A Collection of Chinese Arms, Published in 1905, posted by Peter Dekker. Spring Cleaning I sat down this morning to work on a project looking at sword aficionados in China, their customers in the West, and how the relationship between... Continue Reading →
Silent Riddles Our discussion of the origins of modern martial arts is always haunted by twin specters. The first is the claim of great, almost unimageable, antiquity. The second is arguments from silence. We have explored at length all of the cultural,... Continue Reading →
Through a Lens Darkly (8): Butterfly Swords, Dadaos and the Local Militias of Guangdong, 1840 vs. 1940.
Introduction: The Butterfly Swords and Southern Martial Arts Defend the Nation I recently ran across two photographs that I think students of the southern Chinese martial arts may find very enlightening. They speak to interesting tactical and cultural questions. On... Continue Reading →
Introduction: Addressing a Difficult Subject No topic is more difficult to approach than the varied roles that traditional Asian fighting systems have played in defining and strengthening nationalism during the 20th century. Governments in Japan, China and later Korea all... 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 →
Through a Lens Darkly (7): Selling Swords and Printed Martial Arts Training Manuals in a 19th century Guangzhou Market.
***Recently I was having a discussion about the state of Kung Fu in China with a friend. (You can see his detailed post on the topic here). He was lamenting the general decline of interest in the arts and... Continue Reading →
***Is there any topic more beloved by modern students of Chinese martial arts history than the dadao? I can't think of one. Enjoy!*** Rediscovering the Dadao: A Forgotten Legacy of the Chinese Martial Arts. Any review of the history... Continue Reading →
Accepting the“traditional” Chinese martial arts as a product of the modern world. If I were to conduct a pole and ask the average student of the Chinese martial arts when the “Golden Age” of Kung Fu was, what sort of... Continue Reading →