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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Through a Lens Darkly (8): Butterfly Swords, Dadaos and the Local Militias of Guangdong, 1840 vs. 1940.

Introduction:  The Butterfly Swords and Southern Martial Arts Defend the Nation I recently ran across two photographs that I think students of the southern Chinese martial arts may find very enlightening.  They speak to interesting tactical and cultural questions.  On... Continue Reading →

“Fighting Styles” or “Martial Brands”? An economic approach to understanding “lost lineages” in the Chinese Martial Arts.

  ***Today's post continues our discussion of economic markets and modernity in the Chinese martial arts.  This essay, first posted in May of 2013, was one of my first attempts at hashing out these questions as they related to advertising... Continue Reading →

The Wing Chun Jo Fen: Norms and the Creation of a Southern Chinese Martial Arts Community.

  ***I am happy to report that I am making good progress on my current writing project.  But it is still an ongoing task, and one that consumed much of my weekend.  As such our post for this Monday is... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (11): Japanese Martial Artists in China.

Introduction: Addressing a Difficult Subject No topic is more difficult to approach than the varied roles that traditional Asian fighting systems have played in defining and strengthening nationalism during the 20th century.  Governments in Japan, China and later Korea all... Continue Reading →

Sugong: Nick Hurst Explores South East Asia’s Shaolin Kung Fu Tradition.

Nick Hust.  Sugong: The Life of a Shaolin Grandmaster. Sports Books. 2012. pp. 291. Introduction: Summer Reading for Chinese Martial Artists It is that time of year again.  It is the season when literally everyone I know packs a bag,... Continue Reading →

Imagining the Chinese Martial Arts without Bruce Lee: Sophia Delza, an American Taiji Quan Pioneer.

Introduction: Different Visions of the Chinese Martial Arts Assume that we find ourselves in a very specific, recognizable alternate universe.  It is almost exactly like ours, but in this world Bruce Lee never came to America.  Maybe he got along... Continue Reading →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (6): 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 →

Through a Lens Darkly (9): Swords, Knives and other Traditional Weapons Encountered by the Shanghai Police Department, 1925.

  Introduction: Practical Martial Arts in the Age of the Gun As I have mentioned elsewhere, when thinking about the traditional Chinese martial arts we have a tendency to assume that these systems were created in an era without firearms. ... Continue Reading →

The Value of a Comparative Case: Jean-Marc de Grave discusses “The Training of Perception in Javanese Martial Arts.”

Introduction: A drift on the sea of knowledge. Let me ask you a question.  Do you ever feel like you have too much to read, study or research?  Are you familiar with that creeping feeling that you will never, ever,... Continue Reading →

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