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Two course offerings on East Asian Martial Arts for Fall 2015!

HIST 1990

HIST 1990: Marital Arts in Practice

Professor TJ Hinrichs (History)

Wednesdays, 6:00-7:00pm

Wendy Purcell Lounge, Robert Purcell Community Center, 3rd floor

People study martial arts (however defined) in order to develop and hone fighting/self-defense skills, for fitness, and for fun.  People find (and some insist on) other values in martial arts practice, for example mutual support and respect, personal growth, kinetic/aesthetic pleasure, and spiritual transformation.  Some martial artists also place great importance on their art's history and traditions.  Historically, how have such disparate goals and values come to be associated with the pursuit of fighting skills?  Contemporaneously, what meanings do participants attach to martial arts?  How does social position, including gender and age, play out in practice?  


HIST 2960: History of East Asian Martial Arts

Professor TJ Hinrichs (History)

Mondays/Wednesdays, 2:55pm-4:10pm

Uris Hall 202

East Asian martial arts are often portrayed as ancient, timeless, and even mystical, but they have a history. In this course we explore how military techniques intended for use in war, policing, and banditry came to be practiced as methods of moral, spiritual, and physical self-cultivation. We examine the historical dynamics that shape martial arts transformation, transmission, and spread. All students conduct at least one field trip to a local martial arts demonstration or school, and consider the question: "What is East Asian about East Asian martial arts in Ithaca?"