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Lightsaber Combat

This tag is associated with 13 posts

“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

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

  ***What follows is the text of my recent keynote address given at the 2016 Martial Arts Studies Conference.  I am currently in the process of revising and expanding this paper for inclusion in an edited volume.  As such I debated whether I should post this initial draft, or wait until the additional quotes, footnotes … 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

Martial Arts Studies 2016 Conference Report – Performance, Motivations and Historical Excavation

      Introduction   Earlier this week I returned from a brief trip to Canada and the United Kingdom.  During this time I had the opportunity to deliver a keynote address at the 2nd annual Martial Arts Studies conference held at Cardiff University.  This event, organized and hosted by the indefatigable Prof. Paul Bowman, … Continue reading

Martial Mastery and Olympic Glory: A Winning Combination?

  Do you feel that?  Olympic fervor is once again in the air.  As we prepare for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio there has been a distinct uptick of Olympic advertising on the TV.  Athletes whom we have not seen for four years are once again making regular appearances on the news.  Even some … Continue reading

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