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Traditional Chinese Martial Arts and the “YMCA Consensus”

      ***I am very excited to introduce the following guest post by my friend Scott Phillips.  In this essay Scott draws on his extensive study of modern Chinese religious and social history in an attempt to develop a powerful new concept for describing and theorizing the massive reforms of the Chinese martial arts … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: April 24, 2017: Southern Kung Fu, Taijiquan Heritage and Boxing for Survival

    Introduction   Welcome to “Chinese Martial Arts in the News!”  Its great to be back at my keyboard after spending the last week and half on other projects.  I managed to finish the draft of my chapter and am looking forward to posting some new material and guest posts over the next few weeks before … Continue reading

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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