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In authentic relations: traditional Asian martial arts, east and west

Bowman, Paul 2020. In authentic relations: traditional Asian martial arts, east and west. In: Hong, Fan and Zhouxiang, Lu eds. The Routledge Handbook of Sport in Asia, London: Routledge, pp. 11-19.

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This work explores the themes of authenticity and tradition in relation to Asian martial arts, especially as they exist in a globalised international context. It takes as its major case study, the martial art of taijiquan (also known as tai chi or t’ai chi ch’üan), but the implications of this case study relate to all traditional/authentic martial arts. The key argument is that ideas of tradition and authenticity are often simulated, in a postmodern sense, in an attempt to satisfy orientalist (and/or self-orientalising) cultural fantasies. The cultural and political implications of this are considered; and in conclusion the still-common tendency to fetishize myths and fantasies of ancient unbroken lineages in martial arts styles is shown to be both problematic in many different ways, and an entirely unnecessary way of relating to such practices.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9780367183776
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2021 14:39

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