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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Jingwu

Traditional Chinese Martial Arts and the “YMCA Consensus”

      ***I am very excited to introduce the following guest post by my friend Scott Phillips.  In this essay Scott draws on his extensive study of modern Chinese religious and social history in an attempt to develop a... Continue Reading →

Research Notes: Jingwu and the Female Martial Artists of 1920

    Introduction     I am interested in the frequent, seemingly unconscious, way in which the word “traditional” is appended to the name “martial arts” in modern speech and writing.  One does not simply study “Japanese wrestling” or “Chinese... 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: Foreign Attitudes towards Kung Fu in Colonial Hong Kong

  The TCMA as a Perpetual Revival Movement   Kung Fu has an odd relationship with the past. It seems that for the last century (at least) each generation has discovered the beauty of the Chinese martial arts only to... Continue Reading →

Five Moments that Transformed Kung Fu

    Introduction   I was recently having a conversation with T. W. Smith who runs the Kung Fu Podcast. He was developing an idea for a show and asked me what five specific moments did the most to transform... Continue Reading →

What “Everyone” Knows: Empowerment, Social Competition and Conspiracy Theories in the Martial Arts

      Two Stories Huo Yuanjia is one of the best known and most influential figures in the modern Chinese martial arts. Everyone seems to know his story. This is ironic as very little about his actual life is... Continue Reading →

Do the martial arts unite or divide us? Kung Fu and the production of “social capital”

        Introduction     The martial arts emerge from a nexus of swirling social anxieties. Are these arts the epitome of personal violence, or a pathway to peace? Do they find expression within singular warriors, or are... Continue Reading →

The Invisibility of Kung Fu: Two Accounts of the Traditional Chinese Martial Arts

      Introduction: Race and the Invisibility of the Chinese Martial Arts     There is some debate as to which statesman can rightfully claim the honor of being the “first” American advisor employed by China’s new Republican government.... Continue Reading →

The Chinese Gentle Art Complete: Reviewing the Bible of Ngo Cho Kun (Five Ancestors Boxing)

      “Without ‘letters,’ the effort to spread the martial arts across the nation is bound to fail.” -Cai Yangwu, a slogan of the Jingwu (Pure Martial) Association.       Introduction: Books Are the Way   It may... Continue Reading →

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