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Martial Arts in the Pandemic


Martin J. Meyer ,

Vechta University, DE
About Martin

Martin J. Meyer is is a lecturer at Vechta University, Germany

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Andrea Molle,

Chapman University, US
About Andrea

Andrea Molle is Assistant Professor in Political Science at Chapman University, California, where he directs the BUDO-lab.

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Benjamin N. Judkins,, US
About Benjamin

Benjamin N. Judkins is a co-editor of the journal Martial Arts Studies. His research interests include the history and globalization of Chinese martial arts and other fighting systems.

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Paul Bowman

Cardiff University, GB
About Paul

Paul Bowman is professor of cultural studies at Cardiff University, UK.

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This study examines the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on martial arts training worldwide. A mixed-method online questionnaire consisting of 28 items was used as a survey instrument. 306 martial artists responded. These were mainly from the United Kingdom, the USA, Germany, Italy and Japan. The questionnaire focused on pragmatic adaptations of training volume, training rhythm, training location, training mode (individual or group) and training methods. The survey sought to gain insights into modifications that martial artists made as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in relation to their training, curriculum, alternative fitness, strength and health activities, as well as training goals. The results suggest that the training restrictions implemented by governments in order to try to combat the pandemic transformed the practice of martial arts on a massive and fundamental scale. Specifically, they led to two seemingly opposing developments: increasing digitisation and an increased focus on the importance of embodiment. The article concludes with a suggestion that these lines of development will mould the post-pandemic landscape of martial arts.

How to Cite: Meyer, M.J., Molle, A., Judkins, B.N. and Bowman, P., 2021. Martial Arts in the Pandemic. Martial Arts Studies, 11, pp.7–31. DOI:
Published on 19 Jul 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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