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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

The Value of a Comparative Case: Jean-Marc de Grave discusses “The Training of Perception in Javanese Martial Arts.”

Introduction: A drift on the sea of knowledge. Let me ask you a question.  Do you ever feel like you have too much to read, study or research?  Are you familiar with that creeping feeling that you will never, ever,... Continue Reading →

Tools of the Trade: The Use of Firearms and Traditional Weapons among the Tongs of San Francisco, 1877-1878.

  Introduction: The Evolving Relationship between Firearms and the Martial Arts. In a number of previous posts we have examined the complex, often hidden, relationship between the development of the modern Chinese martial arts and firearms.  It is frequently stated... Continue Reading →

David Palmer on writing better martial arts history and understanding the sources of “Qi Cultivation” in modern Chinese popular culture.

  Catching Qigong Fever. I have read my fair share of books on religion in late imperial and modern China.  Unfortunately I had been neglecting a classic.  In 2007 David Palmer released a volume titled Qigong Fever: Body, Science and... Continue Reading →

Old or New? The Miaodao and Invention in Chinese Martial Arts

  Searching for the Miaodao What exactly do historians mean when they assert that the Chinese martial arts being practiced throughout the world today are, for the most part, a relatively recent creation?  Even the veneer of age that systems like... Continue Reading →

Bruce Lee, Globalization and the Case of Wing Chun: Why do Some Chinese Martial Arts Grow?

Introduction: Wing Chun and the Haters You do not have to be involved with the Chinese martial arts for very long to discover that Wing Chun has the potential to be a highly polarizing topic of conversation.  Those within in... Continue Reading →

What Can the Opera Rebellion Teach us about the Social Toleration of Violence (and the Martial Arts) in Late Imperial China?

The Logic of Violence and its Relationship with the State My academic background and doctorate is in political science where I specialize in a sub-field called “international political economy.”  That is where I have focused most of my teaching and... Continue Reading →

Qilin Dancing During the Lunar New Year and Southern Chinese Martial Culture.

Introduction: What is a Qilin and why do they dance? Let me start off by wishing everyone a happy New Year!  The Lunar New Year is the longest and most important festival in the traditional Chinese calendar.  Individuals celebrate it... Continue Reading →

The Boxer Rebellion and the First Martial Arts Films

Confronting the Boxers It is probably an irony that I have written so little on the Boxer Uprising during my casual and academic discussion of the martial arts.  It was a chance encounter with the Boxers some years ago as... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (7): Selling Swords and Printed Martial Arts Training Manuals in a 19th century Guangzhou Market.

  ***Recently I was having a discussion about the state of Kung Fu in China with a friend.  (You can see his detailed post on the topic here).  He was lamenting the general decline of interest in the arts and... Continue Reading →

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