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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Martial Studies

Through a Lens Darkly (47): The Sword Shops of Beijing’s Bow and Arrow Street

***I am currently preparing for a demonstration and tournament which I will be hosting on Friday.  As such, we are turning to the archives for today's post.  This essay offers readers a unique look at the nexus between the martial... Continue Reading →

The Transformation of Chinese Martial Arts During the Song Dynasty

  Introduction I have always wondered about the Song period (960-1279) and its connection to the modern Chinese martial arts (let’s say 1850 to the present).  One could be forgiven for placing the genesis of our current systems sometime in... Continue Reading →

Research Note: When Martial Arts Divided Us

  Introduction It seems to be taken as an article of faith in much of the popular writing on the martial arts that these hand combat systems provide not only an avenue for self-actualization, but also the ability to bridge... Continue Reading →

The Immigrant Experience: Asian Martial Arts in the United States and Canada, by Joseph R. Svinth

    ***Happy Thanksgiving!  This is a day when we commemorate the initial act of European immigration to North America.  From that point onward the flow of people and ideas across our borders has never really stopped.  As such, it... Continue Reading →

Spirituality in the Traditional Martial Arts – Between History and Theory

  “There is a problem with the study of martial arts similar to that identified by Markus Davidson in the case of “spiritual studies”: many of the scholars involved in the topic are themselves practitioners and their work betrays a... Continue Reading →

Chinese Martial Arts, Religion and Spirituality: A Guide for the Perplexed

  Can the confused lead others to clarity?  Perhaps the title of this essay risks overselling the contents as I can think of no subject within the field more demanding of nuance, yet less likely to receive it, than the... Continue Reading →

Are the Chinese Martial Arts Fake?

    Given that this essay is being hosted on a blog mostly read by practitioners of the TCMA, I doubt that the question posed by the title will generate a great deal of enthusiasm. I suspect that most of... Continue Reading →

Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Lightsaber: Fetishism and Material Culture in Martial Arts Studies

“The lightsaber has become an important touchstone, both within the films and within our culture…They serve as a source of identification and identity.  They are the ultimate commodity: a nonexistent object whose replicas sell for hundreds of dollars.  This is... Continue Reading →

Rediscovering China’s Flails

  Reclaiming Bruce When is a nunchuck, perhaps the most iconic weapon to emerge from Okinawan karate, not a nunchuck?  When it is being held by Bruce Lee.  At least that is what the discussion in my Facebook feed seemed... Continue Reading →

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