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Collecting Martial Art Knowledge on Paper in Early Modern Germany and China: The Examples of Paulus Hector Mair and Qi Jiguang and their Reading in the 21st Century

Author:

Daniel Jaquet

University of Bern, CH
About Daniel
Daniel Jaquet received his PhD in Medieval History at the University of Geneva in 2013. He specializes on European Martial Arts Studies. He is currently Researcher at the University of Bern coordinating the research project, ‘Martial Culture in Medieval Towns’ (2018–2022), Head of Scientific Research and Pedagogical Activities at the Museum of the Castle of Morges, and editor of the journal Acta Periodica Duellatorum.
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Abstract

European fight books form a large corpus of printed and manuscript material from the fourteenth century onwards, and they provide a detailed view of martial arts practices. Equivalent primary sources in Asia are less numerous for the early modern period. Both scholars and martial arts practitioners have shown interest in the rediscovery of European martial arts in the globalized world of the twenty first century. The recent developments about and around European martial arts studies sweep away the notion of Asia as the exclusive cradle of globalized martial culture, as was already challenged by a growing number of scholarly investigations about their myths and origins. This article reviews the interest in European Martial Arts in Asia. It focuses on the fight book of Paulus Hector Mair (1552–56) and on an Asian counterpart, the military treatise of Qi Jiguang. The German fight book proved to be of interest to a Japanese scholar and groups of martial arts practitioners. As such, it echoes recent interest in comparative studies about fight books stemming from Asia, Europe and the Americas, but also points out potential bias.

How to Cite: Jaquet, D., 2020. Collecting Martial Art Knowledge on Paper in Early Modern Germany and China: The Examples of Paulus Hector Mair and Qi Jiguang and their Reading in the 21st Century. Martial Arts Studies, (9), pp.86–92. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/mas.101
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Published on 23 Mar 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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