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Chinese Martial Studies, Guest Posts, Martial Studies

Welcome to Kung Fu Tea’s 2013 Web Symposium on Chinese Martial Studies

A Guoshu school located in Tianjin, 1927.  Source: The Taiping Institute.

A Guoshu school located in Tianjin, 1927. Source: The Taiping Institute.


In honor of Kung Fu Tea’s 100,000th page view I would like to welcome you to the 2013 Web Symposium on Chinese Martial Studies.

I Over the next three weeks a variety of students and scholars will be contributing guest posts explaining their own research or presenting their thoughts on the growing field of martial studies.  It has been one of my goals to introduce a greater range of scholarly voices here at Kung Fu Tea, and I think that this is an ideal way to introduce that project.  Ideally I would like to make to this event a regular feature here at the blog.

Our contributors in the coming weeks include Brian Kennedy, a noted historian of the Chinese martial arts, who will share some of his research on the Dadao, or “Big Knife” in the Republic of China Period.  Professor Daniel Mroz of the University of Ottawa has agreed to share some highlights of his recent trip to China and Bhutan where he looked at opera, dance and other schools of martial movement.  The research program that he is developing could have important implications for how we understanding the development and social meaning of the martial arts in northern Asia.

Rob Argent, a Taijiquan student and freelance writer in the UK, is going to help us think a little about the martial arts in popular culture by exploring the history of their appearance in video games.  Increasingly video games is where young people are first being exposed to the Asian fighting systems, so this is an important topic that deserves more consideration.  Melisa Spence, who teaches Bagua and Xingyi at the Holdout in Oakland, offers us a reader’s perspective on some of these conversations, as well as bringing up important points to consider as we move forward with Chinese martial studies.  Professor Adam Frank, author of Taijiquan and the Search for the Little Old Chinese Man, has also been kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to discuss his current research.

Of course no symposium would be complete without some sorts of “round table discussion.”  Nor could I totally stay away from such an interesting discussion.  Professor Paul Bowman and I will be presenting a two part conversation/interview on the development and possible future of the field of martial studies.  There will definitely be some ideas to consider in there.

These posts will be released on the normal Monday/Friday schedule for the next three weeks.  I think that our guests presenters will bring an interesting mix of perspectives, interests and backgrounds that should help to showcase the diversity of approaches that are possible within the field of Chinese martial studies.

I will be on the road and away from the computer on a research trip for much of the next three weeks.  As such I may be slow approving comments by new contributors or responding to my email.  I apologize in advance for any inconvenience that this might cause.  But there should be something for everyone in the upcoming batch of guest posts, so tell your friends, sit back and enjoy!

Congratulations to Kung Fu Tea on its 100,000 page view!  Source: Yi Peng Sky Lantern Festival in Thailand.  Wikimedia.

Congratulations to Kung Fu Tea on its 100,000 page view! Source: Yi Peng Sky Lantern Festival in Thailand. Wikimedia.


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