For over two decades, the “Journal of Asian Martial Arts” inspired scholarship in the field of martial arts, setting a high standard for academic articles on a variety of Asian martial art traditions and practices. Now, as JAMA fades from news stands, we are offered this final Swan Song to celebrate tribute to the “Journal of Asian Martial Arts.”
Asian Martial Arts: Constructive Thoughts & Practical Applications edited by Michael A. DeMarco is the farewell Swan Song to the highly regarded quarterly publication. This attractive and important book contains nine articles by leading martial art scholars covering history, media, healing, and spiritual and combative components along with twenty-seven articles by renowned masters demonstrating their favorite techniques and offering practice tips.
The beginning articles share constructive thoughts not only on a variety of martial art topics, but how JAMA influenced and chronicled academic research and practical application in the arts for the last 20 years. Each author offers tribute and information that combines for thought inspiring reading. The twenty-seven technique articles share from a plethora of different styles, and include personal stories from the authors on where they learned or why they like the chosen techniques, along with illustrative pictures.
Now, even though there is description and photographs, this book really isn’t a book to purchase to learn techniques. Rather, I think it is an important book to read to familiarize yourself with the variety of arts and methods that make up Asian martial arts in whole. Because of space limitations, some of the techniques would be difficult to learn from just the descriptions and pictures provided, but to gain a sense or feel for what these different arts offer and contain, the descriptions and photographs do a very good job.
I read this book slowly, savoring a chapter or two each day. I found it engaging, informative, inspiring, and thought provoking. And, I have to admit, at times I felt sad that the “Journal” will be no more. I want to commend and thank Michael A. DeMarco for his years of service to the arts by being at the helm of the “Journal of Asian Martial Arts,” and for putting together this capstone to the exemplary contribution Via Media Publishing and the eighty-one issues of JAMA made to the martial arts world.
I highly recommend this book to all martial artists. Read it, savor it, and recognize the great and vast amount of learning we can all do, and how we can share at the highest levels, just as has been done for twenty years through the publication this book pays tribute to.
The book can be ordered from Via Media Publishing.