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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

Read it Now: Martial Arts Studies, Issue 11!

  We are happy to announce that the Summer 2021 issue of the interdisciplinary journal Martial Arts Studies has been released and is now available for free download. Click here to see a complete list of articles. The 11th issue... Continue Reading →

Song Ring Pommel Straight Dao and the Birth of Modern Chinese Martial Culture

Song Dynasty Soldier with Dao Shi Jin and Chinese Martial Arts It is axiomatic among martial arts studies scholars to assert that the fighting systems that people practice today are not the ancient creations that so many modern students, in... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (8): Butterfly Swords, Dadaos and the Local Militias of Guangdong, 1840 vs. 1940.

Introduction:  The Butterfly Swords and Southern Martial Arts Defend the Nation I recently ran across two photographs that I think students of the southern Chinese martial arts may find very enlightening.  They speak to interesting tactical and cultural questions.  On... Continue Reading →

“Fighting Styles” or “Martial Brands”? An economic approach to understanding “lost lineages” in the Chinese Martial Arts.

  ***Today's post continues our discussion of economic markets and modernity in the Chinese martial arts.  This essay, first posted in May of 2013, was one of my first attempts at hashing out these questions as they related to advertising... Continue Reading →

The Wing Chun Jo Fen: Norms and the Creation of a Southern Chinese Martial Arts Community.

  ***I am happy to report that I am making good progress on my current writing project.  But it is still an ongoing task, and one that consumed much of my weekend.  As such our post for this Monday is... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (11): Japanese Martial Artists in China.

Introduction: Addressing a Difficult Subject No topic is more difficult to approach than the varied roles that traditional Asian fighting systems have played in defining and strengthening nationalism during the 20th century.  Governments in Japan, China and later Korea all... Continue Reading →

Sugong: Nick Hurst Explores South East Asia’s Shaolin Kung Fu Tradition.

Nick Hust.  Sugong: The Life of a Shaolin Grandmaster. Sports Books. 2012. pp. 291. Introduction: Summer Reading for Chinese Martial Artists It is that time of year again.  It is the season when literally everyone I know packs a bag,... Continue Reading →

Mythology of the Kukri: Sign and Symbol

Introduction: The Symbolic Language of Weapons Victor Turner, the cultural anthropologist, famously argued that all symbols are "multivocal," meaning a single symbol can take on a multiplicity of meanings.  Humans have a way of looking at complexes of symbols, perhaps... Continue Reading →

Imagining the Chinese Martial Arts without Bruce Lee: Sophia Delza, an American Taiji Quan Pioneer.

Introduction: Different Visions of the Chinese Martial Arts Assume that we find ourselves in a very specific, recognizable alternate universe.  It is almost exactly like ours, but in this world Bruce Lee never came to America.  Maybe he got along... Continue Reading →

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