Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

Abstract - Professors of martial arts. Holders of this title in martial arts science

Background. The following text is a reflection on martial arts masters holding the title Professor and written from the point of view of the Humanistic Theory of Martial Arts and the Anthropology of Martial Arts.
Objectives and Aims. This paper is concerned with the area of “martial arts science” or the “science of martial arts” and of being an expert in this field, particularly when the expert is styled “Professor”. The following questions were considered and analysed: How should the experts be evaluated and chosen, and how should the highest titles be awarded? According to what criteria? Who are the specialists, the holders of the title Professor currently operating in the field of science and martial arts?
Method. Content analysis and an analysis of discourse were used. The sources of knowledge included: subject literature, popular publications and observation of participants in scientific and martial arts circles by the authors of this paper. To be considered a martial arts expert, the following evaluation criteria were adopted: 1) speciality/specialisation and achievements (both scientific and in popularising martial arts); 2) academic degrees and titles; 3) martial arts degrees and titles; 4) scientific position (organising regular events, having a role in international organizations, editing specialist magazines); and 5) awards and decorations. The analysis was restricted to people currently active in both environments.
Results. The paper analyses the cases of contemporary, active experts who have been honoured with the title of Professor, as outstanding practitioner-masters of martial arts. In this group there are only a few people who hold both the position, and academic title Professor. Most academic martial arts researchers work in the field of sport science.
Conclusions. Only two Europeans meet the criteria of holding both the highest degrees of a master while at the same time being Professors of sports science. Seven Europeans have been awarded the title Professor of martial arts and they are all working to develop the institutional side of the science and history of martial arts.