"The book successfully demonstrates that martial arts and other traditional art forms are not static entities. Instead they respond to changing environments by a process of constant reinvention." ---- Thomas A. Green, coeditor of Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation
"Taken together, these essays give a new picture of Asian martial arts as a transnational phenomenon, ranging from Singapore's preservation of Chinese traditions to British adaptation of Indian martial arts for the stage and African usage of Okinawan traditions. Since martial arts are one of the most famous traditions to have originated in Asia, it is useful to see exactly how they are viewed or practiced around the world, from a scholarly perspective." ---- Margaret B. Wan, author of Green Peony and the Rise of the Chinese Martial Arts Novel
From the Back Cover
This landmark work provides a wide-ranging scholarly consideration of the traditional Asian martial arts. Most of the contributors to the volume are practitioners of the martial arts, and all are keenly aware that these traditions now exist in a transnational context. The book's cutting-edge research includes ethnography and approaches from film, literature, performance, and theater studies.
Three central aspects emerge from this book: martial arts as embodied fantasy, as a culturally embedded form of self-cultivation, and as a continuous process of identity formation. Contributors explore several popular and highbrow cultural considerations, including the career of Bruce Lee, Chinese wuxia films, and Don DeLillo's novel Running Dog
. Ethnographies explored describe how the social body trains in martial arts and how martial arts are constructed in transnational training. Ultimately, this academic study of martial arts offers a focal point for new understandings of cultural and social beliefs and of practice and agency.