The oriental martial arts tend to be viewed as having deep, mysterious significance and secret, occult practices. An adept in a martial art is supposed to be not only an expert in combat but also a spiritual master, worthy of assuming a religious status for his students. Much of what is written under the name of "philosophy of the martial arts" emphasizes these characteristics, and makes claims about the results of martial arts training that may well perplex an outsider. We propose to examine three of these claims in such a way that they become intelligible, and are put in terms compatible with the Western philosophical tradition. The task that we set ourselves, then, is not so much to assess the truth of these claims, as to determine and to explain what claims are being made, and what their justifications might be. We seek to show that, although some of the experiences that a person in the martial arts may have may be esoteric, the comprehension of claims made about these experiences need not be. We shall, thus, try to make a start at bringing what is called the philosophy of the martial arts out of a close connection with near mystic insight into a more public domain in which philosophical issues in the martial arts can be discussed in a way compatible with Western philosophy
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00948705.1977.10654128
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,355
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Sport; a Philosophic Inquiry.Paul Weiss - 1969 - Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
Zen in the Art of Archery.Eugen Herrigel & R. F. C. Hull - 1955 - Philosophy East and West 5 (3):263-264.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Towards A Western Philosophy of the Eastern Martial Arts.Allan Bäck & Daeshik Kim - 1979 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 6 (1):19-28.
The Zen Way to the Martial Arts.S. K. Wertz - 1984 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 11 (1):94-103.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
94 ( #125,802 of 2,519,516 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #271,332 of 2,519,516 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes