Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Metamorphoses of martial arts: meditations on motivations and motive forces during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bowman, Paul 2020. Metamorphoses of martial arts: meditations on motivations and motive forces during the COVID-19 pandemic. Martial Arts Studies (10) , pp. 128-140. 10.18573/mas.119

[thumbnail of MAS Journal 10 Fall 2020 Bowman.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview


In Ovid’s Metamorphosis, change takes place at the whim of the gods, albeit often for clear reasons and with clear allegorical or didactic meanings. In Kafka’s Metamorphosis, however, change is inscrutable, unfathomable, irresolvable, and simply something to be borne. The speculation animating the following reflection is that the global pandemic of 2020 induced a metamorphosis in the lifeworlds of martial artists, the psychological and emotional effects of which have been severe from the start, while the pragmatic consequences and implications for the near to mid-term future remain unclear. The future form, content, and cultural status of the entity ‘martial arts’ all remain uncertain. Future studies will undoubtedly map the changed terrain. But for now, in the midst of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, what follows is a personal and theoretical reflection, written at a time and from a position in which there are more questions than answers. This reflection seeks to capture something of the structure of feeling of this situation and to reflect on its potential consequences for ‘martial arts’ and ‘martial artists’, as viewed from one (g)local position and perspective.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Additional Information: Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial- No Derivatives 4.0 International License
Publisher: Cardiff University Press
ISSN: 2057-5696
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 November 2020
Date of Acceptance: 30 October 2020
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2020 14:20

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics