Research in Dance and Physical Activity

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Research in Dance and Physical Activity - Vol. 7 , No. 1

[ Article ]
Research in Dance and Physical Activity - Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 11-26
ISSN: 2951-4770 (Online)
Print publication date 30 Apr 2023
Received 28 Feb 2023 Revised 10 Apr 2023 Accepted 12 Apr 2023

What is the Driving Force Behind the Globalisation of Karate? From a Chinese Viewpoint
Jinwen Xie1 ; Kyungwon Jung2, * ; Yuanyuan Cao3 ; Chang Liu4
1Waseda University, Japan, Ph.D. Candidate
2Waseda University, Japan, Research Fellow
3Waseda University, Japan, Ph.D. Candidate
4Waseda University, Japan, Assistant Professor

Correspondence to : *Email address:


Although scholars have discussed the globalisation of karate and its spread worldwide. However, the current study only discusses the spread of karate in the West through the logical reasoning of the researchers, based on scattered evidence. Thus, in this study, the authors collected 40 karate books written by Chinese people and extracted their views on it with the aim of clarifying the force responsible for the globalisation of karate from a ‘non-Western’ perspective. This study analyses their views using reflexive thematic analysis and suggests, first, the modernisation of karate was accelerated by the introduction of tournaments, and some Chinese martial artists noticed karate techniques and the rules of a contest, expecting to learn from its success. Karate became an Olympic sport in 2016, which led the Chinese to reflect on and study in depth the model of promoting the globalisation of karate. This implies that karate is recommended and actively introduced in China by the Chinese. Second, the Chinese believe that karate is a ‘one-hit kill’ (一擊必殺), implying that a single movement can kill the enemy. However, they firmly believe that the practice of karate over time not only reduces this potentially dangerous and violent nature but also promotes the health of the practitioner’s body and mind. Thus, in their perception, karate is likely to exist and function as a ‘Dao’ (道) of both the literary and martial arts.

Keywords: martial artists, sports culture, Chinese viewpoint, globalisation of karate, 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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