This book is the most comprehensive and authoritative reference ever published on the wide range of martial arts disciplines practiced in cultures around the world.
Films from Hollywood to Hong Kong and such competitions as MMA and Ultimate Fighting give us vivid, if oversimplified, images of martial arts in action. But the realities of the world's martial arts traditions—their histories, philosophies, codes of honor, and methods—are richer than any pop culture portrayal can suggest, with centuries-old combat disciplines practiced in virtually every corner of the globe.
ABC-CLIO's Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation is the most authoritative reference ever published on combat disciplines from around the world and across history. Coverage includes Shaolin monks, jousting knights, Roman gladiators, Westerner gunfighters, samurai warriors, and heavyweight boxers. These iconic figures and many more are featured in this title, as well as representatives of less well known but no less fascinating systems, all vividly characterized by expert contributors from around the world who are themselves martial arts practitioners.
Martial Arts of the World comprises 120 entries in two volumes. The first volume is organized geographically to explore the historic development of martial arts styles in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The second volume looks at martial arts thematically, with coverage of belief systems, modern martial arts competitions, and a wide range of such topics as folklore, women in martial arts, martial arts and the military, and martial arts and the media.
• Includes the scholarship of 67 expert, international contributors
• Presents 30 images of martial arts in practice
• Offers bibliographic lists at the end of each section pointing to further reading in print and online
• Includes a comprehensive index in each volume
• Describes the martial arts of the world as embodied culture rather than simply ways of punching and kicking
• Explores the connections between various types of martial arts disciplines developed in different geographic locations around the globe
• Spans the breadth of human history, tracing the development of martial arts from 30,000 BC to the present
• Includes such regional arts as Canary Islands stick fighting as well as international arts such as judo and taekwondo