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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Southern China

1920: Jingwu Brings Kung Fu to Guangzhou’s Public Schools

  It goes by many names. Organization, bureaucracy…”hard work”… It’s the sort of social effort that defines modern industrialized life. Weber famously termed it the “iron cage” of rationality. We so frequently speak of, or imagine, the martial arts as... Continue Reading →

Matthew Polly on Bruce Lee and The Art of Writing a Life

  Matthew Polly. 2018. Bruce Lee: A Life. New York: Simon and Schuster. 656 pages. $35 USD.   Introduction Matthew Polly is perhaps the best known and most popular author writing on the martial arts today.  His first two books... Continue Reading →

Jingwu and the Creation of the “Kung Fu” Brand

  Rethinking the Conventional Wisdom Our daily conversations are made up of innumerable facts drawn from what might be termed, “the conventional wisdom.”  The contents of this warehouse of social knowledge are so widely shared that none of us stop... Continue Reading →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (11): Mok Kwai Lan – The Mistress of Hung Gar.

  ***In honor of the recent celebration of Mother's Day.  Enjoy!***   Introduction This post is the third entry in our series examining the lives of female Chinese martial artists.  While it is the case that the vast majority of... Continue Reading →

Regional Histories, Localization and the Chinese Martial Arts

  Regulating Kung Fu in Canton The brave new world of electronic databases and digital humanities is certainly opening many doors to new and exciting types of research.  Increasingly scholars can sit down at any university terminal and access previously... Continue Reading →

Quanzhou Taizuquan – An Encyclopedia of Southern Kung Fu Culture

Zhou Kun Min. 2017. Quanzhou Taizuquan: The Art of Fujian Emperor First Kung Fu. Tambuli Media. 241 pages. $32.95 USD.     I recently hosted a round table discussion focused on the state of the martial arts publishing industry in... Continue Reading →

Qilin Dancing During the Lunar New Year and Southern Chinese Martial Arts

  Introduction: What is a Qilin and why do they dance? Let me start off by wishing everyone a happy New Year!  Since multiple holidays fall on the same weekend this year, I am current away from the office visiting... Continue Reading →

Rebellion and the Chinese Martial Arts

Rebel Yell Its hard to deny that there is something a bit subversive about the martial arts. Or maybe that’s not quite right. Dutiful law enforcement officers and loyal soldiers spend as much time actually training in these systems as... Continue Reading →

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 →

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