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Through a Lens Darkly (16): Capturing the Chinese Martial Arts Before the Camera, 1750-1850.

Introduction One of the most important, though often overlooked, events of the late 18th and early 19th centuries was the creation and growth of the “Canton Trade System.”  This highly regulated trade, carried out between Chinese and European merchants in the city of Guangzhou (Canton), literally transformed the global economy.  It also had critical repercussions … Continue reading

Martial Arts and Community Violence: A Comparative Approach.

Introduction  Earlier this week an unexpected story started to make the rounds of various internet news outlets.  Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao of Timor Leste (East Timor) issued a proclamation banning the practice of Pencak Silat, an indigenous martial art that is wildly popular throughout the region.  The actual news story and press release leave many … Continue reading

Cantonese Popular Culture and the Creation of Wing Chun’s “Opera Rebels.”

Introduction In September of 1850 a Major in the Imperial Army stationed in Guangdong took his own life.  Records indicate that he was older and struggling with a chronic illness.  Given the state of medicine in the middle of the 19th century one can only guess that he was probably in substantial pain when he … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: September 19, 2013: Kung Fu Films, New Martial Arts Books and Wushu in Schools

Introduction I am happy to say that I have returned from my three week research/training trip.  In my absence Kung Fu Tea hosted the “2013 Symposium on Chinese Martial Studies.”  We had a number of distinguished scholars and guests drop by who helped us think more clearly about this important subject.  The reader response to … Continue reading

Martial Arts: So What? By Adam D. Frank

***It turns out that the introduction to the last post was a little premature.  We are very fortunate to have received another post for the 2013 Web Symposium on Chinese Martial Studies.  Adam D. Frank is an Associate Professor in the Honors College of the University of Central Arkansas.  He received his doctorate in Anthropology from … Continue reading

From the Archives: David Palmer on writing better martial arts history and understanding the sources of “Qi Cultivation” in modern Chinese popular culture.

Qigong Fever. by David Palmer. Columbia University Press, 2007.  ****I would like to thank to all of the individuals who participated in the 2013 Kung Fu Tea Web Symposium on Chinese Martial Studies.  A special thanks is also in order for the readers who dropped by to share this discussion with us.  This will be … Continue reading

A Reader’s Response to the 2013 Web Symposium on Chinese Martial Studies.

***Audience interaction and feedback is a critical part of any seminar or set of academic meetings.  Lacking the spontaneity of an in person gathering I turned to Melisa Spence, a dedicated students of the Chinese martial arts and a long time reader of Kung Fu Tea, to help bring a different perspective to this conversation.  … Continue reading

Towards The Motors of Tradition: A Report from the Field for Kung Fu Tea

By Daniel Mroz, Ph.D., University of Ottawa, Canada   ****I am very happy to introduce the following research report by my friend and colleague, Prof. Daniel Mroz of the University of Ottawa.  He has recently returned from conducting some fieldwork abroad and has agreed to outline his current research agenda for us.  His extensive experience … Continue reading

Roundtable Discussion on the State of Martial Studies with Paul Bowman and Ben Judkins, Part II.

A statue of a Tengu dressed as an ascetic mystic on a mountain pilgrimage. Source: Christian Bauer via Wikimedia. Introduction Welcome to the second part of our roundtable discussion of the fields of martial studies/Chinese martial studies.  If you are just arriving you may want to start with Part I of our discussion which can … Continue reading

From the Archives: Professor Kai Filipiak Discusses the State of the Discipline.

A stylized rendition of a Japanese Tengu. These mountain demons were sometimes imagined as great teachers of martial wisdom. ***While typing up the ongoing roundtable discussion between Prof. Paul Bowman and myself on the state of martial studies, it occurred to me that we should probably revisit this previous post as well.  I suspect that … Continue reading

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