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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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through a lens darkly

Through a Lens Darkly (48): Opening the Stone Lock

  A Quick Update My other writing projects are continuing well, though weekends are never quite as productive as one might hope.  But my loss may be your gain in the shape of some fresh material here on the blog.... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (45): Creative Collages and Dueling Mythologies of the Chinese Martial Arts

    Romanticizing the Chinese Martial Arts   Vintage postcards or other ephemera may be interesting to students of martial arts studies for a variety of reasons.  When assessing this material, we are often drawn to photographic images that might... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (41): Three Views of a Young Boxer

      Meeting the Boxer   I recently had the good fortune to meet one of my favorite Chinese Boxers.  I had been stalking him for years. This early 20th century postcard was probably purchased in Beijing and then... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (40): Butterfly Swords and Tong Wars in North America

    The Yin and the Yang of the Hudiedao Earlier this year I had the opportunity to participate in a day-long seminar on the Wing Chun swords taught by Sifu John Crescione. This was a great experience that provided... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (39): The Strength of Chinese Boxers

  Introduction Some of the most popular posts at Kung Fu Tea have examined vintage images of traditional martial artists.  These are also among my favorites to research.  Yet it seems that I have neglected this subject with all of... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (38): A Tale of Two Swordsmen

      Introduction   In a recent post discussing the portrayal of the Asian martial arts in early 20th century Western newsreels, I called for a “media archeology” of the early imagery surrounding these fighting systems.  The following post... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (37): Demonstrating the Heroic Spear, Saber and Double Tiger Head Hook Swords

Introduction   Ephemera, such as postcards, tourist snapshots and newspaper accounts are an important (if often overlooked) source of information regarding the traditional Chinese martial arts. While a number of printed manuals and detailed philosophical discussions do exist from the... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (36): Swords, Lions and the Consumption of Chinese Culture

  Introduction Happy Lunar New Year!  In honor of the holiday I decided to publish a couple of posts that focused on the important role that the traditional martial arts, and martial values more generally, have played in the celebration... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (35): Chinese Soldiers and the Ring Hilted Dao (Saber)

  Chinese Officer and Soldier with Ring Hilted Sabers   Today's post is an early Christmas gift.  When I first decided that it would be wise (for research purposes) to collect and catalog images of period martial artists, I was... Continue Reading →

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