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Chinese Archery is a broad view of traditional archery in China as seen through the eyes of historians philosophers poets artists novelists and strategists from 1500 BC until the present century The book is written around parallel text translations of classical chinese sources some famous and some little known in which Chinese writers give vivid and detailed explanations of the techniues of bow building archery and crossbow techniue over the centuries The author is both a sinologist and practising archer his translations make the original Chinese texts accessible to the non specialist Written for readers who may never have picked up a book about China but still containing a wealth of detail for Chinese scholars the book brings the fascinating history of Chinese archery back to life through the voices of its most renowned practitionersChinese Archery is a broad view of traditional archery in China as seen through the eyes of historians philosophers poets artists novelists and strategists from 1500 BC until the present century The book is written around parallel text translations of classical chinese sources some famous and some little known in which Chinese writers give vivid and detailed explanations of the techniues of bow building archery and crossbow techniue over the centuries The author is both a sinologist and practising archer his translations make the original Chinese texts accessible to the non specialist Written for readers who may never have picked up a book about China but still containing a wealth of detail for Chinese scholars the book brings the fascinating history of Chinese archery back to life through the voices of its most renowned practitionersChinese Archery is a broad view of traditional archery in China as seen through the eyes of historians philosophers poets artists novelists and strategists from 1500 BC until the present century The book is written around parallel text translations of classical chinese sources some famous and some little known in which Chinese writers give vivid and detailed explanations of the techniues of bow building archery and crossbow techniue over the centuries The author is both a sinologist and practising archer his translations make the original Chinese texts accessible to the non specialist Written for readers who may never have picked up a book about China but still containing a wealth of detail for Chinese scholars the book brings the fascinating history of Chinese archery back to life through the voices of its most renowned practitioners


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  1. says:

    Correct contextual knowledge regarding traditional Chinese martial arts is not readily available for the general reader With the proliferation of modern commercially inspired leisure activities disguised as 'martial arts' Selby's reliable research gathered mostly in China and translated from Chinese texts old and new offers an insight into a martial art archery that is than just a set of physical exercises Archery like any traditional Chinese martial art is imbued from start to finish with a lavish Chinese cultural view of the world Selby does not attempt to interpret an activity that originated outside of the West through a biased Eurocentric perspective that is common nowadays in many martial arts books claiming authority upon the subject Although unmistakenly 'academic' in nature nevertheless Selby's work is presented in an easily accessible format that is logical and clear The text may assist both the beginner and advanced reader equallyThe paperback 2006 edition contains 418 numbered pages and consists of 13 chapters proper a Preface an Epilogue and a number of addition texts designed to assist the reader acquire background knowledge suitable to the subject The chapters are1 Introduction2 The Legendary Archer Hereos3 The Archer's Magic4 The Archers' Rituals5 The Confucian Ideal6 Bows Arrows and Targets7 Fact Fiction and Stranger Yet8 The Crossbow and Other Forms9 China's Middle Ages10 China Shared11 Action and Overreaction The Ming Dynasty12 The Transition from Ming to Qing13 The Final YearsSince 1949 mainland Chinese culture has undergone a tremendous distruction and reconstruction Selby states in the Preface'In 1800 traditional archery held a much stronger place as a gentlemanly sport in China than it did in England Yet now traditional forms of archery and bow making are a popular hobby and sport in the English speaking world while in China no one remembers how to pull a traditional bow let alone make one'As a consequence Selby's research begins from the earliest time of recordable Chinese history and continues up until 1950 After this time the Chinese government embarked upon a radical movement away from ancient tradition This is a fascinating text Selby invariably provides ample Chinese references and texts impeccably translated in correct English There is a sense of immense depth of culture throughout the book that is inspiring to encounter It is one of those rare books that tends to transcend its subject matter Perfect