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Martial Arts in Southeast Asia

martial arts mainPencak silat smallSonny Unpad smallThe malay art of self-defense smallTheater and Martial Arts - West Sumatra small

Martial Arts as Embodied KnowledgeMartial Arts as Embodied Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a Transnational World
Edited by D. S. Farrer and John Whalen Bridge
Published by State University of New York Press, 2012

This landmark work provides a wide-ranging scholarly consideration of the traditional Asian martial arts. Most of the contributors to the volume are practitioners of the martial arts, and all are keenly aware that these traditions now exist in a transnational context. The book s cutting-edge research includes ethnography and approaches from film, literature, performance, and theater studies.

Three central aspects emerge from this book: martial arts as embodied fantasy, as a culturally embedded form of self-cultivation, and as a continuous process of identity formation. Contributors explore several popular and highbrow cultural considerations, including the career of Bruce Lee, Chinese wuxia films, and Don DeLillo s novel Running Dog. Ethnographies explored describe how the social body trains in martial arts and how martial arts are constructed in transnational training. Ultimately, this academic study of martial arts offers a focal point for new understandings of cultural and social beliefs and of practice and agency.

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Theater and Martial Arts - West SumatraTheater & Martial Arts In West Sumatra: Randai and Silek of the Minangkabau
by Kirstin Pauka
Published by Ohio University Press, 1998

Randai, the popular folk theater tradition of the Minangkabau ethnic group in West Sumatra, has evolved to include influences of martial arts, storytelling, and folk songs. Theater and Martial Arts in West Sumatra describes the origin, development, and cultural background of randai and highlights two recent developments: the emergence of female performers and modern staging techniques.

This book also explores the indigenous martial arts form silek, a vital part of randai today. The strong presence of silek is illustrated in the martial focus of the stories that are told through randai, in its movement repertoire, and even in its costumes and musical accompaniment. As Kirstin Pauka shows, randai, firmly rooted in silek and Minangkabau tradition.

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Sonny UnpadSonny Umpad’s Eskrima: The Life and Teachings of a Filipino Martial Arts Master
by George M. Yore
Published by Blue Snake Books, 2012

Sonny Umpad’s Eskrima provides insight on Maestro Santiago “Sonny” Umpad’s life, philosophy, and teaching methods, as well as the structural underpinnings of his system. Born with the soul of a warrior, the intellect of a scholar, and a zealot’s devotion to his art, Maestro Santiago “Sonny” Umpad forged an enduring contribution to the rich and colorful history of Filipino martial culture. In 1976, after immigrating to the United States, Sonny founded the school of Visayan Style Corto Kadena & Larga Mano Eskrima—rooted in his training in the Philippines and tested by a hard and dangerous life on the streets, Sonny’s system was above all else practical. As Sonny’s reputation as a talented fighter became well-known, he began to cross-train with masters of other martial arts, including Jesse Glover (Bruce Lee’s first student) and Wally Jay (founder of Small Circle Jujitsu). One of the most innovative and visionary exponents of the Filipino arts, Sonny pioneered the concept of “mixed martial arts” long before the term was in use.

Instructor George Yore has assembled the writings of six of Sonny’s students (including Wade Williams, 2012 nominee for the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame) to create a biographic homage to this remarkable martial artist; basic techniques and applications are also demonstrated, accompanied by 130 step-by-step photos. Practitioners of Filipino martial arts—as well as mixed martial artists and security specialists—will find valuable instruction in techniques and applications, while the thousands of people touched by Sonny’s teachings will gain a new understanding of this notoriously reclusive master’s life—and how his experiences informed the development of his system.

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The malay art of self-defenseThe Malay Art of Self-Defense: Silat Seni Gayong
by Sheikh Shamsuddin
Published by North Aatlantic Books, 2005

Silat Seni Gayong is an art of self-defense, a fighting art but one that also emphasizes the development of the self, becoming a better person, and serving humanity. Sometimes compared to a tiger ready to devour its prey, Gayong helps practitioners develop and increase physical fitness, flexibility, mental conditioning, and self-confidence. Author Sheikh Shamsuddin, who has studied Gayong for 25 years, introduces this little-known practice to Western readers in this first book on the subject in English. The most comprehensive study in any language on Gayong and its customs, The Malay Art of Self-Defense explores in depth the system, techniques, crucial elements, and philosophies involved. Also covered are the art’s history, profiles of the most notable practitioners, and an informative Q&A collected from various martial art practitioners to expand readers’ knowledge and appreciation. Included are photos of Gayong demonstrations, traditional training centers, customs, and events.

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Pencak silatAn Indo Malay Martial Art: Pencak Silat Pertempuran
by Sean Stark
Published by Lulu Press, 2006

Pencak Silat Pertempuran’s history is rich, containing elements of Malaysian, Sumatran, Javanese, Balinese, and Maduran silat. In this book, Sean Stark introduces a series of core evasions and then proceeds to show how they lead into other actions, such as strikes, throws, and joint locks. He also demonstrates how the art employs positioning to outflank an opponent. An Indo-Malay Martial Art: Pencak Silat Pertempuran is the first book to address this particular style of Pencak Silat and detail some of its physical manifestations, theories, and principles. It is also one of a few books written in English to address pencak silat at all.

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