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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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literature review

David Palmer on writing better martial arts history and understanding the sources of “Qi Cultivation” in modern Chinese popular culture.

  Catching Qigong Fever. I have read my fair share of books on religion in late imperial and modern China.  Unfortunately I had been neglecting a classic.  In 2007 David Palmer released a volume titled Qigong Fever: Body, Science and... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (7): Selling Swords and Printed Martial Arts Training Manuals in a 19th century Guangzhou Market.

  ***Recently I was having a discussion about the state of Kung Fu in China with a friend.  (You can see his detailed post on the topic here).  He was lamenting the general decline of interest in the arts and... Continue Reading →

Two Decades of Chinese Martial Studies

  On Looking Back and Looking Forwards The start of a new year is a time for list making. Posts with titles like "The Top Five Trends that Defined 2020!" seem to be the mainstay of seasonal publishing. In all... Continue Reading →

Forgetting about the Gun: Firearms and the Development of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts

***Its my birthday!  To celebrate we are taking a second look at an early photograph with one of my favorite pictures of a Japanese samurai.  And essay that comes with it is decent as well.  Enjoy!***   Giving Up the... Continue Reading →

The Book Club: The Shaolin Monastery by Meir Shahar, Chapters 3-4: Monastic Violence in the Ming Dynasty.

Introduction Welcome back to the second installment of the Book Club.  In this series of posts we will be taking a more detailed look at some of the most important works in the field of Chinese martial studies.  Our first... Continue Reading →

On Reading Old Books

The idea of reading old books tends to conjure romantic images of dusty tomes and arcane libraries. As martial artists we imagine ourselves clustered around forgotten Ming dynasty manuals, decoding the secrets of the ancient. Sadly, those are not the... Continue Reading →

From the Archives: A Really Short Reading List on Chinese Martial Studies

Introduction Ok, here is a fun post that I originally wrote in 2012 that really needs to be updated.  So many new articles and books have come out in the last eight years (including ones written by myself) that I... Continue Reading →

Epistemic Viciousness: Taking Martial Arts Seriously

  Martial Arts Studies blogging is a hard habit to break. No sooner had I resolved to step away from more academic questions and spend a few months writing about Wing Chun practice and history than I came across an... Continue Reading →

Technique and Belief in Martial Arts Studies

  Answering their Questions COVID-19 has badly disrupted our world.  Both jobs and lives have been lost.  Professional commitments have been put on hold and training schedules transformed. Yet the oddest thing about this virus is its seeming ability to... Continue Reading →

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