This is something that very few have heard of – “Qinghequan” or “Light / Weightless Crane Boxing”.
Taught primarily in Putien Fuqing, this line of Crane encompasses all the main characteristics of Fuzhou Crane boxing, which is Flying, Feeding, Hibernating and Singing.
One of my White Crane elders taught this for a while in Singapore and since then, this line of Crane has not surface again until a couple of years back when I got hold of this article from the mainland.
The delivery of this Crane is really distinctive, not hard not soft and done in a way that is really fluid.
You know, if you are not informed, you might think this is some kind of Qigong calisthenics ….
First, apologies for the lapse in updating this blog; bogged down with work in the office and working on my main blog.
You know there are many forums out discussing associations between systems; Karate and White Crane and increasingly, Wing Chun and White Crane.
Views are so diversified that many of these discussions end up in shouting matches…. And folks ask me why I shy away from forums these days …. My life is exciting enough without the added annoyance of cyber verbal sparring.
Still, there are many good educated discussions if you are able to look through all that noise.
Comparing histories like I said is getting nowhere, what with everyone having a distinctive version and the same could be said for power generation, fighting principles and chi.
How power is generated and the role of chi in this formula is something that is almost impossible to put in words. General rules do apply but still not adequate to explain how some are able to generate power effortlessly.
And then there is the rest, huffing and puffing away …..
Maybe it’s really all about “effort” or “Kung Fu” which really means effort.
Maybe there’s a hidden method, maybe …maybe ….
I love to look for signatures, not the esoteric metaphysical invisible sort but movements and techniques that are expressed when a person moves.
It could be a certain unmistakable rhythm or little nuances that experienced eyes could discern.
Take this next Wing Chun technique for instance; this is “characteristic” White Crane hand arsenal.
When you do the “Wing Hand” in White Crane, it’s not just the fingers that you want to use but also the thumb – digging into eyes and other soft spots on your opponent.
Here’s a view of what many think of as the “mother crane” – Yong Chun White Crane.
“Yong Chun” here points to a place in Fujian (Fukien) and is pronounced as “Eng Choon” in Fukien, “Weng Chun” in Cantonese and “In Choon” in mainstream Fuzhou.
Probably one of the reasons why there is so much confusion and debating going on in many forums out there regarding the connection between White Crane and Wing Chun Kuen – the style that the late Bruce Lee brought to the world’s attention.
Well, this entry is not about that.
For the longest time, White Crane elders everywhere would use “Shaolin Yong Chun Bai He Quan” when talking about Yong Chun White Crane attesting to the tight relationship between Shaolin and White Crane.
Many of those same elders would go on to say that Fang Chi Niang’s married her top student, Chen Si reputedly an expert in Shaolin Tiger Boxing.
And before any of you go, how could we know that for certain, well, you are right – we don’t.
But if you look at Yong Chun White Crane, the line closest to the source, you will see “Tiger” techniques interspersed in many of the forms and techniques.
Not forgetting that in my family’s Crane, every student must learn a “Tiger Crane Sanchin” simultaneously with Singing Crane’s own Sanjin.
Here’s a little info for you; in the “koon kor” or “fist song” in Fuqing for Tiger Crane Sanchin, there is a line that say:-
Some of the major MingHe (Singing Crane) forms, from both Fuzhou & Fuqing lines, that we do in Yong Chiaw …..
Please note that I am spelling names the ways they are pronounce in Fuzhou/Fuqing.
You are going to find that almost all names are originally in those 2 dialects and later written phonetically in Mandarin.
In other words, reading the names in Mandarin and trying to make sense out of them is inaccurate.
Case in point: There is a form that we do call “Hua Paik” meaning “counteract or reverse 8”.
This is ,on occasions, written as “Hua Ba” in Mandarin which means “Flower Eight” and due to this, some are led to think that “flower” refers to some hands or feet movement. Both “Huas” sound alike with slighty differing tones.
Some of the other forms are:-
San Jin (Ngu Hin) – 5 Element 3 Advances.
Hu Hok San Cheen – Tiger Crane Sanchin.
Paik Po Lien – Eight Linking Steps. We do 2 separate versions. The Fuzhou version is the one adapted to become “Happoren” that you find in some Karate. The Fuqing version maintains the original “Lohan” flavor very noticeably.
Hua Paik – Counteract 8.
See Men – 4th doors. This is split in upper and lower forms.
Kerk Chien – Angle Battles. This is not the same as the one that Feeding Crane folks also do. Some elders did a 2nd distinct version, which, unfortunately, is lost in time.
Neik Seik Paik – or 28 Steps. Found its way into some Karate lines as “Nipapo”.
Lor Han – Lohan Fist.
Chong Khuang – Middle Gate or sometimes, middle guard.
Niek Seik Si – 24 Steps (Fuqing line)
Chi Kin or 7 Scenes.
Over the next few days, I’ll post some video clips of these forms.
There is also another form that is done only on the birthday of the patron saint of White Crane that is “spiritual” – a little like some Hakka styles with their “San Da”.
A form that my only remaining White Crane Sifu, Li Wen Shi, wanted to pass on to me during one of my recent trips back to Singapore.
Only issue is that I got to abstain from eating meat for 3 days prior and that made it kind of difficult for me. That entire trip only lasted 3 days in Singapore.