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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Wing Chun Origins

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (3): Chan Wah Shun and the Creation of Wing Chun

Chan Wah Shun and his Place in the Modern Wing Chun Community One of the biggest problems in researching the history of the martial arts is the martial artists themselves.  They love their styles (or the businesses that they support)... Continue Reading →

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Qigong in the Wing Chun Community

  Martial Arts and Globalization in late 19th and early 20th century China. In my previous post I proposed a framework for using globalization and the liberalization of China’s economy in the 1980s and 1990s to understand the progressive “medicalization”... Continue Reading →

Did Ip Man Invent the Story of Yim Wing Chun?

***Here is one of the first substantive posts that I ever wrote on Wing Chun for the blog back in 2012, about three years before my book (with Jon Nielson) came out. Wing Chun mythology is always a hot topic.... Continue Reading →

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (9): Woman Ding Number Seven: Founder of the Fujian Yongchun Boxing Tradition

Introduction: Gender and the History of the Chinese Martial Arts Women are a challenging subject in Chinese martial studies.  One the one hand traditions about female boxers, nuns, bandits and heroes abound in the folklore of the “Rivers and Lakes.” ... Continue Reading →

The 19th Century Hudiedao (Butterfly Sword) on Land and Sea

  Introduction Understanding the actual history and use of hudiedao (or Butterfly Swords) reflects the challenges faced by students of martial studies more generally. These short paired swords, with their distinctive D-shaped hand guards, are one of the most commonly... Continue Reading →

An Updated and Revised Social History of the Hudiedao (Butterfly Swords)

  In January of 2013 I posted an essay titled "A Social and Visual History of the Hudiedao (Butterfly Sword) in the Southern Chinese Martial Arts." As a student of Wing Chun I have always been fascinated by these weapons, and... Continue Reading →

From the Archives: Ming Tales of Female Warriors – Searching for the Origins of Yim Wing Chun and Ng Moy.

  ***We are currently in the final push to prepare and release the second issue of the interdisciplinary journal Martial Arts Studies.  This will be a themed issue examining different aspects of the "invention of the martial arts" in a... Continue Reading →

The Creation of Wing Chun – Now in Paperback!

    I recently received a letter from SUNY Press letting me know that The Creation of Wing Chun: A Social History of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts, will soon be released in paperback.  This is wonderful news and due... Continue Reading →

History, Mythology, Technique and Philosophy: Finding the “True” Origins of the Asian Martial Arts

  Introduction   History is difficult. It goes beyond gaining access to appropriate sources, records and languages. The challenges that we face are often more basic and conceptual. At the present moment there is a lot of interest, both in... Continue Reading →

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