Brian Kennedy 1958-2019

Recently, the Chinese Martial Arts lost an important contributor to the field, Brian Kennedy. Kennedy was the author of two important books to the research of historical martial arts in China, Jing Woo: the School that Transformed Kung Fu, and Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals. Required reading for anyone interested in this subject.

Kung Fu Tea has a very nice piece in memorial to Mr. Kennedy here:

The Chinese martial studies community suffered a great loss with the recent passing of Brian Kennedy (1958-2019) at the age of 61.  Any such event is a tragedy, and this was all the more unexpected as Brian was active and continuing to train in BJJ until the end.  After hearing the news I began to go back through the many emails that we exchanged through the years.  I was immediately reminded what a kind and intellectually generous person Brian was, always willing to point another student towards a critical source or offer timely advice.  His insight will be greatly missed.

Brian was also a historian, and cultural translator, of the traditional Chinese martial arts. This is the capacity in which most of our readers will know him.  Trained in law he had a fine analytical mind and a razor-sharp sense of discernment when it came to evaluating the many “newly discovered manuscripts” that began to emerge in the 2000s.  His extended residence in Taiwan gave him an opportunity to study both the history and the practice of a variety of Chinese martial arts at a critical point in time. This combined experience allowed him to become something of a fixture in the world of popular martial arts magazines and publications well before his two better known volumes emerged in 2005 and 2010.

Kung Fu tea:

Our thoughts go out to Mr. Kennedy’s loved ones.

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