What is Martial Arts? The Six-Attribute Model as an Empirical Approach to Field Terminology




Martin J. Meyer: What is Martial Arts? The Six-Attribute Model as an Empirical Approach to Field Terminology

22. December 2020 / ISBN: 978-3980731607 / 189 Pages / DIN A5 / Paperback / 87 Illustrations / Language: English 

For a surprisingly long time, the research field which is known today as Martial Arts Studies has flown under the radar of Western sport sciences in comparison to its bold representation in the media (mma, boxing, wrestling).
     As soon as various authors and martial artists started to get a general idea of the whole spectrum of martial arts, the fundamental question arose how to formulate the specific characteristics which encompass martial arts all over the world. The problem arose how to merge historically, culturally and linguistically different terminological concepts.
     In this book, firstly the author outlines former attempts of defining martial arts and highlights several core challenges which have hindered to conceptualise martial arts definitions. Secondly, he sets up a new scientific approach to the definition problem by combining empirical, hermeneutical and phenomenological resources. Lastly, the author develops an academically valuable definition model which constitutes a framework of attributes to support researchers who proceed to classify martial arts and similar phenomena.


Dr. Martin J. Meyer is a martial arts researcher and senior lecturer at the University of Vechta, Germany. He is a founding member of the ‘Commission for Martial Arts & Combat Sports’ academic network for which he served from 2014-2016 as speaker. Also, he is a founding member and editor of the ‘Journal of Martial Arts Research’.
     His research projects deal with interdisciplinary, especially pedagogical, sociological and motivational aspects of martial arts. In 2017, he got a scholarship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to research with Professor Heiko Bittmann in Kanazawa, Japan. His dissertation initiated the academic project ‚Why Martial Arts‘, whose substudies focus on the participation motives of martial artists.

Review: Paul Bowman


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