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Valuing the Many Voices Within the Martial Arts: Lessons from the Field of Religious Studies

by Esther Berg Introduction: More on Theory and Martial Arts Studies Here comes yet another reader response to the debate on ‘theory’ in Martial Arts Studies. To shortly summarize the state of discussion: In 2011, D. J. Farrer and John Wahlen-Bridge (2011) announced the formation “Martial Arts Studies” as a new and distinct field of … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: February 24th, 2014: Kung Fu Diplomacy, New Books and Remembering Ark Yuey Wong.

  Introduction Welcome back for another installment of “Chinese Martial Arts in the News.”  This is a semi-regular feature in which we review media stories that mention or impact the the traditional fighting arts.  In addition to discussing important, events this column also considers how the Asian hand combat systems are portrayed in the mainstream … Continue reading

Imagining the Martial Arts: Hand Combat Training as a Tool of the Nation

Introduction: The Martial Arts and National Identity in the Popular Imagination While few people can really claim to be experts in either the history or practice of the martial arts, the last six decades of popular culture have given most individuals in the west a set of shared beliefs and impressions about these fighting systems.  … Continue reading

Is Martial Studies Doomed to Disappoint? A Reader Response.

By Stanford Chiou This post is my contribution to the recent discussion at Kung Fu Tea on the place of theory in martial studies (see here and here). There is no escaping the assumptions—or “theories”—on which perspectives are built, and it is indeed preferable to be explicit about such assumptions. However, there is a distinction … Continue reading

Martial Arts, Embodiment and Transformation: What Do We Know?

Alex Channon and George Jennings. 2014. “Exploring Embodiment through Martial Arts and Combat Sports: A Review of Empirical Research.” Sport in Society (February). Introduction: Why study embodiment in the Asian martial arts? One of the major trends that we have seen in the academic literature on the martial arts over the last decade has been … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (21): Chinese Archery’s Troubled Republic Era Revival.

Introduction Given the current growth of interest in all types of archery, it is not hard to understand the explosion of interest in Late Imperial Chinese bows and techniques.  During both the Ming and Qing periods China was renowned for both the quality of its weapons and its dedication to archery training.  Long after it … Continue reading

Telling Stories about Wong Fei Hung and Ip Man: The Evolution of a Heroic Type

****We recently completed the “500 Likes” challenge at the Kung Fu Tea Facebook group.  As a result I let the readers vote on what two articles they would most like to see covered.  There were a lot of good suggestions but no overwhelming favorites.  However, a number of you wanted to see “something” related to … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: February 3rd, 2014: Galloping into the Year of the Horse, while Remembering China’s Vanishing Martial Traditions.

  Introduction Happy Lunar New Years and welcome to the first post of the Year of the Horse!  “Chinese Martial Arts in the News” is a semi-regular feature in which we review media stories that mention or impact the the traditional fighting arts.  In addition to discussing important events this column also considers how the … Continue reading

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