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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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chinese martial studies

Through a Lens Darkly (8): Butterfly Swords, Dadaos and the Local Militias of Guangdong, 1840 vs. 1940.

Introduction:  The Butterfly Swords and Southern Martial Arts Defend the Nation I recently ran across two photographs that I think students of the southern Chinese martial arts may find very enlightening.  They speak to interesting tactical and cultural questions.  On... Continue Reading →

The Wing Chun Jo Fen: Norms and the Creation of a Southern Chinese Martial Arts Community.

  ***I am happy to report that I am making good progress on my current writing project.  But it is still an ongoing task, and one that consumed much of my weekend.  As such our post for this Monday is... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (11): Japanese Martial Artists in China.

Introduction: Addressing a Difficult Subject No topic is more difficult to approach than the varied roles that traditional Asian fighting systems have played in defining and strengthening nationalism during the 20th century.  Governments in Japan, China and later Korea all... Continue Reading →

Sugong: Nick Hurst Explores South East Asia’s Shaolin Kung Fu Tradition.

Nick Hust.  Sugong: The Life of a Shaolin Grandmaster. Sports Books. 2012. pp. 291. Introduction: Summer Reading for Chinese Martial Artists It is that time of year again.  It is the season when literally everyone I know packs a bag,... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (9): Swords, Knives and other Traditional Weapons Encountered by the Shanghai Police Department, 1925.

  Introduction: Practical Martial Arts in the Age of the Gun As I have mentioned elsewhere, when thinking about the traditional Chinese martial arts we have a tendency to assume that these systems were created in an era without firearms. ... Continue Reading →

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 →

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