Thread: MA history reading list
11/01/2006 2:00pm, #21
Originally Posted by slideyfoot
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- judo, parenting
If you can find an early edition of The Fighting Spirit of Japan, there is about an extra 100 pages that were edited out fo the more common 1955 version. Including a picture of MAEDA, Brazillian jiujitsu diety.
12/26/2006 1:00am, #22
For historical perspective on Chinese martial arts of the Qing dynasty, I would suggest the works of Jonathan Spence. Not directly relating to any martial art, but very interesting and readable.
Also (don't laugh). Stanley Pranin, Aikido Masters, Prewar Students of O'Sensei. http://www.coolrain.com/2.html
Pranin interviews prewar students of Ueshiba--a number of them now passed away. Basically, these are guys who studied under Ueshiba before he became a pacifist and got too caught up in his religion. Includes Gozo Shioda and Kenji Tomiki among others.
I'm not an Aikidude, but this definately gave some perspective on aikido today and in the past. I think it is privately published and not available in most bookstores.
12/27/2006 10:43pm, #23
1/14/2007 5:12am, #24
Although Donn Draeger is generally well regarded I would point out that his books are highly inaccurate about a lot of things, particularly the history of many arts. I know that he makes some horrible howlers about judo, aikido and shorinji kempo in his book on modern budo.
Given that he was a highly ranked judoka his claim that Kano relied on a Daito Ryu practitioner who used some uber throw now lost to judo to win some early challenge matches is bizarre, particularly as a little research would have revealed the truth.
My feeling is that Draeger never bothered to check his facts and just assumed that the people he was talking to a) always told the truth and b) actually knew the truth. I would treat his books as oral histories that describe what the arts think of themselves rather than high quality, reliable histories.Failing to become awesome since 1976
1/14/2007 9:10am, #25Originally Posted by Yamabushi
Respect goes to Draeger and Smith for writing about this material first. But in both cases, as suggested about, their best use is oral history.
- MattStudent of Wan Yi Chuan Kung Fu,
Kali, & what ever works
Renaissance Martial Arts
4/10/2007 11:24am, #26
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Yamabushi & Matt Bernius,
You are both spot on. The methology that Draeger used was that of an anthropologist/sociologist instead of as a historian, a system that relies almost entirely on oral history and attempts at immersion in the culture being studied. While this does make for good stories and a better understanding of that culture it does not often breed good historical research. I do respect Draeger for having founded Hoplology but my methodology differs and I could not allow myself to conduct research in the same manner.