Showing posts from January, 2021

Does the Budōshoshinshu Use the Term Jūdō?

Does the Budōshoshinshu use the term jūdō? Martial History Team member Matthew Krueger investigates. Introduction Richard Bejtlich recently posted a survey of samurai philosophy texts .    In it he quoted from a section of the Budōshoshinshu  as follows:    “Beyond these, there are the many arts of archery, iaido [drawing the sword and cutting in one movement] and judo; and it is important that young warriors exert themselves day and night to learn these arts well."   He then asked the question:    “Note that I am not convinced the original text uses the term jūdō. It would be worth revisiting the original text to see the Japanese.”   This is an important observation. I also highly doubt it.  The Modern Japanese This is one of the few texts I do not have in the original archaic Japanese, but I do have a modern Japanese translation.    A modern Japanese rendition of that sentence is as follows:   其の他、弓、鉄砲、居合、柔等という萬の武藝と共に、若い武士は朝暮の務めとして習い覚える様なのは尤もである。   Of this, the relevant section

January 2021 Book Survey: Primary Japanese Samurai Philosophy Texts

My reading theme for January, 2021 was primary Japanese samurai and Zen texts. These are a few thoughts on the titles I read. There are many others, but these are the group I chose to start 2021. Introduction Each month I have a theme for my martial arts reading. In December 2020, my theme was books by and about Miyamoto Musashi , including his Book of Five Rings . This month I decided to look at other books that are primary sources involving Japanese samurai and their philosophy. I added a couple Zen texts as well. For this list, I drew upon citations in several books, such as Alexander Bennett's 2020 book Bushido Explained . Matthew Krueger's Walking with the Tengu podcast  is one of the best sources for understanding what many of these texts mean. Here I want to list the books I read and a few thoughts. For the first four books, I will present them in the estimated order of publication. The Unfettered Mind by Takuan Sōhō (c. 1632) The Unfettered Mind  , Takuan Sōhō, c. 1632,

Investigating a Suspicious Book Cover

  Just who are these gentlemen? Introduction This post documents my investigation of the men in the photo above. It is a version of the cover of a 2020 book by Marc Lawrence titled  The Scientific Study of the Shanghai Municipal Police Methods Manual . The cover presumes to show two famous proponents of combatives, namely Captains Fairbairn and Sykes, plus two men who were their instructors -- professors Okada and Tsai. The former specialed in jujutsu and the latter in Chinese boxing. This article offers a few details. The cover as shown at Amazon appears below. The Scientific Study of the Shanghai Municipal Police Methods Manual , Marc Lawrence, 2020 The problem with this photo is that half of the labels are demonstrably false . Fairbairn? First, the gentleman labelled William E. Fairbairn is actually Harold Peck.  The original photo can be found in the Historical Photographs of China collection as "Harold Peck with three men."  We can identify the man as Harold Peck by se

Dr Paul Bowman on Making Martial Arts History Matter (2016)

A few months ago I (Richard) wrote a post titled Why Should Practitioners Care About Martial Arts History?   I spoke about this on Whistlekick Live in December 2020 , thanks to host Jeremy Lesniak.  (Note the Pedro Sauer gi over my work shirt.) Whistlekick Live, 2 December 2020 Thanks to a post in a private Facebook group, I came across a quote from a 2016 article by Dr Paul Bomwan titled  Making Martial Arts History Matter . As I read the entire paper, I realized I had encountered some or all of the material before -- probably in one of Dr Bowman's excellent books. I decided to highlight a few passages here, as they speak to the relevance of martial arts history. I thought Dr Bowman's article was well-cited and made several compelling points. I have added all of the emphasis in bold to Dr Bowman's original material. "Unsurprisingly, in much scholarship on Asian martial arts, the matter of history remains freighted and weighted down by the same popular myths; so much

Review of A History of Chinese Martial Arts

  I'm pleased to share a post from Dr Jonathan Clements. You may remember Dr Clements from the story  Best Book Winner: General Martial Arts Histories in English , for his book A Brief History of the Martial Arts .  Dr Clements joined Martial History Team today by virtue of contributing this thorough and insightful review. Welcome aboard! Today he is sharing his thoughts on the book A History of Chinese Martial Art s, pictured above, published 21 September 2018. Title: A History of Chinese Martial Arts Editors: Huang Fuhua and Hong Fan Publisher: Routledge Format: Hardback, paperback, Kindle Pages: 240, 6 x 9 inches Cover Price: $140, $51, $36.99 ISBN: 978-1138645585 Content Originally published in Chinese in 1997 by the People’s Sports Press, A History of Chinese Martial Arts credits editors Huang Fuhua and Hong Fan on its title page. They are, in fact, the English-language vectors for an entire council of scholars, many of them firmly co-opted with the “sportified” institu

Happy 1st Birthday Martial History Team

  Today, 21 January 2021, Martial History Team is five years old. I (Richard Bejtlich) started this project to promote martial arts history based on sound evidence and sourced research. Matthew Krueger from the Walking with the Tengu podcast became the second official team member in our first year.  I'm pleased to announce that today Dr Jonathan Clements, featured in the post  Best Book Winner: General Martial Arts Histories in English  for his book  A Brief History of the Martial Arts , has also joined Martial History Team. See the post after this one for his contributed book review. The project is currently a mix of daily social media posts, monthly longer form blog posts, and periodic short form podcasts (courtesy of Mr. Krueger).  The daily social media posts feature books in the MHT library, or planned acquisitions. I use the hashtag #martialartsmailcall to label these books on Instagram. If you prefer Twitter or Facebook I post using the same hashtags there. The monthly l