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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Pop Culture Kung Fu

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 →

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: August 19, 2019: Hong Kong, Bruce Lee and New Books!

  Introduction Its been a long hot month with lots of Chinese martial arts news.  That means that now (before the start of the new semester) is the perfect time to get caught up on recent events! For new readers,... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Deconstructing Martial Arts

Paul Bowman. 2019. Deconstructing the Martial Arts. Cardiff: Cardiff University Press. 165 pages.  Free to Download.     Introduction Summer is typically the time when scholars get caught up on their reading. Yet judging from the pile of books, manuscripts, dissertations... Continue Reading →

History and Myth in Lightsaber Combat

  Introduction In the coming months I expect that readers will be seeing a few new blog posts discussing my ongoing work with the Lightsaber Combat community.  I have a chapter and conference paper that will be looking at performance... Continue Reading →

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: March 22, 2019: Kung Fu and its Discontents

  Introduction Its been over a month since our last news update, which means that there is no better time to get caught up on recent events! For new readers, this is a semi-regular feature here at Kung Fu Tea in which we... Continue Reading →

Paradoxes of Success in Lightsaber Combat

    Lightsabers Go Legit What follows is a meditation on recent events. It is not every day that you sit down, open your phone, and find Trevor Noah performing a Daily Show bit about people you know. It is... Continue Reading →

Bruce Lee: Memory, Philosophy and the Tao of Gung Fu

  ***I am off visiting family over the holiday weekend, so we are headed back to the archives. Since our (American) readers have just celebrated Thanksgiving, I though it would be appropriate to revisit an essay that asks what we... Continue Reading →

Of Pens and Swords: Jin Yong’s Journey

    The Loss of Heroes The Chinese martial arts community has lost two giants.  The death of Raymond Chow (who was instrumental in jumpstarting Bruce Lee’s martial arts films) and Louis Cha (who wrote under the name Jin Yong)... Continue Reading →

Spreading the Gospel of Kung Fu: Print Media and the Popularization of Wing Chun (Part II)

  Introduction In the first part of this series (which you can read here) we discussed the earliest works on the Chinese martial arts to appear in English, and looked at two sources on Wing Chun.  The first was an... Continue Reading →

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