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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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imperialism

Chinese Weapons and the Western Gaze

A Collection of Chinese Arms, Published in 1905, posted by Peter Dekker. Spring Cleaning I sat down this morning to work on a project looking at sword aficionados in China, their customers in the West, and how the relationship between... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (65): Filipino Knives, Imperialism and the Asian Martial Arts

Vintage Postcard. Source: Author's Collection It sometimes seems as though I am only Wing Chun aficionado who doesn’t have a sideline in the Filipino martial arts. On a cultural level we can thank Bruce Lee and his high-profile relationship with... Continue Reading →

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the Anti-Witch: Martial Arts as Therapy

    D. S. Farrer. 2019. “Brazilian jiu-jitsu is therapy: Shifting subjectivities on Guam.” ETNOGRAFIA E RICERCA QUALITATIVA (ERQ). No. 3. 407-428.   Introduction Donn F. Draeger’s made no secret of his love for the real “battlefield” martial arts, both... Continue Reading →

Zheng Manqing and the “Sick Man of Asia”: Strengthening the Nation through Martial Arts

    Introduction: Zheng Manqing Accepts a Challenge While doing some preliminary historical research on Zheng Manqing, the well-known painter, physician and Taijiquan master, I came across a fascinating account of a challenge match that he was involved with during... Continue Reading →

Muay Thai and the Two-Level Game

  Introduction Earlier this morning I was faced with a choice.  Should I write about Nietzsche (and a certain martial art), or Robert Putnam (and an entirely different fighting system).  Its hard to sit down and read the news these... Continue Reading →

1849: Origins and Consequences of a Southern Chinese Piracy Crisis

    Introduction   By the early 19th century much of Guangdong province existed in a perpetual state of simmering anarchy. The large clan structures that dominated the agricultural economy competed with each other for access to land and water.... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (24): Captured Chinese Swords and Traditional Weapons

  Introduction Conflict seems to inspire trophy hunting. In the west this often takes the form of fading photographs of someone’s grandfather holding a vintage Luger. A large number of katanas also made their way back to the United States... Continue Reading →

Zheng Manqing and the “Sick Man of Asia”: Strengthening Chinese Bodies and the Nation through the Martial Arts

    Introduction: Zheng Manqing Accepts a Challenge While doing some preliminary historical research on Zheng Manqing, the well-known painter, physician and Taijiquan master, I came across a fascinating account of a challenge match that he was involved with during... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (20): Ip Man Confronts the “Indian” Police Officer

Introduction Vintage postcards are fascinating because they capture a dual image.  On the surface they present a simple picture of a notable location, individual or native custom.  Some of these images are historically important and you can occasionally glean a... Continue Reading →

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