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Women and the Martial Arts

This category contains 32 posts

Research Notes: Jingwu and the Female Martial Artists of 1920

    Introduction     I am interested in the frequent, seemingly unconscious, way in which the word “traditional” is appended to the name “martial arts” in modern speech and writing.  One does not simply study “Japanese wrestling” or “Chinese physical culture.”  From about the 1970s onward everyone became a student of the “traditional martial … Continue reading

Remembering Yim Wing Chun, the Boxer Rebellion and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

      What at first appears new is often something remembered.  The human mind has trouble categorizing and finding meaning in anything that is truly unique or alien.  Good storytellers know that originality is not always a virtue.  The construction of meaning is rooted primarily in what we feel to be familiar.   The … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (43): Chinese Amazons and the “Weapons of the Forefathers”

Wonder Woman with a Dadao     In China the realm of social violence, and the martial arts in particular, has been male dominated.  That does not mean that women never became a part of such activities.  After all, they played an increasingly high profile role in the martial realm from the early 1920s onward.  … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (42): Chinese Martial Arts in the University, 1928

      Introduction   At the end of the last class at the “Central Martial Arts Academy” (the location where I am conducing my current research on lightsaber combat and the “hyper-real martial arts”) we all gathered for an impromptu class photo.  Digital technology makes this a quick and easy process, especially compared to … Continue reading

How (not) to categorise martial arts: A discussion and example from gender studies

  ***Over the last couple of years a discussion has emerged within the literature on how scholars should define and classify the martial arts, and whether such efforts are even a good idea.  Alex Channon, a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Sports Studies at the University of Brighton, has generously agreed to contribute to … Continue reading

Gender, Fighters and Framing on Twitter by Allyson Quinney

  Introduction Greetings from the road!  I am currently wrapping up my trip to the 2016 Martial Arts Studies Conference at Cardiff University and am on my way back to the London.  Given my limited time and internet access we will be once again dipping into the pages of the latest issue of Martial Arts … Continue reading

Making Captain America: Martial Arts and the Next Generation

Captain America Thwarted   I spotted a flash of red, white and blue as I looked up from the electronic display mounted on the top of the treadmill.  It was telling me a depressing story of miles left to go.  But the sudden burst of excited kinetic energy suggested that things were about to get … Continue reading

From the Archives: Ming Tales of Female Warriors – Searching for the Origins of Yim Wing Chun and Ng Moy.

  ***We are currently in the final push to prepare and release the second issue of the interdisciplinary journal Martial Arts Studies.  This will be a themed issue examining different aspects of the “invention of the martial arts” in a wide variety of settings and time periods.   Paul Bowman and I are very excited about … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: April 4th, 2016: Taijiquan, Shaolin and New Books

  Introduction   Welcome to “Chinese Martial Arts in the News.”  This is a semi-regular feature here at Kung Fu Tea in which we review media stories that mention or affect the traditional fighting arts.  In addition to discussing important events, this column also considers how the Asian hand combat systems are portrayed in the … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: March 14th 2016: Ip Man, Wing Chun and Taijiquan

Introduction Welcome to “Chinese Martial Arts in the News.”  This is a semi-regular feature here at Kung Fu Tea in which we review media stories that mention or affect the traditional fighting arts.  In addition to discussing important events, this column also considers how the Asian hand combat systems are portrayed in the mainstream media. … Continue reading

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