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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Wing Chun Origins

The Red Boats and the Nautical Origins of the Wooden Dummy

      Warning: Speculation Ahead   No topic surrounding Wing Chun elicits more interest than its deep historical origins.  Did the art really originate at the southern Shaolin Temple?  Was it connected to late Qing revolutionary groups?  Did Leung Jan actually learn... Continue Reading →

Available for Pre-order: The Creation of Wing Chun – A Social History of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts

  Last week I noticed that Kung Fu Tea had attracted over half a million views since its launch in 2012.  That seemed like a significant milestone and I wanted to do something to mark the occasion, but I wasn't... Continue Reading →

From the Archives: The Creation of Wing Chun’s “Opera Rebels.”

***This weekend my wife and I will be away celebrating our anniversary.  As such we will be delving into the archives for our normally scheduled Friday update. The following was the first post in a three part series looking at... Continue Reading →

From the Archives: Folklore in the Southern Chinese Martial Arts

    ***I am currently on the road, so we will be dipping into the archives for this weeks Friday update.  I decided that it might be fun to take a look back and to see what I was working... Continue Reading →

“Fighting Styles” or “Martial Brands”? An economic approach to understanding “lost lineages” in the Chinese Martial Arts.

  ***Today's post continues our discussion of economic markets and modernity in the Chinese martial arts.  This essay, first posted in May of 2013, was one of my first attempts at hashing out these questions as they related to advertising... Continue Reading →

Bruce Lee, Globalization and the Case of Wing Chun: Why Do Some Martial Arts Grow?

  ***As I mentioned before, I currently need to set aside some additional time to finish up a book project.  For the next few weeks I am going to be taking a second look at a few articles from the... 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 →

Three Thoughts on my New Wooden Dummy

Meeting a New Friend Recently I have been spending a lot of time (and practice hours) thinking about the Mook Yan Jong.  This type of wooden dummy is commonly used in Wing Chun schools around the world.  I had not... Continue Reading →

Conceptualizing the Asian Martial Arts: Ancient Origins, Social Institutions and Leung Jan’s Wing Chun.

                                                                                    Introduction No assertion is more fervently advanced on behalf of the traditional Asian martial arts than assurances of their great antiquity.  The relative ages of these systems seems to have become a matter of increased discussion and competition in... Continue Reading →

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