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Essential Kung Fu Cinema (1): Fists of Fury

By Rob Argent ***I am very happy to welcome Rob Argent back to Kung Fu Tea.  Rob’s first guest post was a study of the martial arts in video games which he contributed to the 2013 Web Symposium on Chinese Martial Studies.  This post will be the first in an ongoing series reviewing some of … Continue reading

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (11): Mok Kwai Lan – The Mistress of Hung Gar.

Introduction This post is the third entry in our series examining the lives of female Chinese martial artists.  While it is the case that the vast majority of hand combat practitioners in the 19th and 20th centuries were male, a certain number of women also adopted the art.  We started by looking at the life … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (17): “Selling the Art”: Martial Artists in the Marketplace, 1900-1930

  Introduction: Informants and the Problem of Reliability   The study of the traditional martial arts has tended to rely rather heavily on interviews with “participant informants.”  Cultivating relationships with informants and learning about their worldview consumes much of a researcher’s time during the course of any ethnographic exercise.  Yet there are also inherent dangers … Continue reading

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (10): Chen Shichao and Chen Gongzhe: Creating the Jingwu Revolution

  Introduction It is hard to think of any group or association that has had a greater effect on the emergence of the modern Chinese martial arts than the Jingwu Athletic Association.  Founded in Shangahi in the closing years of the Qing dynasty this institution was destined to become the first truly national “brand” within … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: October 14th, 2013: Kung Fu Diplomacy, Qi in the Western World and Saving the Chinese Martial Arts Film.

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

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (9): Woman Ding Number Seven: Founder of the Fujian Yongchun Boxing Tradition

Introduction: Gender and the History of the Chinese Martial Arts Women are a challenging subject in Chinese martial studies.  One the one hand traditions about female boxers, nuns, bandits and heroes abound in the folklore of the “Rivers and Lakes.”  These stories are more common in some geographic locations and at certain times than others.  … Continue reading

Folklore in the Southern Chinese Martial Arts: A Means to Create Economic “Value” or to Construct Social “Values?”

I found that I could not analyze ritual symbols without studying them in a time series in relation to other “events,” for symbols are essentially involved in social process.  I came to see performance of ritual as distinct phases in the social process whereby groups become adjusted to internal changes and adapted to their external … Continue reading

Leveraging Open Courseware in Chinese Martial Studies

Introduction: Technology, Disruption and Education The current renaissance in the academic study of the martial could not have come at a better time.  In fact, it is probably a powerful confluence of forces, both theoretical, political and technological that are making the our current progress possible.  This is especially true for students of Chinese martial … Continue reading

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