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Chinese Martial Arts in the News: April 27th, 2015: Swords, Shaolin and Martial Arts Studies

    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 affect the traditional fighting arts.  In addition to discussing important events, this column also considers how the Asian hand combat systems are portrayed in … Continue reading

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (15): Fei Ching Po – Professional Gambler and Female Martial Artist in Early 19th Century Guangzhou

  Introduction Stories of skilled female warriors have a long history in China. The legend of the Maiden of Yue illustrates these ancient roots.  Yet it was during the final decades of the Qing dynasty that the female martial artist really came into her own as a literary type. Vernacular operas, public storytellers, short stories … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (30): Magic Lanterns and the Asian Martial Arts, 1900 – 1920

    Introduction   When introducing topics like the transnational translation of the martial arts, the construction of popular beliefs about Asian culture through images of violence, or even the reduction of hand combat’s once radical message to yet another product within western consumer markets, one might be forgiven for assuming that the upcoming post … Continue reading

Searching for Cheng Man Ching: Nigel Sutton and the Wisdom of Taiji Masters

      Nigel Sutton. The Wisdom of Taiji Masters: Insights into Cheng Man Ching’s Art. Tambuli Media. 2014. 167 pages.     Introduction: Remember a Master of Five Excellences     Zheng Manqing (Cheng Man Ching) may not receive the same attention in the popular press as Bruce Lee, but he was a central … Continue reading

The Problem of the Phoenix Village Boxing Club: Rural Martial Arts in Republic Era Guangdong

    Introduction: Village Life in the Urban Imagination In 1925 Teachers College of Columbia University published the first comprehensive modern sociological study of village life in Southern China. The topic itself was not new. As Virgil K. Ho has pointed out, Chinese, Japanese and Western intellectuals spent much of the 1920s-1930s attempting to diagnose … Continue reading

Everything about the Chinese Martial Arts, in 1200 Words or Less

  The Assignment   Interested readers will have to wait a little longer for the article promised in the title. A few months ago I was contacted by an editor for a new ABC-CLIO encyclopedia (on popular culture in Asia) about the possibility of writing a number of articles on the Chinese martial arts. Originally … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: April 6th, 2015: Ip Man 3, Books and Global Kung Fu

      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 affect the traditional fighting arts.  In addition to discussing important events, this column also considers how the Asian hand combat systems are portrayed … Continue reading

What “Everyone” Knows: Empowerment, Social Competition and Conspiracy Theories in the Martial Arts

      Two Stories Huo Yuanjia is one of the best known and most influential figures in the modern Chinese martial arts. Everyone seems to know his story. This is ironic as very little about his actual life is known with much certainty. Readers will be familiar with Huo from his appearance (or possibly … Continue reading

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