Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Future of Martial Arts?

Below is an excerpt from The Future of Martial Arts blog. It is an interview with Gene Ching, an associate publisher of Kung Fu Magazine. The full article may be read here.

-What uncertainties do you see in terms of the future and Martial Arts?

 Well, I think the future of MMA is very uncertain. We have all been talking for a long time about the meteoric rise of MMA, and it seems to be climaxing. We will see where it goes now. The UFC certainly has dominated the industry. They have been trying to move very aggressively into Asia. Asia has its own thing, and they are not particularly open to it. We will see where that goes. It is curious to see what will happen next to MMA. It has established itself as a movement. Whether it continues to rise, or has topped out, we will see in the coming years.

In terms of traditional Martial Arts, you hear constantly from people that they are afraid that traditional Martial Arts will be lost. If you actually research the literature you will see that that complaint goes back centuries, which is something to think about.

I don’t see the traditional arts being lost. I see the opposite. We are seeing more scholarly work, more information sharing. Now it is very easy to research the traditional Martial Arts with the internet, which is an amazing tool for communication. I can connect with unknown Martial Arts groups, from all across the world, very easily. It is all out there. The issue of course, is whether it is all real or not.

That is one thing the internet really needs, is some serious editing haha.

-Very true! It does some like in the past 5 to 10 years, there seems to be a group out there on the fringes that really wants to put some serious academic rigor into the history, and especially into the Chinese Martial Arts. People are putting some serious work into this!
It is a very ripe subject, especially now that China is rising as a world power. Its martial traditions are garnering some scholarly attention, which is tremendously exciting! It is a huge deal because the Martial Arts ties intimately into every aspect of Chinese culture. If you think about a Chinese banquet right, a little bit of chicken, a bit of beef, some vegetables, every thing is mixed. They do not partition the world the same way we might in the Descartian West. Martial history literally bleeds into everything. That becomes a wonderful treasure-trove for any researcher to start digging into, because you can go all over the place. The biggest impediment I can see as a publisher and an editor of a Martial Arts magazine is that a lot of people can’t scale down the frame. They can’t just take a snap shot and present it in a cohesive article. They are easily overwhelmed by the magnitude of the subject because it is very easy to digress into all sorts of history and culture and art.


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