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chinese martial studies

This tag is associated with 173 posts

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 as a researcher in the field of martial arts studies I have been equally curious … 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 years he produced four different statements (two relatively brief, and two much more detailed) that … Continue reading

Research Notes: An Account of Kung Fu in Hong Kong’s Theaters during the 1860s.

    Introduction   I would like to preface the following research note by dedicating it to any of my readers who enjoy a good Kung Fu comedy.  If you are a fan of Jackie Chan’s work, or maybe Kung Fu Hustle, what follows will be especially appreciated.  But for any historically minded reader, the … Continue reading

Now Available: Winter 2016 Issue of Martial Arts Studies

    We are happy to announce that the Winter 2016 Issue of Martial Arts Studies is now available, free of charge, to any reader or institution.  This open source, peer reviewed, interdisciplinary journal is an imprint of Cardiff University Press. Simply click the cover image, or this link, to download a complete copy.  You … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (42): Chinese Martial Arts in the University, 1928

      Introduction   At the end of the last class at the “Central Martial Arts Academy” (the location where I am conducing my current research on lightsaber combat and the “hyper-real martial arts”) we all gathered for an impromptu class photo.  Digital technology makes this a quick and easy process, especially compared to … Continue reading

Why do you draw the line? More on Definition in Martial Arts Studies

  ***Paul Bowman recently wrote an essay dealing with attempts to both define the martial arts and to think about the development of martial arts studies as a distinct field.  Given the importance of the points that he raises, and the amount of interest that they are likely to generate among readers of Kung Fu … 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 normative apologetic agenda…As practitioners themselves these scholars have tended to underplay certain historical factors in … Continue reading

What Can a Martial Body Do For Society? – Or, Theory Before Definition in Martial Arts Studies by Paul Bowman

    Greetings from Germany! I am current attending the 5th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Sport Science’s Martial Arts Commission at the Sports University of Cologne.  I will soon be delivering my keynote address (titled “Creating Wing Chun: Towards a Social History of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts.”)  This paper discusses my … Continue reading

Research Notes: Han Xing Qiao Opens the “Internal Arts” to the West, 1934

        Introduction   On February 21, 1934, the North China Herald (the most popular English language newspaper published in China at the time) ran a remarkable article and interview titled the “Chinese Art of Boxing.”  The piece is based on a school visit with the now famous Yiquan instructor Han Xing Qiao … Continue reading

Theory and the Growth of Knowledge – Or Why You Probably Can’t Learn Kung Fu From Youtube

  Becoming Ip Man, in all the Wrong Ways   On a Saturday morning in 2011 I found myself running an “open session” for my Sifu’s Wing Chun school.  The weekday classes were always structured affairs in which learners worked their way through an extensive curriculum centered on one of the various forms in the … Continue reading

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