24 April: Political and Social History of Late Imperial China, Military History, Chinese Martial Arts

15.15-17.00 hrs

Arsenaal building
East Asian Library, Green Room
Arsenaalstraat 1

Political and Social History of Late Imperial China, Military History, Chinese Martial Arts

The paper deals with characteristic features of martial arts during the Ming dynasty. Starting from the question of what martial arts is or seems to be, the paper provides an introduction into types of sources, discusses important trends of martial arts development during the Ming dynasty and explains the social origins of martial arts practice. It will be shown that the development is characterized by aspects of differentiation, specialization, and regionalization of martial arts. Using the example of the military, it can be demonstrated that the practice of martial arts was closely related to its purpose that defined the performance. Finally, the paper presents different social groups practicing martial arts for different reasons. The last section will fix some problems in Ming martial arts research today.

Dr. Kai Filipiak

Dr. Filipiak obtained his Ph.D. from Leipzig University. He has been a lecturer at Leipzig University, Philips University (Marburg), and a visiting researcher at  and is currently also visiting professor at People’s University in Beijing as well as senior lecturer in  Chinese Studies at Leipzig University. His publications include a number of articles on Chinese military history.


This seminar is sponsored by Stichting Shilin, Leiden University Journal of Young Sinology.

Shilin is a twice-yearly publication and features research done by students of Chinese Studies at Leiden University. Without disciplinary constraints, Shilin publishes papers written in Dutch and English, hoping to contribute to debates and discussions within the student body and the community at large. At the present Shilin focuses on research done by students from Chinese Studies at Leiden University, but we hope to include papers from students of Japanese Studies and Korean Studies in future issues as well. Shilin is published independently and all Shilin boardmembers are co-editors in their respective fields of research.

Last Modified: 17-04-2013