Algorithms and Hand Combat
This essay began as a thought experiment. After that it evolved into a real experiment. It is not a terribly scientific exercise, certainly not the sort of thing that involves actual databases and statistical analysis. Still, it might be heuristically useful as we attempt to unravel some questions about the place of the martial arts in modern society. Specifically, in a crowded marketplace, how do people go about deciding which martial art to study? In what way do popular culture representations of these practices (often created by non-practitioners) play a role in this?
As I mulled over the kernels of these questions it occurred to me increasingly its not just film directors, comic book artists or video game designers who are creating pop-culture impressions of the martial arts. It may not even be human…
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