The globalization of martial arts

2018-10-29 16:29 来源:《留学》杂志 夏琰旸
2018-10-29 16:29:18来源:《留学》杂志作者:夏琰旸责任编辑:孙宗鹤


  It is evident that with the process of globalization, many Chinese elements come into people¡¯s sights all around the world. Among all these cultures, there are spirits behind them - such as the idea of morally upright and self-cultivation of Confucianism; the communication between human and nature of the Daoism; and the sense of benevolent of the Buddhism religion. So martial arts is not only a kind of simple culture, but also embeds a variety of spirit. With these ideas in mind, a Hong Kong movie star named Bruce Li tried his best to make Chinese martial arts popular all around the world.

  And after Bruce Li introduced Chinese martial arts to the world via movies made in Hollywood in the 1960s, all kinds of action movie directors around the world began to integrate elements of Chinese martial arts into their themes. Why is Chinese martial arts so appealing to audiences? Is it because the passionate movements? Is it because its skills? Or, possibly the spirit behind it?

  With the curiosity to find the answer, this paper is going to discuss the relation between Chinese martial arts and globalization, more specifically, what part of martial arts really expanded via the process of globalization.

  2. Methods

  There are 2 researches that need the collection of data in the paper. One is about people¡¯s perspective on Bruce Li and the other is about people¡¯s perspective on Chinese martial arts. While in the process of collecting data for both researches, questionnaires with multiple choices are made. Each questionnaire has one question with 4 choices. After posting the questionnaires in the different WeChat groups, everyone who is within the groups can answer the questions. The members in the WeChat groups are of great variety, including adolescents, adults, and elders; nationalities and ethnic groups also vary greatly: Chinese, Japanese, Americans, Brazilians, and French. By collecting data from a group of people with significant diversity, we can provide the research with pluralistic points of views from different age ranges and different cultures.

  3. Hypothesis

  The research is aimed to find the relation between Chinese martial arts and globalization, and what part of Chinese martial arts is really globalized. The hypothesis is that not only the passionate movements but also the spirit behind Chinese martial arts and the traditional Chinese culture have been spread world-wide. Statistics from researches and historical evidences are used to prove the hypothesis later in the paper.

  4. Description

  a. Historical process of martial arts:

  The history of martial arts can be dated back to the Paleolithic era, when humans are still hunter-gathers. During the time, the species needed to protect themselves from predators, thus have learned to use weapons such as spears ¨C bringing the origin of martial arts. With the development of military forces, Chinese martial arts were largely employed in wars in the Warring-state Period. the Sui and Tang dynasty, the Shaolin Temple was constructed and Chinese martial arts began to unite with traditional cultures. But unfortunately, when it came to the period of The Republic of China, industrialized weapons came into people¡¯s sight. The cold-weapon period came to an end, and the usage of Chinese martial arts became less, and the culture and spirit tended to vanish.

  b. Rekindle of Chinese martial arts

  With the fear of losing traditional Chinese culture, the aspired decided to rekindle Chinese martial arts. Among them, the first one who succeed in bringing Chinese martial arts to the world is Bruce Lee. When Bruce Lee was young, he used to learn ¡®Taiji¡¯ from his father and ¡®Wing Chun¡¯ from Yip Man. After becoming highly-skilled in Chinese martial arts, Bruce Lee set 3 goals for himself before he went for Hollywood:

  1. To bring Chinese martial arts to the world

  2. To make a new kind of Kong Fu by himself

  3. To make a Hollywood movie consisting Chinese Kong Fu

  With the 3 dreams in heart, Bruce Lee began his career in Hollywood. With unimaginable effort, Bruce fulfilled all his 3 goals. He made his own Kong Fu called ¡®Jeet Kun Do¡¯, and brought Chinese martial arts to the globe via his movies. In many of his movies, audiences saw wonderful actions made by Bruce Lee, but more importantly, audiences witnessed the spirits behind Chinese martial arts - the spirit of China.

  c. Analysis of research

  Due to his globally established fame, most people know him pretty well nowadays. But, what do people think of him? Do they view him only as a movie star? Or, do they consider him as a master of martial arts? Statistics from the research offers a possible answer. Among the 109 people who participated in the research, 41 (40 Chinese and 1 Brazilian) stated that Bruce Lee was just a movie star, 67 (62 Chinese, 4 American and 1 French) stated that he was a master of Martial arts, and only 1 (Japanese) of them didn¡¯t know who Bruce Lee is.

  As show in the graph above, the majority of people considers Bruce Lee as master of martial arts. This phenomenon shows that not only the movie but also the martial art itself became globalized and had expanded to the world. Also, 75 percent of foreigners interviewed considered Bruce Lee as a Kong Fu master, which means martial arts have already left a deep impression in the minds of foreigners.

  We may also conclude that martial arts are well globalized, but what part of it is globalized? We still need statistics to find the answer.

  In the 108 people who were researched, 31(26 Chinese, 4 Americans and 1 French) of them considered Chinese martial arts as a kind of culture, 18(18 Chinese) of them considered it as a kind of self- defensive skill, 23(22 Chinese and 1 Brazilian) considered it as a kind of sport and 26(26 Chinese) of them consider it as motion designs in movies.

  As the statistics stated in the graph above, we can deduce that a majority of people already consider Chinese martial arts as a kind of culture. Even most of the foreigners (83 percent) consider martial art as a kind of culture, which means the spirit of martial arts has already begin to influence foreigners and begin to globalize.

  5. Conclusion

  Globalization has already become an inevitable process, and with the process of globalization, more and more people begin to know about China, about Chinese culture and martial arts. On the other hand, we can also see more and more foreigners wearing traditional Chinese clothes playing ¡®Taiji¡¯ in parks during the morning. As from the statistics and my personal observation, these foreigners are not only willing to learn about the movements, but also about the spirit and culture behind it.

  To summarize, I believe that not only the movements, but also the spirit behind Chinese martial arts has been globalized.


  17岁上海上外附中 12年纪


  I am a great fan of superheroes and I always want to become a superhero myself. But what’s the most important characteristics of superheroes all around the world? Yes, the all know martial arts. So I want to study how martial arts spread to the world, or, in other words, globalized.

  I have learned a lot during the process of writing this essay. While by studying the relation between globalization and martial arts, I have more chance to put the concepts of sociology l have learned this summer into practice. Also during the process of research, I learned more about the history and the spirit of martial arts and of China. My ability of making questionnaires and designing researches also improved greatly. Because I have the foundations of statistics I may put it into practice when designing the research.




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