Fujian White Crane

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Bái Hè Quán
Also known as Pe̍h-ho̍h-kûn
Focus Striking
Country of origin China
Creator Fāng Qīnián (tradition)
Famous practitioners Lǐ Wénmào
Chen Zuozhen
Huang Laoyang
Parenthood Ming-era Nanquan
Descendant arts Wing Chun
Fujian White Crane
Traditional Chinese 詠春拳
Simplified Chinese 咏春拳
Literal meaning fist of spring chant
Alternative Chinese name
Chinese 永春拳
Literal meaning fist of eternal spring
Fujian White Crane
Mandarin: Bái Hè Quán
Amoy Min Nan: Pe̍h-ho̍h-kûn
Literally "white crane fist"
This article is about the Fujian style, White Crane. For the Tibetan style, see Lama (martial art).

White Crane Style (in Chinese: 白鶴拳) is a Southern Chinese martial art that originated in the Fujian (福建) province and is now practiced throughout the world. According to oral tradition, this martial art was developed by Fāng Qīniáng (方七娘; Amoy Min Nan: Hng Chhit-niâ), a female martial artist. This style is associated with traditional fighting techniques including long range, but it is most similar to close-quarter or hand-oriented combat.[1] It is most recognizable due to the way a fighter imitates a bird's pecking or flapping of wings. While some white crane styles make use of a variety of traditional weapons, others have discontinued the use of weaponry.[2]

Fujian White Crane is a type of Shaolin Boxing imitating characteristics of the Taiwanese Crane. An entire system of fighting was developed from observing the crane's movements, methods of attack, and spirit. It is one of six well-known schools of Shaolin Boxing, the others being based on the Tiger, Monkey, Leopard, Snake and Dragon. Additional, lesser-known schools include the Dog, Deer, Bear, and others.

The Legend of the White Crane[edit]

Qīniáng and her father, members of the Fāng family, lived in Fujian province, China, a land of many cranes. Qīniáng's father knew the Southern Chinese Martial Arts and taught them to his daughter. One day, while Qīniáng was doing her chores, a crane lande nearby. Qīniáng tried to scare the bird off using a stick and the skills she had learned from her father, but whatever she did the crane would counter. Qīniáng tried to hit the crane on the head, but the bird moved its head out of the way, and blocked the stick with its wings. Qīniáng tried to hit the crane's wings, but the crane stepped to the side and blocked with its claws. Qīniáng tried to poke the crane's body, but the crane dodged backwards and struck the stick with its beak. From then on, Qīniáng carefully studied crane movements. She combined these movements with techniques learned from her father, creating the White Crane Style of Fujian province.

There are many versions of this legend. In some the crane does not block a stick but evades then counters it. The point of the style is to deemphasize physical strength in favor of evasion and attacking an opponent's vulnerabilities. White crane fighting elements are popular, especially in women's self-defense, because they don't depend on strength, and women are able to imitate the pecking motion associated with this style of fighting.[citation needed] Popular karate bunkai (breakdown) of white crane katas like hakutsuru stress vital point striking or kyusho.



Over time White Crane branched off into 5 styles:

  Chinese Pinyin Minnan  
Sleeping Crane Fist 宿鶴拳 sù hè quán siok4 hoh8 kun5 also known as Jumping, or Ancestral Crane
Crying Crane Fist 鳴鶴拳 míng hè quán beng5 hoh8 kun5 also known as Calling, Whooping, or Shouting Crane
Feeding Crane Fist 食鶴拳 shí hè quán chiah8 hoh8 kun5 also known as Morning Crane
Flying Crane Fist 飛鶴拳 fēi hè quán hui1 hoh8 kun5 aka fei hok kuen
Shaking Crane Fist 縱鶴拳 zong hè quán hui1 hoh8 kun5 aka jun hok kuen


According to the traditions of the Lee family branch of Flying Crane, Fāng Qīniáng was born in the mid-18th century.

According to this tradition, the Ong Gong Shr Wushuguan was established in the town of Yongchun (永春; Minnan: eng2 chhun1), prefecture of Quanzhou, Fujian province, when its founders were taught by Fang Qiniang herself during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor (r. 1521–66) of the Ming dynasty.

Li Wenmao (李文茂), a historically verifiable opera performer and leader of the 1854–1856 Red Turban Rebellion in Foshan, is said to have practiced the Yǒngchūn style of White Crane.

The Xu-Xi Dao style of White Crane as taught by Chen Zhuozhen derives from Zhong-Ho 'Springing Crane' and was developed in Taiwan by Huang Laoyang in the 1950s.

Feeding Crane in Taiwan[edit]

The lineage of Feeding Crane in Taiwan:

  1. 方七娘 - Fāng Qī Niang
  2. 曾四叔 - Céng Sì Chū
  3. 鄭禮叔 - Zhèng Lǐ Shū
  4. 蔡忠叔 - Cài Zhōng Shū
  5. 蔡公頸 - Cài Gōng Jǐng
  6. 林德順 - Lín Dé Shùn
  7. 劉故 - Liú Gù
  8. 劉銀山 - Liú Yín Shān
  9. 劉長益 - Liú Zhǎng Yì (Liu Chang I)


Fujian White Crane is one of the constituent styles of Five Ancestors.[3]

Five Ancestors as well as various styles of Karate, notably Goju-ryu, Chitō-ryū and Uechi-ryu, obtained the routine San Chian / San Zhan (Mandarin) from Fujian White Crane. San Chian is best known by the Japanese pronunciation of its name, Sanchin. [4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yang, Jwing-Ming (1996). Essence of Shaolin White Crane. Paul H. Crompton. ISBN 0-88696-935-2. 
  2. ^ "Power of the Animals". Inside Kung Fu. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  3. ^ "Five Animals Shaolin Martial Arts : Crane Fighting Style in Shaolin Martial Arts". eHow. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  4. ^ "KUNG FU PANDA: Big Bear Cat was "PO-fect"". Kung Fu Magazine. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 

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