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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Weapons

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 →

Research Note: When Martial Arts Divided Us

  Introduction It seems to be taken as an article of faith in much of the popular writing on the martial arts that these hand combat systems provide not only an avenue for self-actualization, but also the ability to bridge... 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 is... Continue Reading →

Rediscovering China’s Flails

  Reclaiming Bruce When is a nunchuck, perhaps the most iconic weapon to emerge from Okinawan karate, not a nunchuck?  When it is being held by Bruce Lee.  At least that is what the discussion in my Facebook feed seemed... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (61): The Shifting Social and Economic Value of Traditional Chinese Weapons

    One of the most notable trends over the last decade has been the rapid appreciation of prices for antique Chinese weapons.  There is more variability in markets for antique objects than one might think.  Simply being rare was... Continue Reading →

Debating Rules and Standards in the Martial Arts

  Why do the rules matter? Recently I was invited to help organize a local martial arts gathering and tournament.  I have never done anything like this before (most of my organizational expertise is concentrated in the academic realm) but... Continue Reading →

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