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Where have all the martial artists gone? Should we blame MMA?

Globalization and the Evolution of the Traditional Martial Arts As we have seen in previous posts, the economic and social changes that accompany any era of globalization always creates patterns of winners and losers.  In North America and Europe the traditional Asian fighting arts have been big winners.  They have found a generally receptive and … Continue reading

A Social and Visual History of the Dadao: The Chinese “Military Big-Saber.”

Rediscovering the Dadao: A Forgotten Legacy of the Chinese Martial Arts. Any review of the history of the Chinese martial arts in the 20th century will quickly suggest that these civilian art forms have, at various points, been co-opted and used to advance the aims of the state.  Both the Nationalist (GMD) “Guoshu” program and … Continue reading

The Book Club: The Shaolin Monastery by Meir Shahar, Chapters 3-4: Monastic Violence in the Ming Dynasty.

Introduction Welcome back to the second installment of the Book Club.  In this series of posts we will be taking a more detailed look at some of the most important works in the field of Chinese martial studies.  Our first selection is The Shaolin Monastery: History, Religion and the Chinese Martial Arts by Prof. Meir … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: November 19th, 2012: Ip Man, the UFC and Kung Fu Buddhists

Welcome to the November edition of “Chinese Martial Arts in the News.”  This is part of a regular series of posts that present us with an opportunity to discuss recent developments in the news and popular culture.  If you know of a developing story that you would like to see covered, drop me a note … 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 remainder of the classes eyes glaze over as they mentally check out. We all know … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Studies: Kai Filipiak, Ph.D. Discusses the State of the Discipline.

Asian Martial Arts: Constructive thoughts & practical applications: The good, the bad and the ugly. I recently received my issue of Asian Martial Arts: Constructive thoughts & practical applications, edited by Michael A. Demarco. So far I have only read the first half of the book (the part labeled “constructive thoughts”) and I have to … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (6): China Rediscovers the Shaolin Temple, Igniting a Kung Fu Craze.

Accepting the“traditional” Chinese martial arts as a product of the modern world. If I were to conduct a pole and ask the average student of the Chinese martial arts when the “Golden Age” of Kung Fu was, what sort of responses do you think we would get? The Han dynasty? The high Ming? The 1700s? … Continue reading

How Yoda Helped to Invent Kung Fu: Star Wars and the Martial Arts in the Western Imagination.

Introduction: The only Star Wars post on WordPress this week not about Disney or Lukas. Admit it, you have all done it.  At one point or another each of you has looked at your Sifu or Sensei and thought “Its like having my own personal Yoda!”  This epiphany will usually happen right after someone goes … Continue reading

The Book Club: The Shaolin Monastery by Meir Shahar: Introduction and Chapters 1-2.

Welcome to the Chinese Martial Studies Book Club This is the first post in new experimental series here at Kung Fu Tea. The goal of the “book club” is to introduce readers to some of the classic works on martial studies, engage the arguments of the authors on a detailed level and encourage conversations among … Continue reading

Identifying and Collecting the Nepalese Military Kukri.

Introduction: The Traditional Military Kukri. New projects are always a learning experience, and one of the things that I have found most surprising here at Kung Fu Tea has been the persistent popularity of the one post which I wrote on the Nepalese kukri as a modern combat knife.  Perhaps I should have expected this.  … Continue reading

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