Philosophy, phenomenology and martial arts: A review study on international works

Main Article Content

Marcelo Alberto de Oliveira
Ana Cristina Zimmermann


This study aims to present the main international scientific articles found in the literature that establish associations between philosophy, phenomenology, martial arts and Karate. The time cut was extended from 1993 to 2017 given the results collected. The methodology used for the accomplishment of this work was a bibliographical review made from the Portal of Periodicals CAPES / MEC (Sucupira) and specific websites of some periodicals. The keywords used were: philosophy, phenomenology, martial arts, karate. In this context, thirteen articles were found in the literature. The study collaborates with the scientific literature bringing a panorama of the area in which it encompasses researches in martial arts from the perspective of phenomenology.


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2 Gil AC. O projeto na pesquisa fenomenológica. IV Seminário Internacional de Pesquisa e Estudos Qualitativos; 9-11 outubro 2010. Rio Claro, SP. Anais.

3 Zimmermann AC, Saura SC. Corpo e espanto na filosofia de Merleau-Ponty. In: Merleau-Ponty e a Educação Física. São Paulo: Liber Ars; 2019. p. 119–32.

4 Barreira CRA. O sentido do Karate-Do: Faces históricas, psicologicas e fenomenológicas. Rio de Janeiro: E-papers; 2013. 

5 Telles TCB. Corpo a corpo: Um estudo fenomenológico no karate, na capoeira e no MMA [tese]. São Paulo: Universidade de São Paulo; 2018.

6 Valério PHM, Barreira CRA. O sentido vivido da capoeira: Cmplicidade, risco, autenticidade e criatividade. Rev Bras Psicol do Esporte. 2016, 6(1):88–108.

7 Oliveira MA, Zimmermann AC. Tradição, técnica e estética: Análise fenomenológica sobre a experiência do karateca. XX Congr Bras Ciências do Esporte e VII Congr Int Ciências do Esporte [Internet]. Goiânia, Goiás; 2017; Available from:

8 Lage V, Gonçalves Jr. L. Karatê-Do: Como própria vida. Motriz. 2007;13(1):33–42.

9 Silva LAN, Nóbrega TP. A intercorporeidade no taekwondo. In: IO Caminha IO, Nóbrega TP (Org.). Merleau-Ponty e a Educação Física. São Paulo: Liber Ars; 2019. p. 143–160.

10 Thomas JR., Nelson JK., Silverman SJ. Métodos de pesquisa em atividades físicas. Porto Alegre: Artmed; 2012.

11 Columbus PJ, Rice D. Phenomenological meanings of martial arts participation. J Sport Behav. 1998;21(1):16–29.

12 Zienowicz A, Parzelski D, Budnik-Przybylska D. The attitude of the coach to the philosophy of karate and his system of values and attitudes and value systems of its students. J Educ Heal Sport. 2015;5(9):149–69.

13 Light RL. Mushin and learning in and beyond budo. Ido Mov Cult. 2014;14(3):42–8.

14 Michal P. The Reception of G. Funakoshi’s Philosophy in Traditional Karate (ITKF) Circle in Lublin Region. Res J Budo. 2013;46.

15 Toth R. Historias de la Meibukan Gojyu Ryu Karate según Yagi Meitatsu. Rev Artes Marciales Asiáticas. 2007;2(3):76–89.

16 Paul A. Body Wisdom: The Way of Karate. South Atl Q. 2006; 105:397–407.

17 Jones GW, Mackay KS, Peters DM. Participation motivation in martial artists in the West Midlands region of England. J Sport Sci Med. 2006;5(CSSI-1):28–34.

18 Tuckett J. Kendo: between “religion†and “nationalism.†J Study Relig Ideol. 2016; 15(44):27.

19 Hsu L, Ilundáin-Agurruza J. On the compatibility between confucianism and modern olympism. J Chinese Philos. 2016;2:103–23.

20 Barreira CRA. The essences of martial arts and corporal fighting: A classical phenomenological analysis. Arch Budo - Philos. 2017;13:351–76.

21 Pfister LF. Resenha “Striking Beauty: A Philosophical Look at the Asian Martial Arts†de Allen Barry (2015). J Aesthet Art Crit. 2017;3:100–2.

22 Cox JC. Traditional Asian martial arts training: A review. Quest. 1993;45(3):366–88.

23 Messaoud W Ben. Karate, and the perception of the sport. Ido Mov Cult J Martial Arts Anthropol. 2016;16(3):47–56.

24 Barry A. Striking Beauty: A philosophical look at the Asian martial arts. Columbia: University Press; 2015. 

Article Details

Original Article
Author Biographies

Marcelo Alberto de Oliveira, University of Sao Paulo

He is currently a Master's student in Physical Education and Sports from the University of São Paulo (USP); Graduated in Physical Education from the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR); Former Japanese government fellow - attended International Development through Sport (IDS) at Tsukuba Summer Institute (TSI) at Tsukuba University (Japan); Member of the PULA Study Group and the Group of Olympic Studies (GEO), both linked to the Center for Sociocultural Studies of the Human Movement (CESC) of the School of Physical Education and Sport (EEFE) of USP; Partner of the Brazilian College of Sports Sciences (CBCE); Technician of the Karate Team of the Faculty of Law of USP; His main fields of research are Philosophy, History, Psychology and Sociology, all focusing on Sport; His main research object is Karate-Do in Brazil.

Ana Cristina Zimmermann, University of Sao Paulo

She holds a degree in Physical Education from the Federal University of Santa Maria (1995), specialization in Recreation, Leisure and Socio-Cultural Animation by the State University of Londrina (1997), and a Master's degree in Physical Education by the Federal University of Santa Catarina / UFSC (2001). PhD in Education from USFC (2010), with internship abroad (Capes / PDEE Grant), University of Nottingham. It works with Higher Education in Physical Education, with emphasis on Physical School Education and socio-cultural and philosophical dimensions of the movement. She is currently a professor at the School of Physical Education and Sports of the University of São Paulo, coordinator of the degree in Physical Education. Advisor to the Graduate Program in Physical Education and Sport EEFE / USP in the area of ​​"Sociocultural and Behavioral Studies of Physical Education and Sport", in the FEUSP Postgraduate Program in Education in the area of ​​"Culture, Philosophy and History of Education ?. She is a member of the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on the Safeguarding and Promotion of Traditional Sports and Games, UNESCO.