Kung Fu Tea

1860s photograph of a “Chinese Soldier” with butterfly swords. Subject unknown, taken by G. Harrison Grey.

Introduction

This is my keynote address from the recent (Nov. 9-10th, 2017) conference on fightbooks held at the German Blade Museum in Solingen.  A full report on this event is coming soon, but I am eager to share this with the readers of Kung Fu Tea.  Enjoy!

A Man and A Book

As my colleague Brian Kennedy has noted, there is no subject more beloved in the world of kung fu fiction than the lost training manual.  Countless films, tv programs and wuxia novels have focused on the image of a lost (or better yet, stolen) book that holds the secrets to ancient fighting prowess.  Heroes and heroines go to amazing lengths to procure such a book and to unravel its secrets.  Both a source of knowledge and an outward sign of martial…

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