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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Weapons

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 →

Research Notes: Foreign Attitudes towards Kung Fu in Colonial Hong Kong

  The TCMA as a Perpetual Revival Movement   Kung Fu has an odd relationship with the past. It seems that for the last century (at least) each generation has discovered the beauty of the Chinese martial arts only to... 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 →

Through a Lens Darkly (28): Three Visions of the Kukri

        The Kukri in Three Symbolic Registers     As regular readers will know, I have a keen interest in both the history of bladed weapons and vintage postcards.  The kukri, a type of fighting knife from... Continue Reading →

2014 Christmas Shopping List: Martial Arts Equipment and Long Reads to Get you Through the Winter Months.

      Introduction     Another year has come and gone, yet it seems that all of the eternal questions remain.  What is the meaning of life?   Is beauty purely subjective?  How could it have possibly have dumped three... Continue Reading →

Happy Birthday Kung Fu Tea (!) and More on Butterfly Swords at Sea

    Kung Fu Tea Turns Two Years Old! Today is the second anniversary of my first post here at Kung Fu Tea.  The last two years have been a blast as well as something of a blur.  Looking back... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (23): The Dadao and the Katana – Symbolic Echoes Within the Modern Martial Arts

Introduction No topic within the study of the modern martial arts is more burdened with nationalist myths and legends than military fencing. By the middle of the 20th century blades were supposed to have become obsolete on the battlefield. Yet... Continue Reading →

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