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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Research Notes: Judo’s Triple Transformation in The China Press (1932)

  Doing the Homework Students of Martial Arts Studies are the fortunate few.  As research areas go, ours is pretty interesting. Yet as I review the literature (even recent publications from big name academic presses), it is clear that many... Continue Reading →

Swords, Visuality and the Construction of China

  Deciphering an Icon Recently I came across a few of Harrison Forman’s wartime photos, probably taken in the early 1930s, but circulated to newspapers and (re)published in 1938.  While his photos of militia groups following the 8th Route Army (discussed... Continue Reading →

The Last Shall be First: Finding Meaning in the Martial Arts

    Barnum’s Daughter   I was recently watching the news when I saw a brief segment on “the last” Japanese swordsmith.  The whole things is a little overwrought as there are lots of individuals making swords in Japan today,... Continue Reading →

Performance Ethnography and the Martial Arts Studies Reader

  As the indomitable Professor Farnsworth would say, good news everyone! The long anticipated Martial Arts Studies Reader (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) is now shipping.  Weighing in at 244 pages, and featuring articles by over a dozen of the most... Continue Reading →

Of Pens and Swords: Jin Yong’s Journey

    The Loss of Heroes The Chinese martial arts community has lost two giants.  The death of Raymond Chow (who was instrumental in jumpstarting Bruce Lee’s martial arts films) and Louis Cha (who wrote under the name Jin Yong)... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (56): New York City’s Kung Fu and the Roaring 1920s

    Introduction While I have a few connections in New York City’s TCMA community, it has always been my experience that one turns up different sorts of insights by getting out and exploring the terrain on one’s own.  It... Continue Reading →

Martial Classics: The Complete Fist Canon in Verse

  Translator’s Note Here is the full translation of the Qi Jiguang’s Fist Method as it appears in the Wubei Zhi, offered as a follow-up to my initial discussion of the challenges of translating this text into English verse. If... Continue Reading →

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: Oct. 22 2018: Archery, Kung Fu Villages and the Lives of Detective Dee

    Introduction It has been a busy weekend, so this news update will be brief. Nevertheless, I wanted to comment on some of the more interesting stories that have been floating around. For new readers, this is a semi-regular feature here... Continue Reading →

Who “Killed” Kung Fu: Habermas and the Legitimization Crisis within Traditional Martial Arts

  Zombies The air is distinctly crisp, the end of October is upon us, and Halloween rapidly approaches. Clearly, it is time to talk about zombies.  We seem to go through periods of collective fascination with the image of empty human... Continue Reading →

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