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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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nationalism in the martial arts

Through a Lens Darkly (44): Martial Arts in Pre-War Japanese Schools

    Introduction   Today’s post is the result of a happy coincidence.  As regular readers will be aware, I occasionally collect and share vintage images of the Chinese martial arts.  Many of these come from the sorts of ephemera... Continue Reading →

Research Notes: Foshan’s Kung Fu in 1919.

    First, the Important Stuff   Is it possible to approach history without theory?  I think not.  It is the existence of some sort of preexisting story or framework of understanding that we carry around in our heads which... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (30): Magic Lanterns and the Asian Martial Arts, 1900 – 1920

    Introduction   When introducing topics like the transnational translation of the martial arts, the construction of popular beliefs about Asian culture through images of violence, or even the reduction of hand combat’s once radical message to yet another... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (23): The Dadao and the Katana – Symbolic Echoes Within the Modern Martial Arts

Introduction No topic within the study of the modern martial arts is more burdened with nationalist myths and legends than military fencing. By the middle of the 20th century blades were supposed to have become obsolete on the battlefield. Yet... Continue Reading →

Imagining the Martial Arts: Hand Combat Training as a Tool of the Nation

Introduction: The Martial Arts and National Identity in the Popular Imagination While few people can really claim to be experts in either the history or practice of the martial arts, the last six decades of popular culture have given most... Continue Reading →

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