Mythologies of Martial Arts is published

9 January 2017

A statue of Bruce Lee
Professor Paul Bowman’s new book looks at the mythologies of martial arts

A new exploration of the impact of Martial Arts on everyday life has been captured in a new book called Mythologies of Martial Arts.

Written by Professor Paul Bowman, it is the first book to offer original insights into the significance of martial arts in global culture by drawing together practical experience and also seminal texts across many disciplines.

The book builds upon the emerging field of martial arts studies, which brings together cultural studies, film studies, media studies and postcolonial studies.

Professor Bowman, who is director of the AHRC-funded Martial Arts Studies Research Network, said, “The book combines my practical, professional and academic experience of martial arts to offer new insights into what martial arts signifies today, what it means for East-West cross cultural exchanges and how the representation of martial arts in popular culture impacts the wider world.

“From Kung Fu to Jiujitsu and from Bruce Lee to The Karate Kid, Mythologies of Martial Arts explores the key myths and ideologies of martial arts in contemporary culture.”

“The text, which takes inspiration from the work of Roland Barthes in Mythologies, is intended to be an accessible but theoretically sophisticated book aimed at students, scholars and anyone interested in martial arts practice.”

Professor Bowman also launched the international and open access journal Martial Arts Studies in 2015. The Spring 2016 edition ‘The Invention Of Martial Arts’ is currently available online.

Mythologies of Martial Arts is the second book to appear in the Martial Arts Studies series published by Rowman & Littlefield International, and is available in hardback, paperback and as an eBook. The first book in the series was Chris Goto-Jones’ Virtual Ninja Manifesto.

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