Lives of Chinese Martial Artists: Tang Hao – The First Historian of the Chinese Martial Arts

Tang Hao

Tang Hao (1887–1959) is not a household name, even among avid practitioners of the traditional Chinese martial arts. While little known outside of certain specialized circles, few people have had a more profound impact on the way that we write and think about these hand combat systems. A lawyer by training and profession, Tang Hao was the first individual to undertake a serious, sustained, investigation of the history of the Chinese martial arts using modern documentary and field research methods. Tang Hao was very aware of the transformative social power of well written historical research. He was counting on it. In an era when so many other martial artists were (sometimes literally) taking up the sword for the defense of the nation, he instead picked up his pen.

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