Chinese Martial Arts in the News: September 11th, 2017: The Back to School Edition!

  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. While…

Do Martial Arts Create Just Societies?

For ten years I have been polishing this sword; Its frosty edge has never been put to the test. Now I am holding it and showing it to you, sir: Is there anyone suffering from injustice? -“The Swordsman” by Jia Dao (Tang dynasty).  Trans. Liu, 1967.   “Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt…

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…

State, Education and Ma Liang’s New Wushu

  The Nation and the Sword Seki Juroji may be one of the most important pioneers of the traditional Asian martial arts who no one has ever heard of.  Gainty (2013) notes that Seki was a successful farmer and swordsmanship instructor from Nagano.  Like many other individuals from his generation, Seki seemed to have been…

Chinese “Martial Arts” and the Problem of Presentism

  Introduction   I would like to begin today’s post by noting that Joseph Svinth (whom most of you will already know from his many contributions to Martial Arts Studies) really deserves to be listed as a co-author on this piece. Joe was kind enough to bring Thomas Handforth’s many prints to my attention and…

How Jiu-Jitsu Became a Traditional German Martial Art

    Introduction One of my on-going projects is a co-authored study of Wing Chun’s history (and social meaning) within the German martial arts community.  I will admit that in the crush of competing papers and presentations this topic, while fascinating, has slipped to the back burner.  Still, I believe that it is a critical…

Seeking Identity through the Martial Arts: The Case of Mexicanidad

    Seeking Identity through the Martial Arts: The Case of Mexicanidad By George Jennings Jennings, G. (2017). Out of the labyrinth: The new Mexican martial arts riding the wave of Mexicanidad. Paper presented at the 3rd Martial Arts Studies International Conference, Cardiff University, UK, 12 July 2017.     Acknowledgements I would like to…

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: August 4, 2017: MMA, Shaolin and Wong Jack Man

    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. While…