I’ve noticed that while Asian fighting styles tend to viewed as martial “arts”, European fighting systems tend to be described more in a more scientific light (“scientific boxing”, fencing, etc.). Which view do you tend to prefer?

I prefer to avoid indulging in Orientalism as much as possible. Here’s the thing, maybe it’s because, literally, all my hand to hand training has come from cops, but physics, physiology, and psychology have been just as important in explaining all of it.

Now, Orientalism itself is a practice of ascribing mystic qualities to Middle Eastern and Asian culture and societies. This includes the general idea that Asian martial arts are somehow not as scientific as European ones.

If you really want to dig into this more, Edward Said originated the term. His book on the subject, conveniently titled Orientalism, is a fairly fundamental text in the field of post-colonial studies.

-Starke

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