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 practical martial artists.  They also played a role in the development of General Ma Liang’s…

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 first presentation in this series, click here for the discussion of “Bartitsu and Suffragette Jujitsu…

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 under 18 inches (46 cm) long, and its tang (broken at the end where the…

Reflections on the Long Pole: History, Technique and Embodiment

      A New Pole   I had been meaning to get a new “long pole” (or Luk Dim Boon Kwan) for a while.  As the name implies, these are somewhat unwieldly training tools and (unless you own a truck) they do not travel well.  In my experience most poles simply “live” in the…