In November 2001, ABC-CLIO published Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia. In 2002, New York Public Library named the book “Best of Reference,” and the Reference and User Ser- vices Association of the American Library Association named it an “Outstanding Reference Source.” After the book went out of print, the publisher asked whether we would be interested in doing a second edition. One thing led to another, and the result is this book, in which the organization is entirely different, and about 75 percent of the text is original. If the first book was so good, why did we feel the need to rewrite it? Let’s begin by discussing the organization. In Martial Arts of the World, the structure was alphabetical. This is a traditional format for an encyclopedia, but it did not seem to provide a logical way of discussing everything we wanted to discuss. The most common alternative to the alphabetical format involves arranging geographically by continent, with further subdivision by region. In the geographical format, taekwondo would appear under East Asia, while Brazilian jiu-jitsu would appear under the Americas. This second format sounds obvious until you realize that it means nothing in a global society. Using a geo- graphical format, how do you discuss capoeira in Europe or the martial arts practiced by American soldiers participating in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? We decided that it would be more logical to divide the book into two separate volumes. The first volume would be arranged geographically, while the second would be arranged topically. It was hoped that this format, which is sometimes used in social science publications, would reduce redundancy while still allowing for coordination and collaboration between entries. Changing the organizational framework also caused us to change the title to one that more accurately reflected our current editorial intent. Once that was done, we started reviewing our existing entries. Some of the entries were start- ing to show their age. Since the late 1990s, academic interest in martial art topics has boomed. Areas of interest include anthropology (martial arts as embodied culture), art history (arms and armor), how-to (kinesics, police science), literature (novels and manga), military history (Crusaders, samurai, and so on), and presentation arts (dance, theater, and the movies). Most of this work is being done within established disciplines such as anthropology, foreign language, history, kinesics, sociology, and theater. There is also serious research being undertaken in areas such as historical re-enactment. Meanwhile, the University of Bridgeport (in Connecticut) has introduced a bach- elor’s degree in martial arts, and Indiana University, Sewanee: The University of the South (in Tennessee), Texas A&M University, and the University of Maine have all developed courses that treat martial arts as primary subjects. Even more progress has been made in Europe. In Introduction
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