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Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Religion

Spirituality in the Traditional Martial Arts – Between History and Theory

  “There is a problem with the study of martial arts similar to that identified by Markus Davidson in the case of “spiritual studies”: many of the scholars involved in the topic are themselves practitioners and their work betrays a... Continue Reading →

Chinese Martial Arts, Religion and Spirituality: A Guide for the Perplexed

  Can the confused lead others to clarity?  Perhaps the title of this essay risks overselling the contents as I can think of no subject within the field more demanding of nuance, yet less likely to receive it, than the... Continue Reading →

Spirituality in the Traditional Martial Arts – Between History and Theory

  “There is a problem with the study of martial arts similar to that identified by Markus Davidson in the case of “spiritual studies”: many of the scholars involved in the topic are themselves practitioners and their work betrays a... Continue Reading →

Conference Report: Religion, Violence, and Existence of the Southern Shaolin Temple

Religion, Violence and the Asian Martial Arts Tel Aviv University – Department of East Asian Studies Conference, November 23, 2015.   Introduction Today’s post will introduce readers to some of the recent developments in the global field of Martial Arts... Continue Reading →

Invulnerability in the Chinese Martial Arts: Meir Shahar on the Origins of the “Iron-Cloth Shirt” and “Golden-Bell Armor”

    Meir Shahar. “Diamond Body: The Origins of Invulnerability in the Chinese Martial Arts” in Perfect Bodies: Sports Medicine and Immortality, Edited by Vivienne Lo. London: British Museum, 2012. Introduction: The Significance of Invulnerability in the Chinese Martial Arts... Continue Reading →

Rituals of the Red Spear Movement: Invulnerability, Spirit Possession and Battle Magic

      ***This is the third entry in our occasional series on the Red Spear movement.  For the first two parts of this project see here and here.***     Introduction   The Red Spears are a forgotten moment... Continue Reading →

Bodhidharma: Historical Fiction, Hyper-Real Religion and Shaolin Kung Fu

  Introduction I was recently exchanging emails with a martial arts instructor and reader who suggested that I address the historical facts behind the “Bodhidharma myth.” This is a critical topic for anyone interested in either the historical or cultural... Continue Reading →

Reevaluating the “Theater of Combat”: A Critical Look at Charles Holcombe, Popular Religion and the Traditional Chinese Martial Arts.

Kung Fu and Religion: The Emergence of the Modern Debate. For most of the 20th century western academics paid little attention to the Chinese martial arts.  Popular culture did not elicit much interest from scholars who were more engaged with... Continue Reading →

From the Archives: Spiritual Kung Fu – Can Wing Chun be a Secular Religion?

IntroductionThis article was first posted on August 3rd, 2012, making it one of the very first things I ever wrote for Kung Fu Tea.  It was also my first review of an academic article, and my first attempt to deal... Continue Reading →

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