Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

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Abstract - Attractiveness of a martial arts Grand Master in Tourism

Background. The theoretical perspective or scientific framework for the considerations undertaken here is jointly and complementarily created by the General Theory of Fighting Arts (GTFA), the sociology / anthropology of culture, and the theoretical concept of “martial arts tourism”.
Problem. Can we consider the person of a martial arts master and his mastery in terms of tourist attractiveness as a magnet attracting enthusiasts? How can we evaluate this attractiveness and what is its source?
Method. Three qualitative research methods – analytical (analysis of the content of the literature on the subject), analysis of the content of mass media (film, books and popular magazines, internet content), the author’s own long-term participant observation, and autoethnography were used.
Results. Criteria for the tourist attractiveness of a champion have been established. Significant examples from different countries are shown, which are illustrative of the issue under consideration. The source of the attractiveness of masters-teachers is especially their authenticity (which applies to both mastery and the martial arts taught) and the high level of teaching.
Conclusions. The number of student-tourists coming to a master’s school or to their seminars is a significant criterion of attractiveness. It is undoubtedly very important for commercial success and participation in the martial arts tourism market. On the other hand, in order to build a school and organization, it is no less important to train future master teachers well. Years of constant cooperation between the master and the student are an indicator of this.