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The fifty-two hand blocks re-framed: the rehabilitation of a vernacular martial art

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Thomas A. Green

Texas A&M University, US
About Thomas
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
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Abstract

From the late 1980s, a cluster of related African-American vernacular fighting styles became a focus of contention among martial artists. Over the next twenty years, evidence drawn from popular culture, social science, and sport validated the existence of vernacular styles such as Jailhouse Rock and the 52s. This paper examines the recent ‘re-framing’ of the 52s as a heritage art, a uniquely African-American expression for cultivating health, fitness, and ethnic pride, as well as the development of a structured, culturally-based curriculum which began in order to ensure its embodied preservation.

How to Cite: Green, T.A., (2016). The fifty-two hand blocks re-framed: the rehabilitation of a vernacular martial art. Martial Arts Studies. (2), pp.23–33. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/j.2016.10062
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Published on 16 Jun 2016.
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