Category Archives: Martial Arts

How Jiu-Jitsu Became a Traditional German Martial Art

Introduction One of my on-going projects is a co-authored study of Wing Chun’s history (and social meaning) within the German martial arts community. I will admit that in the crush of competing papers and presentations this topic, while fascinating, has slipped to the back burner. Still, I believe that it is a critical […]

via How Jiu-Jitsu Became a Traditional German Martial Art — Kung Fu Tea


Hagakure – wisdom of the Samurai — The Tai Chi Notebook

“Hagakure is the essential book of the Samurai. Written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, who was a Samurai in the early 1700s, it is a book that combines the teachings of both Zen and Confucianism. These philosophies are centered on loyalty, devotion, purity and selflessness, and Yamamoto places a strong emphasis on the notion of living in […]

via Hagakure – wisdom of the Samurai — The Tai Chi Notebook

Ma Liang’s “New Wushu:” Modernizing and Militarizing the Traditional Chinese Martial Arts

Asking “What if?” Few things are more difficult to research than historical events that did not happen. This is especially true for social scientists who approach the question of theory creation and hypothesis testing from a more empirical or positivist angle. Yet difficult is not the same as “impossible.” Nor am I sure […]

via Ma Liang’s “New Wushu:” Modernizing and Militarizing the Traditional Chinese Martial Arts — Kung Fu Tea

New Bruce Lee Movie – Birth of a Dragon

BH Tilt has just released the full Birth of the Dragon trailer. The upcoming Bruce Lee story, directed by The Adjustment Bureau‘s George Nolfi and written by Academy Award nominees Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen J. Rivele (Nixon, Ali), Birth of the Dragon tell the story behind the legendary 1960s fight between Shaolin Master Wong Jack Man and a young Bruce Lee. Birth of the […]

via Watch The Birth of The Dragon Trailer —

The Five Tiger Stick Society: Pilgrimage, Local Religion and the Martial Arts

Kung Fu Tea

Daoist priests on Hua Mountain in the 1930s. Source: Photo by Hedda Morrison, Harvard digital archives.

An Unexpected Lunch

A friend from graduate school called during one of one of those terrible afternoons that only the month of February can conjure.  I was sitting in my windowless office at the University of Utah, ostensibly writing lectures for the semester’s new course preparations.  Half an hour later I found myself in a Chinese restaurant with my friend Whitney and his former Chinese language and literature professor who also happened to be in Salt Lake for the day.

The professor was a jovial older gentleman who was regaling us with the sorts of travel stories that one accumulates after bouncing around Asia for decades.  The company was excellent, the food was average, and before we left I decided to ask him about something that had come up.  At this point I had…

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Learn Kung Fu in China, in 3 simple steps

Learning kung fu in China might just be one of the coolest, and most rewarding things you do. Whether it’s a bucket list adventure holiday, or an action packed affordable gap year. You’ll need to prepare for the culture shock, and language barrier. The good thing is that since the early 2000’s China has increasingly become more open, modern and foreigner friendly. Indeed in 2016 over 13.7 million foreign visitor came to China!

Nevertheless its still worth baring in mind that you are no ordinary tourist. You are coming to learn kung fu in China, this means that you will most likely be staying for an extended period of from 1 month to 12 months. Therefore these 3 simple steps will be of great help.

Learn Kung Fu in China with these 3 simple steps.

  • Visa applications should be done in advance of your arrival in China. Chinese embassies or consulates can assist with the visa application process if you wish to do it by yourself. If not, this company Visa HQ is one of the most reliable and has a proven track record. Should you however, decide to arrive via HK and get your visa there this information will assist you.
  • Speak the lingo gringo. Here is a great article providing all the information you will need for avoiding common mistakes when attempting to learn Chinese.
  • Getting around China is not always a straight forward easy task. This article on buying bus and rail tickets will keep you right. If however, you’d prefer to fly check out ctrip and elong. Both these online sites are in English and offer cheap international in domestic flights.

For further information to help and assist you to realize your dream to learn kung fu in China visit StudyMartialArts.Org.

These guys offer up-to-date independent information on martial arts schools as well as a full booking service for FREE!

“The Five Elements of Jiu-Jitsu” (Two Videos)

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“The Five Elements of Jiu-Jitsu” by Mike Bidwell

A student recently asked me:
“What does it feel like for you as a BJJ Black Belt to roll with someone who doesn’t understand the flow?

Me: “Have you ever danced with someone who doesn’t want to dance? It’s kind of like that except that I can guide them into my rhythm but they cannot force me into theirs…”

So what is this ‘flow’ you speak of? I know it all sounds a bit mystical and reminiscent of “the force” in Star Wars or Neo in the Matrix. Well it’s none of that and all of that…

So to begin may I offer you the red pill or the blue pill? You take the blue pill, you stop reading this article and go on with your training and you believe what you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay…

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TEN-LINE TANTUI — Brennan Translation

– 教門彈腿圖說 ILLUSTRATED HANDBOOK FOR THE MUSLIM ART OF TANTUI 吳志青 by Wu Zhiqing [published New Year’s Day, 1922] [translation by Paul Brennan, July, 2017] – 目錄 CONTENTS 序 Preface 例言 Introductory Comments 歌訣 Song 行拳方位圖 Positioning Chart for the Boxing Movements 立正式圖說 Photo

via TEN-LINE TANTUI — Brennan Translation

Thoughts on “pure system” vs “cross training”

Among my students there is a widely known concept, based upon my own experiences with the late Chan Tai-San. We would ask Chan Tai-San, “Sifu, is it this or this”? “Is it a throw or a strike”? “Do we do it this way or this way”? And the answer was inevitably the same; YES. In […]

via Thoughts on “pure system” vs “cross training” — nysanda

Five Years of Kung Fu Tea: Making Martial Arts Studies Matter — Kung Fu Tea

Happy Birthday Attentive readers may have noticed a few changes here at Kung Fu Tea. This blog launched its first post five years ago, on July 27th 2012. Since that point we have published well over 500 posts. Looking back at my drafts this adds up to over 2,500 pages of single […]

via Five Years of Kung Fu Tea: Making Martial Arts Studies Matter — Kung Fu Tea