Martial History Magazine

Bastinado-bigJason Couch of Martial History Magazine sent me this article he put together Chinese Martial Arts in 19th Century China.  He has collected a bunch of short pieces written by Westerners about fighting in China.  I found them all interesting and worth taking the time to read and ponder.   It is just a blog post and I appreciate that sometimes we just want to get something up and out to world, but I would like to know more about the reasons each of these Westerners were in China at that time, and perhaps something about their views on other subjects; where they pro-Missionary?  Were they involved in trade or education?  Did they learn the local language?  Stuff like that.  Maybe that information is not available but as he says there are some contradiction among the accounts and it would be helpful in trying to evaluate the informants against each other.

The first section on grabbing each other's queues is something I hadn't read before but I think it is important to understand that Han people were required to wear their hair in a queue as a sign of subordination which was the hair style that Manchu had historically used for their slaves. Slaves would have been tied up at night by their queues.  The humiliation associated with the queue could get pretty twisted.

It's also quite clear from the texts that there is plenty of overlap between theater and fighting--and there is even some recognition and discussion of the religious component of the arts.  Great stuff.

You might want to check out some more of Jason's articles too,  The Boy Scouts in War, or The First Thanksgiving.