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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Globalization of the Chinese Martial Arts

Sophia Delza vs. The Black Belt Ethos: Post-Materialism in the Chinese Martial Arts

  T’ai Chi Ch’uan is not a by-product, as it were, of any other art-dance form; it is not derived from ancient Chinese commemorative dance [ritual], folk, or classical Chinese theatre dance [opera], and does not resemble them in dynamics,... Continue Reading →

Research Notes: “Glory Days” and the Twilight of the Guoshu Movement

  Introduction “Soft power” and “public diplomacy” are closely linked, yet distinct, concepts. Perhaps the easiest way of understanding this distinction is that the first is a power resource that political actors might call upon. The second concept describes a... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (49): Kung Fu at Springfield College, 1917

Introduction When we think about the early history of the Chinese martial arts in the United States we tend to focus our discussion on either San Francisco or New York. Los Angles, Chicago and Honolulu also make the short-list of... Continue Reading →

Lau Bun-A Kung Fu Pioneer in America

  Introduction Given that this post will be released on Columbus Day, I thought that it might be fun to think about some "new world" martial arts history.  Lau Bun was both a colorful and critical figure in the early... Continue Reading →

A 1918 Account of Traditional Martial Arts in the Chinese Labor Corps

    Introduction Co-authorship of today’s post is shared with Joseph Svinth, the editor of the EJMAS and multiple other important works on martial arts studies.   He brought the following account and historic photographs to my attention, and we both... Continue Reading →

A Sword’s Story

      What is it?     The first question seems straight forward.  This sword was purchased at auction a few years ago.  It is a short saber, often called a duandao by martial artists. Its blade is just... Continue Reading →

Chinese Martial Arts, Opera and Globalization: Kung Fu as a “Blurred Genre”

  Conventional Wisdom and its Discontents   Conventional wisdom holds that Bruce Lee represents the earliest opening of the mysteries of the Chinese martial arts in the West.  While others may have taught an Occidental student or two prior to... Continue Reading →

The Cultural Translation of Wing Chun: Addition, Deletion, Adoption and Distortion

  “In the case of Tai Chi however, the major defining feature of hybridity, the sense of mixture and the equal status of the different cultures involving in the mixture, is absent.  In the eyes of its UK practitioners Tai... Continue Reading →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (17): Chu Minyi – Physician, Politician and Taijiquan Addict

      Introduction: The Architects of Kung Fu Diplomacy   I recently had the opportunity to examine a very interesting series of magazine articles, produced in 1920, discussing the efforts of the (in)famous General Ma Liang to promote the... Continue Reading →

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