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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Weapons

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 →

Through a Lens Darkly (60): The Weapons Rack

  A Recent Find Chinese martial arts themed (or simply adjacent) postcards from the pre-WWII era are not very common.  These things certainly existed and circulated, but they are now difficult for most researchers to find. That is one of... Continue Reading →

A Visual Study of a Set of Transitional Hudiedao

  Introduction Some apologies are in order.  My professional writing and research has taken me away from the blog for longer than I intended.  In the last month I finished an one article draft, wrote two conference papers and went... Continue Reading →

Research Notes: The Chinese and Japanese Martial Arts as Seen on Western Newsreels

    ***Greetings!  I have spent the last week putting the finishing touches on my keynote for the (fast approaching) 2019 Martial Arts Studies conference in Los Angeles.  In fact, I just finished my slides a few minutes ago.  ... Continue Reading →

The 19th Century Hudiedao (Butterfly Sword) on Land and Sea

  Introduction Understanding the actual history and use of hudiedao (or Butterfly Swords) reflects the challenges faced by students of martial studies more generally. These short paired swords, with their distinctive D-shaped hand guards, are one of the most commonly... Continue Reading →

Butterfly Swords and Long Poles: A Glimpse into Singapore’s 19th Century Martial Landscape

Introduction: The Weapons of Wing Chun From time to time I am asked why Wing Chun teaches only two weapons. For those unfamiliar with the system these are the long single-tailed fighting pole, favored by a number of southern Chinese... Continue Reading →

Meeting Ma Yue and the Limits of Description

  An Unexpected Invitation A friend recently extended an invitation that I couldn’t refuse. A couple of weeks ago Chad Eisner (who some of you may remember from my various lightsaber projects) got in touch and let me know that... Continue Reading →

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