State, Education and Ma Liang’s New Wushu

  The Nation and the Sword Seki Juroji may be one of the most important pioneers of the traditional Asian martial arts who no one has ever heard of.  Gainty (2013) notes that Seki was a successful farmer and swordsmanship instructor from Nagano.  Like many other individuals from his generation, Seki seemed to have been…

Five Years of Kung Fu Tea: Making Martial Arts Studies Matter

    Happy Birthday   Attentive readers may have noticed a few changes here at Kung Fu Tea.  This blog launched its first post five years ago, on July 27th 2012.  Since that point we have published well over 500 posts.  Looking back at my drafts this adds up to over 2,500 pages of single…

Looking Forward and Looking Back: The 2017 Martial Arts Studies Conference

    Conference Report   I recently had the chance to attend (and deliver a keynote at) the 3rd Annual Martial Arts Studies conference, held at the Cardiff University.  Having also attended the 2015 and 2016 conferences I can state with confidence that the field continues to move from strength to strength.  Each of these…

Anime and the Education of a Martial Artist

    Introduction   Occasionally life takes a turn and one’s personal martial arts training gets moved to the back burner.  The last couple of weeks have been like that as my wife and I have been engulfed in a seemingly unending move.  It certainly could have been worse as on paper it was a…

Dissemination of Japanese Martial Arts to Korea

  Introduction Greetings!  I am currently on the road for a conference and workshop.  As such, I will be sharing some papers that were presented at the Martial Arts Studies Research Network’s recent conference in Bath.  If you missed the first presentation in this series, click here for the discussion of “Bartitsu and Suffragette Jujitsu…

Bartitsu and Suffragette Jujitsu of the Early 20th Century

      Introduction   Greetings!  I am traveling for a conference and workshop where I will attempt to convince a group of political scientists that they should pay attention to Martial Arts Studies. (If you would like to see my presentation click here).  As such, I have arranged something special for Kung Fu Tea…

Through a Lens Darkly (44): Martial Arts in Pre-War Japanese Schools

    Introduction   Today’s post is the result of a happy coincidence.  As regular readers will be aware, I occasionally collect and share vintage images of the Chinese martial arts.  Many of these come from the sorts of ephemera (postcards, advertisements, old newspaper clippings, newsreels) that contain interesting data on the social place of…

Spirituality in the Traditional Martial Arts – Between History and Theory

  “There is a problem with the study of martial arts similar to that identified by Markus Davidson in the case of “spiritual studies”: many of the scholars involved in the topic are themselves practitioners and their work betrays a normative apologetic agenda…As practitioners themselves these scholars have tended to underplay certain historical factors in…