Fujian White Crane

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Bái Hè Quán
Also known asPe̍h-ho̍h-kûn
FocusStriking / Grappling
Country of originChina
CreatorFāng Qīnián[a]
Famous practitionersLǐ Wénmào
Chen Zuozhen
Huang Laoyang
Hoi Wah Ho
ParenthoodMing-era Nanquan[1]
Descendant arts
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"

Fujian White Crane, also known as 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.[2] 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.[3]

Fujian White Crane descends in part from Shaolin Boxing and imitates characteristics of the white crane. This system is separate though related to Lohan Quan (Fujian Shaolin). The entire system of fighting was developed from observing the crane's movements, methods of attack and spirit, and may have evolved from the southern Shaolin animal styles.[2]

There is no singular Fujian White Crane system. Multiple branches are collectively referred to as Fujian White Crane, including Sleeping, Crying, Eating, Flying and Shaking Crane styles based on imitative characteristics of their techniques. This group does not include Tibetan White Crane, which developed independently in western and southern China.[2]


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 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.[4]

Documented history[edit]

During the Shunzhi period of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1662) lived Fang Zhong (方種 - also known as Fang Zhangguang), a practitioner of Southern Chinese martial arts from Funing Prefecture, Fujian (now Xiapu County). Fang Zhong was from a wealthy family and renowned for excellent fighting skills, having trained with well-known martial arts masters. Fang Zhong lost his wife in his early years, who had given birth to only one daughter, Fāng Qīniáng (方七娘), and Fang Zhong taught his skills to her. According to the traditions of the Lee family branch of Flying Crane, Qiniang was born in the mid-17th century.[1]

Fang Zhong and Fang Qiniang have held various aliases. Fang Zhong is a survivor from the end of the Ming Dynasty and had participated in anti-Qing and Fuming activities, having connections to Hongmen associates. Both have used pseudonyms to avoid being caught by the Qing government due to their anti-Qing activities. "Fangzhang" (方掌) and "Fangzhang" (方種) are believed to be the same person, and "Fangzhangguang" should also be "Fangzhang". "Fang Chung Gong", is a transcript of voice transmission. Fang Zhong also adopted the name "Fang Hui Shi" after defeat of anti-Qing forces.[1]

One day, Qiniang 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. Qiniang would modify her father's Nanquan techniques in the way that would serve as basis for what is now known as Fujian White Crane Kung Fu.

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.

Zeng Si from Yongchun, married Qiniang and had two sons. Zeng Si and Qiniang returned to the Gu family's ancestral hall in Hou Temple, Rulin Village, Wulijie Town, Yongchun County to teach martial arts. Yongchun County is adjacent to Kinmen, which is the threshold for Taiwan. At the ancestral hall (coaching temple) there are paintings of White Crane Taoist and Zeng Si revered as the first teacher of White Crane.[citation needed]

In the Flying Crane tradition, Fang Qiniang never married, had children or a husband. Rather, she retired in Bai he an (white crane temple) and taught martial arts.[5]

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.

Branches and schools[edit]

  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 chiong3 hoh8 kun5 aka jun hok kuen

Yongchun White Crane in China[edit]

The lineage of The Weng Gong Ci Gym in Yongchun County is:[6]

  • 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

Flying Crane[edit]

  • Fang chi-niang
  • Lee fah hsieng
  • Lee mah-saw
  • Lee kiang-kay
  • Lee joo-Chian
  • Lorne Bernard

Influence on other styles[edit]

Fujian White Crane is one of the constituent styles of Five Ancestors,[7] 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.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ While her father - Fang Zhong - was reputed practitioner of Nanquan, it was Qiniang who modified the martial arts knowledge her father taught her to form the basis of Fujian White Crane as a whole.


  1. ^ a b c "白鶴 方七娘". 的 奇幻漂流 (in Chinese). 11 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b c 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.
  3. ^ "Power of the Animals". Inside Kung Fu. Archived from the original on 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
  4. ^ "Fujian White Crane". Inter martial arts. Inner Martial Arts. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  5. ^ Shaolin white crane kung fu : A rare art revealed by Lorne Bernard
  6. ^ "Lineage". yongchunbaihechuen.com (in Chinese). Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  7. ^ "Five Animals Shaolin Martial Arts : Crane Fighting Style in Shaolin Martial Arts". eHow. Retrieved 2009-12-28.[dead YouTube link]
  8. ^ "KUNG FU PANDA: Big Bear Cat was "PO-fect"". Kung Fu Magazine. Archived from the original on 2012-02-20. Retrieved 2009-12-27.


  • Real Dachengquan, by Li Kang, Beijing Sport University Press 2005 ISBN 9787811002621
  • Baihemen Shihequan, Liu Gu, co-authored by Su Yuzhang, Wuzhou Publishing House ISBN 4415011977
  • "Taiwan Martial Arts" (33) MOOK 3-Crane Law. 2006
  • Liu Yinshan "Authentic Southern Shaolin Boxing, Secret Boxing White Crane Gate Food Crane Boxing" published by Cheng Meitang in 1983.
  • "An Introduction to Shaolin Temple Boxing in Fujian: Into the Crane", Xinxing Publishing House, 1983.
  • Authentic white crane kung fu by Grandmaster Lee joo-chian and master Lorne Bernard, 2021, Kontact Sports inc ISBN 978-0-9734878-1-7
  • Bubishi George Alexander ISBN 0-9631775-1-6 and Secrets of the Bubishi DVD ASIN : B00015400K
  • Shaolin white crane kung fu: A rare art revealed (ISBN 0-9734878-0-1) By Lorne Bernard.
  • McCarthy, Patrick (1995). Bible of Karate, The; Bubishi. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8048-2015-8.

External links[edit]