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Thread: 100 Issues History of Kung Fu Taichi magazine

  1. #1

    100 Issues History of Kung Fu Taichi magazine

    I just wanted to give a big congratulations to Kung Fu Tai Chi magazine on its 100th issue. That really is a remarkable achievement, the martial arts magazine business is super competitive.

    A rough guess would say 100 issues at six times a year means you folks got the magazine going in 1990 or so, is that right? Who was on the first cover? How many editors have you folks had? (Gene and then before him Martha Burr and then..). Was the magazine always owned and operated by Tiger Claw? I am kind of remembering it was, but I am not 100% sure of that.

    You guys ought to put together a little retrospective article talking about how it was and where it is going.

    In any event, super congratulations to Gene and the rest of the crew.

    Take care,
    Brian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
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    44,091

    Thanks Brian!

    We're were both surprised and pleased to realize we'd crossed our century mark with this issue.

    You're way off with your math. Anything Chinese defies that kind of logic. Here's a quick history lesson to explain:
    2007 was our 15th year anniversary. We started under Pacific Rim Publishing, which was run by Roger Hagood. We put out three magazines, Kung Fu Tai Chi (originally Wushu Kungfu, which merged quickly with Wushu Qigong to become Kungfu Wushu Qigong), Dojo and Dojang. Each was a quarterly and the titles alternated. Gigi Oh took over the magazine in Winter 94; Annabelle Udo was the editor then. PRP was acquired by TC Media, Intl., which also oversees many other departments like video production, posters and flyers, logo development and our retail outlet MartialArtsMart.com. A few years later Marian Castinado took over the editorial post, to be followed by Martha Burr. In 1996, we collapsed Dojo and Dojang into World of Martial Arts. We were bimonthly then, alternating between the two titles just as we alternated between the three earlier. In 1999, we stopped publishing WoMA, so for 2000, we were monthly.

    We did a retrospective issue for our 10 year anniversary (along with a big fundraising benefit for the Olympics next year - see Kungfu Qigong's 10th Anniversary at TigerClawFoundation.org). We had some plans for our 15th, but they fell through. We aren't planning another retrospective - the 10th one was a major project. Maybe for the 20th, if we can sustain it that long.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
    Wow, that is a convoluted story. It actually is kind of interesting from a historian's standpoint because the name changes, the ownership and editor changes are hard to follow for a well known magazine in present days----which kind of reflects on how hard it would be to trace the development of something like the National Kuo Shu Journal that came out in the 1920s back on mainland China.

    In any event, you folks have been doing a super job and Elizabeth and I look forward to reading and writing for you for many years to come.

    take care,
    Brian (and Elizabeth)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,091

    Exactly my point!

    which kind of reflects on how hard it would be to trace the development of something like the National Kuo Shu Journal that came out in the 1920s back on mainland China.
    Chinese history is convoluted as anyone who researches it (like you and Elizabeth) are well aware. When I was working on the 10 Year Anniversary special, I was very amused to watch the development of Chinese martial arts in America and how it was parallel to the development of our magazine. We charted every issue with a timeline that ran through the whole issue. It showcased major events in pop culture in America, like major films (and a lot of minor ones), also major tournaments (every one we covered plus more) as well as odd penetration into American culture, such as when Jackie Chan figurines were offered with McDonald's Happy Meals. It was a monster piece of research on our part - mostly me and Martha Burr - but web research was just opening up then so it gave us the opportunity to do something that we could have never done with a traditional library. The issue did ok, but sales weren't overwhelming, considering all the effort that went behind it. I think many newsstand readers saw it as a vanity issue - and it totally was - but overlooked the historical documentation. I got some very flattering comments from many of the more 'literate' wulin about it, which was very gratifying.

    As for our title changes - here's a previous post I made on the matter - I'll add to it to say why we dropped qigong for tai chi. Nobody in America could say qigong. Not even our distributors, and that got to be a huge problem. Additionally there were huge discussions about using pinyin. Wushu and qigong are obviously pinyin, but it should be kongfu, or taiji for that matter. But frankly, America doesn't use pinyin. Of course, you being in Taiwan probably don't use it either Brian. I've never got the handle of Taiwanese romanization at all (and Gigi is Taiwanese as you know.) Pinyin is the international academic standard so it's what I've been trained to use. Anyway, back on point, the title changes are a little schizo for sure. It gets even more amusing when we do a special like our last issue. There are title is Shaolin Kung Fu Tai Chi. That actually works to our benefit on the newsstands because some outlets view it as a new magazine and tend to shelve it in the new age/spirituality section with the tai chi, yoga and buddhism mag. We get double the shelf coverage and shelf life.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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