|Author||Benjamin N. Judkins and Jon Nielson|
Looks at southern Chinese martial arts traditions and how they have become important to local identity and narratives of resistance.
This book explores the social history of southern Chinese martial arts and their contemporary importance to local identity and narratives of resistance. Hong Kong’s Bruce Lee ushered the Chinese martial arts onto an international stage in the 1970s. Lee’s teacher, Ip Man, master of Wing Chun Kung Fu, has recently emerged as a highly visible symbol of southern Chinese identity and pride. Benjamin N. Judkins and Jon Nielson examine the emergence of Wing Chun to reveal how this body of social practices developed and why individuals continue to turn to the martial arts as they navigate the challenges of a rapidly evolving environment. After surveying the development of hand combat traditions in Guangdong Province from roughly the start of the nineteenth century until 1949, the authors turn to Wing Chun, noting its development, the changing social attitudes towards this practice over time, and its ultimate emergence as a global art form.
“Martial arts was scorned by traditional Chinese literati, ignored by Western historians, and predicted to go extinct by Western and Chinese modernizers. However, as this book brilliantly demonstrates, late imperial and twentieth century Chinese history cannot be properly understood without it … Wing Chun students will see the most definitive exposition of the roots of their art, historians will see twentieth-century China through a new lens, and martial arts studies scholars will see a high water mark and model in their field.” — Martial Arts Studies
“The Creation of Wing Chun is a fascinating read and a book that I highly recommend to all Wing Chunstudents.” — Tony Massengill, Wing Chun Illustrated