Abstract for: Systems Thinking and the Eastern Martial Arts

Rapid scientific progress over the past century has been largely attributed to the reductionist school of thought. Holism has only re-entered mainstream thought recently via the increasing popularity and advocate of systems thinking. Eastern philosophy, in contrast, has always embraced and manifested holism in every conceivable facet of life: from the quotidian routine of meal preparation; to Taguchi quality control; and to the life-saving application of Eastern medicine. These beget an interesting question: is it possible to relate systems thinking to Eastern philosophy from its various incarnations? This paper seeks to answer this question partially via the delineation of the Eastern martial arts practice, an application of Eastern philosophy. Our findings indicate that the language of systems thinking can potentially be a most natural medium for such cross-cultural knowledge transfer.