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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

An Updated and Revised Social History of the Hudiedao (Butterfly Swords)

  In January of 2013 I posted an essay titled "A Social and Visual History of the Hudiedao (Butterfly Sword) in the Southern Chinese Martial Arts." As a student of Wing Chun I have always been fascinated by these weapons, and... Continue Reading →

Yim Wing Chun and Gender: the Stories of Ip Man and Yuen Woo Ping in a Comparative Perspective

Why Talk About Gender in the Chinese Martial Arts? In my years of teaching I have noticed that any discussion of “gender” will usually elicit great interest from a certain percentage of my students, while you can literally watch the... Continue Reading →

Collecting Chinese Swords and other Weapons in late 19th Century Xiamen (Amoy)

  Introduction: Xiamen and the Chinese Martial Arts Marketplace I am interested in the martial arts history of Fujian province.  Many areas of China can rightly claim an illustrious past when it comes to producing famous boxers, military officers or... Continue Reading →

Inventing MMA: Martial Arts Between Culture, Media and Sport

  "Inventing MMA: Martial Arts Between Culture, Media and Sport" By Dr. Kyle Barrowman   Introduction: Traditional Thinking In the Preface to his recent monograph The Invention of Martial Arts, Paul Bowman identifies an important link between current trends in martial... Continue Reading →

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: Jan 11, 2020: Taky Kimura, Shaolin and Martial Arts Studies

  Introduction It has been too long since our last news update. For new readers, this is a semi-regular feature here at Kung Fu Tea in which we review media stories that mention the traditional fighting arts. In addition to discussing important... Continue Reading →

Reconstructing the Tang Dao: Regionalism and Cultural Exchange

  Introduction Regionalism has been all the rage in certain academic circles for at least a decade, though no field demonstrates the potential and challenges of this approach more fully than martial arts studies. The central concept of this paradigm... Continue Reading →

Two Decades of Chinese Martial Studies

  On Looking Back and Looking Forwards The start of a new year is a time for list making. Posts with titles like "The Top Five Trends that Defined 2020!" seem to be the mainstay of seasonal publishing. In all... Continue Reading →

Ip Man and the Prostitute: Female Sexuality as a Weapon in Traditional Chinese Martial Culture

  Introduction: Masculinity as a Core Value in the Traditional Southern Martial Arts. One of the few facts that everyone seems to “know” about Wing Chun is that the art was created by a female.  Whether this is actually true... Continue Reading →

A Brief History of Nostalgia and the Future of the Martial Arts

    That Special Time of Year It must be that time of year again.  December is the season in which Disney unleashes a new Star Wars movie on an eager public, complete with a weaponized marketing campaign. Sitting in... Continue Reading →

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