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.
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.