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The Book Club: Chinese Martial Arts by Peter Lorge, Chapters 9-10: The Traditional Fighting Arts in a Modern World.

Introduction This is the third and final section of our review of Peter Lorge’s volume, Chinese Martial Arts: from Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge UP, 2012). In part one of this post we reviewed the development of Chinese martial culture from the Bronze Age through the Medieval Period.  Section two covered the genesis of … 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 performers.  Shandong and Henan are often noted as centers of martial excellence.  Yet coastal Fujian … Continue reading

The Book Club: Chinese Martial Arts by Peter Lorge, Chapters 6-8 (Song-Ming): The first emergence of the traditional Chinese Martial Arts.

Introduction The “Book Club” is a semi-regular series of posts where we collectively read and review some of the most important works in the field of Chinese martial studies.  My intent is to reproduce the same sort of seminar atmosphere that you might get if you were encountering these works in a university setting as … Continue reading

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (5): Lau Bun—A Kung Fu Pioneer in America.

Introduction: Choy Li Fut’s place in southern Chinese martial culture. Let me ask you a question.  What was the largest and most socially important martial art in Guangdong during the late 19th and early 20th century?  What was the first martial art to organize an extensive network of public commercial schools in all of the … Continue reading

The Book Club: Chinese Martial Arts by Peter Lorge, Introduction-Chapter 5: Reconstructing China’s Ancient Military Institutions.

  Introduction: A Breakthrough for the Field of Chinese Martial Studies. The “Book Club” is a semi-regular feature at Kung Fu Tea in which we collectively read and discuss important works in the fields of martial studies, history or the social sciences.  Each of these works either has made, or is expected to make, a … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News, February 13, 2013: The UFC fights for market access, Ip Man lets his inner song take flight and understanding “The Black Kung Fu Experience.”

“Chinese Martial Arts in the News” is a monthly round-up of news stories that either feature or somehow impact traditional Chinese hand combat.  If you know about a developing news story that should be covered feel free to drop me a note in the comments or shoot me an email.  The last few weeks have … Continue reading

Qilin Dancing During the Lunar New Year and Southern Chinese Martial Culture.

Introduction: What is a Qilin and why do they dance? Let me start off by wishing everyone a happy New Year!  The Lunar New Year is the longest and most important festival in the traditional Chinese calendar.  Individuals celebrate it by spend time with their families, prepare special foods, sweep the house clean (tossing out … Continue reading

Ritual, Tradition and Memory in Singapore’s Chinese Martial Arts Community.

  Introduction: Chinese Martial Studies, Embodied Knowledge and Identity. In 2011 SUNY (State University of New York) Press released a collected volume (edited by D. S. Farrer and John Whalen-Bridge) titled Martial Arts as Embodied Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a Transnational World.  All of the essays in this book ask how the martial arts affect … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (7): Selling Swords and Printed Martial Arts Training Manuals in a 19th century Guangzhou Market.

Introduction: Exploring the martial marketplace. It is clear that the traditional Chinese martial arts, as practiced in the Qing dynasty, were many things to many people.  Still, for most of their practitioners they were first and foremost an economic resources.  Soldiers, caravan guards, and watchmen all depended upon the martial arts to make a living.  … Continue reading

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