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Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
As of the tenth edition (2014) of Archives of Budo, the edtiors have defined the journal’s mission as promoting martial arts and combat sports based on scientific evidence, and to “take the opportunity to develop all dimensions of positive health (somatic, mental, social) and survival capabilities in a manner worthy of man.” Their declaration is as follows: “HMA against MMA” (that is, hybrid martial arts against mixed martial arts).
The journal publishes three types of articles: original articles reporting previously unpublished results from scientific experiments or observations done by authors to confirm or refute identified hypotheses; research methodology articles involving author’s discussions of methodologies, controversies, and schools of thought about combat sports and martial arts; and review papers and open fora, reporting on current states of knowledge and controversies in the field of martial arts. Articles are then published in one of four sections of the journal: science of martial arts, health promotion and prevention, philosophy, and history.
The current issue available at time of review is Volume 11, 2015. It contains the articles, “Swiss ball training versus stable surface training for the treatment of low back pain in male judo athletes,” “Pre-competition weight loss among Polish taekwondo competitors – occurrence, methods and health consequences,” “The diversity of the profiles involving the sense of positive health and survival abilities of Polish students of paramedical sciences,” “Elaboration and evaluation of judo training means,” and “Effect of preferred body stance side on the performance of Special Judo Fitness Test in Japanese judo athletes.” Unfortunately, I was unable to view any parts of these articles; after waiting 15 minutes for several individual abstracts to load, and 20 minutes for the full text of one article, I abandoned the exercise of trying to get at more content. To say this was extremely frustrating is not to say enough.
The journal’s editorial staff page notes that the journal is “affiliated by [sic] Japanese Academy of Budo & Polish Scientific Physical Education Association Military Section.” Although the journal is open access, it requires payment from authors for actual publication, as follows: “The submission and peer-review of manuscripts are free of charge. Authors are requested to pay $900 USD (or 3075 PLN) gross. This fee is requested after positive evaluation of a manuscript. Authors may be also obliged to cover additional fee for Developmental Editing, if the manuscript requires. Developmental Editing expands editing focus beyond your paper’s writing. It includes improvements to presentation, argument, clarity, and flow. Bank transfer [sic] are only accepted. In the title of the transfer, the number of the invoice and article must be stated. All fees associated with bank transfer are covered by the payer author !” [sic]
Given that the authors are predominantly Polish and Japanese, and that the subject matter is aimed at constituencies in those two countries, this is not a title recommended to North American audiences.