How about discussing real fighting - like the martial arts and

Barbara Ruth Campbell (campbell@I-2000.COM)
Tue, 5 Sep 1995 09:17:35 EDT

Still no rain here in New Jersey: Anyone know a good rain dance, spell, Taoist

To get us off the battle of egos, mind if we discuss real fighting for a change?
Foss sent a note about killing one's opponents by hitting (what I think he
thought were fictional) vital spots on the body. Well, just to show how far
I've traveled since I posted the query about the meaning of qi and my encounter
with kung fu contestants, I've been tracking down as much "stuff" on external
and internal martial arts as possible and linking the "lore" with "lore" found
in texts on medicine and religion as they are all inextricably connected.

Andrew Crawford suggested WAY back that I check out the Journal of Asian Martial
Arts and after fighting with the interlibrary loan librarians at Rutgers I
finally (after giving up and submitting my dissertation without ever getting the
articles) called up Via Media Publishing in Erie, Penn. and purchased the entire
print run.

Well, fellow anthropology majors and profs., if you really want to "get even",
try reading:

Zarrilli, Phillip. (1992). To heal and/or to harm: The Vital Spots
(Marmmam/Varmam) in two south Indian martial traditions: Part I: Focus on
Kerala's Kalarippayattu. Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp.

Not only are there GREAT photos of what you can do to an opponent with a club
but there are charts (similar to acupuncture point charts) of where you can
kick, punch, or direct one's energy to dispatch your enemies. Nice map too.

This journal is quite impressive. Well written articles, great illustrations
and lots and lots and lots of footnotes. Details on the authors who are well
qualified scholars who I sincerely DOUBT would put up with the dribble we've
been putting up with!

Part II appears in Vol. 1, No. 2 pp. 1-15. The title change is simply:

Part II: Focus on the Tamil art of Varma Ati

The rest of the articles are just as fascinating. Some are real page turners
and should get our minds focused on how to really fight the fight!

Best wishes to all of us for surviving an intellectual dry spell!


P.S. If you haven't seen the magazine Qi: The Jouranl of Traditional Eastern
Health & Fitness (ISBN 1056-4004) that's another interesting one.

The Autumn 1995 Vol. 5, No. 3 issue arrived Friday and there's a great article
by Andrew Nugent-Head, Culutral Consultant and translator who's lived in China
since 1987:

Sacred Mt. Wutai and the Three Bridges of Reality

Very interesting article on how foreigners keep searching for what although he
doesn't call it this, a kind of shangrila - a monastery filled with sacred texts
and monks like the ones portrayed in Carradine's Kung Fu programs and films.

Nugent-Head makes the observation that not all monks are serious about Buddhism
and goes into a bit of the history of how people ended up at the monasteries
over time. Might enlighten some of us as to what drew some of us into
anthropology and why we are all so appalled at the ignominious behavior
displayed by some compared to the saintly bookwormish behavior of others
Now if only I can memorize the acupuncture points in the lung meridian so I can
do the whole qigong exercise without having to stop and refer to the manual!


Barbara Ruth Campbell, Ph.D.
Westfield, New Jersey 07090

"Sensitivity to the role of paradigms in our
perception can be an important tool in problem
solving. Once we know that all our problems
cannot be solved within the frame of a current
paradigm, then it is sometimes possible to solve
a problem by reframing its terms" - Schwartz
and Ogilvy, 1979.