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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Weapons

Through a Lens Darkly (47): The Sword Shops of Beijing’s Bow and Arrow Street

  Looking over my posts from the last few months I realized that it has been too long since we discussed new (to us) images of the Chinese martial arts.  In this post our friend Sidney Gamble will help to... Continue Reading →

Research Notes: The Big Knife and Ma Liang’s Attempted Comeback

  Given that it is a holiday weekend, I will be keeping this research note brief.  Still, the subject matter is quite interesting.  China’s Republic era dadao, or big knives, generate a good deal of interest among both historians and... Continue Reading →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (20): General Li Jinglin, the “Sword Saint” of Wudang

    Who was China’s “Number One Sword?”   Few individuals come to be known as both a warlord and a “sword saint.”  Even by the standards of China’s tumultuous 1920s, the carving out of two such notable public personas... Continue Reading →

Dissemination of Japanese Martial Arts to Korea

  Introduction Greetings!  I am currently on the road for a conference and workshop.  As such, I will be sharing some papers that were presented at the Martial Arts Studies Research Network's recent conference in Bath.  If you missed the... Continue Reading →

A Sword’s Story

      What is it?     The first question seems straight forward.  This sword was purchased at auction a few years ago.  It is a short saber, often called a duandao by martial artists. Its blade is just... Continue Reading →

Villains, Guns and Humor: Giving Texture to the Early 19th Century Chinese Martial Arts

      Any traveler can attest that detours come in two forms.  They all take a little longer, and most offer nothing but delay.  Others can lead to fascinating discoveries.  These often come in the form of local sandwich... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (43): Chinese Amazons and the “Weapons of the Forefathers”

Wonder Woman with a Dadao     In China the realm of social violence, and the martial arts in particular, has been male dominated.  That does not mean that women never became a part of such activities.  After all, they... Continue Reading →

An Updated and Revised Social History of the Hudiedao (Butterfly Swords)

  In January of 2013 I posted an essay titled "A Social and Visual History of the Hudiedao (Butterfly Sword) in the Southern Chinese Martial Arts." As a student of Wing Chun I have always been fascinated by these weapons, and... 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... Continue Reading →

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