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Spreading the Gospel of Kung Fu: Print Media and the Popularization of Wing Chun (Part I)

Introduction It is frequently and loudly asserted that one cannot learn Kung Fu from a book.  We are often told that the Chinese martial arts exist primarily as an oral tradition.  Little of value was written down, and the essence of an art can only be conveyed through direct contact between the teacher and a … Continue reading

Happy Birthday Kung Fu Tea! Top posts and quick thoughts on my first year of martial arts blogging.

Introduction Its official, Kung Fu Tea is turning one year old.  My first batch of posts (including a welcome to readers, a discussion of Wushu and the Olympics and a round-up of Chinese martial studies resources) went live on July 27, 2012.  A lot has happened since then. Kung Fu Tea has since published 127 … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: July 22, 2013: A Bruce Lee Round-up, Taiji in Popular Culture and Rumors of Trouble at the Shaolin Temple.

Introduction Welcome!  “Chinese Martial Arts in the News” is a regular feature here at Kung Fu Tea.  Every three to four weeks we discuss the major news stories impacting the Chinese martial arts.  Special attention is payed to the ways in which the media view and discus traditional Chinese martial culture.  Of course there is … Continue reading

Paul Bowman visits Kung Fu Tea and helps us to see Beyond Bruce Lee.

  Introduction July 20th is the 40th anniversary of the death of Bruce Lee.  Prof. Paul Bowman, an expert on both his life and cultural influence, has been kind enough to sit down with us to discuss Lee’s continuing significance.  It is almost impossible to study the history or sociology of the Asian fighting arts … Continue reading

Taming the Little Dragon: Symbolic Politics and the Translation of Bruce Lee.

My Definite Chief Aim I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting in 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the … Continue reading

Hing Chao Discusses Southern Boxing, White Crane and the “Eastern Theory” of Wing Chun’s Origins.

Introduction Hing Chao has been getting a lot of good press lately.  If you keep up with Chinese martial studies and are at all interested in the southern hand combat traditions, you have probably heard his name.  He was the co-author of Hung Kuen Fundamentals, a new English language Kung Fu manual which has generated … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (14): Archery Practice in Late Imperial China

Introduction: Archery and the Traditional Chinese Martial Arts I have recently been reading Stephen Selby’s book Chinese Archery (2000, Hong Kong University Press).  It is a very important contribution to the Chinese martial studies literature and one of the few book length studies that we have which has been published by a university press.  I … Continue reading

The Soldier, the Marketplace Boxer and the Recluse: Mapping the Social Location of the Martial Arts in Late Imperial China.

Introduction How should we understand the traditional Chinese martial arts?  Are these practices really intended to be a form of practical self-defense, or are they actually some other sort of social performance? Are the arts that we practice today “authentic?” These are a few of the large questions that really drive the field of Chinese … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: July 1, 2013: New Documentaries, “Enter the Dragon” Turns 40 and Ip Man Comes out on Top.

Introduction Welcome to another edition of Chinese Martial Arts in the news.  This is a semi-regular feature in which we review a roundup of media stories dealing with the martial arts over the last three to four weeks.  We try to look both at events that impact the TCMA community as well as how the … Continue reading

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