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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Chinese Martial Arts History

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (19): Cheng Zongyou, Shaolin’s Martial Missionary

    Introduction   Few individuals have influenced our understanding of the martial arts during the late Ming dynasty more than Cheng Zongyou.  His manuals provide historians a glimpse into a world of martial arts practice that is at the... Continue Reading →

Recovering Alfred Lister: The Noble Art of Self-Defense in China (Part II)

Introduction This is the second half of our two part series on the life and writings of Alfred Lister.  A civil servant in Hong Kong during the second half of the 19th century, Lister provided his readers with some of... Continue Reading →

Recovering Alfred Lister: A Forgotten Observer of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts (Part I)

    ***While never discussed within the Chinese martial studies literature, Alfred Lister may have been the single most important western observer of the Chinese martial arts in the second half of the 19th century.  Over a period of four... Continue Reading →

Research Notes: Xiang Kairan on China’s Republic Era Martial Arts Marketplace

    Introduction   In a recent post we explored the life and career of Xiang Kairan (1890-1957), a seminal figure in the creation of the modern, media driven image, of the traditional Chinese martial arts.  Born to a wealthy... Continue Reading →

What is a lineage? Rethinking our (Dangerous) Relationship with History

  Introduction   Every practicing martial artist knows that the most deadly attack is the one that you did not see coming. A successful ambush is extremely difficult to counter. And this is precisely what makes the subject of “history”... Continue Reading →

Historical Fact vs. Social Discourse in the World of China’s 19th Century Martial Artists

      Introduction: What do historical documents reveal?     Students of martial arts studies often investigate the various “discourses” which surround these fighting systems. Such discussions turn to the media (movies, TV programs, video games, internet postings, wuxia... Continue Reading →

Book Club: Like Froth Floating on the Sea: The World of Pirates and Seafarers in Late Imperial South China.

    Robert J. Antony. 2003. Like Froth Floating on the Sea: The World of Pirates and Seafarers in Late Imperial South China. China Research Monograph 56. Berkeley, University of California: Institute of East Asian Studies. 198 pages.    ... Continue Reading →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (12): Tang Hao – The First Historian of the Chinese Martial Arts

Introduction: The Problem of History in the Life of a Historian Tang Hao is not a household name, even among avid practitioners of the traditional Chinese martial arts.  While little known outside of certain specialized circles, few people have had... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (15): How Fr. Michel de Maynard Captured Chinese Martial Culture in a Moment of Transition (1906-1912).

Introduction The old adage states that a picture is worth a thousand words.  After having reviewed hundreds of potential images for this series of posts, and writing over a dozen entries, I can now state with some certainty that this... Continue Reading →

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