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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Southern China

Earliest Published Photograph and References to Wing Chun

  The Problem with Being “First” I am distrustful of attempts to locate the “first” instance of anything popular or famous. Generally speaking, these quests misunderstand the way that the social world works. We all stand on the shoulders of... Continue Reading →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (24): Wen Shengcai, Wing Chun’s Assassin

  On Legends and their Grains Not all legends contain a grain a truth. Such an assertion is wishful thinking and sells short the remarkable faculty that is the human imagination. Still, grains manifest frequently enough that they keep historians... Continue Reading →

The Maiden of Yue and the Magnificent Chu

LK Chen's Magnificent Chu Jian. Source: LKChenswords.com   Rediscovering a Lost Sword Culture A single puzzle piece is useless on its own. Sometimes it takes one mystery to illuminate another.  Such is the case with the following text and sword.  Historians... 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 →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (9): Woman Ding Number Seven: Founder of the Fujian Yongchun Boxing Tradition

Introduction: Gender and the History of the Chinese Martial Arts Women are a challenging subject in Chinese martial studies.  One the one hand traditions about female boxers, nuns, bandits and heroes abound in the folklore of the “Rivers and Lakes.” ... Continue Reading →

Kung Fu Documentaries and Their Discontents

  Given that many of the readers of Kung Fu Tea come to this blog to read about the history or development of traditional fighting systems, I am willing to bet that each and every one of us has complained... Continue Reading →

The History and Global Transmission of Wing Chun (In Less than Five Thousand Words)

  I was recently invited to contribute an article to a forthcoming volume on the history and development of Wing Chun.  The catch was that it had to be less than five thousand words.  I have literally written hundreds of... 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 →

Three Thoughts on Hong Kong, Social Dislocation and the Fog of War

  “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” Niels Bohr (among others).     With Trepidation I would like to outline three quick points about the current situation in Hong Kong, particularly as it relates to (and sometimes sidesteps)... Continue Reading →

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