Fujian White Crane

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Bái Hè Quán
White Crane (kung fu style, drawing).jpg
Also known asPe̍h-ho̍h-kûn
FocusStriking / Grappling
Country of originChina
CreatorFāng Qīnián (tradition)
Famous practitionersLǐ Wénmào
Chen Zuozhen
Huang Laoyang
ParenthoodMing-era Nanquan
Descendant artsWing Chun, Southern Praying Mantis, Wuzuquan, Karate (Goju Ryu, Chitō-ryū, Uechi-ryu)
Fujian White Crane
Traditional Chinese白鶴拳
Simplified Chinese白鹤拳
Literal meaningwhite crane fist
Alternative Chinese name
Literal meaningeternal spring white crane fist
Fujian White Crane
Mandarin: Bái Hè Quán
Amoy Min Nan: Pe̍h-ho̍h-kûn
Literally "white crane fist"

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

Fujian White Crane is descends in part from Shaolin Boxing and imitates characteristics of the white Crane. This system is separate though related to ol Lohan (Fukien shaolin).The entire system of fighting was developed from observing the crane's movements, methods of attack and spirit. Crane movements do exist in southern shaolin but the relation is unclear at best.

The legend of the white crane[edit]

Qīniáng and her father lived in Yongchun County, Fujian province, where many cranes live. 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 landed 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 the stick 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 the crane's movements. She combined these movements with techniques learned from her father, ultimately creating the White Crane Style.

There are many versions of this legend. In some the crane does not block a stick, but evades and counters it. The point of the style is to emphasize evasion and attack an opponent's vulnerabilities instead of using physical strength. Since it was created by a woman, White Crane fighting elements are especially popular in women's self-defense training because the movements do not require great strength. They more closely imitate the delicate pecking motion associated with this fighting style.[3] Popular karate bunkai (breakdown) of white crane katas like hakutsuru stress vital point striking or kyusho.


From the original Yǒngchūn White Crane style, five additional styles branched off over time:

  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
Eating Crane Fist 食鹤拳 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 zòng 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-17th century. She learned kung fu form her father, a lay shaolin disciple. One day she saw a huge crane and attacked it with a stick. As she was unable to defeat it, she realized the crane had come to teach her, and developed her own unique techniques from the experience. She had four principal students who later developed four main branches of Fujian White Crane: Eating, Crying, Sleeping, and Flying. Many systems evolved from each of the four original types of White Crane. At least in the Flying Crane tradition, Fang never married, had children or a husband. Rather, she retired in Bai he an (white crane temple) and taught martial arts.[4]

According to the yong chun bai he 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 during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor (r. 1521–66) of the Ming dynasty.

Pingyang White Crane was created by Fāng Qī Niáng during Shunzhi period during the Qing dynasty. During Jiaqing period, this kongfu spread to Pingyang city.

Yongchun-style White Crane was created by Fāng Qī Niáng during KangXi period during the Qing dynasty.

Li Wenmao (李文茂), an 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 was derived from Zhong-Ho 'Springing Crane', and was developed in Taiwan by Huang Laoyang in the 1950s.

Yongchun White Crane in China[edit]

The lineage of The Weng Gong Ci Gym in Yongchun County is:[5]

  • 方掌光 - Fang Zhang Guang
  • 方七娘 - Fang Qi Niang
  • 曾四 - Zeng Si
  • 潘賢 - Pan Xian
  • 潘堆金 - Pan Dui Jin
  • 潘賽玉 - Pan Sai Yu, 潘敦池 - Pan Dun Chi, 潘大任 - Pan Da Ren
  • 潘深恩 - Pan Shen En, 潘月照 - Pan Yue Zhao
  • 潘利秋 - Pan Li Qiu
  • 潘貞團 - Pan Zhen Tuan
  • 潘孝德 - Pan Xiao De
  • 潘成廟 - Pan Cheng Miao
  • 潘瓊琪 - Pan Qiong Qi

Feeding Crane in Taiwan[edit]

The lineage of Feeding Crane in Taiwan is:

  • 方七娘 - Fāng Qī Niáng
  • 曾四叔 - Zēng Sì Chū
  • 鄭禮叔 - Zhèng Lǐ Shū
  • 蔡忠叔 - Cài Zhōng Shū
  • 蔡公頸 - Cài Gōng Jǐng
  • 林德順 - Lín Dé Shùn
  • 劉故 - Liú Gù
  • 劉銀山 - Liú Yín Shān
  • 劉長益 - Liú Zhǎng Yì (Liu Chang I)

Calling Crane in China[edit]

  • Lin Shi Xian
  • Pan Yu Ba
  • Xi Zong Xiang
  • LIn Zhen Lan - Chen Shi Ding - Huang Xing Xian
  • Lin Jan Hua, Zheng Hui Sheng -Ruan Dong
  • Lin Yuan Dun - Zheng Xian Qi

Dancing/Shaking Crane in Taiwan[edit]

  • Fang Qi Niang
  • Zheng Li
  • Zheng Cong
  • Li Seng
  • Fang Shi Peng
  • Fang Yong Cang
  • Lin Guo Zhong
  • Huang Xing Xian
  • Zheng Xian Qi
  • Huang Yi Xiong


Fujian White Crane is one of the constituent styles of Five Ancestors,[6] who, in addition to the various styles of Karate (notably Goju-ryu, Shitō-ryū and Uechi-ryu), use the routine "San Chian" from Fujian White Crane. San Chian is best known by the Japanese pronunciation of its name, Sanchin.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yang, Jwing-Ming (1 October 2016). The Essence of Shaolin White Crane: Martial Power and Qigong. YMAA Publication Center, Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-59439-160-6.
  2. ^ "Power of the Animals". Inside Kung Fu. Archived from the original on 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
  3. ^ "Fujian White Crane". Inter martial arts. Inner Martial Arts. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  4. ^ Shaolin white crane kung fu : A rare art revealed by Lorne Bernard
  5. ^ http://www.yongchunbaihechuen.com/lineage.html
  6. ^ "Five Animals Shaolin Martial Arts : Crane Fighting Style in Shaolin Martial Arts". eHow. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
  7. ^ "KUNG FU PANDA: Big Bear Cat was "PO-fect"". Kung Fu Magazine. Retrieved 2009-12-27.


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