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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Hudiedao

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... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (40): Butterfly Swords and Tong Wars in North America

    The Yin and the Yang of the Hudiedao Earlier this year I had the opportunity to participate in a day-long seminar on the Wing Chun swords taught by Sifu John Crescione. This was a great experience that provided... Continue Reading →

Butterfly Swords and Long Poles: A Glimpse into Singapore’s 19th Century Martial Landscape

Introduction: The Weapons of Wing Chun From time to time I am asked why Wing Chun teaches only two weapons. For those unfamiliar with the system these are the long single-tailed fighting pole, favored by a number of southern Chinese... Continue Reading →

Happy Birthday Kung Fu Tea (!) and More on Butterfly Swords at Sea

    Kung Fu Tea Turns Two Years Old! Today is the second anniversary of my first post here at Kung Fu Tea.  The last two years have been a blast as well as something of a blur.  Looking back... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

A Social and Visual History of the Hudiedao (Butterfly Sword) in the Southern Chinese Martial Arts.

    *****An updated and revised edition of this article is now available.  Click here to read more.  Thanks!******   Hudiedao, wu dip do, bat cham do, shuang dao, double short broadswords, butterfly swords......These weapons are known by literally dozens... Continue Reading →

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