Editorial: Show, Don’t Tell – Making Martial Arts Studies Matter

Abstract

How can we make martial arts studies matter? Returning to the issues of triviality and legitimation raised in the Spring 2017 editorial, in this essay we explore various strategies for conveying the intellectual importance of our work to a scholarly but non-specialist readership. In recent years the field of martial arts studies has made impressive strides in terms of both growth and public exposure. Yet this success suggests that increasingly gatekeepers in the form of editors, funding bodies and promotion committees will have an impact on the development of our field. Appealing to such readers is a critical next step in the creation of martial arts studies. The first draft of this editorial was presented by Benjamin Judkins as a keynote at the July 2017 Martial Arts Studies Conference at Cardiff University. It has subsequently been edited to reflect the opinions of both authors and the current context.

View/Download

DOI 10.18573/mas.46

Citation

Judkins, Benjamin N. and Bowman, Paul. 2017. ‘Show, Don’t Tell: Making Martial Arts Studies Matter’, Martial Arts Studies 5, 1-14.

Editorial: Is Martial Arts Studies Trivial?

Abstract

Before introducing the articles comprising this issue of Martial Arts Studies, this editorial first undertakes a sustained reflection on the question of whether the emergent field of martial arts studies might be regarded as trivial. In doing so, it explores possible rationales and raisons d’être of the field in terms of a reflection on the legitimation of academic subjects, especially those closest to martial arts studies, from which martial arts studies can be said to have emerged. The first draft of this reflection was originally written by Bowman in response to certain reactions to his academic interest in martial arts (hence the occasional use of the pronoun ‘I’, rather than ‘we’), but Judkins proposed that the piece form part of this issue’s editorial, because of the importance of thinking about what this ‘martial arts studies’ thing is that we are doing, what the point of it may be, and whether or not it may be trivial.

View/Download

DOI 10.18573/j.2017.10183

Citation

Bowman, Paul and Judkins, Benjamin N. 2017. ‘Is Martial Arts Trivial?’, Martial Arts Studies 4, 1-16.

Is Martial Arts Studies an Academic Field?

Abstract

This article by Paul Bowman proposes that the emerging field of martial arts studies will benefit by engaging as thoroughly with questions of disciplinarity as with questions of martial arts. It argues that thorough and self-reflexive attention to the problems and possibilities associated with academic work as such will greatly enrich martial arts studies and enable it to develop into as vital and dynamic a field as possible. The article explores martial arts studies in terms of the recent history of disciplinary transformation in the university via the case of cultural studies, and then goes on to explore two different kinds of approach to the academic study of martial arts (first, the work of Farrer and Whalen-Bridge, and then that of Stanley Henning).

The article is an extract from Chapter One of Martial Arts Studies: Disrupting Disciplinary Boundaries (Bowman 2015). It is reproduced here with kind permission of the publisher, Rowman & Littlefield International.

View/Download

DOI 10.18573/J.2015.10015

 

Citation

Bowman, Paul. 2015. ‘Asking the Question: Is Martial Arts Studies an Academic Field?’, Martial Arts Studies 1, 3-19.

Contributor

Paul Bowman (Cardiff University) is author of nine books, including Martial Arts Studies: Disrupting Disciplinary Boundaries (2015). He is founder and director of the AHRC-funded Martial Arts Studies Research Network and co-editor of the journal Martial Arts Studies. He is currently working on a book called Mythologies of Martial Arts.

Contact the journal

If you would like to get in touch with the editorial team, you can leave a message below or email using the link below: