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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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imperialism

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 →

“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 →

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