top of page

“Pioneer” — as a noun is defined as “a person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area.” As a verb, it means “develop or be the first to use or apply (a new method, area of knowledge, or activity).” This Via Media anthology gives the reader the experience of the explorers who went to foreign lands to discover and learn about a specific field of knowledge and skills: the Asian martial arts.


The eight chapters included here share a common root in the pioneers' desire to travel far and wide in search for practical martial arts useful in the street as well as for commando units. The pioneers discussed in this Via Media anthology experienced lives submerged in foreign cultures, lives compounded by the difficulties of communicating in foreign languages, changing diets, and often being in hostile living conditions. Their lives are far from the associations we usually associate with martial arts now steeped in pure exercise for health, or tournament competitions.


Becoming familiar with some of the Western pioneers of Asian martial arts reading this Via Media anthology will bring us back to the original reasons for learning these combatives. Their lives and experience show us how and why the more serious side of Asian fighting arts remain illusive for most who, in practice, need not confront the lethal aspects of these traditions. 

Some Western Pioneers in Asian Martial Arts

  • 6"x9" 179-page paperback, 205 illustrations

    • Ethnic Strife and the Origins of Kajukenbo, by Jeffrey Barlow, Ph.D., and Morgan Day, B.A.
    • William E. Fairbairn: British Pioneer in Asian Martial Arts, by Allen Pittman
    • An Introduction to W. Barton-Wright (1860-1951) and the Eclectic Art of Bartitsu, by Graham Noble
    • Donn F. Draeger: A Lifelong Embodiment of the Samurai Code, by Robert W. Smith, M.A.
    • Combat Wrestling: Geoghegan’s Blend from East to West, by Allen Pittman
    • Fifty Years in the Fighting Arts: An Interview with Robert W. Smith, by Russ Mason, M.A.
    • Dermot M. O’Neill:  One of the 20th Century’s Most Overlooked Combatives Pioneers, by Steven C. Brown, B.S.
    • Steve Arneil and the British Kyokushinkai – An Interview, by Graham Noble
bottom of page