Star Wars: An American Martial Arts Film Franchise?

***On November 19th at 4 pm I will be taking part in a live-chat (broadcast on YouTube) on ethnographic research in the martial arts and lightsaber combat.  This is exciting as a number of very interesting people will be joining the discussion including Damon Honeycutt (an early pioneer of LSC who is now in a…

A Killing Art

  Introduction Greetings from my short writing sabbatical! There are two subjects that have been on my mind.  The first is Korea as I spent much of the day editing a 15 page conference presentation down to a svelte 7 pages for an event that will be held at Cheongju University in the first week…

Through a Lens Darkly (48): Opening the Stone Lock

  A Quick Update My other writing projects are continuing well, though weekends are never quite as productive as one might hope.  But my loss may be your gain in the shape of some fresh material here on the blog. It seems that among martial artists there has been renewed interest in “stone locks” and…

Lau Bun-A Kung Fu Pioneer in America

  Introduction Given that this post will be released on Columbus Day, I thought that it might be fun to think about some “new world” martial arts history.  Lau Bun was both a colorful and critical figure in the early Bay Area Chinese martial arts scene.  If you are interested in learning more about him…

Hand Combat Training as the School of the Nations

    My schedule over the next four to six weeks is going to be pretty crazy.  I have a couple of writing projects followed by some heavy duty transoceanic conference travel.  As such we will be dipping into our archives for some “deep cuts” and classic hits, with the occasional guest-post to keep things…

A 1918 Account of Traditional Martial Arts in the Chinese Labor Corps

    Introduction Co-authorship of today’s post is shared with Joseph Svinth, the editor of the EJMAS and multiple other important works on martial arts studies.   He brought the following account and historic photographs to my attention, and we both agreed that they were worth sharing here. It seemed as though the events of WWI…

Martial Mythology (1): Yim Wing Chun and the Hero’s Journey

  Introduction For someone who doesn’t read classical Chinese, I spend a lot of time in seminars listening to presentations on ancient texts.  Cornell regularly invites visiting scholars to discuss their work.  While none of these individuals has ever given a talk on a martial arts related project, they almost always suggest points worth thinking…

Do Martial Arts Create Just Societies?

For ten years I have been polishing this sword; Its frosty edge has never been put to the test. Now I am holding it and showing it to you, sir: Is there anyone suffering from injustice? -“The Swordsman” by Jia Dao (Tang dynasty).  Trans. Liu, 1967.   “Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt…