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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Choy Li Fut

The 19th Century Hudiedao (Butterfly Sword) on Land and Sea

  Introduction Understanding the actual history and use of hudiedao (or Butterfly Swords) reflects the challenges faced by students of martial studies more generally. These short paired swords, with their distinctive D-shaped hand guards, are one of the most commonly... Continue Reading →

Three Thoughts on my New Wooden Dummy

Meeting a New Friend Recently I have been spending a lot of time (and practice hours) thinking about the Mook Yan Jong.  This type of wooden dummy is commonly used in Wing Chun schools around the world.  I had not... Continue Reading →

The Political Economy of Southern Kung Fu: Thoughts on the Rise of Regional Identity within the Chinese Martial Arts.

Introduction Classification remains one of our central problems in the study and analysis of the traditional Chinese martial arts.  When thinking about the origin and relationship of these fighting systems most efforts begin with an attempt to create groups of... Continue Reading →

The “Wing Chun Rules of Conduct”: Rediscovering Ip Man’s Original Statement on the Philosophy of the Martial Arts.

(**This article was originally posted under the title "The Wing Chun Jo Fen" in May of 2014.  Co-authorship credit for this post goes to my Sifu, Jon Nielson. This post grew out of a conversation that we had about the... Continue Reading →

Leung Kai’s Ghost Story: Remembering a Modern Choy Li Fut Master.

Introduction Once again I find myself staying up late to write my Monday morning post.  I had originally planned on doing a news update, but given the hour I thought a ghost story might actually be more appropriate.  The following... Continue Reading →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (5): Lau Bun—A Kung Fu Pioneer in America.

Introduction: Choy Li Fut’s place in southern Chinese martial culture. Let me ask you a question.  What was the largest and most socially important martial art in Guangdong during the late 19th and early 20th century?  What was the first... Continue Reading →

Ritual, Tradition and Memory in Singapore’s Chinese Martial Arts Community.

  Introduction: Chinese Martial Studies, Embodied Knowledge and Identity. In 2011 SUNY (State University of New York) Press released a collected volume (edited by D. S. Farrer and John Whalen-Bridge) titled Martial Arts as Embodied Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a... Continue Reading →

Butterfly Swords and Boxing: Exploring a Lost Southern Chinese Martial Arts Training Manual.

The Importance of the “Foreign Language Literature” in Chinese Martial Studies It is very hard to pierce the veil of the mid-19th century and to understand what exactly was happening in the development of the popular martial arts between about... Continue Reading →

Traditional Training Equipment in the Chinese Martial Arts (Part II): Attack of the Wooden Dummies!

One of the most iconic images in the annals of Kung Fu training is that of the lone student, lost in the zen-like practice of his wooden dummy routine.  Dummies of various sorts and sizes have a long history in... Continue Reading →

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