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Bai He Quan History

 

 

There are many stories and legends surrounding the creation of ‘Fu-Jian Bai He Quan’ (White Crane Fist of Fu-Jian Province), with each family or lineage having their own oral and/or written traditions. The story of Fang Chi-Niang learning from watching a crane is probably nothing more than the founders wish to express the inspiration and spirit of the style. White Cranes in Chinese culture represent nobleness and longevity and are revered by scholars, particularly Taoists.

Fujian Province

The oral and written history passed down from Shi-fu Liu Hong-Shen to his students states that; Fang Zhong was an unshaven disciple of the ‘Nan Shao-Lin Si’ (Southern Shao-Lin Buddhist Temple) who had mastered one of the many Shao-Lin fighting arts. When the Shao-Lin Temple was attacked by the Manchu forces, Fang Zhong and his daughter Fang Chi-Niang were away roaming the countryside.
When he heard of the attack Fang Zhong and his daughter Fang Chi-Niang fled to Fu-Zhou, Fu-Jian Province where Fang Zhong left his daughter Fang Chi-Niang in the safe hands of the ‘Bai Lian Si’ (White Lotus Temple) while he went to find and help his Shao-Lin brothers.
While Fang Chi-Niang was staying at the temple she got news that bandits had murdered her father Fang Zhong during a dispute for control over local villages in the Yong-Chun, Fu-Jian Province area. Fang Chi-Niang was distraught and vowed to take her revenge but knew that her kung fu which her father had taught her was not strong enough.
Fang Chi-Niang struggled with her training and became frustrated because of her lack of strength. A senior Taoist who had watched Fang Chi-Niang struggle offered to teach her an internal method, which did not require the use of brute muscular strength. After a short period Fang Chi-Niang started to grasp the internal mechanics of what the senior Taoist was trying to teach her, and by understanding the profound teachings of the internal art Fang Chi-Niang combined them with what she had learnt from her father Fang Zhong and developed the ‘Nan Shao-Lin Bai He Quan’.
Soon after Fang Chi-Niang met a tiger stylist named Zheng Li, who was visiting the temple with his master. After watching Fang Chi-Niang training Zheng Li challenged Fang Chi-Niang to a friendly bout, which quickly became a battle when Zheng Li could not hit his target. Fang Chi-Niang swiftly moved from side to side avoiding the strong oncoming force defeating Zheng Li’s every move. Zheng Li could not believe that a woman could best his tiger style and asked if Fang Chi-Niang would teach him. Fang Chi-Niang agreed and taught Zheng Li her newly developed style.
When Zheng Li became proficient in the newly developed style he accompanied Fang Chi-Niang and traveled through Yong-Chun Village, Fu-Jian Province. While there Fang Chi-Niang and Zheng Li dealt with a local outlaw who was terrorizing local villages and also had a hand in her fathers death. The villagers were amazed at the skill of Fang Chi-Niang and her disciple and asked if she would stay and teach her martial style.
Fang Chi-Niang agreed but after a short period she decided to travel back to Fu-Zhou to follow a more monastic life at the Bai Lian Si, leaving her disciple Zheng Li to teach the local villagers.
Zheng Li taught 28 students from Yong-Chun and surrounding villages, who later became known as the ‘28 heroes of Yong-Chun’. 
These 28 students started to teach the surrounding villages and eventually transmitted the art all over Fu-Jian Province. This style is known as ‘Yong-Chun Bai He Quan’ (White Crane Fist of Yong Chun Village), and is considered to be the original style. From these students came the creation of different styles of Crane Fist each with its own unique essence. Some of the original styles are Fei-he (Flying Crane), Shi-he (Feeding Crane), Ming-he (Whooping Crane), and Su-he (Sleeping Crane).
While in Fu-Zhou, Fang Chi-Niang had many students from surrounding villages and also from local militia and underground secret societies who also transmitted the art to other parts of the province.

Taiwan

Over the years there have been many white crane masters who have traveled to Taiwan either on business or pleasure and all have left their mark in one way or another. Some of the most notable are Fang Shao-Qi, Zhang Chang-Qiu, Lin Guo-Zhong, and Lin De Shun.
Three out of the four masters above that traveled to Taiwan were either direct students or linear descendents of Master Fang Shi-Pei.

Fang Shi-Pei (方世培) also known as Fang Fei-Shi (飞石) studied from  Master Li () at the Tian-Zhu Temple, who was a third (3rd) generation student of Master Zheng Long (郑龙). Master Zheng Long passed away in 1755 and was a student of Zheng Li who in turn was one of the original 28 students from Yong Chun village, Fujian Province.
While studying under Li Shifu, Fang Shi-Pei observed the birds shake the water from their feathers and was intrigued by the energy created from this action, he also observed dogs shake water from their coats using the very same actions and began to wonder about the use of this energy if he combined it with his knowledge of white crane fist.
After many years of practice Fang Shi-Pei created the Zong He Quan (
纵鹤拳), this style is sometimes referred to as ‘shaking crane fist’.  
Fang Shi-Pei had many students; some of the more notable ones are;

Fang Shao-Qi (绍耆) also known as A’Feng-Shi (凤师), and Fang A’ Feng (方阿), was a student of Fang Shi-Pei who traveled to Taiwan. Fang Shao-Qi taught in the areas of Kao-hsiung, Tai-nan, and Yan-shui.
Fang Shao-Qi had many students; some of the most notable are Tong Jin-Long, Lin Xi-Di, Li Dong-Liang, Chen Bo, Lin Se, and many others.

Zhang Chang-Qiu (张常球), was a student of Fang Shi-Pei who traveled to Taiwan and began teaching in Taipei before moving to Tai-Chung (台中) around 1915. After a while he was given the nickname Tai-Chung Er-Gao (台中义高).
Zhang Chang-Qiu had many students; some of the most notable are Chen Chung-Chen, Lin Huo-Wang, Zheng Bo, and many others.

Lin Guo-Zhong (林国仲) also known as Hu-Wei Er-Ge (虎尾二哥), had several teachers who were students of Fang Shi-Pei, such as Fang Yong-Cang (方永). Lin Guo-Zhong was very famous for his Shaking crane in Taiwan and had many students.

From these three masters there are many branches of white crane fist which have emerged in Taiwan, each style with its own unique essence and spirit. The white crane arts are many and varied depending on the lineage and can all be traced back to the founder Fang Chi-Niang.

The full history of our lineage can be seen in the members section of this website and is fully accessible to all students of the Shen Zhao Pai Athletic Association.

 

 

                               Bai He Quan                                 
History    Yin-Yang Wu-Xing    Level one (curriculum)    Liu Hong-Shen

Tai Tzu Quan
 History    Level one (curriculum)