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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Star Wars

Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Lightsaber: Fetishism and Material Culture in Martial Arts Studies

“The lightsaber has become an important touchstone, both within the films and within our culture…They serve as a source of identification and identity.  They are the ultimate commodity: a nonexistent object whose replicas sell for hundreds of dollars.  This is... Continue Reading →

Paradoxes of Success in Lightsaber Combat

    Lightsabers Go Legit What follows is a meditation on recent events. It is not every day that you sit down, open your phone, and find Trevor Noah performing a Daily Show bit about people you know. It is... Continue Reading →

Lightsaber Combat and the Value of Myth in the Martial Arts

  Solo, the latest addition to the Star Wars franchise, opens around the country tonight.  As such, it is only fitting that I share with readers of Kung Fu Tea my latest article, co-authored with Chad Eisner.  This piece was... Continue Reading →

May the 4th Be With You: Rhythm in the Chinese Martial Arts and Lightsaber Combat

***It is May the 4th, everyone's favorite Star Wars themed, merchandise based, holiday!  As regular readers know I occasionally write about the Lightsaber Combat Community.  Here is an essay touching on the importance of rhythm in the practice of various... Continue Reading →

Star Wars: An American Martial Arts Film Franchise?

***On November 19th at 4 pm I will be taking part in a live-chat (broadcast on YouTube) on ethnographic research in the martial arts and lightsaber combat.  This is exciting as a number of very interesting people will be joining... Continue Reading →

Lightsaber Combat and Wing Chun: The Search for Meaning in the Modern Martial Arts

  ***I am current on the road for the annual Martial Arts Studies conference at Cardiff University in the UK.  As soon as I return home I will be posting a full report of the event and sharing the text... 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... Continue Reading →

A Year in the Chinese Martial Arts: How the Chinese Martial Arts Amazed and Surprised Us in 2016

      Happy New Year! New Years is always a good time to sit back and reflect on recent events.  Of course it is hard not to note that public opinion on 2016 (at least here in the United... Continue Reading →

Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Lightsaber: Fetishism and Material Culture in Martial Arts Studies

  “The lightsaber has become an important touchstone, both within the films and within our culture…They serve as a source of identification and identity.  They are the ultimate commodity: a nonexistent object whose replicas sell for hundreds of dollars.  This... Continue Reading →

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