Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Noreen Barnes


This thesis explores various artistic and ritual practices of martial arts in relation to its presentation on stage. As a martial artist and actor I believe there are complementary practices in both crafts interdisciplinary of each other. For a martial artist, the individual’s performance and execution of martial arts techniques can be enhanced through emotional availability and characterization. For the actor, the martial arts can help condition the body physically, mentally and emotionally to create a grounded presence of connectivity to the earth. However, sometimes the martial arts are viewed as a militaristic discipline and not as artistic expression. I believe that the martial arts can be both discipline and artistry. Over the past three years of my graduate studies I have explored different methods to merge these methodologies. This thesis examines a successful devised show conceived by students and myself at our martial arts studio (dojang), at Martial Arts World of Powhatan, in Powhatan Virginia. This thesis’ examination describes and evaluates the production we titled M.A. Cirque: the Evolution (Martial Arts Circus: an evolution of martial arts). The M.A. Cirque is a theatrical martial arts performance expanded out of a ten minute competition routine to become a thirty minute production performed in Las Vegas, Nevada. Secondly, an exploration for further analysis of a supplemental martial arts demonstration titled Battle at Olympus: A new martial arts super show, describes the revisit of the theatrical process that was developed when devising the M.A. Cirque.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011