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Biography

This category contains 40 posts

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (18): Xiang Kairan – Imagining the Traditional Chinese Martial Arts

  “When the Nanjing Martial Arts Institute was opened, I was in Hankou [in eastern Hubei], where I noticed in a newspaper that they were dividing their curriculum into two schools – Wudang and Shaolin – and appointing specialists for each of them. For “Wudang” to be isolated like this in the promotion of our … Continue reading

From the Archives: Ming Tales of Female Warriors – Searching for the Origins of Yim Wing Chun and Ng Moy.

  ***We are currently in the final push to prepare and release the second issue of the interdisciplinary journal Martial Arts Studies.  This will be a themed issue examining different aspects of the “invention of the martial arts” in a wide variety of settings and time periods.   Paul Bowman and I are very excited about … Continue reading

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (17): Chu Minyi – Physician, Politician and Taijiquan Addict

      Introduction: The Architects of Kung Fu Diplomacy   I recently had the opportunity to examine a very interesting series of magazine articles, produced in 1920, discussing the efforts of the (in)famous General Ma Liang to promote the study of the traditional martial arts throughout both the Chinese military and state.   The most … Continue reading

Doing Research (6): Working the Beat – One Journalist’s Efforts at Perfecting the Fine Art of Hanging Out

  Introduction   Welcome to the sixth entry in our series of guest posts titled “Doing Research.”  If you missed the first essay by D. S. Farrer (which provides a global overview of the subject), the second by Daniel Mroz (how to select a school or teacher for research purposes), the third by  Jared Miracle … Continue reading

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (16): Yu Chenghui – Realizing Swordsmanship in an Era of Restoration

    Introduction: The Shadow of History   None of the short, English language, biographies of the respected martial artist and actor Yu Chenghui (1939-2015) have much to say about his struggles or activities during the Cultural Revolution.  Yet even a brief glimpse at the timeline of his career suggests that these events had a … Continue reading

Prof. Maofu Gong Discusses the State of Folk Wushu and Martial Arts Studies in China Today

      Introduction   Prof. Maofu Gong is an Associate Professor of Sports Culture at Chengdu Sport University.   He is also a visiting scholar with the Cornell University East Asia Program where he is working on a project titled “The Transmission and Development of the Chinese Martial Arts in America.”  I recently had the … Continue reading

Guest Post: Jose Figueroa: From Bronx B-boy to Chen Style Master

  Introduction New York City is a place that gets under your skin.  Live there long enough and you will always be up for a good New York story.  I had a chance to explore the city while I was in graduate school at Columbia, but unfortunately I believed that I didn’t have the time … Continue reading

Guest Post: “The Practical Isn’t Pretty”: General Qi Jiguang on Martial Arts for Soldiers

    Introduction This is the second guest post contributed by Sascha Matuszak to help keep things interesting here at Kung Fu Tea while I am in the UK attending the Martial Arts Studies conference at Cardiff University.  Like the first post in this series, it draws from his writings at Fightland.  This particular post … Continue reading

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (15): Fei Ching Po – Professional Gambler and Female Martial Artist in Early 19th Century Guangzhou

  Introduction Stories of skilled female warriors have a long history in China. The legend of the Maiden of Yue illustrates these ancient roots.  Yet it was during the final decades of the Qing dynasty that the female martial artist really came into her own as a literary type. Vernacular operas, public storytellers, short stories … Continue reading

William Chen: Introducing Americans to Taijiquan in the Summer of 1965

“I trained under William Ch’en in Taiwan and in New York City. He fools you. Meek, slender, and quiet, he might be a scholar or a student of the Book of Changes, never a boxer.….He is so relaxed that he appears to have no bones.” R.W. Smith Chinese Boxing: Masters and Methods. Kodansha International. 1971. … Continue reading

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