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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Weapons

Tools of the Trade: The Use of Firearms and Traditional Weapons among the Tongs of San Francisco, 1877-1878.

  Introduction: The Evolving Relationship between Firearms and the Martial Arts. In a number of previous posts we have examined the complex, often hidden, relationship between the development of the modern Chinese martial arts and firearms.  It is frequently stated... Continue Reading →

Old or New? The Miaodao and Invention in Chinese Martial Arts

  Searching for the Miaodao What exactly do historians mean when they assert that the Chinese martial arts being practiced throughout the world today are, for the most part, a relatively recent creation?  Even the veneer of age that systems like... Continue Reading →

Collecting Chinese Swords and other Weapons in late 19th Century Xiamen (Amoy)

  Introduction: Xiamen and the Chinese Martial Arts Marketplace I am interested in the martial arts history of Fujian province.  Many areas of China can rightly claim an illustrious past when it comes to producing famous boxers, military officers or... Continue Reading →

Reconstructing the Tang Dao: Regionalism and Cultural Exchange

  Introduction Regionalism has been all the rage in certain academic circles for at least a decade, though no field demonstrates the potential and challenges of this approach more fully than martial arts studies. The central concept of this paradigm... Continue Reading →

Recreating the Han Dao and Battles on Bridges

The Emergence of the Dao “The Chinese martial arts that we practice today tend to be a recent phenomenon.” This is something that I have said on this blog many times, but what does it actually mean? Our earliest extent... Continue Reading →

LK Chen and the Rebirth of the Han Jian

    Introduction Over the last year many Chinese martial arts students in the West have become aware of the replica Han dynasty weapons currently being produced by LK Chen in Guangdong.  These high-quality pieces are all the more attractive... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (61): The Shifting Social and Economic Value of Traditional Chinese Weapons

    One of the most notable trends over the last decade has been the rapid appreciation of prices for antique Chinese weapons.  There is more variability in markets for antique objects than one might think.  Simply being rare was... Continue Reading →

Butterfly Swords and Long Poles: A Glimpse into Singapore’s 19th Century Martial Landscape

Introduction: The Weapons of Wing Chun From time to time I am asked why Wing Chun teaches only two weapons. For those unfamiliar with the system these are the long single-tailed fighting pole, favored by a number of southern Chinese... Continue Reading →

Hunting a Tiger with a Kukri

  The reader will probably notice that whatever may be their form, there is a nameless something which designates the country in which they were produced.  No matter whether the weapon has belonged to a rich or a poor man,... Continue Reading →

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