Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
When speaking of Martial Arts, many refer to it as more than just some activity you do in a gym. Itís a way of life that can apply to many aspects of life. So, it should not seem surprising that Martial Arts can also be a degree in college.
Thatís right. There arenít many but there are a few colleges around the United States which offer what is known as a degree in Martial Arts. The degree isnít from any ďmake-believeĒ colleges or for-cash diploma outfits. In fact, one of the colleges that claims to be the first in America is near my old hometown, University of Bridgeport.
So what exactly entails a Martial Arts degree?
University of Bridgeportís Bachelor of Arts in Martial Arts involves understanding the history and background, language and cultures associated with, psychosocial impacts on self and society, and an in depth understanding of at least one major Martial Arts which are offered at the school.
Another college, Concodia University in Irvine, California, offers a specialization in TaeKwonDo under the Exercise and Sports Science division. According to their website, training in this program includes the expected training of TaeKwonDo as well as other aspects that help you with a career in Martial Arts. This involves management of a school, teaching and coaching methods, and referee methods.
Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado offers a Bachelor of Arts in Traditional Eastern Arts. This course in addition to Martial Arts also emphasizes yoga and can progress to becoming a yoga trainer. The other two tracks of specialization are Tai Chi and Aikido and thereís a strong emphasis on exploring the internal sides to the Arts.
The Great Plains Baptist Divinity School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota offers a unique Martial Arts program partnered with the Gospel Martial Arts Union. This program offers all the way up to a PhD and presents a strong emphasis on Martial Arts from a biblical perspective.
Finally, there is at least one person who is trying to create what is known as the American Martial Arts College. While this college is not yet accredited, it is one of the first in this country with a strict emphasis on Martial Arts. The college has a good deal of the timelines and courses outlined in more detail than most the other colleges which are accredited and provides a good depiction of what a program might look like.
Even if you are not at one of these colleges, most colleges offer some form of Martial Arts training on campus, often multiple styles. This is a great way to explore the Arts and find out more about each of them.