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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Guangdong

Li Pei Xian and the Evolution of Modern Chinese “Martial Arts”

  ***Greetings! I am currently preparing for the upcoming Martial Arts Studies conference in Cardiff.  As such we will be taking a deep dive into the archives for today's post.  This essay and biographical sketch was first published four years... Continue Reading →

Research Notes: Foshan’s Kung Fu in 1919.

    First, the Important Stuff   Is it possible to approach history without theory?  I think not.  It is the existence of some sort of preexisting story or framework of understanding that we carry around in our heads which... Continue Reading →

Research Notes: Spirit Possession in the Southern Chinese Martial Arts

    Introduction Spirit possession is a fascinating but rarely discussed aspect of the traditional Chinese martial arts.  Reformers in the field of physical culture spent much of the 20th century attempting to erase the national embarrassment of the Boxer... Continue Reading →

Research Notes on Southern China: Bound Feet, Popular Publishing and a Culture of Consumption

Introduction I have been working on a couple of projects that have taken me away from the blog over the last couple of weeks. One of the more challenging of these has been a review David Faure’s very detailed writings... 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 →

“Anti-Foreignism” and the Southern Chinese Martial Arts

  Introduction: Anti-Foreignism in Republican Guangdong Students of the traditional Chinese martial arts are frequently reminded that until very recently these systems were “closed” to outsiders.  Then, in the wake of Bruce Lee, Kung Fu masters around the world decided... Continue Reading →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (7): Li Pei Xian and the Evolution of the Modern Chinese Martial Arts.

Introduction: Critiquing the Conceptual Coherence of the Martial Arts.  In this installment of the “Lives of the Chinese Martial Artists” series we will be looking at the life and career of Li Pei Xian.  While a regionally important individual I... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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