Notion of physical culture: history and origins

Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury №3 2019

PhD, Associate Professor Ya.G. Grigoryan1
PhD, Associate Professor K.V. Bogatyreva1
1I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University of Russia (Sechenov University), Moscow

Physical culture is one of the key elements of the classical system of training a perfect individual. Although the foundations of physical culture are laid in the ancient tradition, conceptualization of the concept occurs in the second half of the XIX – early XX centuries. The article analyzes the history and origins of the term Physical Culture. It was commonly believed that it first appeared in the late XIX century since B.V. Yevstafyev and S.T. Shishkin gave evidence of the term coming up in England at that time in works by L. Peerce (1890), J. Mabel (1891), C. Emerson (1891), and Le Favre (1891). Later on B.V. Yevstafyev found that the relevant foreign and national scientific literature and records give no verifiable historical data on the actual origins of the term. ‘The research ethics of the author made it impossible for him to believe that the origins of the term were found, and he left the room for further researches and solutions’, writes Y.A. Fomin. Having analyzed the relevant study reports for about 30 years since the latter work was published, we have good reasons to believe that the national researchers have made no progress despite the encouragement from B.V. Yevstafyev, and it was the reason for our attempt to bridge the gap. Based on the study data and analysis, we feel that have found the most probable date of the term coming into practice, its place of origin and the definition and meaning in the research and practical lexicons since the early XIX century; plus traced the origins of the idea that physical culture is pivotal for the individual harmonic and balanced progress in the physical and intellectual domains.

Keywords: physical culture, physical education, physical education history.

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