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How Bodybuilders, Soldiers and a Hairdresser Reinvented Martial Arts for America

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About the Book

Why do so many Americans practice martial arts? How did kung fu get its own movie genre? What makes mixed martial arts so popular? This book answers these questions for the first time with historical research.
At the turn of the 20th century, the United States enjoyed a time of prosperity but feared that men were becoming soft. At the same time, the Japanese government sponsored research to develop the best fighting techniques for its new empire. Before World War II, American men boxed and Japanese men practiced judo and karate. Postwar Americans began adopting Chinese, Brazilian, Filipino and other fighting styles, in the process establishing a masculine subculture based on physical and social power.
The rise of Asian martial arts in America is a fascinating untold story of modern history, from the origin of karate uniforms to the first martial arts themed birthday party. The cast of characters includes circus strongmen, professional cage fighters, an award winning comic book artist, the inventors of judo, aikido and Cornflakes, and Count Juan Raphael Dante, a Chicago hairdresser and used car salesman with the “Deadliest Hands in the World.” Readers will never look at taekwondo class the same way again.

About the Author(s)

Jared Miracle teaches at Ocean University of China in Qingdao. In addition to scholarly publications, he is also a frequent contributor to popular blogs and other media outlets.

Bibliographic Details

Jared Miracle
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: 13 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6350-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2446-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii
Preface 1
Introduction 4
1. The YMCA, Christian Muscle and Breakfast Cereal 17
2. Karate, Boxing and Other Japanese Creations 44
3. U.S. Occupation and a New Manly Art 71
4. In Search of the Death Touch 95
5. Bigger Muscles, Mutant Turtles and ­Cage-Fighting Philosophers 123
Conclusion 149
Chapter Notes 175
Bibliography 180
Index 187

Book Reviews & Awards

“scholarly yet accessible…. This volume deserves a spot of the shelf of any serious student of martial arts…engaging…. This book is mandatory and quite enjoyable reading for anyone interested in martial arts history”—Chinese Martial Studies.