You are hereAsian students face martial arts stereotypes
Asian students face martial arts stereotypes
A number of stereotypes exist for different groups of people. Some say the media is to blame.
Different groups of people are associated with certain traits and characteristics. Asian people in particular have the stereotype of being good at martial arts. For one CU-Boulder student, the stereotype was obvious growing up.
“I always had people like bust out the martial arts moves on me and be like, ‘Oh, you're Asian so you should know how to do martial arts,” said CU-Boulder senior Thao Vo. “It's really unfounded because I never took a martial arts class and I'm definitely afraid of fighting.
When people are unsure about others, they develop assumptions from what they see and hear. This is especially evident in American culture which is influenced by the media.
“Yes, well this particular mystique is a function of the popular media,” said professor of Chinese history William Wei. “There are a lot of films that basically emphasize Asian martial arts of one sort or another.”
Before actor Bruce Lee appeared in American cinema, Asian people were depicted as weak, passive, and non-sexual.
“Uncle Bruce, truly was the breakout star for Asian men using martial arts as a vehicle to show the Asian male's form of virility and heroism on film,” said Bruce Lee’s niece Diana Inosanto. “He broke box office records world wide doing it---no other Asian Star had ever achieved this before.”
Other Asian actors have helped to perpetuate the Asian martial arts stereotype like Jet Li and Jackie Chan who both come from China. Some forms of martial arts do come from the regions of south and southeast Asia.
“I mean, there’s some ground to it, but then people just think that’s all it is and it breeds ignorance, so you understand that yes, martial arts is part of a culture, but it’s not just the only thing,” said Vo.
In addition to martial arts practiced in Asia, there are other combat systems come from other regions of the world like Europe and Africa.