Last week I noticed that Kung Fu Tea had attracted over half a million views since its launch in 2012. That seemed like a significant milestone and I wanted to do something to mark the occasion, but I wasn’t sure what. Luckily the State University of New York Press mailed out their fall catalog resolving my dilemma. While flipping through its pages I discovered (much to my surprise) that my volume on the social history of the southern Chinese martial arts is now available for pre-order. A quick chat with the editor confirmed that the books are leaving the print shop now and everything is expected to be in the warehouse by July 1. As such we will be celebrating the half-million visit threshold with a book launch!
We are very pleased that this project found a home with SUNY Press. They have published some great works on the martial arts over the years including both Douglas Wile’s Lost Tai-Chi Classics from the Late Ching Dynasty (1996) and Farrer and Whalen-Bridge’s edited volume Martial Arts as Embodied Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a Transnational World (2011). Jon Nielson and I are so honored that SUNY decided to continue the line with our volume. I will be discussing this project more over the next few months, but for now I would like to start with the announcement from the publisher’s catalog:
The Creation of Wing Chun: A Social History of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts
This book explores the social history of the southern Chinese martial arts and their contemporary importance to local narratives of resistance. Hong Kong’s Bruce Lee ushered the Chinese martial arts onto an international stage in the 1970s. Lee’s teacher, Ip Man, master of Wing Chun Kung Fu, has recently emerged as a visible symbol of southern Chinese identity and pride.
Benjamin N. Judkins and Jon Nielson examine the emergence of Wing Chun to reveal how this body of social practices developed and why individuals continue to to turn to the martial arts as they navigate the challenges of a rapidly evolving global environment. After surveying the development of hand combat in Guangdong Province from roughly the start of the nineteenth century until 1949, the authors turn to Wing Chun, noting its development, the changing social attitudes towards this practice over time, and its ultimate emergence as a global art form.
Benjamin N. Judkins holds a doctoral degree in political science from Columbia University. Jon Nielson is chief instructor at Wing Chun Hall in Salt Lake City.
August 1. 362 Pages. 4 Maps, 1 Table
$90 Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4384-5693-5