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Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Martial Studies

Research Note: China’s Red Spears

  The Significance of the Red Spears If one were to ask a group of history students what the most successful Chinese hand combat movement of the early 20thcentury was, my bet is that the conversation would turn into a... Continue Reading →

“Jesus Didn’t Tap”: Sixt Wetzler and the Connection of Religion and Martial Arts

I fundamentally dislike to the term “myth busting.” It reminds me of an American television program that gained great popularity by deconstructing urban legends and popular wisdom through the excessive use of car crashes and C-4 explosives. I can’t actually... Continue Reading →

Guest Post: The Meaning and Origin of Taolu in Chinese Martial Arts

  Introduction Like many of you, I am currently recovering from our 6th annual Martial Arts Studies Conference which selected as its theme "Martial Arts, Religion & Spirituality." Some great papers were given and I continue to be impressed by the ever... Continue Reading →

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: July 13, 2020: The Summer Martial Arts Became Political

  Introduction Welcome to Chinese Martial Arts in the news! For new readers, this is a semi-regular feature here at Kung Fu Tea in which we review media stories that mention the traditional fighting arts.  In addition to discussing important events, this column... Continue Reading →

Black Karate in the Chicago Ghetto, Localizing an Art

  Introduction Like so many others, I currently find it difficult to focus on the task at hand. Unlike most other people, the “happy place” I keep retreating to is the martial arts history of China’s Republic period (1912-1949). That... Continue Reading →

Mulan, the Hidden Hilt Dao and the Dragon Sparrow: LK Chen Explores the Northern Dynasties

  The Ballad of Mulan One of my personal assignments for this summer was to write an extensive review of the 2020 Disney production of Mulan. While I enjoyed their original animated feature (1998), this new film promises to be... Continue Reading →

Bruce Lee and the Problem with Being Water

  A Modest Proposal Numerous commentators have noted that this is a tough time to be a bronze statue. Icons of the 18th and 19th century slave owning class are vanishing from the public landscape in the United States, while... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (64): Military Exercise Among the Chinese

Photography vs Illustration There was just some discussion on the Kung Fu Tea Facebook page of a 19th century illustration generously shared by Scott M. Rodell.  The scene showed half a dozen soldiers relaxing at a guard house or yamen... Continue Reading →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (23): Fu Zhen Song – Southbound Tiger

  History as the cure for Ideology Everyone has a personal mental image of the Chinese martial arts.  The detail may vary, but there are some undeniably common elements.  Grainy photos, complex postures, exotic weapons, strangely vigorous old men. The... Continue Reading →

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