Podcast 46: Philosophy of Martial Arts and Chivalry

Scott speaks with Prof. Damon Young, philosopher and senior editor of the book Martial Arts And Philosophy (part of the Pop Culture & Philosophy series from Open Court Books) about the chapter Sir Aristotle And The Code Of Chivalry (written and contributed by Scott himself) as the two compare notes about their respective combative disciplines (Prof. Young is a karate enthusiast; Scott practices and teaches Western martial arts) and the philosophical and moral codes behind them.

Plus: A conversation with author, performer and human-rights activist Helie Lee about her six-month experiment living as a man and what she discovered about “gentlemanly behavior” and the practices of chivalry; and more of your Lines Of Chivalry in our listener challenge.

Quicklinks — Learn more about the books and programs mentioned in this episode of the podcast with the following links:

Segment 1: Help Us Meet Our 50 By 50 Supporter Goal

Click on the image above for a closer look at the great collection of appreciation gifts available to Chivalry Today supporters in our 50 By 50 donor drive.

The Chivalry Today Podcast is made possible solely by the voluntary support of our listeners. But we can’t continue to provide the show without your help, so we’re calling on all listeners to contribute to the program to keep the podcast going. We need 50 supporters (at any contribution level) before our 50th episode – or show number 50 will be the last Chivalry Today Podcast. Will you help us?

It doesn’t matter what amount you contribute – anything from $1 to $200 (or more) will help us meet our goal. However, there are some outstanding appreciation gifts offered at certain levels of contribution.

For a contribution of $25, you can:

  • Choose either a T-shirt (pictured at right) or a travel mug with the Chivalry Today logo;

For a $45 contribution, you get:

  • Both the T-shirt and the travel mug;

For a $100 contribution*, you’ll receive:

  • Malory’s Morte D’Arthur: A New Modern English Translation by Prof. Dorsey Armstrong, from Parlor Press,
  • DVD: German Medieval Martial Arts Vol. 1 – The Poleaxe from Freelance Academy Press,
  • A Norman Short Sword limited edition wooden waster (practice sword) from Purpleheart Armoury

For a $150 contribution*, you’ll receive all three of the above items, plus:

  • Martial Arts And Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness from Open Court Books, (signed by contributing editor Scott Farrell),
  • A T-shirt with the Chivalry Today Logo,
  • A Chivalry Today logo travel mug.

And if you join our Royal Circle and make a $200 contribution*, you’ll get all of the items above, plus:

Use the red Piggy Bank button above to make your contribution of these (or any) amount, and the appropriate thank-you gift will be sent directly to you.

(*Appreciation packages at these levels are limited in quantity. In the event that we run out of appreciation gifts, Chivalry Today’s staff will contact you before your donation is processed.)

Segment 2: Interview with Prof. Damon Young, senior editor of Martial Arts And Philosophy

Prof. Damon Young

Damon Young is professor of philosophy at the University of Melbourne, and senior editor of the book Martial Arts And Philosophy.

Scott and Prof. Young share their thoughts on the tradition of using martial arts as a means of exploring the philosophical principles of humility, courtesy, justice, fair play and chivalry as they talk about Confucius, Plato, Buddha, Nietzsche, C.S. Lewis and Sir Lancelot, along with the many concepts (and misconceptions) that can be learned as you attempt to master the martial arts in a variety of disciplines, from karate or kung fu, to boxing or wrestling, to the emerging sport of Western martial arts.

Segement 3: Macho (And Chivalrous) Like Me: A Conversation With Helie Lee

Macho Like Me Promotional PosterAfter rebelling against her traditional Korean upbringing (and the restrictive cultural roles it placed on women), writer and human rights activist Helie Lee (author of Still Life With Rice and In The Absence Of Sun) decided to cut her hair, put on jeans and a T-shirt, and move out of her home to experience what she thought would be the “easy life” — living as a man. Her six-month experiment gave her a whole new perspective on the roles, responsibilities and liberties associated with masculinity, including many of the customs associated with the manners of gentlemanly chivalry. Her experiences are chronicled in her one-woman show Macho Like Me, and she joins Scott to talk about what men and women alike can learn about chivalry by seeing the roles and relationships from the other side of the gender aisle. (Even if you’re not going to spend months cross-dressing!)

Below: Watch the trailer for Macho Like Me.

Next month: Scott will be joined by Prof. Dorsey Armstrong, editor and translator of the new book Malory’s Morte D’Arthur: A New Modern English Translation, to talk about the work of updating the language of the 15th century tales of Camelot and the relevance of the lore of the Round Table in today’s world.