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The Chinese Gentle Art Complete: Reviewing the Bible of Ngo Cho Kun (Five Ancestors Boxing)

      “Without ‘letters,’ the effort to spread the martial arts across the nation is bound to fail.” -Cai Yangwu, a slogan of the Jingwu (Pure Martial) Association.       Introduction: Books Are the Way   It may seem odd or inauthentic to label a manual as “the Bible” of a given martial … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (28): Three Visions of the Kukri

        The Kukri in Three Symbolic Registers     As regular readers will know, I have a keen interest in both the history of bladed weapons and vintage postcards.  The kukri, a type of fighting knife from Nepal made famous by Gurkha troops serving with both the Indian and British armies, has … Continue reading

Government Subsidization of the Martial Arts and the Question of “Established Churches”

        Introduction: Rational Choice Theory in Martial Arts Studies     This essay picks up on a few threads in my ongoing attempt to parse out whether there is a place for “rational choice theory” in martial arts studies. On the surface no phenomenon would seem to be more culturally determined than … Continue reading

The Development and Current State of Martial Arts Studies in Germany

The following is guest post by Sixt Wetzler, dvs-Kommission Kampfkunst & Kampfsport (sixt.wetzler@gmail.com).  While Martial Arts Studies is, by its very nature, an international and interdisciplinary subject, we generally see relatively little discussion of the scholarship that is happening in languages other than English.  Due his academic background and research interests Sixt Wetzler is well … Continue reading

Why do difficult and expensive martial arts thrive?

      Introduction: Is there room for rationality in the martial arts?   The study of hand combat suggests many types of questions. Following the “levels of analysis” typology I tend to mentally organize these into three categories; the systemic, institutional/organization and individual. Of course no typology is perfect, but I find that this … Continue reading

Jared Miracle on Pokemon, Crickets and Deep Play in Chinese and Japanese Martial Culture

The following essay is a guest post by Jared Miracle, who recently completed his doctoral training at Texas A&M University under the supervision of Prof. Thomas Green and is currently on the academic job market.  Dr. Miracle has conducted extensive research on Japanese and Chinese martial culture, cataloged much of the Robert Smith Collection housed … Continue reading

Announcing the New Academic Journal: Martial Arts Studies

      We are delighted to announce the arrival of a new academic journal Martial Arts Studies:   Martial Arts Studies is a peer reviewed, open access, online, academic journal dedicated to publishing the highest quality academic work on any aspect of martial arts studies. Its aim is to foster the most informed cross-disciplinary … Continue reading

Kung Fu Tea Selects the Top Chinese Martial Arts Webpage of 2014

      Introduction   Welcome to our third annual discussion of the top webpages in Chinese martial studies. The purpose of this series is to acknowledge some of the individuals who have made great contributions to our understanding of the traditional martial arts in the last year. We also hope that visitors who are … Continue reading

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