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Taoism in Bits

“Taoism in Bits.” A guest post by Paul Bowman [1] ***Xīnnián hǎo.  We are fortunate to have a special guest post this week in honor of the Chinese New Year.  This essay, by Prof. Paul Bowman, will help us to think more systematically about the process by which elements of Chinese culture (specifically Daoism and … Continue reading

Research Notes: An Account of Kung Fu in Hong Kong’s Theaters during the 1860s.

    Introduction   I would like to preface the following research note by dedicating it to any of my readers who enjoy a good Kung Fu comedy.  If you are a fan of Jackie Chan’s work, or maybe Kung Fu Hustle, what follows will be especially appreciated.  But for any historically minded reader, the … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: January 23rd 2017: Global Shaolin, MMA and the Endangered Southern Mantis

  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

Historic Martial Arts Manuals and the Limits of Authenticity

        Situating the Martial Culture of Shii-cho   All of the Jedi I know speak with an accent.  A particularly keen observer might notice them as they walk into the Central Martial Arts Academy, shedding their boots and heavy winter coats.  But anyone with a background in the martial arts can start … Continue reading

Now Available: Winter 2016 Issue of Martial Arts Studies

    We are happy to announce that the Winter 2016 Issue of Martial Arts Studies is now available, free of charge, to any reader or institution.  This open source, peer reviewed, interdisciplinary journal is an imprint of Cardiff University Press. Simply click the cover image, or this link, to download a complete copy.  You … Continue reading

Doing Research (9): The Perils and Pitfalls of Performance Ethnography in the Martial Arts

    Introduction We are fortunate to be able to share the following guest post as part of our ongoing series on fieldwork in martial arts studies.  This essay, by D. S. Farrer, outlines a number of issues and pitfalls that young ethnographers should consider as they embark on their projects. Readers may recall that … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (42): Chinese Martial Arts in the University, 1928

      Introduction   At the end of the last class at the “Central Martial Arts Academy” (the location where I am conducing my current research on lightsaber combat and the “hyper-real martial arts”) we all gathered for an impromptu class photo.  Digital technology makes this a quick and easy process, especially compared to … Continue reading

Chinese and European Fight Books: The Value of a Comparative Approach

    Introduction   The Acta Periodica Duellatorum, an academic journal dedicated to the study of the Western martial arts (edited by Daniel Jaquet), has just released it latest issue.  At least two of these articles will be of interest to readers of Kung Fu Tea and are highly recommended.  The first, by Sixt Wetzler, … Continue reading

Kung Fu Tea Selects the “Best” Book of 2016 – And Suggests a Reading List for 2017

      Looking Forward by Looking Back   Admittedly 2016 has been a rough year for many people.  Yet it has been a great year for those interested in serious, thoughtful and even scholarly writing on the martial arts.  It seems clear that publishers have been gearing up to meet the sustained growth in … Continue reading

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