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Research Notes: Han Xing Qiao Opens the “Internal Arts” to the West, 1934

        Introduction   On February 21, 1934, the North China Herald (the most popular English language newspaper published in China at the time) ran a remarkable article and interview titled the “Chinese Art of Boxing.”  The piece is based on a school visit with the now famous Yiquan instructor Han Xing Qiao … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (40): Butterfly Swords and Tong Wars in North America

    The Yin and the Yang of the Hudiedao Earlier this year I had the opportunity to participate in a day-long seminar on the Wing Chun swords taught by Sifu John Crescione. This was a great experience that provided many students with an introduction to this iconic weapon. Such events, by necessity, tend to … Continue reading

Theory and the Growth of Knowledge – Or Why You Probably Can’t Learn Kung Fu From Youtube

  Becoming Ip Man, in all the Wrong Ways   On a Saturday morning in 2011 I found myself running an “open session” for my Sifu’s Wing Chun school.  The weekday classes were always structured affairs in which learners worked their way through an extensive curriculum centered on one of the various forms in the … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: September 19th, 2016: Expats in Shanghai, the Birth of a Dragon, and Kung Fu’s Decline?

    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

How (not) to categorise martial arts: A discussion and example from gender studies

  ***Over the last couple of years a discussion has emerged within the literature on how scholars should define and classify the martial arts, and whether such efforts are even a good idea.  Alex Channon, a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Sports Studies at the University of Brighton, has generously agreed to contribute to … Continue reading

A Puzzle, a Big Announcement and an Introduction to Kung Fu Diplomacy

      Wushu Comes to America     Today’s post has two goals.  The more important of these is an announcement.  But first I hope to draw you into a discussion on my next book project. With the daily news of territorial tensions in the South China Sea, or squabbles over trade policy, it … Continue reading

Multimedia Wing Chun: Learning and Practice in the Age of YouTube

      By George Jennings (Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK) and Anu Vaittinen (Newcastle University, UK)     Reference to conference presentation: Jennings, G. & Vaittinen, A. (2016). Mediated transformation: Interconnections between embodied training and multimedia resources in Wing Chun. Paper presented at the 2nd International Martial Arts Studies Conference, Cardiff University, UK, 19 July … Continue reading

The Bubishi: Innovation, Tradition and the Southern Chinese Martial Arts

    Introduction: A Secret Book   We have all seen the movie.  We have all had this dream.  A mysterious Kung Fu manual, purporting to relate the secrets of past masters, falls into your possession.  What will you find within its pages? It must contain the keys to excellence in combat.  That is the … Continue reading

James Yimm Lee and T. Y. Wong: A Rivalry that Shaped the Chinese Martial Arts in America

By Charles Russo, author of Striking Distance: Bruce Lee and the Dawn of Martial Arts in America (University of Nebraska Press, 2016).     So it Begins   At some point in late 1961, James Lee stormed out of the Kin Mon Physical Culture Studio in San Francisco’s Chinatown, effectively breaking off his tutelage under … Continue reading

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