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Martial Arts Studies

This tag is associated with 118 posts

Traditional Chinese Martial Arts and the “YMCA Consensus”

      ***I am very excited to introduce the following guest post by my friend Scott Phillips.  In this essay Scott draws on his extensive study of modern Chinese religious and social history in an attempt to develop a powerful new concept for describing and theorizing the massive reforms of the Chinese martial arts … Continue reading

A Sword’s Story

      What is it?     The first question seems straight forward.  This sword was purchased at auction a few years ago.  It is a short saber, often called a duandao by martial artists. Its blade is just under 18 inches (46 cm) long, and its tang (broken at the end where the … 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

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: March 27th 2017: Taijiquan, Ip Man 4 and Things that You Just Can’t Make Up

    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

Doing Research (10): Trying to Think Inside the Box with Paul Bowman

    Introduction   Welcome to the tenth entry in our series of guest posts titled “Doing Research.”  If you missed the first essay by D. S. Farrer (which provides a global overview of the subject), the second by Daniel Mroz (how to select a school or teacher for research purposes), the third by  Jared Miracle … Continue reading

Roland Barthes and the DNA of Martial Arts Studies

    Paul Bowman. 2017. Mythologies of Martial Arts. London and New York: Rowman & Littlefield. 184 pages.   Professor Paul Bowman’s latest book sets a new standard for exploring the cultural, sociological and ideological criticism of the martial arts within modern society.   It also suggests two questions that any reader will be forced to … Continue reading

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: Feb. 27th 2017: Shaolin, Feiyue Sneakers and Bruce Lee Gets Political

  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 the mainstream media. … Continue reading

Recovering Alfred Lister: A Forgotten Observer of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts (Part I)

    ***While never discussed within the Chinese martial studies literature, Alfred Lister may have been the single most important western observer of the Chinese martial arts in the second half of the 19th century.  Over a period of four years he produced four different statements (two relatively brief, and two much more detailed) that … Continue reading

Pilgrimage, Legitimacy and the Shape of the Global Martial Arts Community

    Introduction   I recently stumbled across a 1930s English language newspaper, printed by some office within the Japanese government, designed to promote American tourism.  Leafing through its pages I discovered a glowing article about recent events at the Kodokan, the home of the Judo. The Western reading public had been well aware of … Continue reading

Defining Wing Chun by What is “Missing”

      An all too Common Conversation     Last week my Sifu and I were discussing the public conversation that surrounds Wing Chun.   “So this guy was trying to tell me that we have no head movement in Wing Chun.  Not just bobbing and weaving” he clarified “but that we can literally … Continue reading

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