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Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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chinese martial studies

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

An Updated and Revised Social History of the Hudiedao (Butterfly Swords)

  In January of 2013 I posted an essay titled "A Social and Visual History of the Hudiedao (Butterfly Sword) in the Southern Chinese Martial Arts." As a student of Wing Chun I have always been fascinated by these weapons, and... Continue Reading →

Yim Wing Chun and Gender: the Stories of Ip Man and Yuen Woo Ping in a Comparative Perspective

Why Talk About Gender in the Chinese Martial Arts? In my years of teaching I have noticed that any discussion of “gender” will usually elicit great interest from a certain percentage of my students, while you can literally watch the... Continue Reading →

Collecting Chinese Swords and other Weapons in late 19th Century Xiamen (Amoy)

  Introduction: Xiamen and the Chinese Martial Arts Marketplace I am interested in the martial arts history of Fujian province.  Many areas of China can rightly claim an illustrious past when it comes to producing famous boxers, military officers or... Continue Reading →

Two Decades of Chinese Martial Studies

  On Looking Back and Looking Forwards The start of a new year is a time for list making. Posts with titles like "The Top Five Trends that Defined 2020!" seem to be the mainstay of seasonal publishing. In all... Continue Reading →

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