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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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LK Chen

Chinese Weapons and the Western Gaze

A Collection of Chinese Arms, Published in 1905, posted by Peter Dekker. Spring Cleaning I sat down this morning to work on a project looking at sword aficionados in China, their customers in the West, and how the relationship between... Continue Reading →

A Life in Stone: Images of Weapons During the Han Dynasty

Silent Riddles Our discussion of the origins of modern martial arts is always haunted by twin specters. The first is the claim of great, almost unimageable, antiquity.  The second is arguments from silence.  We have explored at length all of the cultural,... Continue Reading →

The Woyao Dao and Regionalism in History and Martial Studies

LK Chen's Woyao Dao. Source: LKChensword.com Introduction A package containing two of LK Chen’s fine historical reproductions recently arrived at my door. So, of course, I find myself thinking about the importance of “regionalism” within martial arts studies.  The connection between... Continue Reading →

Song Ring Pommel Straight Dao and the Birth of Modern Chinese Martial Culture

Song Dynasty Soldier with Dao Shi Jin and Chinese Martial Arts It is axiomatic among martial arts studies scholars to assert that the fighting systems that people practice today are not the ancient creations that so many modern students, in... Continue Reading →

Old or New? The Miaodao and Invention in Chinese Martial Arts

  Searching for the Miaodao What exactly do historians mean when they assert that the Chinese martial arts being practiced throughout the world today are, for the most part, a relatively recent creation?  Even the veneer of age that systems like... Continue Reading →

Reconstructing the Tang Dao: Regionalism and Cultural Exchange

  Introduction Regionalism has been all the rage in certain academic circles for at least a decade, though no field demonstrates the potential and challenges of this approach more fully than martial arts studies. The central concept of this paradigm... Continue Reading →

The White Arc and Military Jian of the Han Dynasty

  An Invaluable Inventory In 1993 local residents in Yinwan (Donghai county, Jiangsu Province) made a remarkable discovery. They uncovered a group of relatively well-preserved flooded tombs dating back to the Han dynasty. Only two of these tombs have been... Continue Reading →

Knight Errantry and the Soaring Sky

  For ten years I have been polishing this sword; Its frosty edge has never been put to the test. Now I am holding it and showing it to you, sir: Is there anyone suffering from injustice? The Swordsman (剑客) by Jia... Continue Reading →

In Pursuit of Double Dragons: A Sui Dynasty Dao

  The Archeology of Dragons Today’s story begins with two, seemingly unrelated, artifact finds.  In 1930 two Chinese sabers (dao) believed to have been excavated from the Sui dynasty's (581-618 CE) royal tombs north of Luoyang, were donated to the... Continue Reading →

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