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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Southern China

A Lost Kung Fu Manual and the Nature of “Chinese Boxing”

  Introduction This is my keynote address from the recent (Nov. 9-10th, 2017) conference on fightbooks held at the German Blade Museum in Solingen.  A full report on this event is coming soon, but I am eager to share this... Continue Reading →

Disenchanting Jianghu (Rivers and Lakes): Historical Experience and the Kung Fu Refusenik

  Introduction I am happy to report that all of the conference papers and book chapters I have been working on for the last month are now finished.  Unfortunately, my blogging sabbatical must continue a little while longer. I am... Continue Reading →

Red Boats of the Cantonese Opera: Economics, Social Structure and Violence 1850-1950.

    Introduction The "writing sabbatical" continues and I am happy to report that the book chapters and papers are progressing nicely.   This weekend's post comes to us from the early days of Kung Fu Tea, and it covers a... Continue Reading →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (8): Gu Ruzhang-Northern Shaolin Master and Southward Bound Tiger.

Introduction Gu Ruzhang is one of the best known martial artists of the Republic of China era.  He is remembered today as a pioneer who helped to bring Northern Shaolin to Southern China.  Most accounts of his illustrious career start... Continue Reading →

Martial Mythology (1): Yim Wing Chun and the Hero’s Journey

  Introduction For someone who doesn’t read classical Chinese, I spend a lot of time in seminars listening to presentations on ancient texts.  Cornell regularly invites visiting scholars to discuss their work.  While none of these individuals has ever given... Continue Reading →

Imagining Ip Man: Globalization and the Growth of Wing Chun Kung Fu

  ***I am current on the road for the annual Martial Arts Studies conference at Cardiff University in the UK.  As soon as I return home I will be posting a full report of the event and sharing the text... Continue Reading →

Li Pei Xian and the Evolution of Modern Chinese “Martial Arts”

  ***Greetings! I am currently preparing for the upcoming Martial Arts Studies conference in Cardiff.  As such we will be taking a deep dive into the archives for today's post.  This essay and biographical sketch was first published four years... Continue Reading →

The Bubishi Gets its Due: Returning the ‘Bible of Karate’ to its Chinese Roots

  David S. Nisan and Liu Kangyi. 2016. The General Tian Wubeizhi: the Bubishi in Chinese Martial Arts History. Taipei: Lionbook Martial Arts Company. 136 pages of text, plus 128 pages of facsimile reprint. $47.95 USD.   Introduction   Given... Continue Reading →

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: April 24, 2017: Southern Kung Fu, Taijiquan Heritage and Boxing for Survival

    Introduction   Welcome to “Chinese Martial Arts in the News!”  Its great to be back at my keyboard after spending the last week and half on other projects.  I managed to finish the draft of my chapter and am looking... Continue Reading →

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