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2016 Christmas Shopping List: Martial Arts Equipment and Long Reads to Get You Through the Winter Months

  Its That Time of Year Again! Welcome to Kung Fu Tea’s fifth annual holiday shopping list!  These are always some of my favorite posts to pull together.  They also serve as a great reminder to continue to make time for martial arts practice and study during the festive seasons.  In fact, training can be … Continue reading

The Immigrant Experience: Asian Martial Arts in the United States and Canada, by Joseph R. Svinth

    ***Happy Thanksgiving!  This is a day when we commemorate the initial act of European immigration to North America.  From that point onward the flow of people and ideas across our borders has never really stopped.  As such, it is impossible to appreciate the global spread of the traditional Asian martial arts without studying … Continue reading

Research Notes: Foshan’s Kung Fu in 1919.

    First, the Important Stuff   Is it possible to approach history without theory?  I think not.  It is the existence of some sort of preexisting story or framework of understanding that we carry around in our heads which tells us that some given source is relevant data in the first place.  Nor are … Continue reading

Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Lightsaber: Fetishism and Material Culture in Martial Arts Studies

  “The lightsaber has become an important touchstone, both within the films and within our culture…They serve as a source of identification and identity.  They are the ultimate commodity: a nonexistent object whose replicas sell for hundreds of dollars.  This is not bad for something that defies the laws of physics and cannot and does … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: November 14th, 2016: Friends, Nostalgia and New Articles

  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 … Continue reading

(Insanity and) the Arts of Martial Minds

  ***Today we have a fascinating guest post by Paul Bowman.   It has been reblogged from Martial Arts Studies.  This essay outlines a new research project looking at questions of sanity and insanity within the practice of martial arts.  It is one of the most thought provoking things that I have read in a while.  … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (41): Three Views of a Young Boxer

      Meeting the Boxer   I recently had the good fortune to meet one of my favorite Chinese Boxers.  I had been stalking him for years. This early 20th century postcard was probably purchased in Beijing and then mailed to Tianjin on February 5th, 1909.  The card itself was published by J.H. Schaefer’s … Continue reading

Spirituality in the Traditional Martial Arts – Between History and Theory

  “There is a problem with the study of martial arts similar to that identified by Markus Davidson in the case of “spiritual studies”: many of the scholars involved in the topic are themselves practitioners and their work betrays a normative apologetic agenda…As practitioners themselves these scholars have tended to underplay certain historical factors in … Continue reading

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