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Happy Birthday Kung Fu Tea (!) and More on Butterfly Swords at Sea

    Kung Fu Tea Turns Two Years Old! Today is the second anniversary of my first post here at Kung Fu Tea.  The last two years have been a blast as well as something of a blur.  Looking back at my records it appears that this blog has now hosted over 200 unique posts.  … Continue reading

The Boxing Master, the Pirate’s Wife and the Soldier: Three Scenes from Southern China’s Piracy Crisis, 1807-1810

    Introduction: Foreign Language Sources on Southern Chinese Piracy   It is a dictum in the social sciences that data is never self-interpreting. Likewise historians have found that it is often impossible to judge the nature or significance of events while one is caught up in the middle of them. Time must pass before … Continue reading

A Hung Gar Story: Community, Memory and Reality in Hong Kong.

  Introduction   The academic life has a sense of seasonality. In a world dedicated to the creation and multiplication of identical, homogeneous and interchangeable units of “work,” this is increasingly rare. I think that it is safe to say that most teachers look forward to the summer as a time to catch up on … Continue reading

Book Club: Like Froth Floating on the Sea: The World of Pirates and Seafarers in Late Imperial South China.

    Robert J. Antony. 2003. Like Froth Floating on the Sea: The World of Pirates and Seafarers in Late Imperial South China. China Research Monograph 56. Berkeley, University of California: Institute of East Asian Studies. 198 pages.     Introduction: Piracy and Chinese Martial Studies   This is the second entry in our occasional … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: July 14th, 2014: Popular Culture, Martial Arts Studies and a Shaolin Update

    Introduction   Welcome to “Chinese Martial Arts in the News.”  This is a semi-regular feature here at Kung Fu Tea 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 … Continue reading

London, 1851: Kung Fu in the Age of Steam-Punk

    Traditional Chinese Martial Arts, the Nautical Life and Piracy   In the following post I will introduce what I believe to be an account of the earliest large-scale Chinese martial arts demonstration in the United Kingdom and possibly all of Europe. Nor was this an event of little importance. Staged on the deck … Continue reading

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (13): Zhao San-duo—19th Century Plum Flower Master and Reluctant Rebel

    Introduction   In the summer of 1902 a martial artist and rebel leader named Zhao San-duo (alt. Zhao Luo-zhu) was arrested in the course of a tax uprising in Guangzong County. Betrayed by a local wu juren (a holder of a military degree) Zhao was imprisoned and starved to death. His head was … Continue reading

Liminality, Embodied Identity and the Paradox of the Invisible Female Martial Artists

  Men fighting men to determine worth (i.e., masculinity) excludes women as completely as the female experience of childbirth excludes men….The female boxer violates this stereotype and cannot be taken seriously—she is parody, she is cartoon, she is monstrous. Had she an ideology, she is likely to be a feminist.                                                                                                                         Joyce Carol Oates, On … Continue reading

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