Through a Lens Darkly (48): Opening the Stone Lock

  A Quick Update My other writing projects are continuing well, though weekends are never quite as productive as one might hope.  But my loss may be your gain in the shape of some fresh material here on the blog. It seems that among martial artists there has been renewed interest in “stone locks” and…

Lau Bun-A Kung Fu Pioneer in America

  Introduction Given that this post will be released on Columbus Day, I thought that it might be fun to think about some “new world” martial arts history.  Lau Bun was both a colorful and critical figure in the early Bay Area Chinese martial arts scene.  If you are interested in learning more about him…

Hand Combat Training as the School of the Nations

    My schedule over the next four to six weeks is going to be pretty crazy.  I have a couple of writing projects followed by some heavy duty transoceanic conference travel.  As such we will be dipping into our archives for some “deep cuts” and classic hits, with the occasional guest-post to keep things…

A 1918 Account of Traditional Martial Arts in the Chinese Labor Corps

    Introduction Co-authorship of today’s post is shared with Joseph Svinth, the editor of the EJMAS and multiple other important works on martial arts studies.   He brought the following account and historic photographs to my attention, and we both agreed that they were worth sharing here. It seemed as though the events of WWI…

Martial Mythology (1): Yim Wing Chun and the Hero’s Journey

  Introduction For someone who doesn’t read classical Chinese, I spend a lot of time in seminars listening to presentations on ancient texts.  Cornell regularly invites visiting scholars to discuss their work.  While none of these individuals has ever given a talk on a martial arts related project, they almost always suggest points worth thinking…

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: September 11th, 2017: The Back to School Edition!

  Introduction   Welcome to “Chinese Martial Arts in the News!”  This is a semi-regular feature here at Kung Fu Tea in which we review media stories that mention or affect the traditional fighting arts.  In addition to discussing important events, this column also considers how the Asian hand combat systems are portrayed in the mainstream media. While…

Do Martial Arts Create Just Societies?

For ten years I have been polishing this sword; Its frosty edge has never been put to the test. Now I am holding it and showing it to you, sir: Is there anyone suffering from injustice? -“The Swordsman” by Jia Dao (Tang dynasty).  Trans. Liu, 1967.   “Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt…