Civil Society, Mimetic Desire and China’s Republican era “Kung Fu Diplomacy”

Kung Fu Tea

TY Wong standing with butterfly swords, center, during a San Francisco street parade during the 1940s. Source: Photo courtesy of Gilman Wong.

Introduction

This paper was recently read at the International Conference for the 1st World Youth Mastership held at Cheongju University on Nov. 3-4, 2017.  Many thanks go to Prof. Gwang Ok for making this event possible and extending an invitation for me to attend.  A special note of thanks also goes to the Cornell University East Asia Program for helping to support this research.  My report on this conference is coming soon, but I first wanted to share some of the things that I have been working on for the last six weeks with the readers of Kung Fu Tea.  Enjoy.

Civil Society, Mimetic Desire and China’s Republican era “Kung Fu Diplomacy”

Today I would like to talk about an overlooked period in the globalization of the…

View original post 4,598 more words

Advertisements

Paul Bowman: A Conversation with the Journal of the Tai Chi Union of Great Britain

Kung Fu Tea

Image of a Taiji Boxer. Source: Burkhardt, 1953.

***I had initially planned to share the first of my recent conference papers this weekend, but I think that should probably wait until next week.  Prof. Paul Bowman, whose contributions to the development of martial arts studies are literally too many to list (but include the publications of important books, the creation of a conference series, an academic book series and a journal) has recently done an interview with the Tai Chi Union of Great Britain.  Its a very nice piece that provides a great introductory discussion of “martial arts studies” for anyone who is trying to get their head around this project.  With his permission I thought that I would share it here.  Take a look at it, and feel free to pass it along to colleagues, students or friends who may be wondering what we are all…

View original post 1,428 more words

Early History of Sanshou

1991 1st World Wushu Championship In an attempt to foster a uniquely Chinese international sport, the Beijing based International Wushu Federation (IWUF) offers the first world wushu championship in Beijing. San Shou is offered for the first time as an open competition with no military ties. Jason Yee of the United States wins a Bronze […]

via Early history of sanshou — Sifu David Ross

Two Views on the Indian Martial Arts

Kung Fu Tea

Introduction

Greetings from Germany, where I am now enjoying a much anticipated conference dedicated to the study of fightbooks hosted by the German Blade Museum.  I will be posting both the text of my keynote and a full report on the conference once I get back to the United States.  In the mean time I would like to share two additional papers that were given at this summer’s 2017 Martial Arts Studies Conference.  The first video was produced by P. S. Gowtham and focuses on both the techniques and narratives seen in two Indian martial arts.  This presentation is short, but its a great project by a promising young scholar.  Be sure to check it out.

After watching Gowtham’s introduction we can move on to the main event.  That is Prof. Gitanjali Kolanad’s keynote titled “Striking a Balance – the relationship between dancing and fighting.”  We were very…

View original post 44 more words

Practice tips for performing Ba Duan Jin Correctly

Practice Tips

Be Relaxed, Calm and Natural

A relaxed state of mind better eliminates psychological and physiological stresses. A relaxed body better tones muscles joints and organs. Calmness without distraction is the key. The correct mood and environment play a big part in effective practice.

Be Accurate but Flexible

Follow the set practice, the body positions and stances. Using a mirror will be very helpful in the beginning to ensure the directions and angles of the movements are adhered too.

Combine Practice and Conservation

The rigor of the postures and movements, and the application of strength used should be adjusted in accordance with the physical conditions of the practitioner so correct performance is achieved gradually. This will also apply to the adjustment of the breath. Maintaining balance in practice is the key. Balance of mind, body and spirit.

Graduated Progress

Beginners should take it step by step, adjusting practice gradually. Begin with natural breathing and work gradually up to deep breathing through constant and consistent practice.

This article has been based on the detailed works provided by the Chinese Health Qigong Association. Step by step descriptions of the routines can be ordered for free. The only cost will be in the ordering and delivery. Each book ordered includes a DVD allowing proper practice in real time.

For those interested in qigong courses and retreats. Click the following link.

Making Martial Arts Studies Matter

Kung Fu Tea

Rifles and bayonets for a school military drill class behind two Judo students. Vintage Japanese postcard, late 1930s. Source: Author’s personal collection.

Introduction

Greetings!  If all has gone according to plan, I am now on a plane returning to the United States from Korea.  I will be posting both my paper and a full report on the conference later.  But first I need to head to Germany for the much anticipated Fightbook Conference which is being hosted at the German Blade Museum in Solingen.   As such, I will be sharing a few more of the keynotes from the 2017 Martial Arts Studies in conference in Cardiff.  And to tell you the truth….I think I recognize that guy….

All joking aside, I am pretty happy with the way that this paper turned out, and the conference organizers did a great job of integrating my slides into the video of my…

View original post 29 more words

Communicating Embodied Knowledge in Martial Arts Studies, Part II

Kung Fu Tea

Introduction

One of my few disappointments about the 2017 Martial Arts Studies conference was that a change in travel plans forced me to miss the final afternoon of the event.  As such, I was not able to take part in the closing workshop which addressed a number of topics that are important to the emerging field of Martial Arts Studies.  Of these the most basic would have to be, “How do we talk about our personal experience with these fighting systems in our academic studies of them?”  Luckily this debate was just posted on YouTube, and I plan on watching Parts I and II on my flight to Korea.

Click here to start with Part I (if you have not already seen it).

Click here to go directly to Part II.

Here is what the conference program had to say about the workshop:

At this year’s Martial Arts Studies Conference

View original post 491 more words

Enrich the body and soul by learning kung fu in China

气功

by Nathan Williams

An experience to enrich the body and soul. The Academy is a great place to live and to learn; the masters are very supportive and the students are like family to me – it feels like a community of like minded people all pulling in the same direction. The location: the Shengjing Shan mountain is breathtakingly beautiful – the many temples and trails and walkways are very serene and tranquil. The surrounding towns can be difficult to navigate around so best to learn from fellow students but you’ll soon find your way around.

Learning a moderate amount of Chinese would be preferably before coming to China because hardly anyone speaks English. There aren’t any Chinese classes at the Academy but it shouldn’t stop you from learning – you’re in China! With language books and language apps you will be able to learn, it just takes time and discipline (luckily you’ll find both here at the academy). Don’t expect to learn in a classroom environment.

I found the accommodation satisfactory and as expected in rural china – you’re staying in a kung fu school, not a hostel. The food is good and again, you’re staying in a kung fu school, not dining out at a restaurant each night. Although there are some authentic Chinese restaurants nearby for special occasions.

Tips: bring cash with you and make sure you can draw money out of your debit/credit card as it can be tricky in China. If you have a problem, it will be difficult to go to a bank and find someone who speaks English. Download a VPN for your phone/laptop so you can access western sites and social media apps, if not, you may find speaking with family and friends back home to be quite difficult. It’s also good to have a hobby outside of training, some learn Chinese, some are working on their own books, some cook, some learn instruments, some just chill and watch movies, some do all of the above. It’s had a profoundly positive affect on me mentally and physically and I am mentally much stronger and more resilient.

“Nathan visited Shengjing Shan Kung Fu Academy for his experience. Others may go else where. Wherever you go whatever you choose to learn. For the majority that decide to learn kung fu in China it is life changing and a positive experience they never forget. For my part I feel blessed not only in helping people find the right school but get the most out of the experience. For the schools it is always my pleasure to send them quality students.” – David Kelly – StudyMartialArts.Org

“The teachings of Li CunYi on XingYi’s 5 Elements” – a new translation.

The Tai Chi Notebook

e3808ae4ba94e8a18ce980a3e792b0e68bb3e8ad9ce59088e792a7e3808be69d8ee5ad98e7bea9-e69d9ce4b98be5a082-e4ba94e8a18ce68bb3e8ad9c-drawing-1

Paul Brennan of Brennan Translation has completed a new work, that’s worth a look if you’re a XingYi practitioner. It’s called “The teachings of Li CunYi on XingYi’s 5 Elements“, which are said to be the oral teachings of the famous XingYi boxer, Li CunYi as recorded by Du Zhitang of Guangzong [in Xingtai, Hebei]. There’s no date on the manual, but 1916 is a good guess.

The manual covers the 5 Elements of XingYi (Pi, Zuan, Beng, Pao and Heng) together with a “continuous boxing set”, which is a linking form, where the techniques are linked together in one continuous flow.

The linking form presented in the book is very close to this one:

View original post

Communicating Embodied Knowledge in Martial Arts Studies, Part 1

Kung Fu Tea

Introduction

One of my few disappointments about the 2017 Martial Arts Studies conference was that a change in travel plans forced me to miss the final afternoon of the event.  As such, I was not able to take part in the closing workshop which addressed a number of topics that are important to the emerging field of Martial Arts Studies.  Of these the most basic would have to be, “How do we talk about our personal experience with these fighting systems in our academic studies of them?”  Luckily this debate was just posted on YouTube, and I plan on watching Parts I and II on my flight to Korea.

Click here to go directly to Part I.

Here is what the conference program had to say about the workshop:

At this year’s Martial Arts Studies Conference, we will set aside time for workshops and a round table panel discussion…

View original post 466 more words