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Pop Culture Kung Fu

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Chinese Martial Arts in the News: March 27th 2017: Taijiquan, Ip Man 4 and Things that You Just Can’t Make Up

    Introduction   Welcome to “Chinese Martial Arts in the News.”  This is a semi-regular feature here at Kung Fu Tea in which we review media stories that mention or affect the traditional fighting arts.  In addition to discussing important events, this column also considers how the Asian hand combat systems are portrayed in … Continue reading

Doing Research (10): Trying to Think Inside the Box with Paul Bowman

    Introduction   Welcome to the tenth entry in our series of guest posts titled “Doing Research.”  If you missed the first essay by D. S. Farrer (which provides a global overview of the subject), the second by Daniel Mroz (how to select a school or teacher for research purposes), the third by  Jared Miracle … Continue reading

Remembering Yim Wing Chun, the Boxer Rebellion and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

      What at first appears new is often something remembered.  The human mind has trouble categorizing and finding meaning in anything that is truly unique or alien.  Good storytellers know that originality is not always a virtue.  The construction of meaning is rooted primarily in what we feel to be familiar.   The … Continue reading

A Year in the Chinese Martial Arts: How the Chinese Martial Arts Amazed and Surprised Us in 2016

      Happy New Year! New Years is always a good time to sit back and reflect on recent events.  Of course it is hard not to note that public opinion on 2016 (at least here in the United States) has been decidedly mixed.  Still, it has been an interesting year for the Chinese … Continue reading

Interview with the No Wax Needed Podcast

  I recently had a chance to sit down with Itamar Zadoff who runs the “No Wax Needed” podcast.  Itamar is one of the up and coming martial arts studies scholars who I had the pleasure to meet at our conference in Cardiff earlier this year.  (You can see a short interview that he did … 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 not bad for something that defies the laws of physics and cannot and does … Continue reading

Theory and the Growth of Knowledge – Or Why You Probably Can’t Learn Kung Fu From Youtube

  Becoming Ip Man, in all the Wrong Ways   On a Saturday morning in 2011 I found myself running an “open session” for my Sifu’s Wing Chun school.  The weekday classes were always structured affairs in which learners worked their way through an extensive curriculum centered on one of the various forms in the … Continue reading

Multimedia Wing Chun: Learning and Practice in the Age of YouTube

      By George Jennings (Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK) and Anu Vaittinen (Newcastle University, UK)     Reference to conference presentation: Jennings, G. & Vaittinen, A. (2016). Mediated transformation: Interconnections between embodied training and multimedia resources in Wing Chun. Paper presented at the 2nd International Martial Arts Studies Conference, Cardiff University, UK, 19 July … Continue reading

Lightsaber Combat and Wing Chun: The Search for Meaning in the Modern Martial Arts

  ***What follows is the text of my recent keynote address given at the 2016 Martial Arts Studies Conference.  I am currently in the process of revising and expanding this paper for inclusion in an edited volume.  As such I debated whether I should post this initial draft, or wait until the additional quotes, footnotes … Continue reading

Making Captain America: Martial Arts and the Next Generation

Captain America Thwarted   I spotted a flash of red, white and blue as I looked up from the electronic display mounted on the top of the treadmill.  It was telling me a depressing story of miles left to go.  But the sudden burst of excited kinetic energy suggested that things were about to get … Continue reading

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