Mysteries In a post reviewing the portrayal of weaponry in Han Dynasty mortuary art I confessed that I really, really, want to assemble a recreation of the sorts of long, horizontal, weapons racks that you see in some of these... Continue Reading →
“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 →
A Collection of Chinese Arms, Published in 1905, posted by Peter Dekker. Spring Cleaning I sat down this morning to work on a project looking at sword aficionados in China, their customers in the West, and how the relationship between... Continue Reading →
Group 1. Yonezawa Industrial School's Midwinter Training General Meeting. Winter Training In the "before times" some readers will remember that I ran a lightsaber combat club in Ithaca. To say that it was a lot of fun would be an... Continue Reading →
Silent Riddles Our discussion of the origins of modern martial arts is always haunted by twin specters. The first is the claim of great, almost unimageable, antiquity. The second is arguments from silence. We have explored at length all of the cultural,... Continue Reading →
LK Chen's Woyao Dao. Source: LKChensword.com Introduction A package containing two of LK Chen’s fine historical reproductions recently arrived at my door. So, of course, I find myself thinking about the importance of “regionalism” within martial arts studies. The connection between... Continue Reading →
Song Dynasty Soldier with Dao Shi Jin and Chinese Martial Arts It is axiomatic among martial arts studies scholars to assert that the fighting systems that people practice today are not the ancient creations that so many modern students, in... Continue Reading →
Through a Lens Darkly (8): Butterfly Swords, Dadaos and the Local Militias of Guangdong, 1840 vs. 1940.
Introduction: The Butterfly Swords and Southern Martial Arts Defend the Nation I recently ran across two photographs that I think students of the southern Chinese martial arts may find very enlightening. They speak to interesting tactical and cultural questions. On... Continue Reading →
Through a Lens Darkly (9): Swords, Knives and other Traditional Weapons Encountered by the Shanghai Police Department, 1925.
Introduction: Practical Martial Arts in the Age of the Gun As I have mentioned elsewhere, when thinking about the traditional Chinese martial arts we have a tendency to assume that these systems were created in an era without firearms. ... Continue Reading →