A-Z list of presenters (2017 conference)

Here is an alphabetical list of presenters at this year’s conference, along with titles, abstracts, and preliminary schedule information. It’s a long post, and perhaps not the easiest to scan through – but don’t worry: it will all look great in the conference programme itself.

Bowman, Paul

The Communication of Embodied Knowledge Workshop

Thursday Afternoon

Birt Acres

As organiser, Paul Bowman will be introducing the conference and many of the presenters. He will also be introducing and chairing the closing round table sessions on The Communication of Embodied Knowledge. See the previous section for information.

Paul Bowman is professor of cultural studies at Cardiff University. He is the organiser of this conference, director of the Martial Arts Studies Research Network, founding co-editor of the journal Martial Arts Studies, editor of the Martial Arts Studies book series, and author of numerous books and articles on martial arts studies.

Bright, Dave

Coach education in the martial arts: what the expert coaches do that the novice coaches don’t

Panel A2

Pedagogy

Room 0.53

Wed. 11.30-1

Research has investigated the knowledge base of expert coaches (Nash & Sproule, 2009; Werthner & Trudel, 2006), expert and novice coach differences in feedback style and behaviour (Bortoli et al., 2010; Grgantov, et al., 2013) and decision making processes in coaches (Giske et al., 2013). The current study sought to investigate how the knowledge base of a master level martial arts coach and three competent martial arts coaches results in different feedback content using a think aloud protocol. Observation of video performance of two classical martial arts forms was carried out whilst gathering cognitive content data via think aloud, followed by a verbal report of the feedback that each coach would give to the performer. Transcriptions of these data were then analysed and the statements divided among four categories; Positional, Descriptive, Quality of Movement and Evaluative. Results revealed that the master level coach was able to gather more data and give more feedback pertaining to Quality of Movement, whilst the competent coaches were more descriptive during the observation process, resulting in feedback that contained less Quality of Movement elements and made less use of the reported cognitive content. It is proposed that coaching ability is a learned procedural skill, giving the master coach a more conceptual access to his knowledge base, and suggestions are made for methods of refinement of this skill in coach education.

Dave Bright is an associate lecturer in Sports Coaching Science and Sports Psychology (Skill Acquisition) at the University of Chichester.

Bryden, Michael

Women’s Boxing and Sports Criminology

Panel C1

Body

Room 0.52

Thurs 11.30-1

Sports criminology is a new and exciting branch in criminology which can examine a range of topics from desistance from crime to criminal activities in sport. As Groombridge (2016) proposes, there is large scope for academia to investigate whether boxing (and martial arts in general) can reduce the risk of offending. The research into combat sports and crime reduction to date is small and the results mixed. Jump (2015) suggests that despite boxing having an incapacitation effect, male boxers can become trapped in their masculinities. However, Jenkins and Ellis (2011) found that combat sports can have a positive effect at reducing socio-cultural and individual risk factors associated with offending. In my ongoing PhD I am looking at women’s amateur boxing to discover whether it can reduce the risk of offending. In this presentation I will begin by exploring the exciting near three hundred journey of women’s boxing beginning in London in the 1720’s. Next I will outline my PhD, explaining my reasons for choosing my topic, my method and methodology, and what I hope to achieve. I will then finally go on to explain why it is important to study combat sport through an academic lens, for example, to shape social policy in criminal justice.

Michael Bryden is in the third year of a PhD at the University of Portsmouth. His topic is women’s amateur boxing and whether it can enhance protective factors associated with non-offending.

Burkart, Eric

How you fight is who you are: Technique, Identity and narratives of self-reassurance

Panel C4

Martial Arts Studies

Room 1.20

Thurs 11.30-1pm

In the development of martial arts studies, the question whether or not to define the key term ‘martial arts’ has drawn some attention (Wetzler 2015; Judkins 2016; Channon 2016; Bowman 2017). In his recent contribution, Paul Bowman argues from a poststructuralist point of view ‘against definition’, but for theory’, pointing out the pitfalls that may arise from scientistic approaches leading to essentialist definitions of the object of study. Taking up Bowman’s critique, this paper will propose a ‘definition without definition’. While a transdisciplinary project like martial arts studies definitely calls for some sort of minimal consensus on the common object of study, what is needed are not criteria that clearly define and thereby discursively create an object of study. Instead, starting from small observations taken out of different martial arts contexts the paper will develop several overarching questions that can be applied to a multitude of heterogeneous phenomena and used to describe and compare them. A special focus will be laid on the interrelation between technique, identity, and community as well as on martial arts narratives legitimising the art and allowing their practitioners to cope with the contingency of actual fights and violence. In this context, a broad and open definition of martial arts will be used as a heuristic tool. It is derived from the term itself (martial – involves practices of fighting; art – represents a form of transmissible knowledge) and draws from sociology of knowledge. Understanding embodied technique as a form of knowledge (Spatz 2015), martial arts may then be seen as social institutions (Bowman 2015) discursively creating, organising, and controlling fields of knowledge associated with practices of fighting.

Eric Burkart is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in medieval history at the University of Trier. From 2013 to 2015 he was research assistant in a DFG-financed project on ritualized combat in the Middle Ages (‘Der mittelalterliche Zweikampf als agonale Praktik zwischen Recht, Ritual und Leibesübung’) at Technische Universität Dresden. In July 2015 he defended his PhD thesis on crusading discourses in late medieval Burgundy (‘Kreuzzugsbereitschaft als Selbstbeschreibung. Die Verteidigung des Glaubens als Element burgundischer Statuspolitik in den Traktaten des Jean Germain († 1461)’) at Goethe-University Frankfurt. He specialises in cultural history, symbolic communication and propaganda in 15th century Burgundy and European martial arts traditions.

Chan, Thomas

Transformation of Kung Fu and Martial Club in a Capitalist city: Hong Kong

Panel A3

Hong Kong

Room 0.14

Wed. 11.30-1

This research contextualizes the discussion on spatial changes in martial arts clubs (武館) and the relationship with the transformation of kung fu techniques and skills in a capitalist city – Hong Kong. Hong Kong is claimed as an important place for promoting Chinese kung fu culture after the great changes in Mainland China in 1949. This view emphasizes the importance of historical changes in mainland China and kung fu sifus’ immigration to Hong Kong. The claim seems to highlight the preservation of kung fu sifus for the ‘traditional’ knowledge of Kung Fu in Hong Kong which may be lost in mainland China. The claim oversimplifies the process of preservation and knowledge transfer of Chinese Kung Fu, especially for ignoring the complexities of preserving the arts in the specific contexts of martial clubs in Hong Kong.

A Martial Club is the physical and social space providing the following functions: 1) training and preservation of Kung Fu, 2) identification with the Kung Fu school and disciple, 3) social stratification for members (Sifu師父, Daizi弟子, Sihing師兄, Sidai師弟 and etc), social gathering and even the living place of Sifu. The imaginations of a martial club (武館) are commonly found in Hong Kong action movies and even articles about Chinese Kung Fu.

In a capitalist city such as Hong Kong, the imaginations of martial club (武館) are illusions for the fields of Chinese Kung Fu. In highly urbanized Hong Kong, the development of the city has made two impacts on the field of Chinese Kung Fu: 1) the decrease in the number of martial clubs and 2) compressing the spaces of martial clubs. The Sifu may change the body movements in such as steps and movements of Kung Fu forms to adapt to the physical environment in the context of urbanization. In this research, the researcher adopts in-depth interviews with Six Sifus of Southern schools (南派) and Northern schools (北派) and the field study for their martial clubs to investigate the impacts of urbanization on the transformation of traditional Kung Fu with their narratives and demonstrations of Kung Fu forms.

Thomas Chan is a lecturer of The School of Professional Education and Executive Development of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His research area includes Urbanization and Cultural Heritage in Hong Kong. He travels to Fujian, China and Okinawa Japan regularly to research and practice the arts and culture.

Chisholm, Geraldine

An Autoethnography: From a black eye to a black belt – training makes the difference

Panel B4

Pain

Room 1.20

Wed 3.30-5

This presentation provides a personal account of a mature woman’s transformation from a domestic violence survivor to a self-defense instructor. This qualitative study chronicles the researcher’s private, post-assault training with a male teacher. The researcher prepared for the possibility of a violent encounter by exploring ninjutsu, combatives, and weaponry. An eclectic blend of budō and self-directed learning shapes the modality. Videotaped lessons and practice sessions made over a five-year period, along with teacher and student commentaries, reflective journals and memory, serve as supporting data to detail the findings. Key findings include: 1. Achieved benefits by collaborative and student-centered instruction; training time reduced 50% by exploiting strongest natural skill sets and aptitudes. 2. Traumas and triggers were used to train, visualizing the abuser to develop intensity, speed, and accuracy. Increased skill and proficiency significantly enhanced feelings of safety and well-being, eradicating the sense of victimization. 3. Developed martial mindset, learned to utilize strategies and tactics when traveling to and from with stealth if necessary and how to improvise weapons. This presentation further hypothesizes that women who are assaulted and targeted by individuals who are more relentless or have proprietary knowledge may want to consider a paradigm shift in mindset and skills development. For some women, taking an active role in and participating in longer-term individualized training may offer options. Little research is available on women who train as survivors of Intimate Partner Violence, particularly outside of feminist models and pedagogical group instruction. A critical analysis and discourse on this study can provide insight and contribute to expanding training considerations for women in more difficult circumstances.

‘Lady Sensei’ Gerry Chisolm is a motivational speaker and self-defense instructor from New York City. She has ten years of experience and ranked 3rd Dan in Ninjutsu, 4th Dan in the Vee Arnis Jitsu and specializes in personal protection for women. Chisolm is a member of the National Speakers Association, International Circle of Masters, and the World Headmasters Sokeship Council. Authors Ron Van Clief and Glenn Perry feature Chisolm in their upcoming books, Black Heroes of The Martial Arts Vol. 2 and The Martial Arts: The First 100 Years: Making The Connection In North America, scheduled for publication in July 2017.

Choi, Bok Kyu

Qi jiguang’s Body Types Strategy for Martial arts and its Application in Joseon Dynasty

Panel A4

History

Room 1.20

Wed 11.30-1pm

The Jixiao Xinshu, a military manual of the Ming Dynasty, is one of the most renowned works of general Qi Jiguang. It describes the Mandarin Duck formation and its martial arts components. Qi classified typical physique types to certain martial arts to optimize the impact. The Joseon (former Korea) rulers adopted this system and applied Qi’s criteria to select individual soldiers. In this presentation I would like to demonstrate how Qi’s concepts were applied in real practice.

Bok Kyu Choi obtained a doctorate degree at the Seoul National University with his dissertation on the classical martial arts manual the Muyedobotongji. He is currently director and researcher of the Korean Institute for Martial Arts (KIMA).

Davies, Philip

The Origins and Evolution of Pencak Silat

Panel A4

History

Room 1.20

Wed. 11.30-1

This presentation analyses the three different accounts of the origins and evolution of Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia (IPSI) and its international counterpart, the International Pencak Silat Federation, that are currently in print. All have been produced by anthropologists, not historians. Two of the three (de Grave and Ian Wilson) are dependent on combinations of quasi-oral history interviews and participant observation. Only Lee Wilson’s work in Martial Arts and the Body Politic in Indonesia aims directly at historiographic rigour, when it is supported by access to papers from IPSI’s internal archives as well as interviews and PO. The paper argues that this raises all sorts of interesting academic issues, such as: (a) the impact of the prevalence a particular discipline in the study of a martial arts tradition (in this case anthropology and more specifically in the Indonesianist literature, the anthropology of theatre and performance); (b) evidentially-driven differences in interpretation of certain key events in IPSI’s history; and (c) causal and theoretical judgements about the relationship between martial arts institution building and the wider political-historical context. It argues that there are implications for wider consideration about the relative influence of academic disciplines and the emergence of an interdisciplinary field of study like martial arts studies.

Professor Philip H.J. Davies is Professor of Intelligence Studies at Brunel University. Drawing on research techniques honed on the historical and conceptual investigation of traditionally secretive national security institutions, he has also contributed a number of academic pieces on the Indonesian and Malay martial arts tradition of kuntao in publications such as Journal of Asian Martial Arts (Vol.9 No.2 (February 2000)), Thomas Green and Joseph Svinth’s Martial Arts of the World: an Encyclopedia of History and Innovation (2010) and Michael DeMarco ed. Asian Martial Arts: Constructive Thoughts and Practical Applications (2012).

Delamont, Sara

Wounded Warriors: The Injury Narratives of Advanced UK capoeiristas

Panel B4

Pain

Room 1.20

Wed. 3.30-5pm

Those capoeira students who have trained seriously for several years, and see it as an important part of their lives and identities, have learnt to focus reflexively on their bodies. A collection of what we call ‘injury narratives’ recorded by, and from, serious capoeiristas, is analyzed, in the context of the sociological disputes about the proper analytic approach to, and limitations of, illness narratives. Capoeira bodies are fundamental to practicing and performing capoeira, and advanced students (those who have trained for 3-15 years and are on high belts) have strategies to avoid injuries and can tell personal histories of periods when their bodies become ‘injured’. These are new data, not included in the book, Embodying Brazil, collected by two advanced capoeiristas, and analyzed in ways that parallel the research of Wainwright and Turner on injured ballet dancers, drawing on Bourdieu.

Sara Delamont is a reader in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. Among other subjects, she is author and co-author of numerous studies of capoeira.

Delamont, Sara

Tales of a Tireur: The Life of a Savate Teacher in the UK

Panel A2

Pedagogy

Room 0.53

Wed. 11.30-1pm

A tireur is a practitioner of Savate (French kickboxing, or boxe Française). James Southwood was the 2014 world champion (gold medallist) at his weight category in Savate, and currently holds the silver medal from the 2016 championships. He has taught Savate in the UK since 2004. In this paper his account of being a Savate teacher – that is offering classes in martial art which is largely unknown in the UK – are set into the context of an ethnographic study of his classes conducted since 2009 by Sara Delamont. The focus is on how Southwood acquired his own prowess and created himself as a Savate teacher, set in the context of Savate’s lack of a well-known identity and reputation in the UK, which differentiates being a tireur from being an expert and a teacher in South East Asian martial arts.

Sara Delamont is a reader in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. Among other subjects, she is author and co-author of numerous studies of capoeira.

Dias, Everton

Martial Arts Media and Spectacle: A study on mixed martial arts

Panel B3

Performance

Room 0.14

Wed. 3.30-5pm

The theme of this work is martial arts mediatization and spectacularization, or how they are deeply becoming a product of the cultural industry, and, as the object, MMA (mixed martial arts) in the same relationship with media. This work was presented as my formal Masters in Arts in Communication degree ceremony at Faculdade Cásper Líbero in São Paulo, Brazil, in October, 2016. The main issue has to do with the ways in which media and spectacle are acting today in the martial arts world. The overall goal is to show, through various facets, products and events, how this process is evident in the specific case of mixed martial arts. Other goals are to elucidate the relationship between cinema and the rise of MMA and some of the most important differences between the philosophy of historical martial arts and among them as media products.

Everton Dias is a PhD researcher in the Faculdade Casper Libero-Sao Paulo, Miami.

Gagné, Sylvain

Prolegomena for the teaching and academic research of martial arts: the empowerment of a field of knowledge

Panel C4

Martial Arts Studies

Room 1.20

Thurs. 11.30-1pm

We are now witnessing the emergence of a field of study and research that the Anglo-Saxons call ‘Martial Arts Studies’, which appears in England, Germany, Poland, various countries in Asia and In the United States in particular. The efforts of dedicated academics such as Paul Bowman, Stanley Henning, D.S. Farrer, John Whalen-Bridge, Sixt Wetzler, Peter Lorge and many others show that there is a real interest in this academic discipline and field of research. Several academic conferences have been held in recent years, dozens of theses have been supported involving one aspect or another of the martial arts. The disciplines involved are as varied as anthropology, sociology, religious sciences, medicine, performing arts, literature, cinema, cultural studies, sports studies and many others. A corpus of serious studies is thus gradually emerging. A new university journal specifically dedicated to martial art was born in 2015 at Cardiff University: Martial Arts Studies; and the Martial Arts Studies Research Network under the leadership of Paul Bowman. Academic programs such as the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in the Martial Arts Studies of the University of Bridgeport or the Institute of Martial Arts and Sciences (IMAS) of the University of Derby. It is clear that the elements conducive to the empowerment of the discipline of martial arts are gradually developing. This is, of course, a transdisciplinary dialogue. In Quebec, French dissertations and theses have been approved, articles and books are slowly published. The French academic milieu seems to be listening to the discussion and the actual question is how will it be revealed in the establishment of the apparatus of empowerment of the discipline of the martial arts? I intend to go over the current advances in the disciplinary field of martial arts, both epistemological, conceptual, terminological and methodological, in order finally to propose avenues of reflection in view of a better contribution of the university institution (Quebec universities in particular) to the development of knowledge in the fields of study and research that are Martial Arts Studies.

Sylvain Gagné holds a doctorate in French Studies (1997), Université de Montréal, Canada. Sylvain worked in the public service and practices martial arts Kung Fu, Tai chi, Qi Gong. He writes a second doctorate in literature, performing arts and screen at Université Laval, Québec, Canada. His research involves the use of Shaolin martial arts onstage, and how the Western filter conditions the reception and reappropriation of martial arts as a staging language in various media: Theater, Circus, Dance.

Gianni, Tommaso

Comparing the Chinese paradigm of martial culture with Japan: The Embodiment of wenwu 文 武

Panel C2

Paradigms

Room 0.53

Thurs 11.30-1pm

Sinologists have long studied China’s textural depths, but scholars have only recently approached its martial heritage, even though both the skills of Chinese warriors and the works of Chinese literati have greatly influenced Chinese culture and the cultures of nearby countries such as Japan. This paper highlights the striking similarities and the dynamics in cultural evidence between martial literary works in China’s and Japan’s social history. Both China and Japan conceptualize a dyad of culture and martial values: the wen 文 and the wu 武 in China and the bun 文 and the bu 武 in Japan. This paper examines the social context and ideals of heroic figures in Chinese history starting from the 5th B.C. through the 10th A.D., and the equivalent in Japanese history from the end of Heian (12th c. AD) to the Tokugawa (19th c. AD) periods. The embodiment and unequal social development of the heroic ideal of Chinese knights (shi) and Japanese warrior class (samurai) are explored to demonstrate the continuity and discontinuity between the two cultures.

Tommaso Gianni lectured on comparative martial arts cultures at the University of Suwon. He is completing an ethnographic work on comparative martial art pedagogies and translated into Italian for the EWTO. Among his works published: ‘Tang Hao e la sua ricerca sulle origini della tradizione [Tang Hao and his quest for the origins of a tradition]’ in Gioco, Dramma, Rito nelle Arti Marziali e negli Sport da Combattimento, presented at the first I.M.A.C.S.S.S. conference in Genova. He has written the preface to Riccio Global TaiChi and delivered talks at the Universities of Siena- and Manchester Confucius Institute.

Gowtham, PS

Narratives around martial arts in India

Panel C3

Narratives

Room 0.14

Thurs 11.30-1pm

I have been working on two different South Indian martial arts, practiced in the same geographical area, kalaripayat and silambam. By comparing them I hope to provide a better understanding of the narratives around martial arts in India. The two martial arts have very different origin stories, despite their co-existence in the same time frames, geographical areas, and common language family – Dravidian. Moreover, the forms and movements show both similarities and differences. My paper will also discuss the relationship between the practitioners and their martial art. My preliminary research found that these two martial arts were practiced by specific classes and castes of people, teaching more than a skill, rather providing a sense of community to disadvantaged participants. These in turn have changed their life philosophies and behaviour, which may account for the element of spirituality, which is to be found in both these martial arts. I will also refer to the folk literature and the art forms that were influenced by the martial arts; kalaripayat and Theyyam, silambam and Parai, a rhythmic drum beating system. I will also briefly refer in general terms to the varma/marma systems of medicinal practice of these martial arts, as specific techniques are practiced by a very few expert practitioners and are not revealed and not within the scope of my research.

PS Gowtham is from Tamil Nadu, India, and is currently studying at Shiv Nadar University, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Hay, Alexander

‘Breaking of the Targe’ – Scottish martial arts and the cultural history of Culloden

Panel A4

History

Room 1.20

Wed. 11.30-1pm

The 1746 Battle of Culloden looms large in British history. Here the Jacobite pretender, Charles Stuart, saw the final defeat of his forces, and the securing of the Hanoverian dynasty that continues to this day. From a martial arts history perspective, it also raises intriguing questions in regards to the fighting arts of the time. According to popular depictions of the battle, well-equipped and drilled British soldiers, and a small number of foreign mercenaries, outclassed and outfought the Jacobite forces, their bayonet drills easily overcoming a targe and sword armed rabble. Yet was the situation so simple? Was Culloden the twilight of traditional Scottish martial arts, or was a far more complicated state of affairs at play? To address this question, the paper will examine press coverage and other primary sources of not only Culloden but the broader context of the third, and final, Jacobite Uprising of 1745, in addition to a broader multi-disciplinary approach including archaeology, geography and anthropology. Main areas of interest will also include the role played in the broader conflict by the Scottish and English press, as well as depictions of these events in popular culture of the time as well as later in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Finally, the paper will ask what Culloden tells us about martial arts in periods of social conflict and notions of national identity, in particular, Scottish nationalism and the development of a modern sense of ‘Britishness’.

Dr Alexander Hay is Lecturer of Digital Journalism at Southampton Solent University, and comes from an eclectic humanities background – his research covering everything from sea monsters to music journalism and reader response theory. His research interests include the history of journalism and online media, and how they intersect with a wide range of other topics and disciplines, such as the martial arts themselves.

Hoekstra, Nicholas

Teaching and Learning Inclusive Martial Arts: Perspectives from a Blind Martial Artist

Panel A2

Pedagogy

Room 0.53

Wed. 11.30-1pm

Many martial arts are steeped in long standing traditions, both within the individual dojo, club or gym and within the art as a whole. This is part of what makes martial arts so successful. The ability to travel across the world and join a judo, aikido or karate class without speaking the local language is comforting. The practitioner will understand the warm-ups, frequently know the proper way to sit or stand and will have an idea of the class’s format. Despite these benefits, long standing traditions within martial arts can also lead to exclusion. Silent demonstration of techniques, for example, puts persons with visual impairments at a huge disadvantage while rigid conformity to specific kata can prevent people with physical impairments from participating. Similarly, teaching a child with ADHD requires a creative approach to discipline within the class. In a world where ever more people with disabilities are realizing their dreams of participating in sports, instructors need to change their teaching methods or risk excluding a valuable group of martial artists. In this presentation, we will discuss strategies for making the dojo, club or gym more inclusive. At the heart of this effort is insuring that the martial art retains its value for the student. Inclusion does not simply mean allowing a person with disabilities onto the mat, but rather working within that person’s abilities to participate to the maximum possible extent. We will use personal experiences of a person with a disability who has been both a student and an instructor. In addition, we will discuss how inclusive education strategies can be applied to martial arts.

Nicholas Hoekstra received a master’s degree in Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where his studies focused on the inclusion of students with disabilities through the use of Universal Design for Learning. He served as the education adviser to the Minister of Knowledge and Human Talent of Ecuador from 2015-2016. Currently, Nick works with the World Intellectual Property Organization as the capacity building lead for the Accessible Books Consortium.

Honeycutt, Damon

Martial Partner Practice as Collaborative Artistic Research

Panel A1

Practice

Room 0.52

Wed. 11.30-1pm

The partner training exercises of the Chinese martial arts offer a unique matrix in which dance and theatre artists can develop physical and creative abilities. Damon Honeycutt and Daniel Mroz present a collaborative approach to martial partnering derived from Taijiquan Tuishou and Shuai Jiao. In this practical research, martial arts are conceived of as a meta-discipline that informs the development of novel aesthetics in the performing arts. This presentation will also introduce a novel method for artistic research: originally proposed by performer Marije Nie, two artists use a single procedure to investigate their individual questions. Sharing a common research activity, each artist brings their own particular questions to the experience. In this instance, the sharing of martial partnering simultaneously allows the examination of the translational competence between art forms and expressive mediums as well as investigation of responsive physical play across a wide range of intensities from the subtle to the virtuosic. Developing scholar F. David Peat’s concept of coming to knowing Honeycutt and Mroz – while presenting the development of a particular interdisciplinary practice of partnering across the martial and performing arts – address the fundamental question of the conference theme by proposing a way to share embodied, practical artistic knowledge that is both discursive and experiential. This presentation will be a practical, parallel, 1.5 hour-long workshop that advances a theoretical approach derived from practical, embodied research in the martial arts. We’ll be running a practical research session in Ottawa in March of 2017, where we’ll share our approach with a diverse group of movement artists and create a video document of the event. At the Cardiff conference, we propose to present our working methods, our questions and video excerpts of the fruition of the Ottawa session in tandem with introducing our practical material to the attendees, creating a discursive framework immediately related to a concrete embodied experience.

Damon Honeycutt is a warrior artist whose martial cultivation has allowed him to dance with companies such as Nai-Ni Chen, Scapegoat Garden and Pilobolus; he has performed and taught in over 20 countries. He holds an MFA in Music Composition from The Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MA in Conscious Evolution and Integral Studies from The Graduate Institute and a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Music and Cross-Cultural Dance Studies. His teachers include Paulie Zink, the inheritor of the Da Sheng Pigua Men; Hu Jian Qiang, twice all-around Wushu champion of the People’s Republic of China; and Beijing Opera performer Qi Jian Guo.

Istas, Leo

Martial Education in German Curricula: From Nazi Reich to Present Day

Panel C3

Narratives

Room 0.14

Thurs 11.30-1pm

Physical education curricula have a long tradition in the history of the German public school system. Although military exercises and marching were part of German curricula long before Hitler’s rise to power, martial arts – in particular boxing – were first introduced under Nazi rule in 1937. With the collapse of the Reich and the subsequent division of the remains of Germany, the national curriculum for physical education was replaced by a variety of different curricula. Whilst the curricula in the federal West German states did not include martial arts for several decades to come, the East German curriculum early promoted martial arts as an important feature of socialist education. In the West, martial arts were first reintroduced in the 1980 curriculum of North Rhine-Westphalia, which officially made judo and fencing optional subjects. In 1999, nearly one decade after the reunification of East and West Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia spearheaded a new wave of curricular revisions which led to an ongoing reconsideration of martial arts in all federal states. Apart from highlighting important events in the historical development of German curricula, the presentation will address political, pedagogical and societal perspectives on martial arts in physical education.

Leo Istas studied history, physical education and English at the University of Cologne and is currently working on his doctoral thesis at the German Sport University Cologne. Since 2014, he is an active member of the German Society of Sport Science’s Martial Arts Commission and has researched and published on martial arts-related developments in North Rhine-Westphalian curricula. Besides researching for his stipendium-funded dissertation project, in which he analyzes the status quo of martial arts in North Rhine-Westphalian physical education classes, he teaches boxing classes at the German Sport University Cologne.

Jaquet, Daniel

The Communication of Embodied Knowledge Workshop

Panel: Closing Roundtable and Workshops

The Communication of Embodied Knowledge

Room: Birt Acres

Thursday Afternoon Sessions

Daniel Jaquet will be presenting and leading a workshop in the closing workshops and round table debates, ‘Communicating Embodied Knowledge’.

A keynote at this conference in 2016, Daniel Jaquet is a medievalist, with a background in literary studies and interests in history of science and material culture in the early modern period. He received his PhD in history at the University of Geneva in 2013. He taught at the University of Geneva and Lausanne (2008-2015) and was a visiting scholar at the Centre pour l’Histoire des sciences et des techniques (University of Paris, Pantheon Sorbonne 1, 2011). He is the co-editor of Acta Periodica Duellatorum (open access, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to Historical European Martial Arts studies). His dissertation investigates the praxes of armoured combat at the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance, in the light of the Fight Books. His teaching and research specialisations are history of warfare, dueling, ludic practices and knowledge transmission in pragmatic literature at the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance. His current research focuses on Historical European Martial Arts studies, with specific interest in bodily knowledge transmission and experimentation.

Jehu, Lyn

The Perception of Mental Toughness Attributes in Karate Teaching

Panel B4

Pain

Room 1.20

Wed. 3.30-5pm

This presentation is of a recent research project that examined the perception of mental toughness attributes from the perspective of teachers of Japanese karate. A qualitative, inductive approach was used with the resultant data coded via thematic analysis as per Braun and Clarke (2006). One overarching theme, and nine subthemes were identified. A unique finding of this study was the importance placed on the quality of self-control by participants. It is hoped that discussion will focus on the moral and ethical ethos inherent in the practice of Japanese karate, and how this Okinawan folk art has been influenced by the Japanese concept of Bushido. On a related note, the ability to tolerate physical pain although not unique, also emerged as a consistent and defining characteristic of mental toughness in relation to what was perceived by the participants to be traditional karate practice. The influence of a single Japanese teacher, in effect the group patriarch will also be highlighted.

Lyn Jehu currently works as a lecturer in Community Football Development at the University of South Wales. His research interests include mental toughness in martial arts, the influence of Japanese martial arts on modern sport, and martial arts pedagogy.

Jennings, George

Out of the Labyrinth: The Recently Invented Mexican Martial Arts Riding the Wave of Mexicanidad

Panel C3

Narratives

Room 0.14

Thurs 11.30-1pm

In the celebrated essays of Octavio Paz, The Labyrinth of Solitude (1969), the unique identity of Mexico remained uncertain and dubious: a resistance of the native ‘Indian’ Mexico, the colonial era and the long road to modernity. In the last decades of the twentieth century, however, various veteran martial artists and visionaries developed different fighting and human development systems across the nation as a response to the lack of warrior traditions and martial identity in the country. These forms of combat include Xilam, a traditionalist approach to martial arts inspired by ancient Mesoamerican culture and warrior philosophies, and SUCEM, a form of full-contact mixed martial arts that includes armed combat in a ring or octagon with or without adapted, pre-Hispanic style weaponry of shields and clubs. There are others, such as Pok-at-Tok and Tae Lama which overtly acknowledge the use of Asian martial arts techniques, but with an indigenous Mexican ‘flavour’ through the grading system and native language terminology. Despite their geographical, technical and cultural origins, all of these arts provide a new way of looking at Mexican national identity following a long period of foreign influence and subordination during the colonial and post-colonial period. As part of an emergent indigenista movement commonly referred to as Mexicanidad (‘Mexicanness’), the social and political strive towards national pride and a revival of Mesoamerican civilisation and grandeur. This social movement includes the resurgence of ancient games and dances along with the development of the holistic, native and pre-Hispanic industries, all of which give Mexico a unique sense of self to present to the world: To no longer struggle in seeming solitude, but to contribute to global physical culture and martial arts. This paper seeks to highlight the case of these new martial arts and what they can tell us about Mexico’s past, present and potential future.

Dr. George Jennings is a lecturer in sport sociology / physical culture at Cardiff Metropolitan University, and has previously taught research methods and the social science of sport at universities in London, Scotland and Mexico. George’s research centres around alternative physical cultures and novel ways to study them. More specifically, his main area of investigation is on the social practice of traditionalist martial arts as explored through various qualitative research approaches and sociocultural theory. George collaborates widely, and is currently looking at the notion of self and shared cultivation in martial arts across the world.

John, Zoe

Tampons and Toughness: Body Politics in Mixed Martial Arts

Panel C1

Body

Room 0.52

Thurs 11.30-1pm

This presentation engages with several months of ethnographic data to explore the gendered dynamics of becoming a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. Drawing from a critical feminist and interactionist framework I analyse participants’ (and my own) interactions and experiences between the spaces of ‘the dojo’ and ‘the cage’. These spaces include the initial learning stages of MMA, the higher-skilled sparring classes, as well as the fighting events. Significantly, though they are different interactive spaces in MMA with equally different expectations of skill and sporting performance, each of them still produce (and are interpreted by participants as having) some form of political narrative and/or rules around gendered bodies. These narratives and rules include anxieties around touching and hurting women’s bodies by newer members of MMA clubs, active engagement with heterosexist banter as a bonding experience (with particular mention to periods and vaginas), and the view that same-sex fighting categories (and normative gendered bodies) should remain as an organising aspect for fighting events. These findings are interpreted as some of the key gendered dynamics which shape the concepts of skill, ‘toughness’, and MMA identities, whilst also highlighting the complexities of how ‘gender’ itself is understood by participants – as discursive, social, and biological. The presentation concludes that (hetero-normative) gender is a powerful tool in the sport’s organisation, but also in the bodily politics and opportunities of performing the identity of ‘MMA fighter’.

Zoe John is a PhD candidate at Cardiff’s School of Social Sciences and is funded by the ESRC. Her work explores the production and negotiation of violent situations and violent identities, drawing from MMA’s spaces and places to explore and discuss such themes. Zoe is also developing findings from her Masters research which explores the gendered dynamics of being an MMA fighter (from which her presentation reflects upon). Though she is not a martial artist or an MMA practitioner herself, Zoe uses a flexible researcher role to participate in MMA classes for research purposes.

Judkins, Benjamin N.

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

Keynote

Birt Acres

Wednesday 5.30-6.30

Benjamin N. Judkins is co-editor of the journal Martial Arts Studies. With Jon Nielson he is co-author of The Creation of Wing Chun: A Social History of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts (SUNY, 2015). He is also author of the long-running martial arts studies blog, Kung Fu Tea: Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies (www.chinesemartialstudies.com).

Keller, Sebastian

HEMA – A model case for martial arts studies?

Panel C4

Martial Arts Studies

Room 1.20

Thurs 11.30-1pm

Coming from a background of Volkskunde / Vergleichende Kulturwissenschaft, I encountered Martial Arts Studies / Kampfkunstwissenschaft while working on my upcoming doctorate thesis about ‘Moderne Schwertkampf-Trainer als ‘Erben’ alter Meister. Vorbilder und Vermittlungspraxen mittelalterlichen europäischen Schwertkampfs in der ‘Historical European Martial Arts’-Szene in Deutschland’ (‘Contemporary sword fighting trainers as ‘heirs’ to old masters. Role models and teaching practice for medieval European sword fighting in the German ‘Historical European Martial Arts’ scene’). There are some interesting similarities between Martial Arts Studies and HEMA. Both are emerging from various disciplines to pursue a common goal. Both are in need of a common identity. Both started to work on their subject on a rather high / specialized level without having a complete view of it. HEMA lack proper scientific methods for the interpretation of medieval texts, Martial Arts Studies lack a way of combining information about such various topics as lightsaber forms and the energy cost of wearing medieval armour in an useful way. HEMA could be one of the focal points for martial arts studies that facilitate the establishment of common methods, common goals and a common language. Already there are some prominent researchers like Sixt Wetzler and Daniel Jaquet approaching HEMA from different angles bringing their expertise together. There’s no harm in inviting more fighting scholars and providing them with a growing set of methods that can be used and combined in research projects inside and outside martial arts studies. My presentation will: Sum up how the HEMA scene developed by ceasing to be a bunch of sword wielding reenactors, budo practitioners and LARPers; Explain how martial arts studies facilitated my research on the HEMA scene; Sum up the methods I used.

Sebastian Keller wrote his Master of Arts paper about Japanese Manga comics and their scene in Germany at the University of Regensburg in 2006. Between 2009 and 2015 he was teaching historical European sword fighting. He works as copywriter and translator and lives in Moosburg, Germany.

Kenklies, Karsten

Wisdom of the Sword: Cutting through the Western Educational Mind

Panel C2

Paradigms

Room 0.53

Thurs 11.30-1pm

The perception of Asian, especially Japanese education is still very much haunted and shaped by stereotypes. Focusing mainly upon modern Japanese education (since the Meiji restoration), comparisons between Asian/Japanese and Western education often use oppositions like collective vs. individualistic or uniform vs. multifaceted to describe the assumed differences between educational cultures. However, this picture gets somewhat blurred when one looks at pre-modern educational concepts and practices – a field that has in general not been given much attention. This is somewhat surprising as this offers an excellent field of comparison: the Martial Arts, within which more general ideas about education are expressed. The proposed paper endeavors to present a comparative analysis of Asian (Japanese: Musashi’s Gorin-no-sho) and European (German: a version of Master Liechtenauer’s Art of Fencing and the textbook of Anton Friedrich Kahn) sword-fighting/ fencing textbooks to revisit commonly held conceptions of those educational cultures. The comparison of those martial arts textbooks will shed light not only on the different ways that sword-fighting/ fencing has been taught, but will also put into question the (educational) images of the (Asian) Other upon which Western (educational) self-images are sometimes based. In this way, the study of (the education of) Martial Arts shows itself to be a very enlightening approach to discuss more general (educational) cultural differences or similarities.

Karsten Kenklies is senior lecturer in the School of Education (History and Philosophy of Education) at the University of Strathclyde.

Kolanad, Gitanjali

Striking a Balance – the relationship between dancing and fighting

Keynote

Birt Acres

Thurs 10-11am

The dancer in India is often considered to have the power to cross the boundary between the real and the theatrical world: a beckoning gesture during a performance causes an audience member to come on stage; a (theatrical) stone thrown is so convincingly that a dog whines as if hit. At one level the dancer is seeing and being seen by the audience, on a stage, but at the same time she is embodying another ‘seeing’. In actualizing this seeing of the imaginary being, whether lover or dog or god, she is also, as John Berger established, being seen. In the martial art form kalaripayat, as in many other martial art forms, there are sequences of attack and defense movements practiced alone, with the choreographed quality of dance. By leaving their applications as fighting techniques out, the student can concentrate on form. But as the student advances, the position of the opponent becomes paramount. By ‘seeing’ the opponent, one’s own attacks can be aimed or placed or timed or balanced to exert the correct force. Thus we have an analogous endeavor to what the dancer is doing. This is especially important in the martial arts because practice with an actual opponent is always restricted. There is no sparring in kalaripayat, but even in martial art forms where there is, these are inevitably situations where one is holding back, playing by rules. This distinction becomes especially clear in the partnered sequences with weapons. When real injuries can occur, the real opponent leads to containment of action – only the imaginary opponent is fair game. The reciprocity and transformative quality of the seeing and being seen in bharata natyam and kalaripayat is similar to the seeing and being seen of the religious experience of darshan.

Gitanjali Kolanad was involved in the practice, performance, and teaching of bharata natyam for close to forty years, performing in major cities in Europe, America and India. Her short story collection Sleeping with Movie Stars was published in January 2011 by Penguin India. She has written numerous articles on aspects of Indian dance for well-known Indian publications. She is the 2016 Singapore International Writer in Residence with NUS University Scholars Program and The Arts House. She co-founded IMPACT, which teaches and promotes Indian martial art forms. Presently she a professor at Shiv Nadar University, developing their performing arts program.

Labouret, Victor

How a conceptual description of a martial art helps to remodel its pedagogy: the example of the Kinomichi

Panel C2

Paradigms

Room 0.53

Thurs 11.30-1pm

Let’s discover how a theoretical description of a martial art as a crossroad of principles enriches the teaching tools beyond the opportunities offered by traditional descriptions such as ‘a catalog of techniques’ or ‘the practice taught by a master’. In the latter descriptions, the principles are implicit and difficult to use. In the first books on kinomichi (Roumanoff 1992, Murcia 1996), I identified the core principles of kinomichi. I also explored the principles as I attended innumerable classes given by Masamichi Noro, the founder of this art. I found eight key principles such as ‘having a partner’, ‘active-active’, ‘energetic and light’, ‘organized on the basis of a program’, ‘body unit’, ‘spiral’, ‘body awareness’, ‘positive energy’. These concepts are then expanded into sub-concepts, for example ‘a partner’ suggests the sub-concepts: ‘corporal dialogue and diversity’, ‘empathy and mirror neurons’, ‘partner and teaching’. With three examples, we will explore how principles model the pedagogy of Kinomichi. First, ‘body awareness’ emphasizes the importance conscious proprioception. Therefore teachers will propose specific exercises directed towards this idea, hence developing the consciousness of proprioception and the art of kinomichi. Second, the reality of ‘having a partner’ is brought to consciousness with exercises focused on this issue. Third, the concept of ‘playing’ (a sub-concept of positive energy) changes the teacher’s behavior and vocabulary. He thinks less in terms of showing/correcting and more in terms of suggesting and experimenting. When the principles become explicit, it is easier to develop new pedagogical tools as exemplified here in the case of Kinomichi.

Victor Labouret teaches kinomichi in Brazil. He has a post-graduate qualification in Therapy Through Movement (Rio de Janeiro, Faculty Angel Vianna), for which he wrote an academic text on understanding the specificity of kinomichi based on body consciousness, neurology, psychology and anatomy.

Lee, Dennis Dong

The Internal Chinese Martial Arts – The historical perspective and its function

Panel B1

China

Room 0.52

Wed 3.30-5pm

The history of traditional Chinese martial arts play a very important roles on the traditional Chinese culture and philosophy for thousands years of Chinese Martial Arts. Today, Chinese people still practice traditional Chinese martial arts to continue their philosophy and culture. In this paper I argue that Internal Martial Arts came from the ancient Chinese battle field. In the Song Dynasty, when Han Chinese lost the defense of the Great Wall that internal power was founded by the General Yue fei. Basically, the original Internal Martial Arts is part of a weapon system, in the military training was teaching the soldiers, how to using their strength efficiently as powerful as they can. I argue that this is why Internal Martial Arts has a much greater contrast when compared to street fights and MMA sport, because Internal Martial Arts is a long weapon system developed from the battle field.

Dong (Dennis) Lee is currently a postgraduate student at Ruhr University Bochum, Institute for Social Movement. His studies focus on comparative history and industrial heritage.

Lorge, Peter

Inventing ‘traditional martial arts’

Keynote

Birt Acres

Tues 3-4.30pm

Peter Lorge is a professor of history at Vanderbilt University. He is author of The Reunification of China: Peace Through War under the Song Dynasty (Cambridge, 2015), Chinese Martial Arts: From Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge University Press, 2012), The Asian Military Revolution: From Gunpowder to the Bomb (Cambridge University Press, 2008), and War, Politics and Society in Early Modern China (Routledge, 2005), co-editor of Chinese and Indian Warfare: From the Classical Age to 1870 (Routledge, 2014), and editor of Debating War in Chinese History (Brill, 2013), Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (The Chinese University Press, 2011), and Warfare in China to 1600 (Ashgate, 2005).

Magnan-Park, Aaron

‘We are Not Sick Men!’: Bruce Lee and the Restoration of China’s Pre-Confucian Martial Virtue

Panel B1

China

Room 0.52

Wed 3.30-5pm

This paper proposes to revisit the global impact of Bruce Lee by returning him to a Sinocentric cultural sphere. The revolutionary act that Bruce Lee accomplished is that he not only made being Chinese globally popular by way of his kung fu films but more importantly he shattered the long reign of Confucianism that valorized wen 文 (the cultural) at the expense of wu 武 (the martial). At heart are two factors. First, Bruce Lee was the rare Chinese individual who could combine both wen and wu but because he did this by way of kung fu, orthodox Confucianism denigrates his achievement. The second is that Confucius, while he sought to valorize the Zhou dynasty as the ideal past perfection of Chinese civilization, suppressed the martial core that defined the Zhou dynasty’s militarized aristocracy. Under this light, it is Bruce Lee that completed Confucius’ project by creating a modern day personification of the Zhou dynasty’s balanced masculinity where wen and wu were equally valorized and pursued.

Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park is Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong. He specializes in Asian cinema with a focus on Hong Kong action cinema and contemporary South Korean cinema. His methodology is marked by a focus on an engagement with Asian cultural forces along with ‘Western’ theories.

Mak, Ricardo K. S.

Traditional Chinese Martial Arts in Hong Kong since the 1980s

Panel A3

Hong Kong

Room 0.14

Wed 11.30-1pm

Chinese martial arts can roughly be divided into two styles: traditional style which pays attention to not only fighting skills, but also inner cultivation, and the modern style (wushu) whose practitioners enter competitions performing martial art patterns and maneuvers. For most of the twentieth century, Hong Kong was the center of traditional Chinese martial arts because hundreds of Southern, Northern and Hakka Chinese martial artists, fleeing wars, political turbulences and the violent suppression of the new socialist government which equated martial arts clubs with secret societies, sought refuge in the British colony. Postwar Hong Kong witnessed therefore the tremendous increase in the number of martial arts clubs and societies which offered hand-to-hand and weapons training. Thanks to the global circulation of martial arts novels, movies and TV series, kung fu fever had spread by the 1970s to different parts of the world. However, today few kung fu schools remain in Hong Kong and kung fu movies have given way to Jackie Chan’s acrobatic action comedies. Younger people prefer modern-styled sports and entertainment, and if they do train martial arts, they tend to pick MMA and Muay Thai. Nevertheless, a small number kung fu masters have struggle to introduce new training methods and marketing strategies that may help revitalize the declining Chinese martial arts tradition in Hong Kong. Utilizing a range of sources, this essay examines the new trends they have created and assesses their achievements.

Ricardo K. S. Mak is Professor of History and Director of Advanced Institute for Contemporary China Studies at the Hong Kong Baptist University. He began his teaching career at the Department of History of the National Taiwan University after receiving his PhD in History and Political Science from the University of Regensburg in 1993. Specializing in modern historical methods and theories, Sino-German relations, modern Chinese intellectual history and the Chinese martial arts traditions, he has published a dozen monographs and edited volumes and over fifty articles and reviews on related topics. His recent work Chinese Martial Arts in Hong Kong (Zhige weiwu: zhonghua wushu zai xiangjiang 止戈為武:中華武術在香江) (Hong Kong: Commercial Publishing Co. Ltd., 2016) focuses the development of martial arts in twentieth century Hong Kong.

McGuire, Colin

Music and Martial Arts: Heroic Display through Violent Musicking in Kung Fu

Panel B3

Performance

Room 0.14

Wed 3.30-5pm

Studying sound and movement together is valuable for understanding socio-cultural relationships and values embodied in performance. Dancing to music is a typical example. Many types of martial arts also integrate music, but these practices have received relatively little scholarly attention, with the exceptions of Brazilian capoeira and, more recently, Indonesian/Malaysian pencak silat. This oversight leaves aesthetic ideals of heroism in martial arts studies underexplored when martial concerns command more attention than artistic ones. Such considerations include the ‘proper’ expression of violence, which is a significant aspect of how people understand what it means to be powerful, courageous, and indomitable. This paper addresses martial arts performed with music as a type of violent musicking that can reveal a heroic display ethos. My research focuses on the percussion played by practitioners to accompany their demonstrations of Cantonese martial arts and the lion dance ritual at Toronto, Canada’s Hong Luck Kung Fu Club. This style of performance is typical of many types of Southern Chinese martial arts more generally – both in diaspora and in Greater China. Drawing on eight years of performance ethnography and observant participation, I explore the choreomusical connections between fighting skills and drumming. I also investigate the discourses of self-defence – implicit and explicit – that are central to kung fu in order to reveal how they inform public performances. I argue that kung fu’s violent musicking manifests an ideal of self-strengthening that undergirds a delicate balance of civility against viciousness in self-defence. My research builds on work in martial arts studies that frames hand combat systems as more conceptual than realistic, as well as references discussions of sonic warfare in sound studies. Despite the relative safety of modern society, the aesthetics of conflict remain significant aspects of contemporary global culture.

Colin McGuire has a PhD in Ethnomusicology from York University and is currently an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at University College Cork. His research looks at music and martial arts, with a focus on Chinese kung fu, by examining transmission processes, body-experience, film music, and heroic display. Through investigations of intertextual meanings, transnational identity construction, and resistance to oppression, McGuire contributes to broader discussions of embodiment and diaspora. He is also interested in how being attentive to choreomusical connections between movement and sound can further our understandings of not only idealized social values, but also the rhythm of combat.

Minarik, Martin

Ideological Efficacy before Martial Efficacy – On the Relationship between Martial Arts, Theatricality and Society

Panel B3

Performance

Room 0.14

Wed 3.30-5pm

The boundaries between martial arts and performance art as theatre and dance are fluid. For some readers, this argument might sound quite provoking, since the foremost goal of martial arts in general is, or should be, as some might say, to deal effectively with physical violence. Axel Binhack describes ‘Kampf’ or combat as a focused form of physical interaction, that is driven by the aim to be ended most quickly [Binhack 1998: 31]. From a cultural-theoretic point of view, martial arts do in fact serve a much broader range of purposes than only preparation for physical combat [Bowman 2015, Wetzler 2015]. As Sixt Wetzler argues, martial arts practice can be categorized into Preparation for Violent Conflict, Play and competitive Sports, Performance, Transcendent Goals, and Health Care [Wetzler 2015: 26]. Different martial arts can serve one or more of these purposes, while a single martial art can also serve interchangeable purposes, depending on the practitioner him or herself. For this presentation, I want to focus on martial arts as performance, explicitly on martial arts as theatrical performance.

Martin Minarik is a PhD student at the department of human movement science at Hamburg University. His project deals with the embodiment and staging of norms and values in the practice of Taekwondo in South Korea. His interest mainly lies in the theatrical and artistic aspects of Martial Arts both on and off stage.

Morris, Meaghan

Disenchanting Jianghu: historical experience and the kung fu refusenik in cinema

Keynote

Birt Acres

Wed. 2-3pm

Meaghan Morris (University of Sydney) is a figure of world stature in the field of Cultural Studies. She was recently Chair of the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society and of the international Association for Cultural Studies (ACS). A Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities, and a former ARC Senior Fellow, from 2000-2012 she was founding Chair Professor of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong.

Mroz, Daniel

Martial Partner Practice as Collaborative Artistic Research

Panel A1

Practice

Room 0.52

Wed 11.30-1pm

The partner training exercises of the Chinese martial arts offer a unique matrix in which dance and theatre artists can develop physical and creative abilities. Damon Honeycutt and Daniel Mroz present a collaborative approach to martial partnering derived from Taijiquan Tuishou and Shuai Jiao. In this practical research, martial arts are conceived of as a meta-discipline that informs the development of novel aesthetics in the performing arts. This presentation will also introduce a novel method for artistic research: originally proposed by performer Marije Nie, two artists use a single procedure to investigate their individual questions. Sharing a common research activity, each artist brings their own particular questions to the experience. In this instance, the sharing of martial partnering simultaneously allows the examination of the translational competence between art forms and expressive mediums as well as investigation of responsive physical play across a wide range of intensities from the subtle to the virtuosic. Developing scholar F. David Peat’s concept of coming to knowing Honeycutt and Mroz – while presenting the development of a particular interdisciplinary practice of partnering across the martial and performing arts – address the fundamental question of the conference theme by proposing a way to share embodied, practical artistic knowledge that is both discursive and experiential. This presentation will be a practical, parallel, 1.5 hour-long workshop that advances a theoretical approach derived from practical, embodied research in the martial arts. We’ll be running a practical research session in Ottawa in March of 2017, where we’ll share our approach with a diverse group of movement artists and create a video document of the event. At the Cardiff conference, we propose to present our working methods, our questions and video excerpts of the fruition of the Ottawa session in tandem with introducing our practical material to the attendees, creating a discursive framework immediately related to a concrete embodied experience.

Daniel Mroz is a theatre director and martial artist. His recent performances have been presented at the Canada Dance Festival and the Évènement Zones Théâtrales. The Dancing Word, his book on how to use the Chinese martial arts in contemporary theatre is published by Brill. A keynote speaker at the 2016 Martial Arts Studies Conference, he practices martial arts under Chen Zhonghua and studied acting and directing with Richard Fowler. He is Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre of the University of Ottawa in Canada where he teaches acting and directing.

Partikova, Veronika

Self-orientation in Chinese martial arts context

Panel A3

Hong Kong

Room 0.14

Wed. 11.30-1pm

Drinking with your boss would probably produce a different degree of commitment than offering tea to your sifu during the Bai Si ceremony. Commonly, specific rules, habits and rituals of a kung fu community are repeated and accepted by foreigners, too. Some of these behaviors may be however very different from their own society or daily actions. Psychological collectivism can be defined as a tendency to internalize norms of people’s in-groups and ability to understand hierarchy. Unlike the Hofstede’s macro collectivism, psychological collectivism directs attention to individual rather than the society. It describes the way we organize relationships around our own. Chinese martial arts provide a unique environment for exploring psychological collectivism due to its strong concepts of sorted roles, such as student-master, community and transmitted philosophical influences. Is it therefore possible that psychological collectivism could be an important topic for traditional martial arts? Could it explain the functioning of foreigners inside such community and the acceptance of all its commitments? Psychological collectivism is moreover an actual topic for the sport field. Without surprise, it is said that sport teams should possess some degree of psychological collectivism to be more effective. But it nevertheless turned out that individual sports are not as individual as we thought. Indeed, close group mates can influence significantly not only the motivation of an athlete, but also the performance itself. Since individualistic and collectivistic attributes of self are likely sampled in separated cognitive structures rather than being dichotomous, the level of individualism and collectivism may therefore differ in various contexts. Thus, different environments would have different effects. Is martial art such salient environment to influence one’s self orientation? And mainly what kind of impact would it have to the practice and theory of martial arts?

Veronika Partikova is a PhD student at the department of Physical Education at the Hong Kong Baptist University. Her focus is psychological collectivism and mental toughness in traditional wushu. She has been also practicing martial arts for the last 15 years and she is an active athlete, representing Czech Republic.

Pedrini, Lorenzo

Sparring in Italian Gym Boxing Classes: Towards the Study of Embodied Politics in Combat Sports

Panel C1

Body

Room 0.52

Thurs 11.30-1pm

‘Popular gyms’ (palestre popolari) represent a kind of leisure venues that have flourished in many Italian cities since the 2000s. They are run by different ‘far-left wing grassroots organizations’ (centri sociali autogestiti) or groups belonging to the squatting social movement. Drawing on one year and a half ethnography of boxing in popular gyms located in the Milan urban area, this paper aims to highlight the sociopolitical function of sparring in such milieux. Being a set of complex activities autonomously ruled by every gym according to its mission and the coaches’ boxing background, sparring can be considered a principle of group-making in Bourdieusian terms. First, sparring sessions are means to produce social relations –solidarity, inclusion/exclusion, hierarchies within the gym and among the gyms. Second, sparring frames situated meaning – light sparring/tough-sparring, a game/a test/an exhibition. Third, sparring performs collective values and beliefs – good boxer/bad boxer, good boxing/bad boxing, legitimate actions/illegitimate actions, respect for oneself and others. Fourth, sparring affects one-self body’s management outside the gym – boxers’ habits. More generally, the ethnographic exploration of sparring in palestre popolari gives a twofold opportunity to scholars of combat sports and martial arts. On the one hand, it shows how to deconstruct the taken-for-granted rules (doxa) underling a rite which plays a central role in combat-sports training. On the other hand, the paper proposes how to deal with the embodied politics of combat sports taking into account their context of production as well, i.e.,the gyms’ social and cultural location.

Lorenzo Pedrini is a third year PhD student in Applied Sociology and Methodology of Social Research at the University of Milano Bicocca, where he achieved a master’s degree in Sociology in 2013. His previous research topics were social movements and organizational studies. Currently, he is engaging in the sociology of physical culture and combat sports. He is also interested in ethnography and discourse analysis. From February to August 2017, he is in Cardiff for a visiting period in the Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, under the supervision of David Brown and George Jennings. 

Pellerin, Eric

Lau Kar Leung as Kung Fu Auteur and the Pedagogy of Martial Arts

Panel B2

Film

Room 0.53

Wed 3.30-5pm

In this paper, I study Lau Kar Leung as an auteur of the kung fu film. Lau was a contract director for the Shaw Bros. studio in Hong Kong from 1975 until 1985. While working under contract he directed seventeen feature length martial arts films. Lau Kar Leung’s career at Shaw Bros. can be looked at as a negotiation of two top down structures at work in his life. There is the top down relationship that the traditional kung fu master has with his pupils, and the structure of orthodox kung fu pedagogy in which the sifu or master is not to be questioned. This relationship can be seen in Lau’s films starting with Challenge of the Masters (1976). The second top down structure at play is the absolute dominance that Run Run Shaw exacted as the head of the Shaw Bros. studio. This paper is about the intersection of genre, the studio as author, and the director as author, and the tensions among all three registers. My main model for the director as author comes from Janet Staiger’s ‘Authorship Approaches’ from Authorship and Film (2003) and her work on authorship as a sociology of production. As she explains it, the ‘authors are considered as taking up roles or functioning as workers’ (Gerstner 41). In this approach you consider the authors role within the company or studio that they worked for and their relationship with the studio and its hierarchies. I focus on the reoccurring themes in Lau’s films, especially the master-pupil relationship and his pedagogy of martial arts through his films.

Eric Pellerin is Assistant Professor and Serials Management/Reference Librarian at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York. His research interests include genre theory, authorship in film, and Hong Kong cinema. He is the author of ‘The Simpsons and Television Self Reflexivity as Critique’ from The Simpsons Did It! Postmodernity in Yellow, edited by Martin Tschiggerl and Thomas Walach. He is also the author of the forthcoming ‘Grind House Distribution of Kung Fu Films and Their Influence on Breaking’s Development’ in The Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Dance Studies, Oxford University Press, edited by Mary Fogarty and Imani Kai Johnson.

Porchet, Pierrick

Circulation of kinesic practices and representations in Chinese martial arts

Panel B1

China

Room 0.52

Wed 3.30-5pm

Martial arts, designated by the generic term wushu 武术 in Mandarin, can be observed in various forms in China nowadays. They can sometimes be observed as popular and/or professional sport practices, sometimes as political rhetoric, or in the entertainment industry through an imagery mobilized by literary and cinema productions. Recently, this multiple presence can also be observed in new media such as video games, cartoons or online videos. It is characterized by a plurality of referents, as the combined use of body movements and as an explanatory model reflecting on various implications, which vary from one production mode to another. This research focuses on how representations of martial techniques and gestures, whether being executed by real practitioners or fictional characters, circulate from one medium to another, creating, conserving or dissipating their contents, according to particular modes, where the very idea of martiality appears in very different manners. What are the implications of this ‘body rhetoric’? What are its modalities? Using the theoretical and methodological framework of Guillemette Bolens on the kinesic approach and the concept of circulation of forms defined by Basile Zimmermann, this research will focus on the modes of production and circulation of Chinese martial arts representations.

Pierrick Porchet is a PhD candidate and research assistant at the University of Geneva. His current PhD project focuses on examining kinesic aspects of Chinese martial arts. He is particularly interested in meanings embedded in body movements as they circulate through popular, institutional and artistic contexts.

Steimer, Lauren

Experts in Action: a New Paradigm for the Analysis of Action Genre Performance in Martial Arts Studies

Panel B2

Film

Room 0.53

Wed 3.30-5pm

Following Paul Bowman’s argument that scholars should prioritize field-building over crafting any strict delimitation of the parameters of martial arts studies, this paper seeks broaden the scope of the field to include materialist approaches to film and media. The paper identifies structural differences in the choreographed movement of stars and professional stunt doubles via an analysis of the ‘May vs. May’ fight sequence in the ‘Face My Enemy’ episode of ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’. The distinctions between star and double are blurred both through editing, cinematography, and through the discursive erasure of the labor of stunt

double when a star’s claims that she ‘does her own stunts’ are circulated by the popular press.

This project incorporates research on expert performance to make visible the mediating mechanisms that distinguish expert and novice performance in the action genre. Scientists have been trying to map the unique mechanisms for the production of expert performance for over a century and have since identified a style of training (deliberate practice) and duration of training (10 years) as necessary factors in the creation of exceptional and reproducible performance. Deliberate practice is a form of knowledge acquisition in which the tasks needed to achieve mastery of a domain (e.g., gymnastics, martial arts, wire-work) are broken down into smaller ‘chunks’ and repeated with supervision and correction by an instructor. As each chunk is perfected, more are added, and the level of difficulty for each sequence increases. Action genre actors like Ming-na Wen commonly undergo very short periods of bodily training in which they are required to memorize very small chunks of choreographed action in order to manufacture on screen credibility. In contrast, stunt doubles (like Samantha Jo) are required to draw upon their decade-long training (in Wushu) as well as to memorize/actualize a series of complex choreographed chunks. The function of this performance analysis is twofold: to shed light on the material and mediatized histories of action production and to promote further discussion of expert performance in martial arts studies.

Lauren Steimer is Assistant Professor of Media Arts in the School of Visual Art and Design at the University of South Carolina. Her recent work on stunt workers in transnational media industries has been published in The Sociological Review, Discourse, and in the anthology Transnational Stardom: International Celebrity in Film and Popular Culture. Her work examines the distinctive corporeal spectacles of stars as working bodies in transnational articulations of the action genre.

Wetzler, Sixt

The problem of violence: martial arts as coping strategy

Keynote

Birt Acres

Wed 10-11am

The formation and development of the academic field of martial arts studies over recent years instigated research in and approaches to various highly heterogeneous aspects of the phenomenon ‘martial arts’, and made use of methods and tools from a diversity of academic disciplines. However, one topic that would seem to be of core interest to the field remains strangely absent from the discussion: The problem of violence. Apart from the (few) studies that deal explicitly with questions of self-defence training, a true discussion about the relevance of interpersonal violence (understood here as violentia, not potestas) for the understanding and interpretation of martial arts seems to be lacking in the current martial arts studies discourse.

This presentation thus aims to address some points that might be relevant for our field, where violence and martial arts merge. More specifically, it will draw on Wolfgang Sofsky’s dichotomy of active Körper (the body exerting violence) and passive Leib (the body suffering violence), and on Randall Collin’s micro-sociological theory of violence, to discuss different levels (e.g., physical, mental, moral, symbolic, transcendental) on which martial arts can be interpreted as coping strategies for the terrifying (yet often equally fascinating) fact that one person may suffer at the hand of another. Topics include: the notion of ‘reality based’ self-defence training; the human psychological inability to deal with violence; the narrative legitimization of violence; the relationship of martial arts and religion; the world-wide use of battle magic. The presentation aims to point to important issues within the martial arts, but it also seeks to help reflection on how martial arts studies are currently done.

Sixt Wetzler (Deutsches Klingenmuseum – German Blade Museum, Solingen) studied religious studies, Scandinavian literature, and medieval history in Tübingen, Reykjavík, and Freiburg, with a PhD thesis on ‘Combat in Saga Literature. Traces of martial arts in medieval Iceland’. Wetzler is a member of the commission Kampfkunst und Kampfsport (Martial Arts and Combat Sports) in the dvs (German Association for Sports Sciences), and has published on martial arts studies both in English and German, from a Kulturwissenschaft perspective. As assistant director of the German Blade Museum, one of his main interests is in the European fencing tradition and other blade fighting systems. Wetzler has practiced several martial arts since his childhood, and is among the highest ranked European practitioners of Pekiti Tirsia Kali, a Filipino martial art.

Wetzler, Sixt

The Communication of Embodied Knowledge

Roundtable Discussion and Workshops

Birt Acres

Thursday PM

Sixt Wetzler will be presenting and leading a workshop in the closing workshops and round table debates, ‘Communicating Embodied Knowledge’.

Sixt Wetzler (Deutsches Klingenmuseum – German Blade Museum, Solingen) studied religious studies, Scandinavian literature, and medieval history in Tübingen, Reykjavík, and Freiburg, with a PhD thesis on ‘Combat in Saga Literature. Traces of martial arts in medieval Iceland’. Wetzler is a member of the commission Kampfkunst und Kampfsport (Martial Arts and Combat Sports) in the dvs (German Association for Sports Sciences), and has published on martial arts studies both in English and German, from a Kulturwissenschaft perspective. As assistant director of the German Blade Museum, one of his main interests is in the European fencing tradition and other blade fighting systems. Wetzler has practiced several martial arts since his childhood, and is among the highest ranked European practitioners of Pekiti Tirsia Kali, a Filipino martial art.

White, Luke

The Ethics of Violence in the Kung Fu Comedy

Panel B2

Film

Room 0.53

Wed 3.30-5pm

Questions of violence and its meanings are a central problematic for Martial Arts Studies, both as it engages with martial arts practices and their representations. In this paper I explore the particular nature of representations of violence in the kung fu comedy genre that became popular in late 1970s Hong Kong cinema. I explore the specific properties of this, most notably its insistent stylisation or aestheticisation of combat (in opposition to the more ostensibly ‘realist’ modes of ‘serious’ martial arts cinema), and its shuttling between slapstick, comedic, de-realised performance and more insistently bloody and gruesome scenes. Cinematic violence (which addresses both masochistic pleasures of the body’s capacity to suffer violence and the sadistic desire to inflict suffering on others) has often been interpreted in terms of revolt (cf. Benjamin on Mickey Mouse’s ‘positive barbarism’), of accommodation to the brutality of fascist-capitalist conditions (cf. Adorno’s reading Donald Duck as offering us a model for a fascist life), or as a social ill of the under-educated (as so often represented in the mainstream media). My approach to the particularities of the kung fu comedy – as exemplified in Jackie Chan’s Young Master (1980), Sammo Hung’s Knockabout (1979) and Teddy Yip’s Thundering Mantis (1980) – is to read it through the lens of Leo Bersani’s deconstructionist Freudian analysis of stylised violence in ancient Assyrian sculpture and Pasolini’s film Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975). This opens an understanding of what I term an ‘ethics’ of violence. If aggressivity, as Bersani suggests, is an ineliminable part of the human psyche, what different kind of relations might different films open up to this? How are we to make sense of the kung fu comedy’s interest in stylisation in this regard, or its narrative fragmentation?

Luke White is Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture and Fine Art at Middlesex University. He has published work in journals including Radical Philosophy, The Journal of Visual Culture, JOMEC Journal, and Asian Cinema. He is editor (with Claire Pajackowska) of the book The Sublime Now (Cambridge Scholars, 2009). He sits on the editorial board of Rowman and Littlefield’s Martial Arts Studies book series, and is currently working on a book on the politics of the body in kung fu comedy films.

Conference is Coming (and the journal too)

2015-06-14 12.07.35

Just a quick note about two things: first, the conference, which will be here before you know it; and second, an update about the next issue of the Martial Arts Studies journal, which will be arriving around the same time.

First things first, and most importantly: conference registration and accommodation booking both close, finally and definitively, in 48 hours.

If you have not registered for the conference and/or for accommodation before 22nd June, you will be unable to attend and/or take advantage of our accommodation offer. Don’t let this happen!

I am working out the conference schedule now. The main structure is set in place, but the schedule of individual papers and panels is yet to be finalised. But here are the headlines:

We will meet on the afternoon of 11th July in Bute Building for Registration and the first keynote. This will be Professor Peter Lorge. Timing is not completely finalised yet, but we are likely to start between 3pm and 4pm.

After this opening keynote, we will have a drinks reception, like last year (the one where we blew that horn a lot – and, yes, we will be doing it again). Then we will go over to the pub for food and drinks.

Day two (12th July) begins with a keynote, then panels, then lunch. After lunch there will be a similar structure of keynote, panels, breaks, and evening keynote. Then we will have a conference dinner in Aberdare Hall (where most of us are staying).

Day three (13th) will have the same structure in the morning, but in the afternoon we will have the conference workshop and closing roundtable debate. The title of this is ‘Communicating Embodied Knowledge’, and information about it is here.

The plan is this. I will first present the overarching theme of the workshop. Then, a few other people will follow up with their initial take on the problematic, its problems and possibilities. We will then have some initial discussion about this as one group, before breaking out into a few smaller groups for more focused discussion and debate on specific approaches. Afterwards, we all reconvene and hold a closing roundtable debate on all the matters raised.

After this, we go across the road The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for our closing conference dinner.

So, that’s the conference. I am looking forward to it a huge amount.

As for the journal: issue four of Martial Arts Studies (Summer 2017) is coming together extremely well. We have some very exciting and important new work in this one, and we are really looking forward to sharing it all with you.

We had hoped that the issue would be out in June, but some unexpected extra pressures in work and life have slowed us down slightly, so it is now looking most likely to be a July publication. We hope that it might be out in time for the conference, but, of course, both Ben and I (along with Kyle) will be focusing much more on the conference itself in different ways the nearer it gets. After all, I have to organise the conference and Ben has to write his keynote and get to the UK from the US…

Either way, it’s all go! I may not have much time for general updates like this before the conference, but if you have any questions, please email me.

Got to go…!

All the best,

Paul