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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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spirituality

“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 →

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 →

Halloween Edition: Leung Kai’s Ghost Story – Remembering a Modern Choy Li Fut Master.

***In honor of Halloween I thought that I would dip into the archives and revisit a fun post from earlier in the year.  What follows is an actual Kung Fu ghost story.  I think that readers will find it both... 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 →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (4): Sun Lutang’s Unified Theory of the Chinese Martial Arts: Daoist Spirituality, Health and Boxing (Part III).

Sun Lutang and the Field of Chinese Martial Studies This post is the third and final installment of our three part review of the life and contributions of Sun Lutang.  Sun was a master of Xingyi, Bagua and Taiji boxing... Continue Reading →

The Book Club: The Shaolin Monastery by Meir Shahar, Chapters 5-Conclusion: Unarmed Combat in the Ming and Qing dynasties.

  Introduction This is the third and final installment of our in-depth review of Meir Shahar’s groundbreaking work, the Shaolin Temple.  Today we will be looking at the evolution of unarmed boxing in late Ming and Qing era China.  I... Continue Reading →

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