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Fujian White Crane
Mandarin: Bái Hè Quán
Amoy Min Nan: Pe̍h-ho̍h-kûn
Literally "white crane fist"
This article is about the Fujian style of White Crane. For the Tibetan style, see Lama (martial art).

White Crane Boxing (Chinese: 白鶴拳) is a Southern Chinese martial art which originated in Fujian (福建) Province and is now practiced throughout the world. According to oral traditions, the creation of this style is attributed to Fāng Qīniáng (方七娘; Amoy Min Nan: Hng Chhit-niâ), a female martial artist. The characteristics of this style are deep rooted stances, intricate hand techniques and fighting mostly at close range.[1]. The flying crane style however has a greater amount of long range techniques although it too does prefer close quarters hand oriented combat. Some white crane styles also use a great variety of traditional weapons whereas others have discontinued practice with ancient weaponry.[2]

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The legend of the White Crane

The Fāng family lived in Fujian, a province of China, in a place where there were 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 alighted nearby.
Qīniáng tried to scare the bird off using a stick and the skills she 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 this time blocked with the claws of its feet.
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 movements of cranes and combined these movements with the martial arts she learned from her father, creating the White Crane style of Fujian Province.

There are many versions of this legend, some in which the crane does not block the stick Qīniáng used; but it evaded, and countered. The point of the style is to make less use of physical strength, stressing evasion, and attacks to vulnerable areas instead. White crane fighting elements are popular, especially in women's self defense, because they don't depend on strength. Popular karate bunkai (breakdown) of white crane katas like hakutsuru, stress vital point striking or kyusho.

The white crane system is not practiced much, if at all, anymore. There are several kata in karate, that have white crane elements, most stem from the Chinese tea merchant on Okinawa, Go Kenki, but few, if any, have the true white crane system anymore.

Source: Bubishi George Alexander ISBN 0963177516 and Secrets of the Bubishi DVD ASIN: B00015400K Bubishi Patrick Mccarthy ISBN 0804820155


Over time White Crane branched off into several styles:

  Chinese Pinyin Minnan  
Sleeping Crane Fist 宿鶴拳 sù hè quán siok4 hoh8 kun5 also known as Jumping, Ancestral, or Vibrating 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


The Ancestral Crane master Dr. Yang (Jwing-Ming Yang), dates the creation of Fujian White Crane to c. 1700.

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

According to its traditions, the lineage of the Ong Gong Shr Wushuguan in the town of Yǒngchūn (永春; Minnan: eng2 chhun1) in the prefecture of Quanzhou in Fujian Province was established when Fāng Qīniáng taught its founders during the reign of the Ming emperor Jiāzhèng (嘉政). However, there was no Ming emperor Jiāzhèng (嘉政); there was a Ming emperor Jiājìng (嘉靖), who ruled from 1521 to 1566.

Lǐ Wénmào (李文茂), a historically verifiable opera performer and leader in the 1854–1855 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 Zuo Zhen (Chen Zhuo Zhen) is described with pics on > White Crane Style. The Xu-Xi Dao style derives from Zhong-Ho 'Springing Crane' and was developed in Taiwan by Huang Lao-Yang in the 1950s.


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


External links



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