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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Kung Fu

Research Notes: The Chinese and Japanese Martial Arts as Seen on Western Newsreels

    ***Greetings!  I have spent the last week putting the finishing touches on my keynote for the (fast approaching) 2019 Martial Arts Studies conference in Los Angeles.  In fact, I just finished my slides a few minutes ago.  ... 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 →

Ng Chung So – Looking Beyond the “Three Heroes of Wing Chun”

Note: this article originally appeared as a guest post at "Wing Chun Geeks." Ng Chung So: Looking Beyond the “Three Heroes of Wing Chun” The origins of Wing Chun are shrouded in mystery.  We seem to like it that way. ... 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 →

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 →

Through a Lens Darkly (59): John S. S. Leong and Southern Kung Fu in 1969.

  A Quick Note Last week I noted that I would be taking a short break from blogging to finish off a few projects (conference papers, book chapters and article drafts) with upcoming deadlines.  I haven’t worked my way through... Continue Reading →

Revisiting Alfred Lister: The Noble Art of Self-Defense in China (Part II)

  Introduction This is the second half of our two part series on the life and writings of Alfred Lister.  A civil servant in Hong Kong during the second half of the 19th century, Lister provided his readers with some... Continue Reading →

Revisiting Alfred Lister: A Forgotten Observer of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts (Part I)

    ***We have now come to the point in the semester that I call "deadline season."  As such, we will be dipping into the archives over the next few weeks to give me some additional time to work on... Continue Reading →

Research Note: Organizing the Women’s Section of the Jingwu Association, 1920.

An Unexpected Find It is basically a truism to say that the Western public didn’t know very much about the Chinese martial arts in the 1920s.  More interesting is the question of why.  Given the global popularity of Judo and... Continue Reading →

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