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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Religion

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 →

How Yoda Helped to Invent Kung Fu: Star Wars and the Martial Arts in the Western Imagination.

***I was surprised to run across this post in the blog's archives for 2012 as I generally think of Star Wars and lightsabers as a research interest that developed years later.  But apparently these were ideas that had been circulating... Continue Reading →

Why Religion Needs to Play a Greater Role in Chinese Martial Studies than it does in the Chinese Martial Arts.

  ***Greetings! Here is one of my earlier attempts to talk about the topic of theory within martial arts studies (from back in 2012, when there was a lot less of it).  It is one area where my thinking has... Continue Reading →

“Jesus Didn’t Tap”: Sixt Wetzler and the Connection of Religion and Martial Arts

I fundamentally dislike to the term “myth busting.” It reminds me of an American television program that gained great popularity by deconstructing urban legends and popular wisdom through the excessive use of car crashes and C-4 explosives. I can’t actually... Continue Reading →

2020 MAS Conference: Martial Arts vs. Martialité

Shūkongōjin, painted clay, 733; in the Hekkedō (Sangatsudō), Tōdai Temple, Nara, Japan. Height 1.739 metres.Sakamoto Photo Laboratory, Tokyo Introduction This week saw the successful completion of the sixth annual Martial Arts Studies conference. The evolving situation with COVID-19 led the... Continue Reading →

Another Look at Ritual, Theater and Combat in the Chinese Martial Arts

  “If it is necessary to debunk the Bodhidharma myth since it is historically false, we must also be wary of the modern materialist impulse to tear aside the veil of myth to uncover the real martial arts beneath.  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 →

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 →

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