Here is some amazing fieldwork by Steven Frost, who hopefully will be presenting the whole film at this year's International Daoist Studies Conference in Paris (May 17-19, 2017). His website has a few articles and some images too. http://stevenqfrost.net/main.html
Weakness with a Twist: A blog about internal martial arts, theatricality and Daoist ritual emptiness
Watch the Video: A Cultural History of Tai Chi
Buy the Book: Possible Origins, A Cultural History of Chinese Martial Arts, Theater and Religion, By Scott Park Phillips. Amazon Kindle ($9.99), Paperback ($18.95)
New Orleans Workshop: Oct. 21st-23rd Slideshow, Dance as Self-Defense, Unlocking Internal Power
Chicago Workshop: Nov. 4th-7th (full) (still available for private lessons or slideshows)
Ottawa Project: Dec. 11th-20th (martial arts studies collaboration) (available for private lessons)
This intimate 80-minute portrait film explores the life of eighth-generation household Daoist Li Manshan (b.1946), leader of a group of ritual specialists in the poor countryside of Yanggao county in north Shanxi, China.
A film by Stephen Jones; edited by Michele Banal, with funding from the ANR Shifu project (Paris Nanterre).
The film complements Stephen Jones' new book "Daoist priests of the Li family: ritual life in village China" (Three Pines, 2016).
Obviously they don't allow embedding, perhaps that is so that they can monitor comments. But you can click the link to watch it on Vimeo. Very cool, neat music, can't wait to read the book and meet the author in Paris at the next Daoist Studies International Conference.
If martial arts is defined broadly as "combat skill," it goes back to single celled organisms. If it is defined by written discourse about hunting or battle, it is one of the first things ever written down. If it is written stories about sword dueling masters in China, it is about 2300 year old. If it is court documents about wrestlers, acrobats, or martial rituals done by people wearing animal masks, it is about 2100 years old. If it is written documents describing martial displays of acrobatic skill by the military, or plays with fighting scenes, it is somewhere around 1300 to 1000 years old. If it is written descriptions of forms (taolu) at Shaolin Temple it is five, maybe six hundred years old. If it is written discussion about lineage transmissions it is even more recent.
I want to let people in California know that my friend Alex Boyd from the UK is teaching in Oakland and Los Angeles. His partner work is definitely worth experiencing, lots of practices that improve spatial perception in games, and a unique Daoist lineage.Read More
Everyone who practices Baguazhang has heard that it was created or revealed by one famous master named Dong Haichuan. Almost everyone agrees on the mythology that Dong taught each of his students differently based on what skills and experiences they already had.
That is pretty extraordinary. That means there wasn't a curriculum. It was improvisational.Read More
I've been thinking a lot about patronage networks. I cover this in my book because it is such an essential part of understanding the context of Chinese martial arts. But for those who have already read my book...I have more.
First allow me to lead off with two conversations I had recently, one about the future, and one about that past.Read More
All of the Keynote Lectures from the Marital Arts Studies Conference in Cardiff this Summer are up on their Youtube Channel. There is a lot of good material here, check it out.
And here is a playlist of our mini film festival too:Read More