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Through a Lens Darkly (38): A Tale of Two Swordsmen

      Introduction   In a recent post discussing the portrayal of the Asian martial arts in early 20th century Western newsreels, I called for a “media archeology” of the early imagery surrounding these fighting systems.  The following post comments upon two examples taken from my collection of vintage postcards to better illustrate how … Continue reading

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (17): Chu Minyi – Physician, Politician and Taijiquan Addict

      Introduction: The Architects of Kung Fu Diplomacy   I recently had the opportunity to examine a very interesting series of magazine articles, produced in 1920, discussing the efforts of the (in)famous General Ma Liang to promote the study of the traditional martial arts throughout both the Chinese military and state.   The most … Continue reading

Research Notes: Kung Fu Public Diplomacy and a Visit with General Ma Liang

    Secrecy vs. Advertising in the Chinese Martial Arts I recently reviewed Charles Russo’s excellent work, Striking Distance, which discussed the spread of the Chinese martial arts on the West Coast of the United States during the middle of the 20th century.  It is a great contribution to the ongoing discussion of the history … Continue reading

Striking Distance: Charles Russo Recounts the Rise of the Chinese Martial Arts in America

  Charles Russo. 2016. Striking Distance: Bruce Lee & the Dawn of Martial Arts in America. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 264 pages. $24.95 USD (Hardcover)   Anyone can tell you that it is easier to review a good book than a bad one.  This simple truth makes Charles Russo’s latest volume a pleasure to … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: May 17th, 2016: Kung Fu Art, Brawling and New Books!

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 the mainstream media. … Continue reading

Who “Owns” Kung Fu? Intangible Cultural Heritage, Globalization and the Decentering of the Asian Martial Arts

    “Inoue said the Japanese style of judo traditionally focused more on quantity rather than quality, trying to instill a tough mentality. But in Europe, which Inoue describes as “the mainstream of judo today,” judoka train more efficiently. “A balance between efficiency and inefficiency and a balance between scientific things and unscientific things — … Continue reading

The Professor and His Students: Taijiquan’s Complicated Journey to the West

    The Professor: Tai Chi’s Journey West.  First Run Films. 2016.  Directed by Barry Strugatz. 72 minutes.   Click here for the Webpage. Click here for Facebook. “The Professor” premieres in Los Angeles on May 6 and in New York City on June 9.   Review     Learning is a matter of desire.  … Continue reading

Doing Research (6): Working the Beat – One Journalist’s Efforts at Perfecting the Fine Art of Hanging Out

  Introduction   Welcome to the sixth entry in our series of guest posts titled “Doing Research.”  If you missed the first essay by D. S. Farrer (which provides a global overview of the subject), the second by Daniel Mroz (how to select a school or teacher for research purposes), the third by  Jared Miracle … Continue reading

The Creation of Wing Chun – Now in Paperback!

    I recently received a letter from SUNY Press letting me know that The Creation of Wing Chun: A Social History of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts, will soon be released in paperback.  This is wonderful news and due in no small part to the enthusiastic support we received from members of the Wing … Continue reading

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