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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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chinese martial studies

The Transformation of Chinese Martial Arts During the Song Dynasty

  Introduction I have always wondered about the Song period (960-1279) and its connection to the modern Chinese martial arts (let’s say 1850 to the present).  One could be forgiven for placing the genesis of our current systems sometime in... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

Rediscovering China’s Flails

  Reclaiming Bruce When is a nunchuck, perhaps the most iconic weapon to emerge from Okinawan karate, not a nunchuck?  When it is being held by Bruce Lee.  At least that is what the discussion in my Facebook feed seemed... Continue Reading →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (4): Sun Lutang and the Invention of the “Traditional” Chinese Martial Arts (Part I).

I am currently working on a paper that has me thinking about Sun Lutang again.  To my mind he has always been one of the quintessential pioneers of the modern Chinese martial arts.  So here is Part One of a... Continue Reading →

Who “Owns” Kung Fu? Intangible Cultural Heritage, Globalization and the Decentering of the Asian Martial Arts

  ***In the last week I have found myself delving ever deeper into the literature on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) designations and the traditional martial arts.  When seeking to understand the relationship between politics and these fighting systems, one would... Continue Reading →

Brian Kennedy and the Development of Chinese Martial Studies

  The Chinese martial studies community suffered a great loss with the recent passing of Brian Kennedy (1958-2019) at the age of 61.  Any such event is a tragedy, and this was all the more unexpected as Brian was active... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (14): Archery Practice in Late Imperial China

  ***Kung Fu Tea is having a birthday!  The blog has now been up and running for seven years. Its hard to believe how much it, and the Martial Arts Studies community, has grown in that time.  As such I... Continue Reading →

The Problem of Presentism in the Chinese “Martial Arts”

  ***Greetings. I am currently hard at work on a few different research projects.  One of these involves quite a bit of thinking (and reading) about the process of "standard setting" in an international context and what implications this might... Continue Reading →

Zheng Manqing and the “Sick Man of Asia”: Strengthening the Nation through Martial Arts

    Introduction: Zheng Manqing Accepts a Challenge While doing some preliminary historical research on Zheng Manqing, the well-known painter, physician and Taijiquan master, I came across a fascinating account of a challenge match that he was involved with during... Continue Reading →

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