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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Chinese Martial Studies

Performance Ethnography and the Martial Arts Studies Reader

  As the indomitable Professor Farnsworth would say, good news everyone! The long anticipated Martial Arts Studies Reader (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) is now shipping.  Weighing in at 244 pages, and featuring articles by over a dozen of the most... Continue Reading →

Of Pens and Swords: Jin Yong’s Journey

    The Loss of Heroes The Chinese martial arts community has lost two giants.  The death of Raymond Chow (who was instrumental in jumpstarting Bruce Lee’s martial arts films) and Louis Cha (who wrote under the name Jin Yong)... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (56): New York City’s Kung Fu and the Roaring 1920s

    Introduction While I have a few connections in New York City’s TCMA community, it has always been my experience that one turns up different sorts of insights by getting out and exploring the terrain on one’s own.  It... Continue Reading →

Martial Classics: The Complete Fist Canon in Verse

  Translator’s Note Here is the full translation of the Qi Jiguang’s Fist Method as it appears in the Wubei Zhi, offered as a follow-up to my initial discussion of the challenges of translating this text into English verse. If... Continue Reading →

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: Oct. 22 2018: Archery, Kung Fu Villages and the Lives of Detective Dee

    Introduction It has been a busy weekend, so this news update will be brief. Nevertheless, I wanted to comment on some of the more interesting stories that have been floating around. For new readers, this is a semi-regular feature here... Continue Reading →

Who “Killed” Kung Fu: Habermas and the Legitimization Crisis within Traditional Martial Arts

  Zombies The air is distinctly crisp, the end of October is upon us, and Halloween rapidly approaches. Clearly, it is time to talk about zombies.  We seem to go through periods of collective fascination with the image of empty human... Continue Reading →

Salvaging History and Saving the Martial Arts

  This weekend has been a blur of activity. Friday evening was consumed by the first “open mat” sparring night at the Central Lightsaber Academy (which was a blast), Saturday was devoted to a day-long seminar on Sicilian knife fighting... Continue Reading →

Seeking Identity with a T-Shirt: Uniforms in the Martial Arts

  The Varieties of Uniformity   My Monday evening study-group just passes a milestone. Somehow it never even occurred to me that this was on the horizon, though I was the one who (inadvertently) set things in motion.  An acquaintance... Continue Reading →

A (Taijiquan) Mystery in Yellow

    Unanswered Questions   Everyone likes a good mystery. They engage, they motivate and (whether we want to admit it or not) they make the hours vanish. That certainly explains at least part of the popularity of historical studies... Continue Reading →

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