Martial Mythology (1): Yim Wing Chun and the Hero’s Journey

  Introduction For someone who doesn’t read classical Chinese, I spend a lot of time in seminars listening to presentations on ancient texts.  Cornell regularly invites visiting scholars to discuss their work.  While none of these individuals has ever given a talk on a martial arts related project, they almost always suggest points worth thinking…

On the 44th Anniversary of Bruce Lee’s Death: Cult (Film) Icon

      Introduction My original plan for the day included writing a conference report on the recent Martial Arts Studies gathering at Cardiff University (which, as always, was a blast).  However, when I opened my email this morning I found a note from Paul Bowman reminding me that today is the 44th anniversary of…

Imagining Ip Man: Globalization and the Growth of Wing Chun Kung Fu

  ***I am current on the road for the annual Martial Arts Studies conference at Cardiff University in the UK.  As soon as I return home I will be posting a full report of the event and sharing the text and slides from my keynote (titled “Show, Don’t Tell: Making Martial Arts Studies Matter.”)  In…

Facing Down a Wooden Dummy, and the Myth of “Perfect Practice”

  “Practice does not make perfect.  Only perfect practice makes perfect.”  – Vince Lombardi   The Bane of my Existence   I have spent a lot of time thinking about Vince Lombardi’s famous maxim on the value of practice.  I will readily admit to hating this quote.  It is exactly the sort of tough, yet…

Violence and the Martial Arts: Contagion or Cure?

      An Old Metaphor   Violence has many faces.  It may appear in an inter-personal, domestic, social or political form.  It’s physical aspects exist on a spectrum ranging from school yard fights all the way up to interstate war.  And as the recent attack on a group of Republican congressional representatives and staff…

Why is Ip Man a Role Model?

Donny Yen reprises his role as Ip Man. Is this “Ip Man” your role model?     ***Greetings!  I am currently on the road for research.  As such, we will be delving into the archives for today’s post.  This essay (first published in 2014) takes a closer look at Ip Man’s transformative social memory in…