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Lightsaber Combat

This tag is associated with 15 posts

Lightsaber Combat and Wing Chun: The Search for Meaning in the Modern Martial Arts

  ***I am current on the road for the annual Martial Arts Studies conference at Cardiff University in the UK.  As soon as I return home I will be posting a full report of the event and sharing the text and slides from my keynote (titled “Show, Don’t Tell: Making Martial Arts Studies Matter.”)  In … Continue reading

Facing Down a Wooden Dummy, and the Myth of “Perfect Practice”

  “Practice does not make perfect.  Only perfect practice makes perfect.”  – Vince Lombardi   The Bane of my Existence   I have spent a lot of time thinking about Vince Lombardi’s famous maxim on the value of practice.  I will readily admit to hating this quote.  It is exactly the sort of tough, yet … Continue reading

Research Notes: Kung Fu at the American School in Shanghai, 1936

      Martial Arts Exhibitions, Old and New   Earlier today I saw a Facebook notice reminding me that I am about to miss an event with the lightsaber combat group that I am currently doing an ethnography with.  They have been asked to give an exhibition by a local charity.  The entire thing … Continue reading

“I am a Jedi (knight), like my father before me.” Authenticity and Legitimacy in the Martial Arts

    A Dance Studio in a Galaxy Far, Far Away   “You, put your phone down!” I looked around, unsure about the sudden exclamation from the instructor who had just been summing up the essential concepts of the drills that the class had run for the last half hour.  This was my first evening … Continue reading

Historic Martial Arts Manuals and the Limits of Authenticity

        Situating the Martial Culture of Shii-cho   All of the Jedi I know speak with an accent.  A particularly keen observer might notice them as they walk into the Central Martial Arts Academy, shedding their boots and heavy winter coats.  But anyone with a background in the martial arts can start … Continue reading

Interview with the No Wax Needed Podcast

  I recently had a chance to sit down with Itamar Zadoff who runs the “No Wax Needed” podcast.  Itamar is one of the up and coming martial arts studies scholars who I had the pleasure to meet at our conference in Cardiff earlier this year.  (You can see a short interview that he did … Continue reading

Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Lightsaber: Fetishism and Material Culture in Martial Arts Studies

  “The lightsaber has become an important touchstone, both within the films and within our culture…They serve as a source of identification and identity.  They are the ultimate commodity: a nonexistent object whose replicas sell for hundreds of dollars.  This is not bad for something that defies the laws of physics and cannot and does … Continue reading

Theory and the Growth of Knowledge – Or Why You Probably Can’t Learn Kung Fu From Youtube

  Becoming Ip Man, in all the Wrong Ways   On a Saturday morning in 2011 I found myself running an “open session” for my Sifu’s Wing Chun school.  The weekday classes were always structured affairs in which learners worked their way through an extensive curriculum centered on one of the various forms in the … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: September 19th, 2016: Expats in Shanghai, the Birth of a Dragon, and Kung Fu’s Decline?

    Introduction   Welcome to “Chinese Martial Arts in the News.”  This is a semi-regular feature here at Kung Fu Tea in which we review media stories that mention or affect the traditional fighting arts.  In addition to discussing important events, this column also considers how the Asian hand combat systems are portrayed in … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: August 1, 2016: Bruce Lee, Books and Bringing a Ming era Dandao to Life

    Introduction   Welcome to “Chinese Martial Arts in the News.”  This is a semi-regular feature here at Kung Fu Tea in which we review media stories that mention or affect the traditional fighting arts.  In addition to discussing important events, this column also considers how the Asian hand combat systems are portrayed in … Continue reading

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