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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 (53): Traditional Weapons in China’s 20th Century Militia Movements

  They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  If true this will be a weighty essay.  Yet that was always the thing about Harrison Forman, the renowned photo-journalist, writer and explorer.  As a correspondent he was a double... Continue Reading →

Translating the Sicilian Knife

“If translation is a form of betrayal, then the translator pays their debt by bringing fame to the ethnic culture…It is in translation’s faithless that [Sicily] survives and thrives.  A faithlessness that gives the beloved life — is that not…faithfulness... Continue Reading →

Lightsaber Combat and the Value of Myth in the Martial Arts

  Solo, the latest addition to the Star Wars franchise, opens around the country tonight.  As such, it is only fitting that I share with readers of Kung Fu Tea my latest article, co-authored with Chad Eisner.  This piece was... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (51): Early Kendo in California

  Of Boy Scouts and Kendo A recent post focused on the role of the global scouting movement in promoting the spread of the Asian martial arts during the first half of the 20th century. In that essay I mentioned... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (50): Catching Up With A Group of Chinese Archers, and a Few Soldiers

  Old Friends One of the more rewarding things that I have been able to do with this blog has been to showcase previously unseen, or rare, images of Chinese martial arts.  I have tried to keep these photos, engravings,... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (49): Kung Fu at Springfield College, 1917

Introduction When we think about the early history of the Chinese martial arts in the United States we tend to focus our discussion on either San Francisco or New York. Los Angles, Chicago and Honolulu also make the short-list of... Continue Reading →

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 →

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