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Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (13): Zhao San-duo—19th Century Plum Flower Master and Reluctant Rebel

  The Yellow River Breaches its Course. Water Album by Ma Yuan. Source: Wikimedia.   ***I am happy to report that the book chapter that I have been working is going well and that I can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.  Once I have time to get back to regular … Continue reading

The Wing Chun Jo Fen: Norms and the Creation of a Southern Chinese Martial Arts Community.

  ***I am happy to report that I am making good progress on my current writing project.  But it is still an ongoing task, and one that consumed much of my weekend.  As such our post for this Monday is another essay pulled for the archives.  This essay asks what Ip Man’s “rules of conduct” … Continue reading

Chi Sao, Ip Man and the Problem of “Dispersed Training” in Wing Chun

    ***Over the next couple of weeks I will be devoting time to some non-blog writing projects.  So, from time to time, we will be dipping into the Kung Fu Tea’s (rather extensive) archives.  I particularly enjoyed writing this post and its a topic that I still think about.  This essay is also a … Continue reading

How did China’s Boxers become “The Boxers”?

    A Girl Who Lived with Monkeys   No text can be read in isolation.  Each is connected to other works through a network of invisible threads.  These are the product of suggestion, desire, memory and meaning.   The job of a historian is to tell us what happened. Often such stories are resolved … Continue reading

A Sword’s Story

      What is it?     The first question seems straight forward.  This sword was purchased at auction a few years ago.  It is a short saber, often called a duandao by martial artists. Its blade is just under 18 inches (46 cm) long, and its tang (broken at the end where the … Continue reading

Research Notes: Jingwu and the Female Martial Artists of 1920

    Introduction     I am interested in the frequent, seemingly unconscious, way in which the word “traditional” is appended to the name “martial arts” in modern speech and writing.  One does not simply study “Japanese wrestling” or “Chinese physical culture.”  From about the 1970s onward everyone became a student of the “traditional martial … Continue reading

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