234 Pages
English

Fighting Scholars

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‘Fighting Scholars’ offers the first book-length overview of the ethnographic study of martial arts and combat sports from the viewpoint of a ‘carnal sociology’.


‘Fighting Scholars’ offers the first book-length overview of the ethnographic study of martial arts and combat sports. The book’s main claim is that such activities represent privileged grounds to access different social dimensions, such as emotion, violence, pain, gender, ethnicity and religion. In order to explore these dimensions, the concept of ‘habitus’ is presented prominently as an epistemic remedy for the academic distant gaze of the effaced academic body.


The book’s most innovative features are its empirical focus and theoretical orientation. While ethnographic research is a widespread and popular approach within the social sciences, combat sports and martial arts have yet to be sufficiently interrogated from an ethnographic standpoint. The different contributions of this volume are aligned within the same project that began to crystallize in Loïc Wacquant’s ‘Body and Soul’: the construction of a ‘carnal sociology’ that constitutes an exploration of the social world ‘from’ the body.


Contributors; Glossary; Chapter 1: Introduction: Carnal Ethnography as Path to Embodied Knowledge – Raúl Sánchez García and Dale C. Spencer; Chapter 2: Habitus as Topic and Tool: Reflections on Becoming a Prizefighter – Loïc Wacquant; Chapter 3: In Search of a Martial Habitus: Identifying Core Dispositions in Wing Chun and Taijiquan – David Brown and George Jennings; Chapter 4: Each More Agile Than the Other: Mental and Physical Enculturation in ‘Capoeira Regional’ – Sara Delamont and Neil Stephens; Chapter 5: ‘There Is No Try in Tae Kwon Do’: Reflexive Body Techniques in Action – Elizabeth Graham; Chapter 6: ‘It Is About Your Body Recognizing the Move and Automatically Doing It’: Merleau-Ponty, Habit and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Bryan Hogeveen; Chapter 7: ‘Do You Hit Girls?’: Some Striking Moments in the Career of a Male Martial Artist – Alex Channon; Chapter 8: The Teacher’s Blessing and the Withheld Hand: Two Vignettes of Somatic Learning in South India’s Indigenous Martial Art Kalarippayattu – Sara K. Schneider; Chapter 9: White Men Don’t Flow: Embodied Aesthetics of the Fifty-Two Hand Blocks – Thomas Green; Chapter 10: Japanese Religions and Kyudo (Japanese Archery): An Anthropological Perspective – Einat Bar-On Cohen; Chapter 11: Taming the Habitus: The Gym and the Dojo as ‘Civilizing Workshops’ – Raúl Sánchez García; Chapter 12: ‘Authenticity’, Muay Thai and Habitus – Dale C. Spencer; Chapter 13: Conclusion: Present and Future Lines of Research – Raúl Sánchez García and Dale C. Spencer; Epilogue: Homines in Extremis: What Fighting Scholars Teach Us about Habitus – Loïc Wacquant; References 

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Published 01 September 2013
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EAN13 9780857283429
Language English
Document size 5 MB

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Fighting Scholars
Key Issues in Modern Sociology
Anthem’sKey Issues in Modern Sociologyseries publishes scholarly texts by leading social theorists that give an accessible exposition of the major structural changes in modern societies. These volumes address an academic audience through their relevance and scholarly quality, and connect sociological thought to public issues. The series covers both substantive and theoretical topics, as well as addressing the works of major modern sociologists. The series emphasis is on modern developments in sociology with relevance to contemporary issues such as globalization, warfare, citizenship, human rights, environmental crises, demographic change, religion, postsecularism and civil conflict.
Series Editor
Bryan S. Turner – City University of New York, USA & Australian Catholic University, Australia
Editorial Board
Thomas Cushman – Wellesley College, USA Rob Stones – University of Western Sydney, Australia Richard Swedberg – Cornell University, USA Stephen Turner – University of South Florida, USA Darin Weinberg – University of Cambridge, UK
Fighting Scholars
Habitus and Ethnographies of Martial Arts and Combat Sports
Edited by Raúl Sánchez García and Dale C. Spencer
Anthem Press An imprint of Wimbledon Publishing Company www.anthempress.com
This edition first published in UK and USA 2013 by ANTHEM PRESS 75–76 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HA, UK or PO Box 9779, London SW19 7ZG, UK and 244 Madison Ave #116, New York, NY 10016, USA
© 2013 Raúl Sánchez García and Dale C. Spencer editorial matter and selection; individual chapters © individual contributors
The moral right of the authors has been asserted.
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
British Library CataloguinginPublication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Library of Congress CataloginginPublication Data Fighting scholars : habitus and ethnographies of martial arts and combat sports / edited by Raúl Sánchez García and Dale C. Spencer. pages cm. – (Key issues in modern sociology) Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 9780857283320 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Martial arts–Anthropological aspects. I. Sánchez García, Raúl, editor of compilation. II. Spencer, Dale C., editor of compilation. GV1102.7.A56F54 2013 796.815–dc23 2013021056
ISBN13: 978 0 85728 332 0 (Hbk) ISBN10: 0 85728 332 4 (Hbk)
Cover image idea by Néstor Revuelta Zarzosa
This title is also available as an ebook.
Dedicated to a lost fighter, Michael D. Manson
Practical knowledge is very unequally demanded and necessary, but also very unequally adequate and adapted, depending in the situation and the realm of activity. In contrast to the scholastic universes, some universes, such as those of sport, music or dance, demand a practical engagement of the body and therefore a mobilization of the corporeal ‘intelligence’ capable of transforming, even inverting, the ordinary hierarchies. And one would need to collect methodically all the notes and observations which, dispersed here and there, especially in the didactics of these physical skills – sports, obviously, and more especially the martial arts, but also theatrical activities and the playing of musical instruments – would provide precious contributions to a science of this form of knowledge.
—Pierre Bourdieu,Pascalian Meditations
Contributors
Glossary
Chapter 1.
Chapter 2.
Chapter 3.
Chapter 4.
Chapter 5.
Chapter 6.
Chapter 7.
Chapter 8.
C
O
N
TEN
TS
Introduction: Carnal Ethnography as Path to Embodied Knowledge Raúl Sánchez García and Dale C. Spencer
Habitus as Topic and Tool: Reflections on Becoming a Prizefighter Loïc Wacquant
In Search of a Martial Habitus: Identifying Core Dispositions in Wing Chun and Taijiquan David Brown and George Jennings
Each More Agile Than the Other: Mental and Physical Enculturation inCapoeira Regional Sara Delamont and Neil Stephens
‘There Is No Try in Tae Kwon Do’: Reflexive Body Techniques in Action Elizabeth Graham
‘It Is About Your Body Recognizing the Move and Automatically Doing It’: MerleauPonty, Habit and Brazilian JiuJitsu Bryan Hogeveen
‘Do You Hit Girls?’: Some Striking Moments in the Career of a Male Martial Artist Alex Channon
The Teacher’s Blessing and the Withheld Hand: Two Vignettes of Somatic Learning in South India’s Indigenous Martial Art Kalarippayattu Sara K. Schneider
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xiii
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19
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49
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111
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Chapter 9.
FIGHTING SCHOLARS
White Men Don’t Flow: Embodied Aesthetics of the FiftyTwo Hand Blocks Thomas Green
Chapter 10. Japanese Religions and Kyudo (Japanese Archery): An Anthropological Perspective Einat BarOn Cohen
Chapter 11.the Habitus: The Gym and the Taming Dojo as ‘Civilizing Workshops’ Raúl Sánchez García
Chapter 12.Muay Thai and Habitus ‘Authenticity’, Dale C. Spencer
Chapter 13.Present and Future Lines of Research Conclusion: Raúl Sánchez García and Dale C. Spencer
Epilogue
References
Homines in Extremis: What Fighting Scholars Teach Us about Habitus Loïc Wacquant
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201
CONTRIBUTORS
Einat BarOn Cohenis an anthropologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She studied the cosmology of Japanese martial arts and their globalization, and conducted a comprehensive study on the instruction of Israeli closecombat (krav maga) in private schools and in the Israeli Defense Forces, as sites where the social somatic understanding of nationality, bureaucracy and violence are formed. She has published articles concerning the intensely somatic practice of martial arts and its capability to form social realities dealing with the potentialities of violence, undoing or reiterating social categories, while drawing heavily on the work of Deleuze and Guattari. Currently she is writing a book about kyudo, Japanese archery.
David Brown is a senior lecturer in sociocultural studies with the School of Sport, UWIC, Cardiff. His research interests include exploring embodied sociological theory through the empirical qualitative study of physical culture, including Eastern movement forms, surfing and physical education. Alex Channonphysical education and sport in the Department oflecturer of  is Secondary Education at the University of Greenwich. His research project is concerned with mixedsex martial arts and the subversion of gender, and has been conducted over the past three years using qualitative methods among several different martial arts clubs drawn from around the English East Midlands. As a martial artist, Alex has trained in freestyle kickboxing (two years) and Shaolin kung fu (five years), in which he holds a firstdegree black belt. Sara Delamont graduated from Girton College Cambridge in 1968 with a first in social anthropology. She did a PhD at Edinburgh. Dr Delamont lectured at the School of Education at Leicester from 1973−76. She came to Cardiff in 1976, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1979 and Reader in 1989. She has been Dean of Social Sciences, and served on Senate, Council and Court. Her research on ‘The Habitus of Diasporic Capoeira: An Ethnography’ began in 2003 and focuses on how the Brazilian dance− fight−game is taught and learnt in the UK. It is affiliated to Qualiti, and is being conducted with Dr Neil Stephens of Cesagen. It contains classic ethnography with a theoretical focus on the area of habits and empirical interests in teaching, enculturation, learning, Brazil and embodiment. Her other current project is ‘Teaching Savate: An Exploratory Ethnography’, which began in 2009. Savate is a French martial art, and contrasts in sociologically interesting ways with capoeira. Elizabeth Graham is sociology and gender and women’sassistant professor of studies at Brandon University. She received her PhD from McMaster University.
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FIGHTING SCHOLARS
Her background is in the areas of women’s health, feminism, symbolic interactionism, and qualitative research methods. In recent years, Elizabeth’s substantive interest has moved into the area of the individual’s sense of self and experience. Related to this area, she has an ongoing research project on adult participation in tae kwon do. In addition, she is a coinvestigator for a project examining students’ expectations and experiences of graduate supervision.
Thomas A. Greenassociate professor in the Department of Anthropology, Texas is A&M University. He has practised martial arts for over 35 years, primarily focusing on Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian systems. His books includeMartial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia (2001),Martial Arts in the Modern World (2003) andMartial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation (2010). Recent publications explore African, African American and Chinese vernacular martial arts. His research focuses on traditional games and sports, expressive culture and symbolic anthropology.
Bryan Hogeveenis associate professor of sociology at the University of Alberta. He is coauthor (along with Joanne Minaker) ofYouth, Crime and Society: Issues of Power and Justice (2009). He has published widely on his academic interests, which include: continental philosophy, violence, martial arts in society, the sociology of sport, and justice. His SSHRCfunded research project examines neoliberalism’s impact on the marginalized innercity residents of Edmonton and Winnipeg. Dr Hogeveen teaches Brazilian jiujitsu and submission grappling at the University of Alberta. He is a member of the Edmonton Combative Sport Commission.
George Jennings is a lecturer and researcher at the Universidad YMCA in Mexico City, where he teaches classes on social theory and research methods in physical culture. His research interests lie in the qualitative sociological study of traditionalist physical cultures including noncompetitive martial arts, folkloric dance and regional games, and these interests have been integrated with an ongoing project examining an emerging Mexican martial art. George’s doctorate followed his longterm training in Chinese martial arts, and he continues to blend the lessons in embodied dispositions from his ethnographic studies with his core martial art, wing chun.
Raúl Sánchez Garcíaassociate professor in sociology of sport at the Universidad is Europea de Madrid. He has published several papers in international journals, such as the International Review for the Sociology of Sport;theInternational Journal of Sportthe History of ;Sport, Education and Society; and theMotor BehaviorJournal of . His PhD research was based on a fouryear ethnographic study of boxing and aikido. He has continued to practise aikido since, currently holding a shodan (1st) rank. He is a research member of the International Society of Eastern Sports and Physical Education, contributing editor of theElectronic Journal of Martial Artsand member of thethe scientific committee of Journal of Asian Martial Arts(Spanish edition). His latest research tries to boost a generative dialogue between social and cognitive sciences, enhancing the concept of habitus through the enactive paradigm.
Sara K. Schneideris a performance anthropologist, professor and author. She directs the Centre for Body Lore and Learning in Chicago, linking public education about global