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Fighting: Intellectualizing Combat Sports

This book is the first of its kind that relates specifically to the practical and theoretical aspects of martial arts in contemporary society. Within its covers are a collection of thirty-five cutting-edge chapters by leading practitioners and academics who raise questions and provide answers regarding the broad relationship between fighting and the intellectualisation of the sports that constitute the martial arts. In their writings they highlight the remarkable work being undertaken by coaches, practitioners and exponents of various martial arts and the benefits of martial arts to children and positive health of individuals in society. Individually, they clarify the meaning of their particular martial art and highlight some of the problems they have encountered throughout their career and in researching the area. However, this is a very positive book that is not just of an academic nature but a text that provides ideas and innovations that can be used by future researchers and aspirants and practitioners in the field. The authors throughout the book largely agree in concluding that there are aspects of the relationship between the martial arts and general society which have largely gone unnoticed, and they tackle the difficult perspectives of injury, stress, coaching, lack of understanding, pain, and training within their particular martial art. Of importance are their comments relating to the mind–body dichotomy and the power of meditation and practice in their sport. In doing so, they provide examples of good practice and strong programmes and make suggestions as to where the status quo needs to be addressed in order for the field to go forward. This volume will be of great interest and value to academics working in all fields of martial arts, as well as to undergraduate and graduate students researching different disciplines. More importantly, it will also be a crucial aid to researchers who are interested in developing their sport in universities and colleges across the world.