Kung Fu Tea

I recently had a chance to explore and organize a large database of vintage newspaper articles. This material was gathered as part of my on-going “Kung Fu Diplomacy” project. Yet every so often I ran across news items which, while not really related to that project, are still quite interesting.

We generally talk about the rise of the mixed martial arts as though it is a totally new phenomenon, but in truth it is only the latest incarnation of a very old impulse within the Asian martial arts. It is hard not to look at the specific histories of certain styles (Jingwu, Choy Li Fut and Five Ancestors all come to mind) and not notice a similar acquisitive impulse.

Still, if we fast forward to the early 20th century one can find much more direct analogues. As the forces of imperialism and globalization brought the fighting arts of East and…

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