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Sociology 1871Z: Martial Arts, Culture, and Society

Meets at Sayles Hall 306 on Wednesdays, 3-5:20


Instructor:
Michael D. Kennedy
Professor of Sociology and International Studies
Office hours on Wednesdays (10-12) and Thursdays, 11-12:30 (but email to confirm)
and by appointment
Room 111 Maxcy Hall
To reinvent liberal learning will require a search for techniques and new
curricular structures to bring bodily functioning and its attendant feelings into
greater consciousness. The converse inquiries would concern how mental
processes affect bodily functions. For example, since energy follows attention,
attending to various parts of the body can direct energy in ways that produce
feelings of relaxation, strength, stability, or harmony. And then, combining these
two interactive paths, bodymindfulness curricula could address what have hitherto
been treated as purely intellectual problems. From them and from future
explorations, one can identify numerous bodymind practices that can promote
personal well-being, right action, and enhanced social participation. 1
In this upper level undergraduate course for which there are no prerequisites, we will
consider how sociology, and other social sciences, can help us understand martial arts and
how martial arts might inform the social sciences. This is one way to respond to Levines
invitation above: we shall consider how various bodymindful martial practices, their
organizations, and their cultures shape, and are shaped by, different structures of power
and social relations at various levels of society.
We concentrate on martial arts because they straddle such an important axial dimension
of society around violence. Although they can identify their origins in the ways of
warriors and in resistance to those warrior classes, martial arts also can be quite distant
from the execution of real violence, whether by embracing peaceful philosophies (evident
in some forms of aikido, for example), through ritualization (evident in substantially
orchestrated forms of interaction and classes, as in some forms of karate), through
extensive regulation in sport (as in Olympic boxing, wrestling, judo, and taekwondo) and
even through healing arts association with some martial arts, notably through Qiqong
and ho'oponopono.
Martial arts also can become part of the spectacle of violence, of course: ultimate fighting
or mixed martial arts is exemplary, but even here, its increasing regulation suggests a
departure from its earlier no holds barred forms. Regardless of that activitys evolution, in
such practice where bloodied faces and submissions bordering on breakage are typical,
1 Donald Levine, Powers of the Mind: Reinventing Liberal Education in America.
University of Chicago, 2006: 196-97
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its hard to know whether such spectacles extend or diminish the execution of
unnecessary violence elsewhere. But we shall consider how we might learn, for in this
course, we shall study the relationship between martial arts and broader features of
society. We shall do so on the foundation of closer examination of particular martial arts
themselves.
I have decided to focus on martial arts that emphasize hand to hand contest, rather than
on those that use weapons, especially long distance weapons. Although some might find
zen in the art of archery to be a useful way for exploring the capacities of the mind and
body, in this course we focus more on those arts that grapple, strike, and throw, therefore
requiring physical contact with the opponent. I believe this focus enables the extension of
bodymindfulness to address not only ones own, but that of others, more directly, and in
that sense, acquire a greater social awareness than what weapons at a distance allow. But
in your own work, I am willing to consider explorations of other martial practices by you
so long as it realizes the basic aims described in the following paragraphs.
By comparing the practice, organization, scholarly studies and expert and popular culture
around boxing, wrestling, kung fu/tai chi, karate, taekwondo, judo, aikido, muay thai,
capoeira, lua, and mixed martial arts, primarily within the USA, I want to explore the
extent to which these different arts realize similar outcomes, as in increasing awareness
and kinesthetic powers, and how we might discover that rather than assume it.
That means, first of all, that we need to explore these arts in their own terms, in their own
particular forms of practice. For instance, what kinds of techniques are emphasized, and
what kinds discouraged or forbidden? Do strikes and linear motions produce the same
kinds of bodymindfulness as more circular flowing techniques? We also want to look at
their social organization. For instance, how are these various forms housed, regulated and
organized? What are the rules of etiquette within martial arts spaces? How are lines of
authority established? What histories or rules are used to justify those etiquettes and
authority structures? And what is the relationship among various martial arts
organizations and practices? Do they mix? Why or why not?
Such questions are not designed to produce similarity; indeed, one might see this
exploration of martial arts in the traditions of comparative and historical sociology,
especially of Reinhard Bendix whose method in contrasting contexts could highlight
similarities even as it would clarify subtle, and fundamental differences. With that point,
we can already see one of this courses limits.
We dont cover the worlds range of martial arts. We dont address traditions that have
developed their own substantial and growing global followings (Russian, Israeli, South
Asian, and Southeast Asian come to mind), or those that invite substantial interest even if
the size of their followings are more limited, as among Native American traditions. If
you wish to explore any of them for your own research, you are most welcome, and I can
suggest some points of departure. However, this is not a course only about martial arts
themselves.

We also want to consider how these arts relate to other dynamics in society, notably in
relation to inequalities and violence writ large. By moving beyond the martial arts per se,
to consider their articulation with these larger political, social, and cultural questions, we
can consider different matters entirely. How, for example, do these martial arts teach their
practitioners about the character of the body? How do they encourage us to consider
gender, hierarchy and nationalism, militarism and peace? With such a focus, we also can
consider the conditions and consequences of these arts identification as performance,
sport, or combat. We also can explore, likewise, the implications of whether these arts are
understood to be based on values of openness or secrecy, and how each might be related
to individuation, on the one hand, or group identity formation, on the other. There is
much for us to consider, and your interests will be influence what we address.
Given these interests in the articulation of the martial arts with the broader society, we
also must consider how these various forms of martial arts are themselves represented in
broader popular culture. Although such an examination ought to be global and
comparative in focus, most of our work will focus on the history of these cultural
representations in the US. We therefore will engage the most significant American martial
art in popular culture boxing. Ill make films about boxing available, and we shall read
and discuss one ethnography of a boxing gym by Loic Wacquant. His treatment of
various sociological elements the body, kinetic learning, the sports place in the
immediate culture, the establishment of hierarchy within the gym, and the particular place
of the gym itself in the local terrain can inform how we approach other martial arts.
Wrestling is another martial art that is central to US culture, although its character varies
much more widely in the popular culture, from its form as pure sport in high school,
collegiate wrestling, and the Olympics through the so-called professional variety,
involving fixed outcomes and outrageous performance. There are also important
variations across the world in wrestling forms not only between American and Olympic
rules, but across national cultures where wrestling embodies national identity. Well
consider some of these national variations, as well as consider how wrestling might be
changing as a consequence of the introduction of Ultimate Fighting as a new and
compelling fixture on the American cultural landscape, and destination of some of the
best American wrestlers. And we can address contemporary issues too: how is it possible
that the Olympics might drop wrestling from its roster? What does that shift say about
the place of wrestling in the world, and the Olympics hierarchy of valued sports?
When we think of martial arts, however, we most typically consider kung fu, karate, and
other East Asian forms. This is, in large part, because of the power of media, and most
notably Hong Kong martial arts cinema. The documentary, Art of Action, is an
exceptionally useful resource here, one I shall also make available.
The stars that emerge from these media are genuine martial artists themselves Bruce
Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, to name but a few. Well spend some time thinking about how
these individual artists represent martial arts to popular audiences, and what the
variation in their own depictions suggest about the character of martial arts. Well also
consider some less authentic representations of martial arts, including various

generations of Batman to that send up synthesis of martial arts movies, Kill Bill. Perhaps
we ought also to consider what Buffys martial arts against monsters has done for girl
power. Lets think together about these, drawing on, I suspect, a pretty rich background
you all bring to class.
From there, well turn to a more intense examination of particular forms of martial arts
and their relationship to one another. In particular, well focus on karate, taekwondo,
aikido, judo, kung fu, comparing their forms of organization, principles of distinction,
and histories. In particular, well consider why these East Asian forms tend to dominate
the formal training opportunities within American culture, even while they have many
different connotations as well. Well also consider capoiera and lua in this context, and
compare their rather distinct appeals and forms of social engagement.
This is not just a course about martial arts and its social connotations. Its about the
interaction between social science and martial arts, how each can inform the other. As
such, my selection of readings is biased toward academics who engage martial arts, much
like the Journal of Asian Martial Arts emphasized, or as Donald Levine exemplifies. But
there are many important things to learn from those who are martial arts practitioners
first; indeed, regardless of whether they publish, we should consider them our partners in
this quest to learn more about the interactions of martial arts and social science.
As such, we shall also enjoy guests in our classes, martial artists who are themselves
accomplished scholars in their own ways too. Sometimes they are both conventional
scholars and martial artists, as Donald Levine, a professor of sociology and master in
aikido http://www.donlevine.com/ . Sometimes they carry a more traditional fusion of
knowledges, as Kumu Ramsay Taum http://ramsaytaum.com/ and Wen-ching Wu
http://www.waydragon.com/masterwu.html. In their examples, we also see something
profound about these martial arts and their implications for how we approach the world.
Well work together to consider how martial arts and social science might inform one
another, and their common social engagements. Your background, openness, and
engagement are critical to the success of this course, and I look forward to building this
course with you.
General Format of the Course: Our guest speaker or I will introduce the subject for
discussion, sometimes with physical demonstration which you may be asked to join.
Following that introduction, we open up to various forms of engagement and discussion.
Requirements:
1. One Commentary (no more than 1,000 words) on Martial Arts and the non-martial
Arts (examples of potential projects given throughout the syllabus, but also
consider developing your own approach to the relationship of martial arts to
dance, visual arts, music, theater and so on) (20%) To be submitted electronically
48 hours before the relevant discussion.

2. Lead Discussant in One Class (10%) here you are responsible for reading not
only the required materials but also some, if not all, of the additional materials
plus what you might find on your own in order to bequeath to your descendents
reading lists. You are expected to be prepared with a series of discussion
questions based on that list.
3. Proposal for Final Paper/Project (10%) and Final Paper/Project (40%) Your 3
page proposal must describe your research intentions:
a) What martial art(s) will be the focus?
b) How will you gather data?
c) What is your principal question for research?
d) How will your research change what you already know?
e) What background do you now have in martial arts?
Your final project can be in any medium, and follow any articulation of martial
and liberal arts you wish. You will find examples throughout the course and the
syllabus, but you must have a proposal identifying principal question, data, and
resources to me by the sixth class, October 9.
4. Class Participation (20%): because each one of us brings a distinctive expertise to
this class, and nobody has sufficient range to engage all the questions we pursue
here, I expect each person to contribute in discussion significantly, using their
own voice augmented by what they have read and learned.
Resources:
It may also be useful to review the contents of the Journal of Asian Martial Arts
http://www.journalofasianmartialarts.com/ given its resonance with much of this course.
We read selections from the journals final edited collection Michael DeMarco (ed.)
Asian Martial Arts: Constructive Thoughts and Practical Applications. Via Media
Publications, 2012, which might also lead you to particular issues in the digital archive.
There are also many other kinds of electronic journals about martial arts evident here:
http://ejmas.com/.
One of the most useful references you could have is Thomas A. Green and Joseph R.
Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation.
Santa Barbara: ABC Clio, 2010. The editors revised and expanded their already useful
(2001) collection to reflect both geographical coherence and topical themes. I can make
available to you this resource.
The following are some of the martial arts to which they devote entries:
From Africa:
Canary Islands Stick Fighting and Wrestling
Dambe
Gidigbo
Moraingy
Zulu Stick Fighting

From the Americas:


52 Hand Blocks/Jailhouse Rock
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Capoeira
Caribbean Martial Arts
Kenpo Karate
From Central and Southwest Asia:
Central Asian Archery
Iranian Martial Arts
Mongolian Martial Arts
Ottoman Martial Arts
Ottoman Oiled Wrestling
From East Asia:
China: Boxing Styles
China: Martial Arts
China: Martial Arts in Hong Kong
China: Martial Arts in Taiwan
China: Martial Theories
China: Martial Women
China: Shaolin Temple Lengends
China: Weapons
China: Wrestling
Japan: Jujutsu
Japan: Judo
Japan: Aikido
Japan: Kendo
Japan: Jo
Japan: Kyudo
Japan:Naginata
Japan: Ninpo
Japan: Shorinji Kempo
Japan: Sumo
Korea: Hapkido
Korea: Kumdo
Korea: Ssireum
Korea: Taekkyon
Korea: Taekwondo
Okinawa: Karate
From Europe:
Amazons and Gladiatrices
Canne de Combat
Celtic Martial Arts
English Pugilism

Fighting Arts of the Hellenic, Hellenistic, and Roman Eras


Fighting Arts of the Early Middle Ages
Fighting Arts of the Later Middle Ages
Fighting Arts of the Renaissance
Savate, Chausson, and French Boxing
From Oceania
Australia
Melanesia
Micronesia
Polynesia: Tahiti, HawaiI, and Aotearoa (New Zealand)
From South Asia
South Asian Martial Arts
Indian Wrestling
Thang-Ta
From Southeast Asia:
Arnis
Kuntao
Muay Thai
Silat
Their second volume is organized thematically, by regional belief systems, the
commodification of leisure, expressive culture, globalization of martial arts, martial
media, military, paramilitary and law enforcement methods; performing arts; political
uses of martial arts, and secret societies and fraternal organizations.
Provisional Schedule
Date

Topic

Class 1 September 4 Introduction


No Required Reading.
Part I: Unity of Sociology and Martial Arts
Class 2 September 11

A sociology of martial arts

What Are Martial Arts? What is the relationship between martial arts and other kinds of
knowledge and practice? What kind of sociology helps us understand martial arts? How
can martial arts enhance sociology? How might considering these major dimensions of
identification and power within and across societies -- Gender, Race, Nationality, Class
shape how we think about martial arts sociology? And what kind of research can we
practice in order to answer that question better?

Readings:
1. Donald N. Levine, The Liberal Arts and the Martial Arts pp 1-17 and The
Martial Arts as a Resource for Liberal Education pp. 18-31 in Aikido Practice As
A Signpost to The Way: Selected Essays on Aikido and Nonviolet Interaction
(December 2010)
http://www.donlevine.com/uploads/1/1/3/8/11384462/aiki_waza_8-9-12.pdf
2. Donald Levine, Kinesthetic Powers, pp. 194-197 in Powers of the Mind:
Reinventing Liberal Education in America. University of Chicago, 2006.
3. John Donahue, Writing Sword: Twenty Years of Thought, Action and Inspiration
from the Journal of Asian Martial Arts pp. 2-9 and Michael DeMarco, The
Secrets of an Asian Martial Arts Publisher pp. 154-63 in Michael DeMarco (ed.)
Asian Martial Arts: Constructive Thoughts and Practical Applications. Via Media
Publications, 2012.
4. David E. Jones, Toward a Definition of Martial Arts pp. xi-xiv in David E.
Jones (ed.) Combat, Ritual and Performance: Antrhopology of the Martial Arts.
Westport, Greenwood, 2002.
5. Pierre Bourdieu, Programme for a Sociology of Sport pp. 156-67 in In Other
Words: Essays Towards a Reflexive Sociology Stanford: Stanford University
Press, 1990.
6. Thomas A. Green, Martial Arts in the Modern World: Introduction pp. xi-xiii;
and Joseph Svinth, Epilogue: Where Do We Go From Here pp. 271-74 Thomas
A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts in the Modern World Westport:
Praeger, 2003.
7. D.S. Farrer and John Whalen-Bridge, Introduction: Martial Arts,
Transnationalism, and Embodied Knowledge pp. 1-28 in D.S. Farrer and John
Whalen-Bridge (eds.) Martial Arts as Embodied Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a
Transnational World. Albany: Suny Press, 2011.
8. Raul Sanchez Garcia and Dale C. Spencer, Conclusion: Present and Future Lines
of Research pp. 183-190 in Raul Sanchez Garcia and Dale C. Spencer, (eds.)
Fighting Scholars: Habitus and Ethnographies of Martial Arts and Combat Sports.
New York: Anthem Press (2013).
Class 3 September 18: The Unity of Martial Arts: Bodymindfulness, Awareness and
Embodiment
Both sociology and the martial arts have developed a number of approaches to
bodymindfulness. Analytically, some scholars write of embodied knowledge and carnal
sociology, while some martial arts practitioners focus on the various forms of energy (ki,
chi) and transcendence of self that occurs through its cultivation. The first step in
exploring this is to consider variations in the meanings of bodymindfulness and its
consequence for considering the self and kinesthetic powers. The next step is to consider
whether there are consequential variations of that cultivation across martial arts, and over
time in those various traditions. Finally, how does that embodiment vary in terms of
gender?

1. Donald L. Levine, Somatic Elements in Social Conflict, pp. 37-49 in Chris


Shilling (ed.) Embodying Sociology: Retrospect, Progress, and Prospects.
Malden MA: Blackwell, 2007 and
http://www.donlevine.com/uploads/1/1/3/8/11384462/aiki_waza_8-9-12.pdf
2. Suzuki Sadami, Twentieth Century Budo and Mystic Experience pp. 15-44 in in
Alexander Bennett, Budo Perspectives Volume One. Auckland: Kendo World
Publications, 2005.
3. Nick Crossley, Researching Embodiment by way of Body Techniques pp. 80-94
in Chris Shilling (ed.) Embodying Sociology: Retrospect, Progress, and Prospects.
Malden MA: Blackwell, 2007.
4. Raul Sanchez Garcia and Dale C. Spencer, Introduction: Carnal Ethnography as
Path to Embodied Knowledge pp 1-18 in Raul Sanchez Garcia and Dale C.
Spencer, (eds.) Fighting Scholars: Habitus and Ethnographies of Martial Arts and
Combat Sports. New York: Anthem Press (2013).
5. Dale C. Spencer, Authenticity, Muay Thai and Habitus pp. 169-82 in in Raul
Sanchez Garcia and Dale C. Spencer, (eds.) Fighting Scholars: Habitus and
Ethnographies of Martial Arts and Combat Sports. New York: Anthem Press
(2013).
6. Kenji Tokitsu, Ki and the Way of the Martial Arts Boston and London:
Shambhala, 2003.
7. Portions of Yuasa Yasuo. The Body, Self-Cultivation, and Ki-Energy. Translated
by Shigenori Nagatomo and Monte S. Hull, . Albany, NY: State University of
New York Press 1993.
8. Michael Maliszewski, An Optimal Elixir: Blending Spiritual, Healing, and
Combative Components pp. 18-23 in Michael DeMarco (ed.) Asian Martial Arts:
Constructive Thoughts and Practical Applications. Via Media Publications, 2012.
9. Stephanie T. Hoppe, Sharp Spear Crystal Mirror: Martial Arts in Womens Lives
Rochester, Vt: Park Street Press, 1998, pp. 303-307.
10. Martha McCaughey, The Fighting Spirit: Womens Self-Defense Training and
the Discourse of Sexed Embodiment, Gender and Society (June 1998) 12.3:277300.
11. Alex Channon, Do You Hit Girls? Some Striking Moments in the Career of a
Male Martial Artist pp. 93-108 in in Raul Sanchez Garcia and Dale C. Spencer,
(eds.) Fighting Scholars: Habitus and Ethnographies of Martial Arts and Combat
Sports. New York: Anthem Press (2013).
For Additional Consideration:
1. Eugen Herrigel wrote Zen in the Art of Archery and inspired much subsequent
discussion and debate. See for example Yamada Shoji, The Myth of Zen in the
Art of Archery Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 28/2(2001):1-30.
2. Another major debate in this vein has taken place in the same journal. See John P.
Keenan, Spontaneity in Western Martial Arts: A Yogacara Critique of Mushin
(No-Mind) Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 16:4(1989):285-98; Stewart
McFarlane, Mushin, Morals, and Martial Arts: A Discussion of Keenans

3.

4.
5.

6.

7.

Yogacara Critique Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 17:4(1990): John P.


Keenan, The Mystique of Martial Arts: a Reply to McFarlane Japanese Journal
of Religious Studies 18/4(1990):421-32. Stewart McFarlane, the Mystique of
Martial Arts: A Reply to McFarlanes Response Japanese Journal of Religious
Studies 18/4(1991):355-68.
Robert Sharf, has contributed much in this vein. See his Buddhist Modernism
and the Rhetoric of Meditative Experience Numen 42(1995):228-83; The Zen
of Japanese Nationalism History of Religions 33:1(1993):1-43; and The
Rhetoric of Experience and the Study of Religion Journal of Consciousness
Studies 7(2000):267-87.
Joe Hyams, Zen in the Martial Arts New York: Putnam, 1979 is a lovely and easy
to read book, filled with the authors recollections of his times with Bruce Lee and
with quite accessible chapters about the title.
Its also interesting to review how martial arts masters and others accomplished
explore, and explain, the relationship among martial arts traditions. Sometimes
the efforts are quite basic as in this comparison between tae kwon do and tai chi
- http://www.livestrong.com/article/329232-tai-chi-vs-tae-kwon-do/ by Dean A.
Haycock, a (Brown University PhD) neurobiologist (Tai Chi vs. Tae Kwon Do
Live Strong December 10, 2010). In other circumstances, the subtle differences
between apparently similar techniques can have profoundly interesting
implications, as in this contrast between an aikido throw Kote-Gaeshi and a chin
na from Kung Fu, turning around heaven and earth see Michael DAngona,
Chin Na and Aikido Kung Fu Tai Chi August 2013 pp. 60-62.
Michael Maliszewski, Spiritual Dimensions of the Martial Arts Rutland: Charles
Tuttle 1996 begins with a presentation of various martial arts traditions in India,
China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Brazil and the United
States
Belief Systems pp.331-403 in Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.)
Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation. Santa
Barbara: ABC Clio, 2010 considers particular belief systems, but also makes this
powerful proposal regarding reasonably universal assumptions regarding martial
belief systems: 1. Extrahuman powers are available 2. Extrahuman powers can
both protect and attack. 3. Certain weapons have extraordinary power 4.
Extrahuman powers are fickle 5. Training reduces chaos 6. Rehearsal
reduces chaos 7. Awareness reduces chaos 8. The life-dealing sword, the
death-dealing sword (p. 331-32).

Class 4 September 25:


Performance, Popular Culture and Martial Arts: The relationship between performance
and martial arts is often complex, whether for its consumption by others watching
contest, for its principal function in more performative forms, or for its embeddedness in
the practice itself the deceptiveness of capoiera is notable (watch this beautifully
choreographed and filmed fight between Tony Jaa and his muay thai and Lateef Crowder
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moReN9l2ap0). But then the approximation of the
crane, or even the drunken master, the so called imitative forms, in different Chinese

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practices also suggests something akin to performance. We shall explore whether we


might more systematically understand those stylistic variations. We shall also consider
the various kinds of performance in which Martial Arts are featured from the relatively
well developed appreciation for Chinese Martial Arts films to pro wrestlings forms of
staged violence.
Required Reading/Viewing:
1

Roland Barthes, The World of Wrestling, pp. 15-25 in Mythologies New York:
Hill and Wang, 1972.
2 Nicholas Sammond, Introduction: A Brief and Unnecessary Defense of
Professional Wrestling pp. 1-22 in Nicholas Sammond (ed.) Steel Chair to the
Head: The Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling Durham: Duke University
Press, 2005.
3 Portions of R Tyson Smith. Fighting for Recognition: Identity and the
Performance of Violence in Pro Wrestling. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
(2013).
4 Deborah Klens-Bigman, Toward a Theory of Martial Arts as Performance Art
pp. 1-10 in in David E. Jones (ed.) Combat, Ritual and Performance:
Anthropology of the Martial Arts. Westport, Greenwood, 2002.
5 Charles Holcombe, Theater of Combat: A Critical Look at the Chinese Martial
Arts pp. 153-73 in in David E. Jones (ed.) Combat, Ritual and Performance:
Anthropology of the Martial Arts. Westport, Greenwood, 2002.
6 John J. Donohue, Wave People: The Martial Arts and the American Imagination
pp. 65-80 in in David E. Jones (ed.) Combat, Ritual and Performance:
Anthropology of the Martial Arts. Westport, Greenwood, 2002.
7 Paul Bowman, The Fantasy Corpus of Martial Arts, o, The Communication of
Bruce Lee pp. 61-96 in D.S. Farrer and John Whalen-Bridge (eds.) Martial Arts
as Embodied Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a Transnational World. Albany:
SUNY Press, 2011.
8 Jie Lu, Body, Masculinity, and Representation in Chinese Martial Arts Films pp.
97-119 in D.S. Farrer and John Whalen-Bridge (eds.) Martial Arts as Embodied
Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a Transnational World. Albany: Suny Press,
2011.
9 Vijay Prasad, Kung Fusion: Organize the Hood under I-Chi Banners. Pp. 12650 in Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of
Cultural Purity. Boston: Beacon, 2001.
10 The Art of Action: Martial Arts in Motion Picture Keith R. Clarke Director, 2002
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407534/
For Additional Consideration.
1. This site has a nice list of public figures and celebrities who are martial artists.
One might actually develop an interesting set of research propositions based on

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the distribution http://www.your-martial-arts-resources.com/martial-artscelebrities.html


2. Of course, Bruce Lee is an icon of martial arts in so many ways, and his
significance extends well beyond. For your arts project, consider investigating
the trajectory of Bruce Lee in popular culture, within and beyond his life, from the
Green Hornet and Longstreet to his memorialization in Mostar, Croatia. The
statue of Bruce Lee in Mostar: http://www.feeder.ro/bruce_lee_4823354.jpg
3. Black Belt edited by Christine Kim. Harlem The Studio Museum in Harlem is an
exceptionally interesting book for its art.
4. Mohd Anis Mohd Nor, Lion Dance for Hire: Performances for the Inauguration
of Chinese Business Premises in Malaysia, in Journal of Asian Business, vol. 16,
no. 1, 2000, pp. 85-94 changes the contexts, but establishes interesting martial
arts/business connections that can be explored elsewhere.
5. James Halpin, The Little Dragon: Bruce Lee (1940-1973) pp. 111-28 in Thomas
A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts in the Modern World Westport:
Praeger, 2003
6. Tony Wolf, Action Design: New Directions in Fight Choreography pp. 249-61
in Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts in the Modern
World Westport: Praeger, 2003
7. Kenneth Chan, The Global Return of the Wu Xia Pian (Chinese Sword-Fighting
Movie): Ang Lees Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Cinema Journal is one of
many pieces exploring Ang Lee.
8. Paul Bowman, Enter the Zizekian: Bruce Lee, Martial Arts and the Problem of
Knowledge Entertext 6(1)2006
9. James Grady, Fists and Phantoms: Martial Arts and Media pp. 14-17 in Michael
DeMarco (ed.) Asian Martial Arts: Constructive Thoughts and Practical
Applications. Via Media Publications, 2012.
10. Commodification of Leisure Chinese Martial Arts and Money; Martial Arts
Tourism pp. 405-16 in Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts
of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation. Santa Barbara: ABC
Clio, 2010
11. Martial Media pp. 527-64 in Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.)
Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation. Santa
Barbara: ABC Clio, 2010 addresses film and the martial arts, gunfighters,
television and the martial arts, the internet and the martial arts, and written texts in
Japan.
12. Performing Arts pp. 605-618 in Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.)
Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation. Santa
Barbara: ABC Clio, 2010 addresses action design for professional wrestling, stage
combat in the Elizabethan tradition, and Taiwanese street performances

Class 5: October 2 Boxing, Wrestling, Identity, and Carnal Sociology

12

Both sociology and especially American popular culture have had a much longer standing
relationship with boxing than with other martial arts. There is substantially more material
on which one might draw to develop the sociology of martial arts around it. Wrestling is
also much more historically prominent in American culture, especially if were to consider
its late nineteenth century forms too, the so called catch wrestling or catch-as-catchcan wrestling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch_wrestling). Wrestling has also come
to be associated with many nations sport/national cultures, most notably from Greece
and Turkey to Georgia, Iran, and India, making the Olympics Committees February 2013
near decision to end its association particularly objectionable. It may be one of the
worlds most inclusive sports: In London in 2012, 71 nations competed in wrestling and
29 won medals.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324866904578513172276936346.html
More generally, in this section, in addition to specific martial arts, we also wish to
consider how particular identifications notably around race, ethnicity, and nation -- are
made through martial arts.
Readings:
1. Loic Wacquant: Body and Soul: Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer. Oxford
University Press, 2004
2. Wacquants work has inspired much debate. See his reaction (but also the
commentaries if you wish!): Loic Wacquant Carnal Connections Qualitative
Sociology 28:4:(2005):445-74. See his reaction here too: Homines in Extremis:
What Fighting Scholars Teach Us about Habitus pp. 191-98 in Raul Sanchez
Garcia and Dale C. Spencer, (eds.) Fighting Scholars: Habitus and Ethnographies
of Martial Arts and Combat Sports. New York: Anthem Press (2013).
3. Joseph R. Svinth, The Spirit of Manliness: Boxing in Imperial Japan, 18681945 pp. 38-46 in Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts in
the Modern World Westport: Praeger, 2003
4. Jennifer Hargreaves, Womens Boxing and Related Activities: Introducing
Images and Meanings pp. 209-28 in Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth
(eds.) Martial Arts in the Modern World Westport: Praeger, 2003
5. Graham Noble, The Lion of the Punjab: Gama in England, 1910 pp. 93-110 in
Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts in the Modern World
Westport: Praeger, 2003
6. Alter, Joseph, 1992. The Discipline of the Wrestlers Body in The Wrestlers
Body: Identity and Ideology in Northern India. (pp. 90-135)
For Further Consideration:
1. Lucia Trimbur, Come Out Swinging: The Changing World of Reality in Gleasons
Gym. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013.
2. Gail Bederman, Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and
Race in the United States, 1880-1917. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1996. Chapter 1 presents an exceptional account of the 1910 match between Jim

13

3.
4.
5.

6.

7.
8.

Jeffries and Jack Johnson and how the latters victory shredded the ideologies of
white male power embedded in civilizaiton (p. 42).
Satterlund, Travis D. "Real, but Not Too Real: A Hierarchy of Reality for
Recreational Middle-Class Boxers." Sociological Perspectives 55, no. 3 (2012):
529-551.
Jake Shannon, Say Uncle: Catch-As-Catch-Can Wreslting and the Roots of
Ultimate Fighting, Pro Wrestling and Modern Grappling Toronto: ECW, 2011.
Be sure to check out the number of films, and commentaries, that illustrate
historical centrality of boxing to American popular culture. This is one starting
point: http://www.classicfilmguide.com/index.php?s=essays&item=3 For your
arts project, consider comparing these films: Requiem for a Heavyweight and
Million Dollar Baby
For an interesting array of pictures of different wrestling styles, go to
www.magnumphotos.com and sign up for a free account. Do a keyword search
for wrestle. Consider comparing the imageries of different wrestling forms and
bodies.
Lee Austin Thompson, Professional Wrestling in Japan - Media and Message
International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Vol. 21, No. 1, 65-81 (1986).
Plains Indian Warrior Societies pp. 651-56 and Political Uses of the Martial
Arts, with special attention to Afrikan Martial Arts, Jujutsuffragettes, Political
conflict and Aikido (1931-42) and Women in Combat: The US Military, 2001present.pp. 619-46 in Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts
of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation. Santa Barbara: ABC
Clio, 2010

Class 6 October 9 Globalizing and Mixed Martial Arts, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu
Jitsu
Mixing martial arts and their globalization go hand in hand, and have long standing. One
of the early, and thematically abiding, mixing of martial arts has been to pose one
tradition of carnal knowledge and practice vs. another. Such contest is one way in which
martial arts have traveled, but not the only way; indeed, many martial arts traditions
claim to be formal representations and descendents of knowledge and practice made in
particular homelands. Knowing how some martial arts traveled, and others not, is critical
to understanding their globalizing and mixing. Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth
(eds.) Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation. Santa
Barbara: ABC Clio, 2010 devote a major section of their second volume to this theme,
with various treatments.
More and more research is being conducted on MMA, and popular culture is filled with
it. See Sherdog.com - News and information about all aspects of MMA and
MMAWeekly - Another up-to-date news and information site. Its fascinating to see the
ways in which it was initially introduced to broad public audience . Mixed Martial Arts:
A New Kind of Fight
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/12/08/60minutes/main2241525.shtml and how

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sociologists turn it into Ted talks: http://www.noodle.org/learn/details/119208/sociologyof-mixed-martial-arts-shane-logan-at-tedxucdavis#


We should also, however, consider the organization of the sport itself its rules, its
business, its recruitments. Notice too how those who were once collegiate wrestlers go
into this professional option. One fellow from Michigan State University has become
relatively successful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashad_Evans Its also interesting to
consider the subtle ways in which nationality figures: note this fighter and how Armenian
identity figures: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karo_Parisyan
Womens MMA has developed especially in recent years, with digital media
http://wmmatoday.wordpress.com/ and major personalities, notably Ronda Rousey
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1697337-ronda-rousey-not-expecting-thanks-fromcompetitors-as-womens-mma-grows-in-ufc . This development allows us to more clearly
see the gendering of MMA, and with that, one might also consider masculinity more
clearly in MMA too - http://www.sociologyinfocus.com/2013/06/10/the-sociology-ofmma-a-masculine-culture-of-lack/ and http://www.sociologyinfocus.com/2011/12/21/thesociology-of-mma-hegemonic-masculinity-unleashed/ Homoeroticism and sexuality can
also be considered here.
http://www.academia.edu/3224397/Inclusive_masculinity_in_an_orthodox_setting_Mixe
d_martial_arts_homosexuality_and_discourses_of_inclusion
As the above gender considerations imply, we should also consider the association of the
sport with popular culture, and in that context, the sad association of the sport with that
horrific bombing of the Boston Marathon. The New York Times story linking the
suspects to the gym is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/us/boston-bombingsuspect-is-said-to-be-linked-to-2011-triple-murder-case.html?
pagewanted=2&_r=0&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130711 The suspects
association with MMA generated stories in the MMA public sphere.
http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/news/436788/Deceased-Boston-bomber-boxed-at-WaiKru/ and http://www.mmamania.com/2013/4/19/4242498/dead-boston-marathonbombing-suspect-tamerlan-tsarnaev-trained-boxing-wai-kru-mma with pictures of
Tamerlane Tsarnaev here: http://imgur.com/a/7ndbd and the gyms account of his
association http://www.cagepotato.com/wai-kru-mma-sets-the-record-straight-abouttamerlan-tsarnaev/
In fact, that particular gym http://waikru.com/about/instructors captures one of the
generalizations people make about the sport: it is based, especially, on two principal
traditions -- Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Among the things we consider in this
week is why those traditions have come to be so closely associated with MMA and the
implications of that association. We therefore read some sociological accounts of them
too.
Required Reading:

15

1. Thomas Green and Joseph Svinth, The Circle and the Octagon: Maedos Judo
and Gracies Jiu Jitsu pp. 61-70 in Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.)
Martial Arts in the Modern World Westport: Praeger, 2003
2. Greg Downey, Techniques and Technologies in No-Holds-Barred Fighting
Social Studies of Science 37:2:201-26
3. Abramson, Corey M. and Darren Modzelewski. 2011. Caged Morality: Moral
Worlds, Subculture, and Stratification among Middle-Class Cage-Fighters.
Qualitative Sociology (March) 34:143-175. (PDF)
4. Dale C. Spencer, Ultimate Fighting and Embodiment: Violence, Gender, and
Mixed Martial Arts New York: Routledge, 2012
5. Bryan Hogeveen, It is about Your Body Recognizing the Move and
Automatically Doing It: Merleau-Ponty, Habit and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pp. 77-92
in in Raul Sanchez Garcia and Dale C. Spencer, (eds.) Fighting Scholars: Habitus
and Ethnographies of Martial Arts and Combat Sports. New York: Anthem Press
(2013).
6. Stephane Rennesson, Thai Boxing: Networking of a Polymorphous Clinch pp.
145-58 in in D.S. Farrer and John Whalen-Bridge (eds.) Martial Arts as Embodied
Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a Transnational World. Albany: Suny Press,
2011.
7. Peter Thomas Vail, Modern Muay Thai Mythology Crossroads: An
Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 12(2):75-95.
8. Olohe Charles Kenn, "Japanese and Hawaiian Sports Similiar." 1937. PanPacific.
For Further Consideration:
1. Human Weapon TV series, Muay Thai Episode #1 and Mixed Martial Arts
Episode #9
2. The broader fight sciences approach is worth considering here. Here are two
links to the National Geographic Fight Science pages:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/08/060814-fight-science.html
and http://www9.nationalgeographic.com/channel/fightscience/
3. pp. 3-21 in David T. Mayeda and David E. Ching, Fighting for Acceptance:
Mixed Martial Artists and Violence in American Society. Lincoln: iUniverse,
2008.
4. Kyle Green, It Hurts So It Is Real: Sensing the Seduction of Mixed Martial
Arts Social and Cultural Geography: 12:4:2011:377-96
5. Kirstin Pauka, The Whole Shebang Concerning Southeast Asian Martial
Arts pp. 36-38 in Michael DeMarco (ed.) Asian Martial Arts: Constructive
Thoughts and Practical Applications. Via Media Publications, 2012.
6. Globalization of Martial Arts pp. 435 526 in Thomas A. Green and Joseph
R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and
Innovation. Santa Barbara: ABC Clio, 2010, with particular attention to
Asian martial arts int eh US and Canada, Bartitsu, Capoeira in Europe,
Finnish-Canadian wrestlers, international boxing, international freestyle and
Greco-Roman wrestling, international karate, Jeet-Kune Do, MMA,

16

professional wrestling, reality based defense, Sambo, Womens Boxing 1972present and womens freestyle wrestling.
Class 6 October 9: Research Prospectus for Paper due
Part II: Diversity of Martial Arts
Class 7 October 16: Japanese and Korean Practice and Traditions
It appears that there is more English language scholarship on Japanese traditions of
martial arts than on any other. This has longstanding roots, notably in the early 20th
century publication in which Inazo Nitobe explained how, in English first, Japanese
martial arts represented Japanese nationhood. This book, translated across the world,
sought a way to represent Japaneseness to others. Indeed, Theodore Roosevelt was so
impressed with judo that he even sought to learn some. The relationship of Japanese
traditions to other practices is also complicated; most scholarship now argues that Korean
TaeKwonDo is itself based on Japanese martial arts. Of course Karate is itself based on
Okinawan forms of martial arts. And that, in turn, represents a fusion between the
islands practices and Chinese forms brought there. National ownership of martial arts is
complex given the ways in which traditions learn from one another, but is a fascinating
part of their sociology.
1. Inazo Nitobe. Bushido: The Soul of Japan (any edition based on the tenth and
revised edition published in 1905).
2. Karl Friday with Seki Humitake. Legacies of the Sword: The Kashima-Shinryu
and Samurai Martial Culture Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1997; title
page, table of contents, and pp. ix-xiii, 1-57.\
3. Karl F. Friday, "The Cat's Eerie Skill: A Translation of Issai Chozan's Neko No
Myojutsu." In Keiko Shokon, edited by Diane Skoss. Berkeley Heights, NJ:
Koryu Books, 2002, 17-34 .
4. Thomas A. Green, Sense in Nonsense: The Role of Folk History in the Martial
Arts in Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts in the Modern
World Westport: Praeger, 2003
5. William Bodiford, Religion and Spiritual Development: Japan , in Tom Green
(ed.) Martial Arts of the World: an Encyclopedia (ABC-Clio, 2001) vol 2 pp. 472505. pp. 472-505
6. Stephen Chan, The Construction and Export of Culture as Artefact: The Case of
Japanese Martial Arts Body and Society 6:1(2000):69-74.
7. Abe Tetsushi, Cultural Friction in Budo pp. 125-140 in Alexander Bennett,
Budo Perspectives Volume One. Auckland: Kendo World Publications, 2005.
8. Gary J. Krug, At the Feet of the Master: Three Stages in the Appropriation of
Okinawan Karate into Anglo-American Culture Cultural Studies: Critical
Methodologies 1(4)(2001):395-410.
9. Kano Jigor, Olympic Games and Japan pp. 167-72 in Thomas A. Green and
Joseph R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts in the Modern World Westport: Praeger, 2003

17

10. Stephanie T. Hoppe, Sharp Spear Crystal Mirror: Martial Arts in Womens Lives
Rochester, Vt: Park Street Press, 1998, pp. 152-62, 266-76.
11. Michael Ashkenazi, Ritual and the Ideal of Society in Karate pp. 99-118 in J in
David E. Jones (ed.) Combat, Ritual and Performance: Antrhopology of the
Martial Arts. Westport, Greenwood, 2002.
12. Michael Rosenbaum, Japan and the Koryu Bujutsu pp. 34-53 in Kata and the
Transmission of Knowledge in Traditional Martial Arts Boston: YMAA, 2004.
13. Willy Pieter, The Ongoing Construction Linking Taekwondo with Academic
Research pp. 32-35 in Michael DeMarco (ed.) Asian Martial Arts: Constructive
Thoughts and Practical Applications. Via Media Publications, 2012.
14. Eric Madis, The Evolution of TaeKwondo from Japanese Karate pp. 185-208
in Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts in the Modern
World Westport: Praeger, 2003
See also
1. Human Weapon Episode #3 Karate and #5 Judo and #15 Taekwondo
2. John F. Howes (ed.) Inazo Nitobe: Japans Bridge Across the Pacific Boulder:
Westview 1995 is a fascinating collection explaining Nitobes translation of
Japans martial arts to the rest of the world.
3. To appreciate how Japan becomes the lens through which martial arts is often
viewed, consider how Polish martial arts is treated here: Wojciech J. Cynarski,
An Overview of Polish Martial Arts Journal of Asian Martial Arts 17:2(2008).
4. Alexander Bennett, Budo Perspectives Volume One. Auckland: Kendo World
Publications, 2005.
5. Dave Lowry, Nicks and Cuts: Continuing Endeavors in Japanese Budo pp. 2831 in Michael DeMarco (ed.) Asian Martial Arts: Constructive Thoughts and
Practical Applications. Via Media Publications, 2012.
6. Joseph R. Svinth, Professor Yamashita Goes to Washington pp. 47-60 in
Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts in the Modern World
Westport: Praeger, 2003
7. G. Cameron Hurst, Armed Martial Arts of Japan: Swordsmanship and Archery,
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998), pp. 177-196.
8. Diane Skoss edited three volumes on Japanese martial arts history: Koryu
Bujutsu, Keiko Shokon, and Sword and Spirit Berkeley Heights, NJ: Koryu
Books, 1997-2002
9. Robert Dohrenwend, Asian Martial Arts History from One Era to the Next in
Michael DeMarco (ed.) Asian Martial Arts: Constructive Thoughts and Practical
Applications. Via Media Publications, 2012.
10. Richard Bowen, Origins of the British Judo Association, The European Judo
Union, and the International Judo Federation pp. 173-84 in in Thomas A. Green
and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts in the Modern World Westport: Praeger,
2003
11. Inoue Shun, "The Invention of the Martial Arts: Kano Jigoro and Kodokan Judo"
in Mirror of Modernity.
12. Christopher Benfey, "The Judo Room" in the Great Wave.

18

13. Inoue Shun, "Budo: Invented Tradition in the Martial Arts" pp. 83-94 in Sepp
Linhart and Sabine Fruhstuck (eds.) The Culture of Japan as Seen through Its
Leisure. Albany: SUNY Press, 1998.
14. Maki Isaka Morinaga, Secrecy in Japanese Arts: Secret Transmission as a Mode
of Knowledge New York Palgrave MacMillan, 2005.
15. David Lowry, In the Dojo: A Guide to the Rituals and Etiquette of the Japanese
Martial Arts
16. Richard Strozzi Heckler (ed.) Aikido and the New Warrior Berkeley: North
Atlantic Books, 1985.
17. Robert W. Smith, Martial Musings: A Portrayal of Martial Arts in the 20th Century
Via Publishing, 1999 is in large part a biography with frank assessments of
various martial arts traditions and performances, mostly within the Asian
traditions by someone who has trained in most of them.
18. Elizabeth Graham, There is no Try in Tae Kwon Do: Reflexive Body Techniques
and a Technician Habitus pp. 63-76 in in Raul Sanchez Garcia and Dale C.
Spencer, (eds.) Fighting Scholars: Habitus and Ethnographies of Martial Arts and
Combat Sports. New York: Anthem Press (2013).
19. Stephanie T. Hoppe, Sharp Spear Crystal Mirror: Martial Arts in Womens Lives
Rochester, Vt: Park Street Press, 1998, pp. 252-65.
20. Maki Isaka Morinaga, Secrecy in Japanese Arts: Secret Transmission as a Mode
of Knowledge New York: Palgrave, 2005.
21. Cohen, Einat Bar-On. 2006. Kime and the Moving Body: Somatic Codes in
Japanese Martial Arts. Body & Society 12(4):7393.
22. Siegel, Andrea. (1993). Women in Aikido. North Atlantic Books.
23. Wayne W. Zachary, "An Information Flow Model for c\Conflict and Fission in
Small Groups" Journal of Anthropological Research 33(1977): 452-73.
24. Daniel Ellsberg, Revolutionary Judo: Working Notes on Vietnam #10
http://www.rand.org/pubs/documents/D19807.html
25. Social Aspects of Kata and Waza pp. 657-663 in Thomas A. Green and Joseph
R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and
Innovation. Santa Barbara: ABC Clio, 2010
26. Kavitha A. Davidson, Putins Judo Skills Are Better Than Yours HuffiJournal
World August 9, 3013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/08/vladimirputin-judo_n_3726370.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false
27. Shiva Balaghi, Covering Irans Ninjas Jadaliyya April 3, 2012 is exceptional for
its ability to show how various media including social media intersect with
national prejudices and sexism to produce terrible consequence
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/4923/covering-irans-ninjas
Class 8: October 23: Aikido and Its Sociological and Organizational Extensions
Guest Martial Artist and Sociologist; Donald Levine
Aikido has an exceptionally well-developed complex of ideas that relate the
practice of a martial art both to philosophic ideas and to social issues. The latter
range from mediating conflicts between couples to promoting harmony among
ethnic and national groups that have a history of enmity. For information on
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these applications, see the website of Aiki Extensions


(https://app.e2ma.net/app/view:CampaignPublic/id:1409472.13111986379/rid:2c917778d
f8dea230981f013e34cefcb). For a cutting-edge program that uses aikido training as
a component of peace education schools, see the program of AE member Charles
Colten
(http://www.aikidointheschools.com/Aikido_in_the_Schools/home.html). In
today's class, we shall learn about aikido from the founder of Aiki Extensions,
Donald Levine.
Assigned readings
1. Kisshomaru Ueshiba, The Spirit of Aikido (any edition is appropriate, originally
published 1987. Kodansha International.
2. University of Chicago Aikido Club Handbook (to be distributed);
3. Selections from Donald N. Levine, Aikido Practice As A Signpost to The Way:
Selected Essays on Aikido and Nonviolent Interaction (December 2010)
http://www.donlevine.com/uploads/1/1/3/8/11384462/aiki_waza_8-9-12.pdf
in this order:
1. Ch 11, Aikido and the Art of Mediation;
2. Chapter 10, Paradigm of the Aiki Way;
3. Ch 4, The Many Dimensions;
4. Ch 3, Social Conflict;
5. Ch 2, Martial Arts as a Resource.
6. Appendix A: Course syllabus (also available as an appendix
in Powers of the Mind);
7. Ch 12, Extending the Mature Vision.
Additional Readings:
1. Morihei Ueshiba and John Stevens, The Art of Peace: Teachings of the Founder of
Aikido Shambhala, 1992.
2. Dave Lowry, The Sword and the Brush: The Spirit of the Martial Arts Shambhala
1995.
Class 9 October 30: Chinese Traditions: Kung Fu/Wu Shu/Tai Chi
Chinese traditions are most numerous, and without obvious and clear global translations
given the number of practices associated with different lineages and different political
regimes. Nonetheless, while these traditions, in contrast to Japanese and Korean forms,
are not (yet) in the Olympics, they have acquired a newfound and profound status in
health and healing traditions as well as in popular culture. This diversity merits study in
and of itself, alongside the remarkable cultural fusions Chinese martial arts seem to
generate whether in film or in other art forms.
The power of Chinese media and martial arts combined is exceptional, and evident of
course in Bruce Lees example and Ang Lees continue creation. The iconic Western
appropriation appears in the 1970s TV series Kung Fu with David Carradine. Before
20

that time, Kung Fu gyms had to call themselves Karate to establish cross-cultural
recognition, but that has changed and not for David Carradine. Kung Fu has become, one
might say, better translated than other martial arts traditions in new cultural fusions.
For example, more than any of the other martial arts, Kung Fu has developed in the hip
hop community (http://rapgenius.com/posts/1631-Top-ten-martial-arts-songs-in-hip-hop),
most apparently through RZA and the Wu Tang Clan. This builds powerfully on the
Black Kung Fu movement too http://www.itvs.org/films/black-kungfu-experience
Sometimes Japanese traditions seep into these martial arts expressions, as in episode 14
of the Television Series Person of Interest when a young fellow who lost his brother
identifies the principal protagonist as his Ronin, a Japanese Samurai referent
(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1839578/epcast). Nevertheless, Chinese traditions seem to
have become dominant in US popular cultures representation of martial arts. It might
even hit the academy.
Gene Ching interviewed Wen-Ching Wu for July/August 2013 Kung Fu/Tai Chi in
Being Like Water, and Master Wu says this: People misunderstand martial arts.
Martial arts develop spirit-persistance. You could be the best driver on the road and a
truck could sideswipe you. Through the martial arts, you learn to make strong moves, to
be more confident to navigate. MMA is tough they are great fighters but it doesnt
present the whole story. Fighting is the core of martial arts, but doesnt mean you need to
beat a hundred people. You need to be smart enough to avoid fights more like water.
Many of my students are older: professors, doctors, university presidents. Theyre not
looking to fight. Theyre looking to strengthen themselves and learn culture so they can
navigate new challenge sin their chosen career. He talks of some people you know.
Required Reading:
1. David Brown and George Jennings, In Search of a Martial Habitus: Identifying
Core Dispositions in Wing Chun and Taijiquan pp. 33-48 in in Raul Sanchez
Garcia and Dale C. Spencer, (eds.) Fighting Scholars: Habitus and Ethnographies
of Martial Arts and Combat Sports. New York: Anthem Press (2013).
2. Kai Filipiak, Academic Research Into Chinese Martial Arts: Problems and
Perspectives pp. 24-27 in Michael DeMarco (ed.) Asian Martial Arts:
Constructive Thoughts and Practical Applications. Via Media Publications, 2012.
3. D.S. Farrer, Coffee Shop Gods: Chinese Martial Arts of the Singapore Diaspora
pp. 203-37 in in D.S. Farrer and John Whalen-Bridge (eds.) Martial Arts as
Embodied Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a Transnational World. Albany: Suny
Press, 2011.
4. Stephanie T. Hoppe, Sharp Spear Crystal Mirror: Martial Arts in Womens Lives
Rochester, Vt: Park Street Press, 1998, pp. 4-22, 111-21.
5. Michael L. Raposa, Daoist Moving Meditation Chapter 2 in Meditation and
Martial Arts. University of Virginia Press, 2003.
6. Meir Shahar. The Shaolin Monastery: History, Religion, and the Chinese Martial
Arts Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2008, pp. 197-202.

21

For Further Consideration:


1. Human Weapon Episode #10 on Kung Fu
2. David Chow and Richard Spangler, Kung Fu: History, Philosophy, and Technique
Doubleday, 1977, pp. ix-91.
3. David Carradine, The Spirit of Shaolin Rutland: Charles Tuttle Company, 1991.
Reportedly instructed by his Sifu to write such a book, this dancer/actor most
famously associated with Kung Fu through that titled TV series writes a
philosophy/recollection about the tradition and his association with it. Its
dissection could say much about the previous 20 years articulation of popular
culture and the traditions they claimed to represent.
4. Adam D. Frank, Taijiquan and the Search for the Little Old Chinese Man New
York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2006.
5. Marnix Wells, Scholar Boxer: Chang Naizhous Theory of Internal Martial Arts
and the Evolution of Taijiquan Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2005.
6. Avron Boretz, Gods, Ghosts, and Gangsters: Ritual Violence, Martial Arts, and
Masculinity on the Margins of Chinese Society Honolulu: University of Hawaii
Press, 2011.
7. Susan Brownell, Training the Body for China: Sports in the Moral Order of the
Peoples Republic Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995, pp. 51-56 for
review of martial arts revivial in 20th century.
8. Meir Shahar. The Shaolin Monastery: History, Religion, and the Chinese Martial
Arts Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2008. There are some important
debates to which Shahar has contributed, for example, of when monks began
martial arts practice. See his Ming Period Evidence of Shaolin Martial Practice
Harvard Journal of Asiatic Practices 2001:359-413. and Epigraphy, Buddhist
Historiography, and Fighting Monks: the Case of the Shaolin Monastary Asia
Major: 13:2(2000):15-36. http://www.ihp.sinica.edu.tw/~asiamajor/pdf/2000b/ch
%202%20PRESS.pdf
9. Peter Lorge, Chinese Martial Arts: From Antiquity to the 21st Century Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2012 is a comprehensive history, but also useful for
the sociologist interested in authenticity, real Kungfu and its translations and
travels, discussed on pp. 6-12; he discusses the place of martial arts in academia
too, in the conclusion.
10. Adam Hsu, The Sword Polishers Record: The Way of Kung-Fu Rutland: Tuttle,
1997 is an introduction, mapping of Kung Fus variety, and guide to learning.
11. The RZA, The Tao of Wu (Riverhead Trade, 2009) and the film, The Man with
the Iron Fists http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1258972/

Class 10: November 6: Hawaiiian Traditions and Extensions: Lua and Beyond
Guest Artist/Expert: Kumu Ramsay RM Taum

22

Kumu (a title of respect) Ramsay now serves as Po'o, or head instructor in Hawai'i for the
Kaihewalu Lua system, in which system he holds the equivalent of 7th dan. Hawaiian
elders (kupuna) have instructed Kumu Ramsay in a number of knowledge traditions of
Hawaii, including ho'oponopono, a healing practice around spiritual and mental
alignment and stress release, lomi haha, a healing practice focused more on physical
balancing and alignment , and Kaihewalu Lua, a particular tradition in the more general
Hawaiian martial art. He has also studied other martial arts, including Judo and Taijutsu,
Jeet Kun Do, Wing Chun, Hung Gar and Tai Chi, WuShu, Praying Mantis, Iron Palm and
Chinese Long Sword, Shotokan Karate, Tango Soo Do, Lima Lama, Small Circle Jujitsu,
Aikijujutsu, Aikido, and developed, with Michael Stanya nd Eric Sigmund a personal
protection and self-defense system called "Natural Movement Self-Defense".
Required Readings:
1. James T. Fitzpatrick, Discover Lua, Hawaiis Martial Art Black Belt Magazine
March 21, 2011 http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/martial-arts-history/generalmartial-arts-history/discover-lua-hawaii%E2%80%99s-martial-art/
2. Olohe Charles Kenn, Kamehameha and Hawaiian Sports." 1935. Paradise of
the Pacific, "Captain Cook and Hawaiian Sports." 1937. Paradise of the Pacific,
and "Japanese and Hawaiian Sports Similiar." 1937. Pan-Pacific.
3. Kikuchi, Kristina Pilahoohauoli, "Lua: the Sacred Fighting System of Hawaii."
Master's Thesis, University of Hawaii at Manoa. 1995. (UH Manoa Library Eresources: Kikuchi, Kristina Pilaho_ohau_oli. Lua : the sacred fighting system of
Hawaii. Religion: Thesis (M. A.) University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1995; CB5 .H3
no.2426.)
Additional Readings:
1. Ty P. Kawika Tengan, pp. 125-62 in Native Men Remade: Gender and Nation in
Contemporary Hawaii Durham: Duke University Press, 2008.
Optional Workshop with Kumu Ramsay Taum
November 10. Details TBA.
Class 11: November 13: Kung Fu, Qiqong, Tai Chi and Other Chinese traditions in
translation and practice: Guest Artist/Expert: Master Wu Wen-ching , meeting from 3:305:00 at The Way of the Dragon (http://www.waydragon.com/)
Required Reading:
1. Essential Elements pp. 15-36 and Glossary of Wushu styles, practioners,
weapons and terms, along with select other East Asian traditions in Shou-Yu
Liang and Wen-Ching Wu Kung Fu Elements: Wushu Training and Martial Arts
Application Manual East Providence: Way of the Dragon Publishing 2001.
2. Gene Ching interviews Wen-Ching Wu, Being Like Water, Kung Fu/Tai Chi
July/August 2013

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3. Wen-ching Wu, Shou-Yu Liang Journey fro Sichuan Kung-Fu/Tai Chi


Magazine http://www.shouyuliang.com/shou-yu-liang-journey-fromsichuan.shtml
Additional Reading:
1. Master Shou-Yu Liang and Wen-Ching Wu, Qigong Empowerment: Guide to Medical
Taoist Buddhist Wushu Energy Cultivation. East Providence: Way of the Dragon
Publishing, 1997.
Class 12 November 20: Capoeira and Africana Martial Arts: Guest Artist/Expert Angelo
Baca
Required Readings:
1 Freeing the Afrikan Mind: The Role of Martial Arts in Contemporary African
American Cultural Nationalism pp. 229-48; in in Thomas A. Green and Joseph
R. Svinth (eds.) Martial Arts in the Modern World Westport: Praeger, 2003
2 Neil Stephens and Sara Delamont, Samba No Mar: Bodies, Movement, and
Idiom in Capoeira, pp. 109-122 in Dennis Waskul and Phillip Vannini (eds.)
Body/Embodiment: Symbolic Interaction and the Sociology of the Body
Burlington: Ashgate, 2006.
3 Stephanie T. Hoppe, Sharp Spear Crystal Mirror: Martial Arts in Womens Lives
Rochester, Vt: Park Street Press, 1998, pp. 78-91.
4 Sara Delamont and Neil Stephens, Each More Agile than the Other: Mental and
Physical Enculturation in Capoeira Regional pp. 39-62 in Raul Sanchez Garcia
and Dale C. Spencer, (eds.) Fighting Scholars: Habitus and Ethnographies of
Martial Arts and Combat Sports. New York: Anthem Press (2013).
5 Brown University Pow Wow 2013, Brown Capoeira Demonstration
http://vimeo.com/64528139
For Further Consideration:
1. Thomas Green, Surviving the Middle Passage: Traditional African Martial Arts
in the Americas pp. 129-48 in Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (eds.)
Martial Arts in the Modern World Westport: Praeger, 2003
2. Documentary: The Black Kung Fu Experience http://www.itvs.org/films/blackkungfu-experience
3. J. Lowell Lewis, Ring of Liberation: Deceptive Discourse in Brazilian Capoeira.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.
Class 13: December 3: Oral Presentations of Your Work
Class 14: December 10
The Sociology of Martial Arts
Final Project Due: December 17

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