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Images of Chinese Martial Arts

This category contains 55 posts

Through a Lens Darkly (42): Chinese Martial Arts in the University, 1928

      Introduction   At the end of the last class at the “Central Martial Arts Academy” (the location where I am conducing my current research on lightsaber combat and the “hyper-real martial arts”) we all gathered for an impromptu class photo.  Digital technology makes this a quick and easy process, especially compared to … Continue reading

Another Look at a “Young Boxer” – Martial Arts and National Humiliation in Early 20th Century China

    Another Look at a “Young Boxer” – Martial Arts and National Humiliation in Early 20th Century China By Benjamin Judkins and Doug Wile     Introduction   Earlier this year I published an image of a “Young Boxer” found on a vintage postcard, mailed between Tianjin and Beijing in 1909.  This was used … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (41): Three Views of a Young Boxer

      Meeting the Boxer   I recently had the good fortune to meet one of my favorite Chinese Boxers.  I had been stalking him for years. This early 20th century postcard was probably purchased in Beijing and then mailed to Tianjin on February 5th, 1909.  The card itself was published by J.H. Schaefer’s … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (40): Butterfly Swords and Tong Wars in North America

    The Yin and the Yang of the Hudiedao Earlier this year I had the opportunity to participate in a day-long seminar on the Wing Chun swords taught by Sifu John Crescione. This was a great experience that provided many students with an introduction to this iconic weapon. Such events, by necessity, tend to … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (39): The Strength of Chinese Boxers

  Introduction Some of the most popular posts at Kung Fu Tea have examined vintage images of traditional martial artists.  These are also among my favorites to research.  Yet it seems that I have neglected this subject with all of the other projects that have come up this summer.  Hopefully this post will go some … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (38): A Tale of Two Swordsmen

      Introduction   In a recent post discussing the portrayal of the Asian martial arts in early 20th century Western newsreels, I called for a “media archeology” of the early imagery surrounding these fighting systems.  The following post comments upon two examples taken from my collection of vintage postcards to better illustrate how … 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

Research Notes: The Chinese and Japanese Martial Arts as Seen on Western Newsreels

    “In the west, Asian martial arts are everywhere.  They are part of the texture of popular consciousness.  Nonetheless I want to argue that they remain marginal.  That is to say, although Westerners may see them often, and all over the place, they are not simply the norm.” -Paul Bowman, “the Marginal Movement of … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (37): Demonstrating the Heroic Spear, Saber and Double Tiger Head Hook Swords

Introduction   Ephemera, such as postcards, tourist snapshots and newspaper accounts are an important (if often overlooked) source of information regarding the traditional Chinese martial arts. While a number of printed manuals and detailed philosophical discussions do exist from the period of the 1920s onward, I am always surprised at how difficult it is to … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (36): Swords, Lions and the Consumption of Chinese Culture

  Introduction Happy Lunar New Year!  In honor of the holiday I decided to publish a couple of posts that focused on the important role that the traditional martial arts, and martial values more generally, have played in the celebration of this holiday.  On Friday we looked at a reconstruction of a specific Dragon Dance … Continue reading

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