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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Weapons

Mulan, the Hidden Hilt Dao and the Dragon Sparrow: LK Chen Explores the Northern Dynasties

  The Ballad of Mulan One of my personal assignments for this summer was to write an extensive review of the 2020 Disney production of Mulan. While I enjoyed their original animated feature (1998), this new film promises to be... Continue Reading →

How to get Stabbed with a Sword in China

  A Thought Experiment I suspect that anyone with even a passing interest in Chinese martial arts history has already compiled a mental list of the past masters and personalities that they would most like to visit on the off... Continue Reading →

Field Notes: Sticks, Blades and Movement Along the Pacific Rim

  Introduction Michael J. Ryan has has been kind enough to share with us some of his field notes from a recent hoplology project which he had the good fortune to participate in.  The focus of these exchanges, interviews and... Continue Reading →

Evaluating Swords: A Lost Martial Text from the Han Dynasty

    Introduction No modern civilization enjoys a longer and richer history than China.  Yet accessing it can be a challenge for scholars. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the study of martial arts. The oldest existing Chinese hand... Continue Reading →

LK Chen and the Rebirth of the Han Jian

    Introduction Over the last year many Chinese martial arts students in the West have become aware of the replica Han dynasty weapons currently being produced by LK Chen in Guangdong.  These high-quality pieces are all the more attractive... Continue Reading →

History of East Asian Martial Arts: Week 3 – Rise of the Bushi

Introduction Welcome to the third week of our virtual Martial Arts Studies class, "History of East Asian Martial Arts."  For those who are new to the series we are reading along with Prof. TJ Hinrichs' course of the same title... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (63): Romance of the Single-Stick

An Eternal Passion As a martial artists that I work with likes to tell his students, "Hitting someone with a stick is not difficult.  Noting getting hit with a stick is...a lot of fun." The history of Western single-stick practice... Continue Reading →

Research Notes: The Katana Invades America

    Why is the Katana more popular than the Jian A good friend recently sent me a link for a YouTube video asking why Chinese swords are not as well known in Western popular culture as their Japanese counterparts. ... Continue Reading →

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

***I am currently preparing for a demonstration and tournament which I will be hosting on Friday.  As such, we are turning to the archives for today's post.  This essay offers readers a unique look at the nexus between the martial... Continue Reading →

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