Kung Fu Tea

The Illustrated Australian News. Wednesday 26th, May 1886. Cover.

A month ago I was chatting with my friend Joseph Svinth (a prolific author and editor within the field of Martial Arts Studies) over email.  At the time I was still recovering from the last round of conferences and let things slide. But earlier this week I decided to take another look at one of his most interesting finds.  It is an engraving (executed by F. A. Sleap) that graced the cover of the Illustrated Australian News on Wednesday the 26th in May of 1886.

This image will be of immediate interest to any student of Chinese martial studies.  It shows two individuals engaged in armed single combat.  The ferocity of their fight is suggested by the fallen sword, pole and bamboo helmet that have been discarded in a lower corner of the frame.  Behind them sits a large…

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