View Full Version : What Constitutes a Researcher?

Joseph Svinth
30th July 2000, 10:27
I saw this question on Richard Tolson's board, and thought I'd repeat it over here -- what qualifies someone to be an MA researcher?


The Nomex is out, so feel free to smoke 'em if you got 'em.

30th July 2000, 12:25

Some basic requirements seem like they would be:

1) Familiarity with the culture(s) from which the art(s) in question derived (besides the obvious ability to speak/read [if applicable] the language, a full knowledge of customs, traditions and mores),
2) An understanding of the context for the intended use of the art(s, eg, one prominant Kyusho instructor released a video in which he states initially, that [paraphrased] "if the things I say don't make sense, go back and study more", he then says that he is the product of much study... and proceeds to bunkai the Pinan kata by asking rhetorically, "do you think that the Samurai used this...", and again later "when the Samurai developed these techniques...".

Opps, gotta go catch a cab.

Be well,

30th July 2000, 13:06
I think that some of the most important qualities in a good researcher are scepticism and common sense. Particularly in martial arts, many people are inclined to pass down stories of various teachers as fact, despite the scarcity or lack of primary or secondary material to back up thse accounts. Worse yet, there is often not sufficient evaluation of the story to recognise that many accounts will tend over time to become inflated or distorted as part of a canon of folklore. A serious journalism background could be a real asset. Another important question one must always ask is where the bias may lie in a particular account. Many stories are told by those who have a vested interest in promoting their art, or sometimes denigrating other arts to make theirs seem more capable. Develop a range of study that goes beyond the initial subject of your interest. A person who does not know anything about the food, laws, trade, marriage customs, or climate/geography etc. of the area of their martial interest is often going to lack a more balanced sense of the original context of their art.
Just a few thoughts.

30th July 2000, 16:53
I don't really think of myself as a martial arts researcher. As a former journalism major and an ex-newspaperman, I prefer to think of myself as a martial arts reporter. With that in mind, I think objectivity is one of the most important qualities. One must not let your own personal impressions or feelings get in the way of reporting the facts you find from various sources.

(It's ironic that someone with such a dubious reputation would post this question, and I AM NOT referring to Joseph.)

Joseph Svinth
30th July 2000, 20:42
To put on a devil's advocate hat regarding languages, okay, which modern karate researchers read Ryukyuan? If none, why not? Japanese is a foreign language on Okinawa. Not as foreign as English, true, but still as foreign as English on Puerto Rico.

On the other hand, are our standards unrealistic? Let's say you went to the University and enrolled in a master's program. For your thesis you are going to write on some karate-related topic. You don't read Ryukyuan, but you library and read everything written in English on the subject. Whatever language skills you had you pick up along the way. After a couple years of this, you write a thesis and it gets approved and you get a degree. The college thought you had sufficient knowledge to get a master's. Are you now qualified as a researcher in this area?

Remember, in colleges it is the PhD area where one is expected to have fieldwork, the two languages, and an original contribution to the field. At a graduate level, one is merely expected to have a good understanding of what is already written.

31st July 2000, 00:06

I know a lot of master's candidates who do field work. It's almost mandatory in many subjects, such as antropology and anything to do with geology. While there are many non-thesis master's programs, most still require some original research in addition to a search of current literature. Also, it may be different now, but when I did my graduate study, an additional language course was required for Master of Arts degrees, but mathematics or computer science would substitute for most Master of Science degrees.

Richard A Tolson
31st July 2000, 04:35
Gee you stole my discussion, but didn't even post on my board :(. Oh well glad to be an inspiration :)!
I thought your first point was excellent! In my previous work in the ministry, I prepared my sermons and lessons by translating the Hebrew scriptures, researching language idioms and studying the cultural and theological backgrounds of the texts I would be teaching. I think that true martial arts research must be done in the same way. Though as I stated at my website, I do not claim to be any type of martial arts researcher. I am more interested in being good on the mat than in the library, but different strokes for different folks. There is a place for everyone.
For several months you have sought to libel me here and at BudoSeek by calling into question "my claims", you put rude comments on my website that had to be deleted and spammed my site with ads for your book in most of the forums (though you didn't do that here or at BudoSeek). I left one in the appropriate section.
Yet, in all of that you have never produced one shread of evidence that I have misrepresented myself, my style, or my abilities.

Joseph Svinth
31st July 2000, 06:50
Don --

A lot depends on what kind of degree you are pursuing. Some sociology advanced degrees and Ed.D. degrees require no languages or fieldwork. You can't say it's the university, either, as at the University of Washington I was specifically asked if I wanted to be on the professional track (36 credits, a second language, and a thesis) or the teacher track (24 credits, no language, a paper rather than a thesis). The diploma reads the same, as do any pay raises at the average employer requiring an MA for application.

Richard --

I didn't post at your board for two reasons. First, I lurk here more than I lurk there. And second, I might have disagreed strongly with something someone said, but your rules imply that everyone is supposed to be nice over there. So, while I wasn't planning on bouncing up and down, I thought I would like to leave that as an option and so bring the conversation here.

Both of you --

Please refrain from name-calling. Your positions are known and noted, thank you. :smokin:

All --

If people who conduct researches into martial art history are not researchers, then what are they? "Collector" certainly defines one bunch -- you see a lot of these in boxing and wrestling -- and "hobbyists" defines another group. But what do you call people who go to the library and document their finds, videotape or interview old guys, collect pictures and artifacts, and every once in awhile publish a book or article, thus sharing their finds? (Collectors and hobbyists typically ignore this last step.) I'm not saying that there may not be a better word, I'm just asking what it is.

Ron Beaubien
31st July 2000, 11:20
Hello Joe,

>>To put on a devil's advocate hat regarding languages, okay, which modern karate researchers read Ryukyuan?@If none, why not? Japanese is a foreign language on Okinawa. Not as foreign as English, true, but still as@foreign as English on Puerto Rico. <<

A good question. But why would they need to read in the Ryukyu dialect anyway? I cannot think of a single document on karate that has been written in the Ryukyu dialect. The *Bubishi*, was handwritten in Chinese. All the printed books on Okinawan karate starting from Funakoshi's *Ryukyu Kempo Karate* were published in Tokyo and written in standard Japanese (except for some of the newer karate books to come out recently that have been published right on Okinawa but even these have been written still in standard Japanese).

>> On the other hand, are our standards unrealistic? Let's say you went to the University and enrolled in a@master's program. For your thesis you are going to write on some karate-related topic. You don't read@Ryukyuan, but you library and read everything written in English on the subject. Whatever language skills you@had you pick up along the way. After a couple years of this, you write a thesis and it gets approved and you get@a degree. The college thought you had sufficient knowledge to get a master's. Are you now qualified as a@researcher in this area? <<

Hmmm... Most of the English translations of books on Okinawan karate were really badly done. I was shocked the first time I saw the original editions of many of the famous karate books in the West that had been translated into English. Several of them didn't even look remotely similar to the original books in content, but were being sold as "translations" and even given good reviews in some of the more academic martial arts journals like JAMA. It was obvious that the reviewers had never seen the original books and couldn't read enough Japanese to understand to really compare the two.

How about this, even at many of the best Universities in the US, there are probably very few professors who are even remotely familiar with Okinawan karate or the historical documents and people associated with the art. This is not meant to deride them because I am sure they are very knowledgeable people or they wouldn't hold the positions they do, but the subject might be out of their league to begin with.

>>Remember, in colleges it is the PhD area where one is expected to have fieldwork, the two languages, and an@original contribution to the field. At a graduate level, one is merely expected to have a good understanding of@what is already written. <<

Is that all? When I was at the University of Michigan, students going for their bachelors had to have at least two years of one foreign language to graduate, graduate students going for their masters needed reading ability in two foreign languages (preferably Asian languages), and a PhD needed three! In the field of Japanese studies at least...

To answer your question, I don't think there is any one set of criteria that specifically qualifies someone to be a researcher other than being a person who is doing research. There are certainly some qualifications which would certainly be beneficial (a high University degree related to the subject, practical experience in the martial art or closely related ones, language ability if dealing with a foreign art, several years of fieldwork, access to primary sources and materials, etc.). There are certainly different kinds of researchers such as professional and amateur.

But at the end of the day people are judged on the accuracy of information in the articles or books they produce. We have all seen people with PhDs who, although well meaning, have at times produced substandard articles on the subject of the martial arts and some people who never got a PhD but put out some classic tomes on the subject that set the standard to follow.

I hope this helps,


Richard A Tolson
31st July 2000, 16:40
Actually my comments were tongue-in-cheek. I do thank you for respecting my no flaming or rudeness policy.
Let me explain the policy though. People are free to disagree and challenge another opinion. Debate, done intelligently, can be very instructive.
However, references of a personal nature or a degrading of another art is not permitted. As an example, something like "I definitely disagree with your opinion and would like you to cite references for your source" would be fine. Yet, comments like "It doesn't surprise me you feel like that, just look at who your instructor was" would be inappropriate and unproductive.
I think you stated my opinion well concerning the necessity of studying a foreign language to understand foreign concepts. You would not believe how many sermons I have heard in which the preacher is expounding on a biblical passage totally out of its cultural, historical and grammatical context. Yet, people still listen and believe, because it is a principle of communications that if you say something long enough, loud enough and with enough conviction, people will believe about anything.
In responce to your final questions, what would you call that person, an amateur. Perhaps a very good amateur, but an amateur none the less.

Joseph Svinth
1st August 2000, 08:07
Richard --

By your standards, am I to assume that Martin Luther was an amateur theologian? After all, he read Latin, Greek, and German but not Aramaic, as everyone knows, the languages of the New Testament are Greek and Aramaic. And, given his notorious anti-Semitism, I really doubt that he was a great fan of Hebrew culture.

Also, am I to assume that you consider Donn Draeger to have been an amateur (gifted, mind you) rather than a researcher? After all, he didn't get academic recognition until the 1970s, and that was by challenging the requirements of UH and showing that he had learned enough through life experience to qualify as a lecturer.

Finally, how can anyone who gets paid for it be an amateur anything?

Ron --

The Ryukyuan court records are written in a combination of Ryukyuan, Japanese, and Chinese. They have been available in Taiwan University archives since the 1930s, but copies are supposed to be available at some Tokyo university, I forget which, within a few years. (The Japanese never cared enough to get them, but some folks from the Ryukyus thought they might be nice to have in Japan, too.) But without having read these documents, who knows what they contain?

Meanwhile, from a literary standpoint, Mitsugu Sakihara's "A Brief History of Early Okinawa Based on the Omoro Sshi" (Tokyo: Honpo Shoseki Press, 1987)offers some interesting insight into sixteenth century Ryukyuan court politics. The primary sources were court poetry, but that's no different from analyzing medieval European culture by looking at ballads.

Now, if one was truly serious about all this, probably the best place to start would be the University of Vienna, though the University of Bonn would make a decent second choice. The reason is that German academics went to Japan in droves between 1880 and 1945 and took copious notes, and what is more, brought home massive amounts of original material. And, perhaps most importantly, unlike the Japanese, the Germans took care of their ethnographic collections during World War II. The best book on this is "Sources of Rykyan History and Culture in European Collections," edited by Josef KREINER (Munich: Iudicum-Verlag, 1996).

As for English-language sources, University of Washington's East Asia Library has something like 250 English-language titles on Ryukyuan history alone. That of course does not count the hundreds of articles or the newspapers on microfilm. Other libraries of course have more. Maybe you've read 250 academic discussions of Okinawa, but I'd guess most folks haven't read 250 academic histories of anything in their lives. No, the folks don't usually talk about boxing per se, but if you read between the lines there are occasional mentions.

Newspapers are also an overlooked resource. For example, if you read the "Honolulu Advertiser" (July 9, 1927) you learn what kata Kentsu Yabu did in Hawaii. (Kusanku, Gojushiho, Naihanchi, Sanchin, preparatory drill, Pinan, Passai.)The Japanese researchers insist that this information isn't known, but there it is, right there in the sports pages of an English language metropolitan daily. Or, if you stroll around the US Nisei community for a little bit, you'll find photos and stories of the man, too, no matter that these supposedly don't exist in Okinawa. Why? Seems his son was a noted socialist in America, and that sort of thing gets written out of official histories in Japan.

Speaking of socialism being written out of MA histories, I have yet to hear a Japanese tell me that Jigoro Kano's son was arrested for being a Communist. ("Japan Times," Sep. 23, 1933, page 1.)That young Riho didn't go to jail for several years suggests that some accommodations were reached, as in 1933 Japanese bureaucrats committed suicide or were murdered for less. An intriguing angle to investigate, anyway.

Of course, if you are convinced that the Japanese have told us everything that can possibly be known, or if you want to repeat the same old stories, then yes, you need to read the Japanese and repeat it back just as told. But if you want to get closer to "wie es eigentlich gewesen," as the German historiographers used to say, [how it actually happened, for those of you not familiar with the history of writing history], then you have to utilize different sources or analyze the old sources using new methods.

[Edited by Joseph Svinth on 08-01-2000 at 05:57 AM]

Joseph Svinth
1st August 2000, 10:54
Another thought. If "amateur" is the correct word to use, then upon being asked what project brings me to the library day after day, I should respond, "I amateur", as in the following example: "Today I am amateuring Jigoro Kano's travels through the United States, and when I am done with that, I hope to amateur the organization of the SAC Yudanshakai."

But if I said that I think I'd get some funny looks from the librarian. If so, then perhaps "amateur" is not the correct verb -- or the correct noun, either.

So, what is a researcher? Simply put, one who researches. What is research? Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary definition of the word "research":


1. careful or diligent search. 2: studious inquiry or examination, esp: investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws; 3: the collecting of information about a particular subject.


Nowhere in this dictionary definition does it say that one needs a Ph.D., foreign language skills, or intimate knowledge of the subject of investigation to be a researcher. Undoubtedly higher education, linguistic skills, and intimate knowledge of the topic would help one find, interpret, and present data, but they are not part of the dictionary definition of the term. As a result, it seems to me that probably most people posting to E-budo could be considered "martial art researchers." Now, I grant you that some "martial art researchers" are more diligent or talented than others, but gifted or insipid, collectors of kata or collectors of books, they are all trying, and therefore all researchers of a sort.

Richard A Tolson
1st August 2000, 17:27
Martin Luther was not an "amateur", because he had the degrees and training to back up his area of expertise. Sorry, but the New Testament texts we have are all Greek, no Aramaic. Perhaps you are confusing this with what Christians call the Old Testament. In his study of Classical Hebrew, Aramaic would have been covered. So Luther would have a working knowledge of five languages (German, Latin, Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic). Present students of Biblical textual criticism would also add Sumerian, Accadian and Classical Egyptian to the list.
I am starting to think you may be taking my remarks personal. That was certainly not the intent. You seem to be providing a much needed service here.
Occasionally there are people who are able to go beyond amateur status to building a professional reputation. They are few and far between, but do exist. However, they didn't get there by "vanity publications", or writing for generic magazines or newspapers.
One other thing, my use of the term "amateur" was contextually that of an adjective or noun, not a verb as your silly analogy implied. So I am supposing you were debating tongue-in-cheek.

[Edited by Richard A Tolson on 08-01-2000 at 12:29 PM]

Joseph Svinth
1st August 2000, 20:47
Some online sources suggesting that Jesus Christ spoke Aramaic, and that the Dead Sea scrolls are in Aramaic:



The books were written in Greek because that was the language educated people normally wrote in. However, that implies a translation to provide a translation, and requires some very sophisticated anthropological and linguistic detective work to decide what was original and what was an accretion or invention. Perhaps this explains why the Protestants and Catholics have differing accounts; what is apocryphal in one religion is literally Gospel in another.

There are some Aramaic Bibles, but these are probably secondary, too, as modern Aramaic has been heavily influenced by Arabic.

In English, normally one who does is called a doer. So, to make a noun into a verb, one merely adds the suffix -er. It may not be standard usage, but the meaning should nonetheless convey. If it does not, then this means that one has selected the improper usage.

By your standards, though, Professor Bodiford is not a martial arts researcher; instead he is a teacher of comparative religion who happens to do martial arts. Professor Friday is a professor of history with a specialization in Japanese studies who happens to do martial arts. Donn Draeger was a retired Marine who happened to do martial arts and make some collections. Jigoro Kano was a schoolteacher who practiced and patronized traditional Japanese jacket wrestling. There is no one who is a researcher, as not even Richard Francis Burton had the necessary skills or resources available to him.

This seems rather narrow to me, and suggests the rest of us might as well not bothering to waste our time in fruitless pursuits.

An addition -- so far as I know, Martin Luther did all his writing in Latin and German, but probably had some familiarity with written Greek. As I understand it, his translation of the New Testament was completed in three months, and was essentially a High German vernacular translation of Erasmus's New Testament. Funding was provided by German princes wanting spiritual autonomy from Rome. So, while the Luther translation shaped the rhythms of modern High German in the same way that the KJV did for English, unlike the KJV Martin Luther's work arguably represents demagoguery rather than scholarship. Certainly Roman Catholics have always maintained that.

Of course, I could easily be wrong, as my recollections of such things are at least twenty years old. And I could easily have had a wayward instructor, too, for it is an indisputable fact that Martha Thompson, Playboy's Miss May of 1980, was in my catechism class. (She was always a cutie, but I swear she redistributed some weight between the time I knew her in church school and the Playboy appearance.)

Nevertheless, a visit to the Encyclopaedia Britannica website tends to support this thesis (only one, not 95, I fear): "Luther's knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic was limited, but his rendering shows much influence of Rashi, the great 11th-12th-century French rabbinical scholar and commentator, through the use of the notes of Nicholas of Lyra."


[Edited by Joseph Svinth on 08-01-2000 at 05:16 PM]

2nd August 2000, 01:52
Greetings to Joe, et al,

A great topic and some really well thought out answers!

However, I have always found that those who 'have' credentials tend to obsess on those aspects of an area of study so much, that they become specialists within a specialty!

What we need are more 'generalists', the finder of the lost city of Troy was more of an educated 'buff' than a researcher, and yet look at his contribution! (And, I know his many mistakes in how he did not take all the necessary steps to preserve a lot of what he 'discovered'.)

I myself am an obsessive reader, on a variety of subjects, I am a trained historian and an Industrial Engineer, as well as, practicing for 15 years in an eclectic system of Korean Karate and Self-defense. I consider myself, a 'buff', who has accumulated enough experience and insight to be a 'generalist' in the field. When I need to go deeper, I look to those like Joe Svinth to lead me in the right direction.

"One MUST know his limitations"

Richard A Tolson
2nd August 2000, 05:59
Is this the part you talked about where you are free to "jump up and down"? Just kidding! This is an interesting discussion. Were this a religious forum I would explain why the everyday language of Yeshua/Jesus was probably Hebrew rather than Aramaic, but I doubt anyone else would really care. If you are interested check out A GRAMMER OF MISHNAIC HEBREW by M. H. Segal.
As far as the Dead Sea Scrolls go, yes I am very familiar with them. I have seen some of them in Israel when I was there and did some comparative translation work from the Isaiah scroll (chapter six, if you are interested).
As far as Dr. Bodiford, not familiar with him or his work. Dr. Friday has both the credentials and experience. Donn Draeger, I know I will get blasted for this (when has that stopped me before), amateur. Yes, he did a great service in introducing koryu to the English speaking world. He also did a great service in resurrecting an almost extinct form of sociology, hoplology. However, as a researcher he doesn't impress me. Ever try counting the number of errors in his books? Again, he did a great service for those of us who follow in the martial traditions and opportunities that are available today, may not have been without him. Yet, his three books do not equal one of Dr. Friday's or Ms. Skoss's books.

Joseph Svinth
2nd August 2000, 08:36
A digression, but all of digging about in books is about digressions:

As I understand it, some fundamentalist Christians believe that Christ's language was Hebrew while the secular linguists believe that it would have been Aramaic, although probably written in a Square Hebrew script and definitely colored by Greek usages. For discussions, see, for example,
http://linguistlist.org/~ask-ling/archive-1999.1/msg00553.html . Using your own reasoning, I should trust a Ph.D. in linguistics on subjects such as this farther than a former preacher. See also http://online.sfsu.edu/~dleitao/greek101/messages/73.html , where it suggests that Jesus spoke Aramaic, and http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek/archives/97-07/0207.html , where it suggests that St. Jerome was the source of the story of Jesus using Hebrew. Bulletin boards are of course far from conclusive, but that the issue is debated by linguists suggests that it is possible that everyone is actually guessing rather than knowing.

The relevance of this is of course this: if all extant texts are in Greek yet Jesus spoke Aramaic (if only to ensure maximum understanding by the masses), then that means that the entire New Testament was written from the beginning as a translation. If so, then it makes no difference whether you read it in German, Swahili, or New Testament Greek; all sources are secondary and therefore none can claim to be any more divinely inspired than another. (One presumes God still inspires religious people today; that the Pope is not just some old guy in a red hat.)

http://www.odsgc.com/~cornerst/biblestudies/elisabachthani.htm is interesting, too, for it suggests that in extremis, Jesus spoke Aramaic to God on the cross, implying it was his preferred language. (Presumably God understands all languages equally, therefore the language one would choose to communicate would be a personal rather than divine preference.)

A couple of potential interest to you -- comparative Semitic linguistics: http://www.accd.edu/pac/philosop/phil1301/semiticl.htm and Biblical resources (Old and New Testaments: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/gto/bible.htm . The latter includes a link to the Library of Congress exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls, http://metalab.unc.edu/expo/deadsea.scrolls.exhibit/overview.html#today . This one's cool, too: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/asbook06.html#People of Israel .

Meanwhile, if you like side-by-side translations and discussions of the joys of it (I assume you do), try http://www.mcn.net/~wleman/biblang.htm#hebrew .

Now, if anyone is still awake after all that, to the point.

For Professor Bodiford, try the Koryu thread on "Kamiza -- Placement and Usage," where he states that his only specialty is Japanese religions, but also practices Kashima-Shinryu and has some academic training in the study of Japanese martial art history, and then proceeds to give about as good a short lecture as you could ask for. He provides another illuminating statement at "Definition of Koryu." And he had some equally great stuff on E-budo BC.

If this represents mere amateur research (which by Professor Bodiford's own statement it probably does, at least in the circles in which he travels), then by Jove I want more rather than less of the stuff.

Neil Hawkins
2nd August 2000, 13:26
I had a fairly decent response lined up, then Joe pinched some of my points and we branched off into a discussion on comparaive religion. I've always said there's nothing an agnostic can't do if he doesn't know whether he really believes in anything or not. :D

But anyway, I always like to look at the etymology of the word. That tells us how it evolved, and often, how the usage has changed is more interesting than what the word actually means. Plus we have been on a linguistic bent recently.:)

This from Websters.

Research: Diligent inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles; laborious or continued search after truth.

Obsolete French recerche, from recercher, to search closely, from Old French: re-, re- + cerchier, to search

And search we know means: To make a thorough examination of; look over carefully in order to find something; explore.

Now I know that we have all been going on about some sort of professionalism, but I don't think that this is necessary. IMO the only requisite is that something come from the research, a paper, book or article, maybe a qualification (as in Diploma, Degree or PhD) or any other dissemination of the information gathered, such as telling a class, coworkers or some friends.

All this indicates is that some researchers are better than others. I certainly would consider Draeger to be qualified to be called a researcher, as was E J Harrison, as are Steven Turnbull, Ratti, Westbrook and McCarthy.

The quality varies, as does the accuracy but all made a diligent inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles. If I write an article I research the facts I'm going to present, regardless of content. If I'm doing research I'm a researcher.

Anyway that's what I think. What I would like to know is why do we now associate research with a scholarly pursuit? Is it because most people only do research whilst at school, they have no need to research after that (some would say that few did any whilst at school :)) they know all they need and someone will tell them if they need anything else. Few people read for anything more than pleasure these days, is the method of research dying out? Is this why we need a forum like this?

I don't know. We all seem to have strong opinions, what is the basis for these opinions? Surely you need no prior knowledge to research something, knowledge comes through research.


Richard A Tolson
2nd August 2000, 17:19
Gosh, you are going to keep me busy running down those links for a while. However, you are proving my point. You, as far as I know, have no theological degree. Yet, you clearly have a brain and use it quite well. You have provided me with some very interesting information. So you have done an excellent job researching the subject. However, would you now claim to be a professional Theological Researcher? I don't think you are that arrogant, or arrogant at all for that matter.
I think it just comes down to the standards to which we hold researchers. I expect a very high standard. I have read religious books by many Christian and Jewish authors that just didn't have a clue. They had done their research too, but they failed in the next step - interpretation of the data found. This is even more important than the research end. It is true that about anyone with a library card and the time can do research, interpreting the data takes the type of background I have been advocating.
Thank you for a stimulating discussion and the cool links :)!

Ron Beaubien
3rd August 2000, 08:12

Thanks for you insights into martial arts researchers.

>So, what is a researcher? Simply put, one who researches.

Thanks for agreeing with what I mentioned earlier. I can see that we think a lot alike on this subject. It always seemed to me that some people were trying to read too much into the definition of the word. My use of amateur is merely how I see myself in the whole situation. Although I have received money in the past after publication of articles, it was never enough to make my research worthwhile financially. If I were supported by a large grant to fund my research interests on a full time basis, then I would probably consider myself a professional researcher. Just in case, if there is anyone reading this who is willing to donate money to the "Beaubien Budo Research Fund" please contact me privately by e-mail as all monetary donations will be gladly accepted! :)

Also thanks for the references to Okinawan court records, court politics through poetry, and Okinawan history! Some of them look more promising than others, but I think you and I would both agree that without any strong leads to exact documents that refer to karate then one might possibly waste a lot of time, money, and effort. I don't know about you, but I don't exactly have the financial resources to run around the world looking for something that might not even exist. :) Although I have been known to do just that in the past!

I agree with you in that at least in reference to academic histories of Okinawa, people "don't usually talk about boxing per se, but if you read between the lines there are occasional mentions." However, I think we also have to be careful when we read between the lines. It is possible to assume too much when dealing with references like these.

>> Now, if one was truly serious about all this, probably the best place to start would be the University of Vienna, though the University of Bonn would make a decent second choice. The reason is that German academics went to Japan in droves between 1880 and 1945 and took copious notes, and what is more, brought home massive amounts of original material. And, perhaps most importantly, unlike the Japanese, the Germans took care of their ethnographic collections during World War II. <<

Thanks again for the information. Now this is interesting! To be honest, I have often heard that many of the ethnographic collections on "Okinawa" were destroyed during WW2 (but not necessarily referring to all Japanese records), but I have never been able to find out which ones they supposedly were. Do you have any idea which collections were destroyed?

I can't really refer to any documents that were from Okinawa, but every week I do get to see Japanese documents that date back to the Edo period if not earlier. Most of them are old handwritten books with hand sewn bindings or in makimono form. Actually I was just shown 9 beautiful old scrolls on Itto-ryu and Takenouchi-ryu dating from the 1630s.

Speaking about surviving documentation, although the National Diet Library in Tokyo wasn't actually founded until June of 1948, it received almost the the entire stock of its precursors, namely the House of Peers and House of Representatives which was established in 1890 and the Imperial Library which was established in 1872. In addition, Trevor Legget, who was one of the early Western Judoka in Japan, mentioned that when he was here in 1947 that he "went around to many of the secondhand bookshops in the Kanda district of Tokyo, which had miraculously survived the bombs, and bought many books on Budo and Zen." ("Nihon Budo no Kokoro" Tokyo: Simul, 1993:260). Although there certainly were many things that were destroyed due to US bombing during the war, there is a lot of documentation that survived as well.

>>Newspapers are also an overlooked resource. For example, if you read the "Honolulu Advertiser" (July 9, 1927) you learn what kata Kentsu Yabu did in Hawaii. (Kusanku, Gojushiho, Naihanchi, Sanchin, preparatory drill, Pinan, Passai.) The Japanese researchers insist that this information isn't known, but there it is, right there in the sports pages of an English language metropolitan daily.<<

Really? I didn't know that there were any Japanese researchers who insisted that it wasn't known. Who were they? Might it not be that they said that they personally weren't sure what Kentsu Yabu did while in Hawaii?

Personally, I often use newspapers as a resource as well as many other sources. The National Diet Library, which is the largest library in Japan, has something like 12 million volumes, 160,000 serial publications, 153,000 periodicals, and 8,000 newspapers. I also like some of the smaller libraries like the one at International Budo University or the library at the Kodokan. I also share information with some of the martial arts practitioners and instructors here. Many of them have large private collections that are just amazing to behold.

>> Speaking of socialism being written out of MA histories, I have yet to hear a Japanese tell me that Jigoro Kano's son was arrested for being a Communist. ("Japan Times," Sep. 23, 1933, page 1.) <<

It is interesting to note but that shouldn't surprise you now, should it? I mean, when people in general talk to each other do they drag all of their skeletons out of the closet for others to see? I don't think so. Jigoro Kano's son getting arrested for being a Communist probably isn't exactly the high point in the Kodokan or Judo's history. But you are right, it is interesting.

>> Of course, if you are convinced that the Japanese have told us everything that can possibly be known, or if you want to repeat the same old stories, then yes, you need to read the Japanese and repeat it back just as told. <<

Huh? Sorry but I am getting lost here. I don't think I ever said that "the Japanese have told us everything that can possibly be known". I also don't know why you would assume that being able to read Japanese would only give one the ability to "repeat the same old stories" or that anyone would just "repeat it back just as told" either, unless you were specifically referring to someone who was only trying to accurately translate a book on karate. I may be misunderstanding what you were trying to say here.

I just think that being able to speak Japanese would be of benefit and give one access to many primary sources of information on Okinawan karate, the tomes not available in the West, rather than rely on secondary sources or English language translations of varying quality. That doesn't mean that one should just accept what one reads without question. I don't believe that I have ever suggested that. No, careful analysis and cross checking with other sources of information would be needed. Being able to read Japanese would be a great benefit, but not an absolutely necessary one in all cases, for a martial arts researcher looking into the history of Okinawan karate.

Also just another small clarification, when I refer to this subject I usually make a distinction between "Japanese" researchers of karate and the native Okinawans who did research on the subject. When I asked some of my Okinawan friends if they considered themselves to be Japanese or Okinawan, they proudly replied "Okinawan" and so that is the term I prefer to use when referring to them.

People like Funakoshi Gichin and Kenwa Mabuni were born on Okinawa, grew up speaking the local dialect, and went on to publish their research in standard Japanese not Okinawaben. Nowadays, Hokama Tetsuhiro would probably be the most prolific native Okinawan karate researcher who writes on the subject of Okinawan karate history in standard Japanese today. So although being able to understand Okinawan would be beneficial, it might not prove to be as beneficial as it might at first seem, at least with what we know about the books published on the subject of Okinawan karate by Okinawans to date. Also although several Okinawan karate books were written before WW2, interestingly there were no references to any older Okinawan texts on the subject of karate besides the *Bubishi* that I remember reading.

Thanks again for sharing you ideas.

Best regards,


3rd August 2000, 08:36
Just what this thread needed, a common ground. Amazingly, there has been an awful lot of research about the meaning of research. and what makes a researcher.

Fairly recently, a new nage waza was added to the Kodokan syllabus, called morote gari (for judo folks, I know it has been around for more than a while). This was how it was researched and added to the gokyo no waza. "So this is morote gari, Sensei?" "Yes."

I rest my kiai.

Joseph Svinth
3rd August 2000, 12:48
I wasn't picking on you, Ron, I was speaking somewhat generically. And you're right that writing for the MA magazines is not an economically viable enterprise, with even the few paying magazines paying but a fraction of freelance standard. (Although $300 is a lot for an MA article, kill fees from non-MA publications routinely exceed that.)

As for research budgets, well, individuals usually have budgets comparable to museums and archives. Seriously -- check a museum budget and you'll see the big bucks go to raising money while the little bucks go to archives and collections. And we ARE talking little bucks -- three to five grand is often a museum's entire research budget for a year.

The Okinawan records that were in Taiwan are copies of the Sho Dynastic records. During the 1910s, the Japanese took the originals from Naha and then left them in a unprotected warehouse that burned. During WWII the Japanese Army took another set out of storage in Naha so that it could use the storage area as a headquarters. Three guesses what happened to paper records left above ground in Naha. The third set was sent to Taiwan, I believe by Ryukyuans, before WWII and there sat unnoticed in Taiwanese archives for years. Somebody found them awhile back. As I understand it, facsimiles are supposed to be published throughout this decade, probably in volumes because I doubt there is much money allocated for Ryukyuan studies. The book on European sources provides details.

The Japanese newspapers I would like to see somebody go through are the English-language newspapers from Osaka, Kobe, and Yokohama. For example, EJ Harrison wrote for the "Japan Advertiser" and Welly Shibata, the English-language editor of the "Osaka Mainichi," was from Spokane. (A University of Washington graduate, Shibata worked for Japanese naval intelligence during WWII and resumed his job as English-language editor after the war. During the early 1930s he wrote about boxing and kendo for Seatte's "Japanese-American Courier", so I would assume he wrote about similar things in the Osaka paper, too.) Unfortunately these papers don't seem to be available on microfilm in the US, and the British Library doesn't have them, either. But they could be available in Tokyo, and if they are, then you could read English and expand what is known at the same time. Furthermore, if you identify events using small papers such as these, then you have dates with which to track the same events in the metropolitan dailies.

Interestingly, if the Japanese papers are like the Japanese American papers, then the two stories are often told entirely differently in the same paper. Why? Two different writers working for two different editors. Neither was telling lies, but between the two observations you often get interesting contrasts. Also, in the Japanese American paperssh, judo, sumo, and boxing invariably appear on the sports pages, just as you'd expect, but kendo more often shows up in the society pages.

Speaking of kendo, if you're checking Japanese-language newspapers sometime, check September 1938 because on September 15, 1938, some visiting Hitler Youth were sent to see "old budo" in Tokyo. The jujutsu of the Shin-no-Shindo school included a demo by Mrs. Takeyo Suzuki and Mrs. Kaneko Inai, and the sojutsu/bojutsu of the Katori-Shinto-ryu included a demo by Mrs. Kimiko Sugino. Jingai jutsu, kyujutsu, iaijutsu, jujutsu (various schools), naginata-jutsu,jojutsu, kusarigama-jutsu, tachi-jutsu, sojutsu, bojutsu, shuriken jutsu, and kudaya jutsu were also shown. On September 21, the Nazis also visited the Kodokan for a judo demo; they saw female practitioners there, too. (Japan Times, Sep 18, 1938).

The Prince of Wales' visit in 1922, I think it was, is also of interest because in December 1933 Mifune said that "the most spectacular tournament ever held in Japan by Judoists was the one that took place at the Seinen-kan Hall in the Imperial Househould Department in the presence of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales when he paid a visit to this country." Maybe there are details in the English-language newspapers?

As for Yabu, I assumed that there was nothing about him written in colloquial Japanese because several well-known authors who claim fluency in Japanese and considerable experience in Ryukyuan MA have said "no one knows." I know what happens when you assume, but nevertheless if one states that one speaks Japanese, has spent years on Okinawa, and talked to lots of famous people, well, we amateurs tend to believe...

Oh -- just in case anybody was wondering, I list my occupation as writer, and usually get paid as a "consultant." However, anyone wishing to contribute to the Beaubien Research Fund is also welcome to contribute to the Svinth Research Fund. While such donations are not tax-deductible, I promise to give you more value for your dollar than the presidential candidates I've been listening to lately.

14th January 2004, 21:41
Re-awakeing this thread. Anyway, from the perspective of a graduate student in medieval history, I would refer to Draeger, et.al, as antiquarians rather than researchers. Now before everyone jumps in to flatten me, my reasoning is this:
Research has become the province of the specialist. One concentrates on a very small area about which one knows a great deal, to the exclusion of broad knowledge of a greater subject. I am learining a great deal about the cult of the Virgin in 14th century Regensburg (which is looking like it will be my dissetation topic), but I have less thorough broad knowledge about the medieval period in general, and even less knowledge about other periods of history. If one were to exchange the field of history for Okinawan martial arts, it would be similar to my knowing a great deal about Passai, and how Passai was practiced by several people in a ten year period. In contrast, I would know other kata existed, and might be able to speak intelligently about some of them, but they would not fill my time the way Passai does.
So perhaps it is beter to have Karate a large number of Karate antiquarians than it would be to have a large number of "specialist researchers."
BTW, many thinks to Mr. Svinth, for answering silly questions of mine a year or so ago about jumping fields to become a "martial arts researcher."

Neil Hawkins
15th January 2004, 00:46
Wow, a blast from the past, I'd pretty much forgotton this thread.

Anyway, I still believe that research is a process, a researcher is someone who goes through the process, the subject is irrelevent.

It shouldn't matter if you are studying "the cult of the Virgin in 14th century Regensburg", or the history of Regensburg, or the 14th Century, or Medieval Europe. All fields require research to gain an understanding of them. The depth is gauged by the results not the skills of the researcher.

I think the arguement lies in the time and effort involved, obviously the research for a doctoral dissertation on "the cult of the Virgin in 14th century Regensburg" is going to be much more time consuming and difficult than research for a 5000 word article on the history of Regensburg for a German tourist magazine.

I believe scholars, and I mean no disrespect, resent people who do not put the effort into learning their subject as intensively as themselves. Especially when those people make statments or assertions that are not backed up with good research. At the risk of opening a can of worms, I believe that is part of the issue which led to the Koryu Snobs debate. But lets leave that well alone!

As I said before research is a process, anyone can research, be it for their own interests, education, the gaining of a qualification or to assist in others learning. To restrict it to a scholarly field is to take away from the gifted amateurs who have enabled us huge new insights into history or the world we live in through their work.

They are numerous and all of science is plagued by these amateurs that at the time had no scholarly affiliations and yet made discoveries that rocked the academic world. Take Einstein for example, he did not have an acedemic background, was not studying for anything in particular and yet his research led to enormous breakthoughs in the field of physics.

I don't think I can define it better than my previous post, research is a process, a means to an end. The end is varied as are the motivations for the search, but the process stands by itself and is accessible to all.



Michael Wert
24th January 2004, 20:05
I'm joining this thread a bit late, but as a grad student currently doing a Ph.D in Japanese history, I'd like to add my two bits.

As for language training, even first year grad students will have to have some reading ability in the language of their field of study (in my case, Japanese). As one advances through the program, you have to be able to read modern Japanese, classical Japanese, classical Chinese (as understood by Japanese of the past which is different from classical Chinese in China) and most likely komonjo skills (the style of old documents, how to intepret letters, official documents and even how to read the original handwriting).

In the budo research world, most people can read modern Japanese (this is a minimum, stuff in English is a given) but classical Japanese and classical chinese need to be learned through a college class (in my opinion you can't learn these well on your own) which most people don't have time to do.
Komonjo can be learned through tutorial (with one's advisor) or through workshop (I attended a month long, three hour a day, five day a week komonjo course at Stanford over the summer. They flew in a senior research from Japan, the class was taught in Japanese, and one of the participants was a Japanese woman who already has her Ph.D! Many young professors in the US also try to attend similar komonjo workshops).
Depending on what kind of Japanese history you're doing, you'll also need reading ability in French, Portuguese, German or Dutch.

Why all the languages? Well, primary language research is a must for all grad students. This means reading what Japanese scholars have written on a certain topic. Most people who write about koryu are looking at primary language materials.
As you advance through grad school, certainly by the time your writing either your master's thesis or Ph.D dissertation, you need to know how to use primary source materials. I.e. not (only) reading what a Japanese scholar has written about a certain collection of documents, but reading the original documents themselves. Most budo "researchers" can't do this because they just don't have the language training.

And it's not just language training. History, religion, literature, all have their own methodologies, theories, etc and require training just like a science. You need to know where to locate the appropriate documents, you need the money and time to get there and use them, you need the introductions to use the archives and get the required help reading them, you need to know how to use the materials. This last requires forming a thesis, and excellent English writing skills (academic writing skills). The average Ph.D dissertation takes about 2-3 years to write (for a good dissertation that can be published by a reputable publisher in the field). Fulltime grad school of five years minimum is needed to get a Ph.D in Japanese history, seven years is probably the norm.

This is an exciting time to be doing research on Japanese budo. Most articles are either 1. observations on koryu based on experience of a senior practitioner or 2. summary of secondary sources (Japanese language secondary sources) in English of such-and-such ryu. There are very few "academic" articles, but some good ones include Prof. Bodiford's essay in the Encyclopedia of World Martial Arts and David Hall's essay on and his article on the institution of soke.
Not to say articles in categories 1 and 2 are bad, they're a necessary foundation for what seems to be a new and flourishing field of study. But just as we're moving past observations of pioneers like Donn Draeger, we will one day need to move to a new level of understanding budo and connect it to academic disciplines.
There are so many untouched primary materials that can contribute to budo research!

25th January 2004, 17:49
Indeed, language and paeography skills are the main hurdles one needs before one can really begin doing research.

7th April 2004, 12:47
Great topic, great posts, I like it.

[...] The Okinawan records that were in Taiwan are copies of the Sho Dynastic records. During the 1910s, the Japanese took the originals from Naha and then left them in a unprotected warehouse that burned. [...]

The document must be the Rekidai Han, the "History of Successive Generations" or something like that.

In 1879, when Japanese came to Shuri to push through the establishment of the Okinawa Prefecture, they took away many precious documents, among them the Rekidai Han, which starts at 1424 (!!!) and goes up to 1867, and which is one of the most reliable documents upon all the relations to China and such things. I guess everybody can imagine the potential of such a book for Karate and Kobud research.
The Japanese took the Rekidai Han to Kyto (I think), where it was largely destroyed during the Kant earthquake, so everything thought lost.

Buuuut, the people of Kumemura (!!!!!) much earlier made a copy of the works, and have been hiding it from the Japanese. In 1933, by request of the national archives or library in Naha, the documents were turned over from Kumemura to Naha.

In WWII those documents were destroyed !!!!

Buuuut, sometimes before people from Taiwan University made complete copy and this is the one which survived (nearly) complete until today.

This document is so parallel to Okinawan history... robbed, destroyed, recovered, destroyed again, and discovered again...

Read upon this fantastic document

It is originally written in Chinese, meaning there is no comma and no period.

For the Japanese not knowing this or that...: even in the 1980s there were many important dates and incidents of Ryky / Okinawa history which were not even slightestly included in Japanese history books. So how can you ask about the meaning of Rykyyan performing arts or martial arts??? It is not that many of them don't like certain historic ideas, it is simply they often just do not know.

Joseph Svinth
8th April 2004, 02:02
The Internet is pretty nice for the hobbyist, as it lets folks from all over the world share fruits from the research fields. For example, somebody in Brazil can read the Brazilian papers, somebody in London can read the British papers, and somebody in the US can go to the Library of Congress and read the US papers, and in the end, between them, they should come up with a better picture of what Maeda did.

As for language skills, the alternative is doing a whole lot of reading, especially in newspapers, travelers' accounts, and translations.

8th April 2004, 21:54
Hmm, I will toss a few things in.

1. Some of the discussion concerns, implicitly at least, whether someone like Donn Draeger could be called a "researcher" "antiquarian" or what have you. Also, the question of what research is generally and what constitutes a researcher specifically of course, but it is a given that the field of hoplology requires an additional standard of physical training. So what would be the guideline for that? Ten odd years in the specific art studied? A green belt? Do you have a baseline that you think someone must meet to speak authoritatively about an art, or local of arts? We can't all be Karl Fridays, Donn Draegers, Joe Svinths in terms of martial arts experience and the affiliated knowledge particular to the subject(history, culture, research training, etc)---though we do have such people read our work for refereed journals (thank god for ejmas and jama). But certain things I am interested in reading about, no one is writing...those who have the martial arts training have no research training or scholarly inclination, while those that do have little or no martial training in such fields.

I'm simply positing that the field of hoplology requires more than just secondary language and this mysterious ability to research, and I'm asking what would meet those requirements for you. (Fine, it varies case to case, art to art, and judge the product harsher than the producer, that's my own answer for now.) You don't want to read some gassy text full of assumptions and mysticisms...neither do you want a poorly written text by a skilled practitioner...finally none of us want flat out inaccuracies.

While one can write about a religion without being a practitioner of that religion, about art not being an artist, and about literature etc., it seems that to write about the martial arts specifically, one has a different standard. I don't require a person writing scholarly texts about music to be a composer, but if they can't carry a tune, well...

2. Following that, do you require military historians in this day and age to have served in the military?

3. Finally, do you consider all forms of research training equal? Would you trust my master's degree in lit. to have given me a basis to read primary and secondary texts, to evaluate said texts, texts in a secondary or tertiary language, and to publish it--all of this centered on literature? You should, it has. But would you trust me to write about ecology, or science criticism, or globalization, or--gasp!---red junk wing chun? If not, why not?

Well I thought these were interesting questions. They have much to do with interdisciplinary/specialization issues, so I am not sure what you all might think. Still, I would like to see what you have to say.


9th April 2004, 22:17
Nothing? 20 views in 24 hours and nada on the horizon? Well maybe these aren't interesting questions after all...

1. Elsewhere on e-budo it is expressed that rank in a martial art is worth what it is in that martial art and that to judge someone's ability by their rank fails to take into consideration the quality of their teachers, the quality of their style, the quality of their studying, the quality of... So rank judging creates some problems, least of all, a fixation on it. Further, what does one do with arts that follow no rank, or have had it grafted on, or rank that is not recognized by another branch of the same art? Perhaps it just seems tricky to me. But I'm thinking it's similar to the question I posed concerning one's research skills.

So I suppose a general rule of thumb is to place a researcher's ability in context of that martial art or arts they study.
I brought up Dr. Friday, Mr. Svinth and Draeger for a reason; their works are different enough in intent that that seems to have bearing too. I don't think they could have written their books without a smidgen less of training; what's not as obvious is that the type of work somewhat dictates what goes in. A history of a single ryu may well require menkyo kaiden and coauthorship with that ryu's head, now. A wide spectrum of arts likely necessitates both a deep background in some, as well as an ability to see the characteristics of many, now. A close historical look at the practitioners of one art may need a deep background corresponding to both location and art, now.

2. For some reason it seemed a good question, but maybe not. Still my vietnam history class had history written by journalists (Bright Shining Lie), academics (Karnow's), lit writers/servicemen (O'brien). I think there is something to those disparate viewpoints, with differing degrees of background, local knowledge and research skills, and I guess that's what I'm trying to get across.

Mr. Wert described some of the challenges and excitement about research in martial arts. I like his points, and I am glad that there are opportunities to work cross fields, in the process of building one. I guess, I'll keep thinking about it. I would add that oral history is needed to further it. In one week two important figures in martial arts have died, and I sincerely hope that some people were taking notes. I would love to hear what they passed on.

My point wasn't to display any rock'n conclusions or to pose vapid questions. I teach my 101 students analysis, the process of breaking down to look at parts, and synthesis, the process of building again to see what's changed, and this was a bit of what I was attempting. It has helped me with other aspects of martial arts at least. But I'll fold my hands, close my mouth, and see you in ten years. :wave:

Joseph Svinth
10th April 2004, 01:25
Not many folks are interested in research, I'm afraid. That's rule number 1.

Rule number 2 is that after you do the research, the readers say the book costs too much. Videos are worse -- make one of those, and within weeks, everybody you know has a copy, but nobody has bought one.


Lots of people who never boxed write about boxing. Some of them are clowns, like you'd expect. Examples include Joyce Carol Oates. However, others are the sport's most brilliant expositors. Examples include Pierce Egan, Nat Fleischer, AJ Liebling, Bill Heinz, and Ralph Wiley.

Another example. Probably the most influential military historian of the mid-20th century was John Keegan. Keegan never served in a military, and he didn't see any combat (Beirut) until years after his book, "Face of Battle," was published. Yet his book "Face of Battle" literally revolutionized the way that military history was subsequently written by both soldiers and academics.

So, what gives? Egan, Liebling, Heinz, and Wiley all talked to boxers, and Keegan spoke to a lot of soldiers. These folks listened to what they were told.

Unlike participants, they didn't have particular axes to grind. They just took notes, and asked questions, and then said thank you.

The problem with being an insider in an art is that you have prejudices, and you invariably bring that baggage with you.

10th April 2004, 02:00
Hmmm, I was overly impatient. Guess it's because I like this thread! And thanks for the reply.

I've pretty much gotten through all my original ideas on the subject so I will just lurk for a while.

18th April 2004, 00:36
Stumbling across this thread has been the most stimulating read I have had in months! Archive it! Can I quote anything that is posted?


A Jaded Anthropology major!

18th April 2004, 00:44

Joseph Svinth
18th April 2004, 20:15
Martial art research can be visualized using a Venn diagram. However, instead of using just three overlapping circles, you will need at least half a dozen, probably more. Why? Because in this diagram, the circles will need to include at least the following areas and approaches: anthropology, comparative religions, folklore studies, human geography, kinesiology, oral history, sociology, and ephemeral documention (newspapers, photos, etc.).

And, as is always the case when operating at the edges of the known universe, myths and legends abound.


The postings here would meet academic standards for ephemera, but if you're looking for something peer-reviewed to use in a citation, then try these two articles by Thomas A. Green, professor of anthropology at Texas A&M (and poster at E-budo).

* "Sense in nonsense: The role of folk history in the martial arts," in Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (Ed.), _Martial arts in the modern world_ (Greenwood, 2003)

* "Historical narrative in the martial arts: A case study," in Tad Tujela (Ed.), _Usable pasts: Traditions and group expressions in North America_ (Utah State University, 1997)

See also Tom's _Folklore: An encyclopedia of beliefs, customs, tales, music and art_ and _Martial arts of the world: An encyclopedia_.