Paul Bowman

Paul Bowman is an accomplished academic, currently serving as Deputy Head of School and a Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Cardiff. With a focus on cultural theory and popular culture, Bowman has been the Director of the Martial Arts Studies Research Network since 2015, organizing international conferences, launching the Martial Arts Studies Podcast, and publishing the journal “Martial Arts Studies.” His latest monograph, “The Invention of Martial Arts,” published by Oxford University Press in December 2020, showcases his expertise in the field. Bowman is a staunch supporter of open access research, contributing significantly to the establishment of Cardiff University Press. As an educator, he teaches modules on film, cultural theory, and media culture, while also supervising MA dissertations and PhD projects on diverse topics. His leadership extends to roles such as Director of the Media, Culture, and Creativity Research Group within JOMEC, reflecting his dedication to advancing cultural and martial arts studies through research, publishing, and academic leadership.

Waldo Brandt

Waldo Brandt, born in 1962, began his martial arts journey in 1975 with Shotokan Karate. Over the years, he diversified his training, including Aikido and Boxing, earning recognition as Niedersachsenmeister. From 1981 to 1989, he focused on Judu, Karate, and Boxing with the Trainingsgemeinschaft Judu. Waldo’s expertise spans Wing Tsun, Kali Jun Fan, Shooto, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, with notable trainers such as Rick Faye, Erik Paulson, and Dan Inosanto.

As a coach since 1981, Waldo has accumulated over 18 years of training with Rick Young and Larry Hartsell. In 2019, he achieved the Purple Belt level under Wim Deputter. Waldo is associated with a training school in Holzerode, and his extensive experience is detailed on his webpage.

Martin Minarik

Since April 2023, Martin Minarik has served as a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer at the University of Göttingen Institute for Sports Science/Department for Sociology of Sports and Health. He earned his PhD in Sports Sociology from Hamburg University in 2020, focusing on the performativity of norms, values, and ideals in Taekwondo practice in South Korea. Martin’s current research revolves around East Asian Martial Arts, exploring their connections with cultural history, collective identities, pedagogical applications, and political utilization. Beyond his academic pursuits, Martin actively practices and teaches martial arts.

Max Ryyänen

As a Helsinki-based scholar and writer born in 1972, he is currently the Principal Lecturer at Aalto University’s school of ARTS. Specializing in (extended) aesthetics, film studies, theoretical cultural studies, and intellectual/cultural history, he brings a diverse professional background in performing arts, gallery management, critique, essays, fiction, and art writing. His interdisciplinary approach combines German phenomenology, Italian hermeneutics, the Frankfurt School, pragmatist aesthetics, and elements from East European semiotics and classical Indian philosophy. Publications include “On The Philosophy of Central European Art” (Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield 2020) and “Bodily Engagements with Film, Images and Tech: Somavision” (Routledge, 2022). Currently, he is the editor-in-chief of Popular Inquiry: The Journal of Kitsch, Camp and Mass Culture, and contributes to various international journals. Holding a PhD in aesthetics, he is an adjunct professor at the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland, with a notable presence in the Finnish and international academic community.