Did Western movies and TV lead to the creation of the Shaolin Warrior monks? Did the modern Shaolin fake something that had already been reinvented anyway? Did the Qing Dynasty really destroy the Shaolin temple, or did they instead create it? What influence did three subsequent phases of communism have on Shaolin? Was there a Southern Shaolin Temple, and what about the modern stuff at Wudang Mountain? These questions and more answered in our new episode on the infamous temple and its monks.
In the middle to late part of the Yuan Dynasty the former Confucian ruling class came back with a vengeance and started a downward spiral that would ultimately lead to the fall of the dynasty. In this episode we examine how and why this happened, which will set the context for the important events at the end of the dynasty in the next episode.
This episode explores the connection between the martial arts of the great Song generals’ tradition and Chinese theatre, which was emerged during the height of the Yuan Dynasty.
We pick up our series on Xing Yi with a new dynasty, the Yuan, examining the social changes that Mongol rule brought to China and their implications for the martial arts through the lens of the artwork of the period.
Why is Baguazhang so strange? What does it have to do with Mongolia? In this episode we have a chat about this very unusual martial art, often considered a sister art to Xing Yi and Tai Chi.
In this episode we look at the events surrounding Yang Luchan’s expulsion from the imperial service in 1861 in the context of the rise to power of Empress Dowager Cixi. We also examine how the involvement of the western powers in Chinese affairs directly led to the Self Strenghtening Movement and the establishment of the first public martial arts schools in North China.
In this episode we look at how the effects of the Taiping Northern Expedition and the Nian Rebellion of the mid-Nineteenth Century drew the Confucian Wu brothers and the fighters of Chen Village towards each other for the first time.
In this episode we examine the context in which the relationship between Yang Luchan, Wu Chengqing and Wu Yuxiang developed during the years of the Taiping Rebellion and the new regime of Emperor Xianfeng.
Did Tai Chi exist before 1850? In this episode we begin a new series of episodes on this subject by setting the scene and historical background to the mythmaking around the origins of Tai Chi that occurred starting from the middle of the Nineteenth Century in response to social turmoil and unrest exemplified by the Taiping Rebellion and Opium Wars.