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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Weapons

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 →

Through a Lens Darkly (14): Archery Practice in Late Imperial China

  ***Kung Fu Tea is having a birthday!  The blog has now been up and running for seven years. Its hard to believe how much it, and the Martial Arts Studies community, has grown in that time.  As such I... Continue Reading →

History and Myth in Lightsaber Combat

  Introduction In the coming months I expect that readers will be seeing a few new blog posts discussing my ongoing work with the Lightsaber Combat community.  I have a chapter and conference paper that will be looking at performance... Continue Reading →

Columbia and Venezuela: The Political Economy of Stick and Machete Fighting in the New World – Part 2

Introduction Greetings, and welcome to the second part of Michael J. Ryan's guest series on stick and knife fighting in the Caribbean region.  If you missed the first installment of this series I would suggest clicking here to get caught... Continue Reading →

Stickman doh ‘fraid no damom: Stick and machete fighting in the New world – Part 1

  What follows is the first part of a short series on New World stick and knife fighting traditions by my friend Dr. Michael J. Ryan (SUNY Oneonta).  I first became aware of this vast and fascinating body of material when... Continue Reading →

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