure what to do with this information, but it was a pretty cool summation of the type of work being done in the journal, and I will probably get around to reading some more stuff from it.
    Personally, I enjoy the technical aspects- the minutia, the details- of any subject, especially combat sports; so the more the better IMO.

    Thanks for posting.
     
  8. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    25,020
    Likes Received:
    4,043
    That people would read it was all I could hope for. Thanks for both reading and commenting.
     
  9. Troublesome10

    Troublesome10 non serviam belt

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    7,494
    Likes Received:
    1,871
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Cheers mate. Bookmarked the links for later reading pleasure.
     
  10. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    25,020
    Likes Received:
    4,043
    [​IMG]
     
  11. DanMMAleague

    DanMMAleague Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    Messages:
    2,439
    Likes Received:
    2,370
    Interesting thread will read when it's not 2am.
     
  12. ocfightfan

    ocfightfan Gold Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    23,419
    Likes Received:
    13,158
    Location:
    In the lab with Jon Jones B sample
    I hope you guys keep this stickied. I think I'm going to enjoy this quite a bit. Here is to a successful run!
     
  13. spid3yo

    spid3yo Guest

    As a both a school owner/instructor and die hard MMA fan since UFC 1 I will be checking out the information. Mixed Martial Arts in many ways has changed the "industry" (at least here in America). I appreciate the work you did putting this out there!
     
  14. Arkade

    Arkade Green Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    99
    Love this stuff. Really wish threads like this were more consistent on this forum. Gonna read it, bookmark it, and probably read it again. Much appreciated.
     
  15. aRtFuL

    aRtFuL Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,079
    Likes Received:
    110
    Good stuff will read through all the stuff that you've linked eventually. Imo martial artists should be verse in both the technical as well as the theoretical aspects of it in order to have decent understanding of martial arts... I mean, if you look at other arts such as Music and painting there is a lot of theory shit behind it that artists studies everyday.
     
  16. Imblackyo

    Imblackyo Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    London
    Looks good going to read it now.
     
  17. A Muse of Fire

    A Muse of Fire Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,797
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    VA
    Very cool! Thanks
     
  18. Dreaming Dead

    Dreaming Dead Black Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,350
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    Brazil
    Anything coming from Bullit68 is bound to be interesting. Gonna read it later. Thanks!
     
  19. stav

    stav Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    4,802
    Likes Received:
    1,159
    Location:
    Australia
    The way I remember it is yes...he did not deny tapping you are right.

    When he realized the ref did not see him tap he was struggling within himself. He took a bit of time and Royce even had a few words with him in the Octagon b4 he finally admitted it.
     
  20. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    25,020
    Likes Received:
    4,043
    ^^^^

    I appreciate the positive feedback, guys. And please feel free to ask questions or post comments about anything you read in here or elsewhere.

    I definitely agree with this sentiment. Interestingly, this was a point of debate a little while back. Last January, Paul Bowman posted THIS write-up on martial arts and "the need for theory." Ben Judkins then hosted THIS response by a man named Stanford Chiou to Bowman's write-up on his Kung Fu Tea blog, which challenged some of his assertions. Bowman then offered THIS in response.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  21. Gambledub

    Gambledub Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,970
    Likes Received:
    573
    Location:
    chopping gifs
    This should be an awesome read thanks! I read over a medical report about what happens when vascular chokes are applied a while ago. I'll try find it again.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.