Sects and violence : development of an inclusive taxonomy to hermeneutically explore the histo-philosophical motivators for the inception and development of the martial art, Wing Chun Kue

  • S. R. Buckler

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Martial arts participation rates exceed those reported for a number of higher-profile physical activities (Sport England, 2002), however little research has been conducted to investigate the purported motivation and benefits participants derive (e.g. Jones, McKay and Peters, 2006; Ko, Kim and Valacich, 2010). A specific area often discussed is the notion of personal growth (Ko et al., 2010), either through a form of psychotherapy (e.g. Monahan, 2007),
    extenuating what may be deemed positive personality attributes (e.g. Kurian, Caterion and Kulhavy, 1993), lowering depression (e.g. Bodin and Martinsen, 2004), reducing aggression (e.g. Twemlow, Sacco and Fonagy, 2008) or reducing stress (e.g. Yan and Downing, 1998). Such personal growth is deemed to be transformatory in nature (e.g. Lancaster, 2004; Luskin, 2004; Hartelius, Caplan and Rardin, 2007).

    Due to issues of generalisability within martial arts research (e.g. Jones et al., 2006), one style which has lacked a tradition of academic research has been selected for a case study. Wing Chun is a unique style, developing exponentially over the past forty years: a style which retains its fighting heritage, utilising exclusive training methods (e.g. Rawcliffe, 2003). Given the pragmatic nature of Wing Chun, an hermeneutic approach has been adopted to investigate the histo-philosophical motivation for the inception of the style to
    provide a context from which to explore current participant motivation.

    Initially, an inclusive theoretical taxonomy has been developed for subsequent analysis. This hermeneutic analysis has been conducted through the development of a 360 degree mixed-methodological approach (e.g. Tashakkori and Teddlie, 2008) utilising exploratory and explanatory stages (e.g. Creswell
    and Plano-Clark, 2007) to ascertain the validity of the taxonomy. Findings are subsequently discussed in relation to the mixed-methodological approach.

    From the taxonomy, a proposal is that an inherent link exists between the development of a better fighter and a better person while implying that the martial arts are a person-centred transformatory practice.
    Date of Award2010
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorPaul Castle (Supervisor) & Derek M. Peters (Supervisor)

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