Introduction: Different Visions of the Chinese Martial Arts Assume that we find ourselves in a very specific, recognizable alternate universe. It is almost exactly like ours, but in this world Bruce Lee never came to America. Maybe he got along... Continue Reading →
Note: this article originally appeared as a guest post at "Wing Chun Geeks." Ng Chung So: Looking Beyond the “Three Heroes of Wing Chun” The origins of Wing Chun are shrouded in mystery. We seem to like it that way. ... Continue Reading →
Through a Lens Darkly (9): Swords, Knives and other Traditional Weapons Encountered by the Shanghai Police Department, 1925.
Introduction: Practical Martial Arts in the Age of the Gun As I have mentioned elsewhere, when thinking about the traditional Chinese martial arts we have a tendency to assume that these systems were created in an era without firearms. ... Continue Reading →
The Value of a Comparative Case: Jean-Marc de Grave discusses “The Training of Perception in Javanese Martial Arts.”
Introduction: A drift on the sea of knowledge. Let me ask you a question. Do you ever feel like you have too much to read, study or research? Are you familiar with that creeping feeling that you will never, ever,... Continue Reading →
Tools of the Trade: The Use of Firearms and Traditional Weapons among the Tongs of San Francisco, 1877-1878.
Introduction: The Evolving Relationship between Firearms and the Martial Arts. In a number of previous posts we have examined the complex, often hidden, relationship between the development of the modern Chinese martial arts and firearms. It is frequently stated... Continue Reading →
David Palmer on writing better martial arts history and understanding the sources of “Qi Cultivation” in modern Chinese popular culture.
Catching Qigong Fever. I have read my fair share of books on religion in late imperial and modern China. Unfortunately I had been neglecting a classic. In 2007 David Palmer released a volume titled Qigong Fever: Body, Science and... Continue Reading →
Searching for the Miaodao What exactly do historians mean when they assert that the Chinese martial arts being practiced throughout the world today are, for the most part, a relatively recent creation? Even the veneer of age that systems like... Continue Reading →
Introduction: Wing Chun and the Haters You do not have to be involved with the Chinese martial arts for very long to discover that Wing Chun has the potential to be a highly polarizing topic of conversation. Those within in... Continue Reading →
What Can the Opera Rebellion Teach us about the Social Toleration of Violence (and the Martial Arts) in Late Imperial China?
The Logic of Violence and its Relationship with the State My academic background and doctorate is in political science where I specialize in a sub-field called “international political economy.” That is where I have focused most of my teaching and... Continue Reading →