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ericDZR
13th September 2000, 04:40
i've heard of various people pursuing their master's degree in martial arts/hoplology. usually within the social or cultural sciences. does anyone know which universities have programs catering to this kind of study?

Joseph Svinth
13th September 2000, 06:23
Yes, you can get advanced degrees that involve participation or research of martial arts-related topics.

For example, a fellow at University of Washington wrote a dissertation on kendo in Japan, and another fellow at UCLA is writing on kendo in California before WWII. A fellow recently got a PhD at Cornell based on the anthropology of muay Thai, and another University of Washington PhD candidate wrote his on capoeira. (University of Washington also has an MA thesis on hwarang warriors.) I occasionally correspond with fellow who got a PhD from UWisc at Madison based on a study of Nigerian combative sports. Elliott Gorn at Purdue would be the man to see if you wanted to do something related to boxing. The Todds at University of Texas are who you would want to see about weightlifting, and I'm sure that if you were truly interested in Zen and the Art of Archery, Professor Bodiford at UCLA would be willing to consider being your thesis advisor.

There are regional considerations, too. For example, let's say that you didn't read Japanese real well, but wanted to study judo history. There would be absolutely nothing keeping you from doing a very important study that is required, namely a history of judo in California. (Realistically, that could be at least four separate Master's theses -- Southern California to 1950, Northern California to 1950, the Central Valley to 1950, and post-WWII.) Japanese would be nice, but since Rafu Shimpo had an English-language sports page from 1926, and the Nisei speak and write English as well as anybody else born in California, it is not essential for an MA-level American studies degree. On the other hand, if you read newspaper Japanese fairly well and live in Hawaii, then a good topic would be judo/DZR/sumo/professional wrestling history. (They are related, at least in the pre-WWII era.)

Or, if you just love kendo, well, the National Archives in Maryland have boxes and boxes of stuff about that so-called budo ban. So if documenting that topic floats your boat, then the University of Maryland would be a great place to go. Ditto if you just love the thought of documenting WWII H2H using primary sources. (The National Archives again.)

Anyway, to summarize, you:

1. Decide what general topic you'd like to investigate. Be fairly specific.

2. Decide where the archival or library resources are. (Ask if it isn't obvious!)

3. Then make a pitch.

Does that help?

ericDZR
13th September 2000, 21:03
thanks joe and as always it was a great help.

the original idea i've been playing with was for a film documentary of the history of martial arts here in hawaii. over the past year i've been trying to nail down an approach while also considering the possiblity of turning this into academic study. there are two people i will be trying to contact regarding this. prof Bob Reish (DZR) who has recently move here to Oahu is currently working on a book about the history of DZR and Seishiro Okazaki. the other is Wayne(?) of Furyu magazine. although i'll wait until i'm sure he's back on his feet. if i pursue the film course then i may be able to get a state grant to fund the project. thanks again.

Joseph Svinth
14th September 2000, 04:51
Don't forget Charles Goodin, who is researching the history of karate in Okinawa.

For aikido, Mr. Nonaka in Hilo is also worth visiting. (Mr. Nonaka was O-sensei's interpreter in 1961. O-sensei came out and gave this big fancy speech. Mr. Nonaka says in English to the crowd, "I have no idea what he just said, but maybe by the time I'm his age I'll understand," and of course everybody whooped and hollered and applauded, and O-sensei leaves Hawaii beaming...) Anyway, Mr. Nonaka is a really nice man, and I'm working on an interview with him for JCbtSport at EJMAS.

If you extend your martial interests to boxing, then Paul Lou and Curt Narimatsu have already done a lot of your leg work for you. Also, Curt's cousin is a wheel (7-dan, I believe) in the Hawaii kendo association.

Bishop Museum in Honolulu and Japanese American National Museum in LA both have significant collections relating to sumo in Hawaii. (The JA National Museum did a show on that very subject a couple years ago, and catalogs should be available.)

If you need addresses, e-mail me offline and I'll put you in touch with people.

Meanwhile, work on getting your Japanese reading skills to the point where reading community newspaper sport and society pages isn't too hard. Unlike the mainland, the Hawaii community newspapers don't become predominantly English until December 8, 1941, and Yudanshakai documents continued to be written in Japanese until the early 1960s.

The topic you suggest is enormously valid and plausible. You just have to prove to the thesis advisors that you have the time, motivation, and ability to accomplish it professionally.

ericDZR
14th September 2000, 05:24
wow joe your are a fountain of information and i'm starting to feel a sense of indebtedness to you. but that last part about time and motivation will definitely be the hardest to tackle. the more information i come across the more i think i should focus on martial arts that arrived or developed before WWII.

mahalo nui loa!

Walker
14th September 2000, 20:09
For aikido, Mr. Nonaka in Hilo is also worth visiting. (Mr. Nonaka was O-sensei's interpreter in 1961. O-sensei came out and gave this big fancy speech. Mr. Nonaka says in English to the crowd, "I have no idea what he just said, but maybe by the time I'm his age I'll understand," and of course everybody whooped and hollered and applauded, and O-sensei leaves Hawaii beaming...) Anyway, Mr. Nonaka is a really nice man, and I'm working on an interview with him for JCbtSport at EJMAS.
__________________________________________________

Joe,
Is this the emperorís new clothes or what? Great story.:laugh:

[Edited by Walker on 09-14-2000 at 03:12 PM]

Joseph Svinth
15th September 2000, 09:00
For pictures of O-sensei in Hawaii, try http://id.mind.net/~aiki/aikido_hawaii.htm . For the story, see http://www.furyu.com/archives/issue4/nonaka.html .

By the way, that link just worked a minute ago, which suggests (fingers crossed!) that Furyu.com is back in business.

Coolness.

(And if not, well, go to Google and use their cache.)