This section on Martial Arts Biographies is a who's who in martial arts. It is designed to give perspectives that should lead to further breadth and depth. The lists are by no means complete and obviously the lists reflects my particular interests. There are serious martial artists listed as well as actors, showmen, historians, strategists, etc.

A common Western convention is to present the given name first and then the family name (EG: George Hernandez). A common Eastern convention is to present family name first and then given name (EG: Hernandez George). Since presenting the family name followed by a comma followed by the given name is unambiguous (EG: Hernandez, George), I will use that method for listing both Western and Eastern names in this section. In the main text I will use the Western or Eastern convention as applicable. Of course, some names may not fit into the model of family name followed by given name.

I have merged my material on period manuals here. [I am in the middle of merging my material on martial books here as well.] In the case of works by anonymous, the name of the piece will be given instead of the author.

Period manuals are documents of pre-modern martial art systems. Pre-Medieval period manuals are rare (a matter of archaeological survival, the absence of printing technology, prioritizing reproductions, etc.), but the Medieval and Renaissance periods are richer in period manuals. There are both Western and Eastern period manuals, but obviously Western manuals are more accessible to Westerners. With the development of the gun, the split between martial and military grew and fewer martial arts manuals were created. The late 1900s saw a revival of martial arts that continues today. Modern modern arts documents can be good but are largely civilian in nature as opposed to the period manuals which were civilian and military. Martial arts also survives by practice —through schools, "forms" (plays, katas, etc.), and oral traditions. Period manuals need to be studied by martial artists and not just academic scholars, but care must be taken to see the period manuals in historical context and also without too much reading into the works.

Each section is ordered by roughly by date of birth or publication unless otherwise marked.

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