David Brown, George Jennings, Lorenzo Pedrini

Introduction

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Body; Combat; Culture; Identity; Structuration; Change; Globalisation; Reinvention.

As well as introducing the articles in the ERQ special issue on «Cultures of Combat. Body, Culture, Identity», this extended editorial provides a conceptual discussion of the idea of cultures of combat and how, through these, embodied cultural identities emerge. First we highlight a composite term «cultures of combat» as an alternative way of articulating the common ground between martial arts cultures and combat sports. In so doing, we identify the «body problem» of interpersonal physical conflict as universally experienced, which gives rise to particularised cultures of combat emerging as solutions to this problem across culture and history. Following this, we bring together the largely parallel literatures of physical culture and body cultures to highlight their combined importance in understanding how we might study cultures of combat. Finally, we consider the diffusion of cultures of combat through mobility, globalisation, glocalisation and reinvention. These dynamics help explain the transformation of cultures of combat and the identities emerging from them across time and space.

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