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  1. Cdnronin is offline

    Ghost of Kawaishi

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    Jun 2004
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    Ottawa
    Posts
    757

    Posted On:
    11/01/2006 2:00pm


     Style: judo, parenting

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by slideyfoot
    Its specifically related to Japan, but you could try The Fighting Spirit of Japan by EJ Harrison, first published way back in 1913. Harrison was an English judoka who worked in Japan as a journalist around the turn of the century: he covers judo, aikido etc in the course of the book, but also spends a significant portion of it discussing his impressions of Japanese culture. Its a fairly entertaining read, if rather dated.

    Draeger and Smith's Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts is another interesting read, though again its a little dated (from the late 1960s), with some strange views on styles like muay thai.

    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.
  2. meataxe is offline
    meataxe's Avatar

    International Man of Pancakes

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    Jun 2005
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    Toronto
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    1,706

    Posted On:
    12/26/2006 1:00am


     Style: Wu style tcc+bjj

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    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.
  3. justabill is offline
    justabill's Avatar

    Registered Member

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    Nov 2006
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    My Couch
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    253

    Posted On:
    12/27/2006 10:43pm


     Style: not training/injured

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I found that The Bible of Karate Bubishi by Patrick McCarthy had a good history and lineage of Okinawan arts.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080...073168-0323301
  4. Yamabushi is offline
    Yamabushi's Avatar

    Isolated and Confused

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    Oct 2002
    Location
    London, U.K.
    Posts
    198

    Posted On:
    1/14/2007 5:12am

    supporting member
     Style: Bartitsu, Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    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
  5. Matt Bernius is offline

    Middleweight

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    Jan 2004
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    1,041

    Posted On:
    1/14/2007 9:10am

    supporting member
     Style: Kung Fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Yamabushi
    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.
    And that gets to the fundamental difference between many amateur scholars and trained academics.

    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.

    - Matt
    Student of Wan Yi Chuan Kung Fu,
    Kali, & what ever works
    Renaissance Martial Arts
    Rochester, NY
  6. msr.iaidoka is offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    7

    Posted On:
    4/10/2007 11:24am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Juujutsu, Eskrima, Iaidou

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    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.


    平和、

    マット
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