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…

Five Years of Kung Fu Tea: Making Martial Arts Studies Matter

    Happy Birthday   Attentive readers may have noticed a few changes here at Kung Fu Tea.  This blog launched its first post five years ago, on July 27th 2012.  Since that point we have published well over 500 posts.  Looking back at my drafts this adds up to over 2,500 pages of single…

Through a Lens Darkly (44): Martial Arts in Pre-War Japanese Schools

    Introduction   Today’s post is the result of a happy coincidence.  As regular readers will be aware, I occasionally collect and share vintage images of the Chinese martial arts.  Many of these come from the sorts of ephemera (postcards, advertisements, old newspaper clippings, newsreels) that contain interesting data on the social place of…

Spirituality in the Traditional Martial Arts – Between History and Theory

  “There is a problem with the study of martial arts similar to that identified by Markus Davidson in the case of “spiritual studies”: many of the scholars involved in the topic are themselves practitioners and their work betrays a normative apologetic agenda…As practitioners themselves these scholars have tended to underplay certain historical factors in…