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Journal of Asian Martial Arts - Articles
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The Martial Arts Business Arena

By Andrew Tharp, Ph.D., H. Richard Friman, Ph.D., Yong Jae Ko, Ph.D., and Jin Bang Yang, Ph.D.



The Martial Arts Business Arena
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The Martial Arts Business Arena

Martial art business-related aspects are found at the base level in individual schools and mushroom to a global level in international organizations. This anthology includes writings by professionals who offer information and insights into the financial side of the martial arts. Chapters focus on related practical matters as profit, politics and investment.

In the first chapter, Dr. Richard Friman asks: If the martial arts are supposed to offer paths to personal growth and enlightenment, why are they, in practice, plagued with displays of rampant egos, politics, and battles over turf by their practitioners? The experience of instruction in the United States suggests that the pursuit of the arts is becoming lost in the pursuit of profit. 

The next chapter by Dr. Yong Jae Ko presents the evolution of the martial arts industry into a global consumer products industry and examines the application of modern business techniques on this industry, with a particular focus on marketing strategy. It also discusses future opportunities and challenges facing the martial arts industry, and offers helpful suggestions.

In the following chapter, Dr. Ko and coauthor Dr. Jin Bin Yang discuss the global expansion and integration of Asian martial arts. Such factors as sportification and standardization are closely examined as significant driving forces for the growth of the martial arts industry. This chapter also examines important issues influencing the development and the martial arts’ industry future growth.

The final chapter by Andrew Tharp presents the history that influenced the value of Japanese swords as works of art. The Japanese have created a legal system that has preserved their historical weapons in a way no other society has done. Historical sources and current statutes will show how the Japanese created a monopoly that successfully conserved their culture for future generations. Although this Japanese phenomenon is extraordinary, it also serves to show possibilities for those interested in investing in weaponry from other cultures and augments our appreciation of militaria for their aesthetics. 

Reading this anthology will help martial art students better understand differences between traditional schools and those that focus solely on profit. Owners can deepen their business acumen and utilize information provided in these chapters to shape their schools’ program. Of course many are influenced by martial art organizations that may be established on a local level, national or international. As an addition to your regular studies of martial art techniques and traditions, the information you’ll find here can certainly broaden one’s view of the martial arts as a business arena.


Author Bio:

H. Richard Friman, Ph.D. is Eliot Fitch Professor for International Studies, Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Center for Transnational Justice at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His current research focuses on the intersection of the licit and illicit global economies. He earned his Ph.D. in government from Cornell University. Dr. Friman has over forty years of training in the martial arts in both the United States and Japan. During 1994-95, he was a visiting Fulbright Scholar with the National Research Institute of Police Science of the National Police Agency in Tokyo, Japan.

• Yong-jae Ko, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of the sport management program at University of Florida. He has been involved in numerous research projects that relate to consumer behavior and event marketing in the context of sport and martial arts. He routinely serves on various committees and advisory boards in national and international sport organizations. He has over twenty-eight years of teaching and coaching experiences in taekwondo and holds a 5th-dan black belt degree.

• Andrew Tharp, Ph.D. holds a bachelor’s of science in business from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, and a Certificate in Martial Arts from the Indiana University School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. In addition, he received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. He earned his Moniteur d’Escrime (sabre) from the United States Fencing Coaches Association and the Académie d’Armes Internationale in 2007. His primary focus in his undergraduate martial arts work was weapon based combat. The senior fencing instructor for Indiana University, Andrew, is also an avid sword collector, and has published articles on sword collecting, western martial arts.

• Jin-bang Yang, Ph.D. is a professor in Yong In University’s Taekwondo Competition Program in S. Korea. He received his Ph.D. from University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Physical Education) in 1996. His seminal work on taekwondo history is regarded as the highest impact scholarly work in this subject. Dr. Yang has been working for Kukkiwon and Korea Taekwondo Association as a director and executive member. In 1990s, Dr. Yang introduced taekwondo to many Chinese when he was a faculty member of Beijing University. Today, he is known as “the Father of Taekwondo in China.”


Product Specifications:

Format: 6" x 9" paperback, 59 pages, 20 illustrations.

Books are "print-on-demand". We send orders to an Amazon.com company to print and mail to customers. They usually ship within one to three weeks.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Blinded by the Light: Politics and Profit in the Martial Artsby H. Richard Friman, Ph.D. 
  • Martial Arts Marketing: Putting the Customer First, by Yong Jae Ko, Ph.D.
  • The Globalization of Martial Arts: The Change of Rules for New Markets, by Yong-jae Ko, Ph.D. and Jin-bang Yang, Ph.D.
  • Nihonto: A Legal Perspective on Japanese Swords and Their Intrinsic Value, by Andrew Tharp, Ph.D.