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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Martial Studies

“Fighting Styles” or “Martial Brands”? An economic approach to understanding “lost lineages” in the Chinese Martial Arts.

  ***Today's post continues our discussion of economic markets and modernity in the Chinese martial arts.  This essay, first posted in May of 2013, was one of my first attempts at hashing out these questions as they related to advertising... Continue Reading →

The Wing Chun Jo Fen: Norms and the Creation of a Southern Chinese Martial Arts Community.

  ***I am happy to report that I am making good progress on my current writing project.  But it is still an ongoing task, and one that consumed much of my weekend.  As such our post for this Monday is... Continue Reading →

Mythology of the Kukri: Sign and Symbol

Introduction: The Symbolic Language of Weapons Victor Turner, the cultural anthropologist, famously argued that all symbols are "multivocal," meaning a single symbol can take on a multiplicity of meanings.  Humans have a way of looking at complexes of symbols, perhaps... 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 →

Old or New? The Miaodao and Invention in Chinese Martial Arts

  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 →

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 →

The Boxer Rebellion and the First Martial Arts Films

Confronting the Boxers It is probably an irony that I have written so little on the Boxer Uprising during my casual and academic discussion of the martial arts.  It was a chance encounter with the Boxers some years ago as... Continue Reading →

Lau Bun-A Kung Fu Pioneer in America

   Choy Li Fut’s place in southern Chinese martial culture. Let me ask you a question.  What was the largest and most socially important martial art in Guangdong during the late 19th and early 20th century?  What was the first... Continue Reading →

An Updated and Revised Social History of the Hudiedao (Butterfly Swords)

  In January of 2013 I posted an essay titled "A Social and Visual History of the Hudiedao (Butterfly Sword) in the Southern Chinese Martial Arts." As a student of Wing Chun I have always been fascinated by these weapons, and... Continue Reading →

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