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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

Author

benjudkins

Research Note: A Challenge Match in Hong Kong, 1890

  Today’s post comes courtesy of Joseph Svinth who shared an intriguing, if brief, find with me a few weeks ago. Kung Fu legends revel in accounts of high stakes challenge matches. In a typical story a young martial arts... Continue Reading →

Knight Errantry and the Soaring Sky

  For ten years I have been polishing this sword; Its frosty edge has never been put to the test. Now I am holding it and showing it to you, sir: Is there anyone suffering from injustice? The Swordsman (剑客) by Jia... Continue Reading →

Earliest Published Photograph and References to Wing Chun

  The Problem with Being “First” I am distrustful of attempts to locate the “first” instance of anything popular or famous. Generally speaking, these quests misunderstand the way that the social world works. We all stand on the shoulders of... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (66): The Dramatic Aspect of Chinese Martial Arts

  Introduction We must thank Joseph Svinth for this post. He came across the following photo essay during his research and was kind enough to share it with me. It was clear that this needed to be included in the... Continue Reading →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (24): Wen Shengcai, Wing Chun’s Assassin

  On Legends and their Grains Not all legends contain a grain a truth. Such an assertion is wishful thinking and sells short the remarkable faculty that is the human imagination. Still, grains manifest frequently enough that they keep historians... Continue Reading →

Epistemic Viciousness: Taking Martial Arts Seriously

  Martial Arts Studies blogging is a hard habit to break. No sooner had I resolved to step away from more academic questions and spend a few months writing about Wing Chun practice and history than I came across an... Continue Reading →

In Pursuit of Double Dragons: A Sui Dynasty Dao

  The Archeology of Dragons Today’s story begins with two, seemingly unrelated, artifact finds.  In 1930 two Chinese sabers (dao) believed to have been excavated from the Sui dynasty's (581-618 CE) royal tombs north of Luoyang, were donated to the... Continue Reading →

Research Note: General Ma Liang’s ‘New Wushu’ Comes to America (1924)

Introduction I am always on the look out for vintage newspaper accounts of Chinese martial arts for my database. While it takes some digging, it is not that difficult to get a sense of what is happening in the English... Continue Reading →

Top Five Changes in Martial Arts: 2020 Edition

  Introduction I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and came across a “Top Five” list…of other “Top Five” lists. It was a wonderfully meta idea and it made me realize how long it had been since we had... Continue Reading →

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