Words get in the way.

June 27, 2009

No, this is not the Cranes that we do in Yong Chiaw.

Just want to use the clip to illustrate a point.

If you understand Mandarin, you’ll hear the commentary about “Zhong” and how in Fuqing, this means “shake, force,collide, push” all rolled into one.

Zhong He’s lineage originates in Cha San or “Tea Mountain” in Fuqing, Fujian China.


Video Clips.

June 26, 2009

Hey, you know what? I already posted some MingHe clips over on youtube, a few going back about 2 yrs ago …… hmmm… got to do something about me memory…..

My Sifu, Li Wen Shi, doing Tiger Crane Sanchin.

My Sihing doing Ngu Hin San Jin

Paik Po Lien / Happoren

Fuqing Paik Po Lien

Me and one of my students. I did an abridged version of Sanjin.

A good view of some of the forms that we do. The first to appear is my late Sifu Sia Mok Tai doing his “Flying Crane” with “7 Steps Needles”.


And then came forms.

June 26, 2009

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.

I even had a couple of big MACs ….so …….

Some pics from Yong Chiaw :-

white crane007awm

white crane004awm

white crane010awm


History of MingHe – a preview.

June 26, 2009

My family line of Whooping Crane pays homage both Lin Xi Xian and Pan Yu Ba as founders.

Pan is credited with integrating his Lohan Boxing and Crane Boxing, acquired from Lin to give rise to the Whooping Crane that we now know of.

And the most recognizable of all Pan’s student was Xia Zong Xiang because of his relation with Karate pioneers.

This article below gives a concise description of the origin of Fuzhou Whooping Crane from the founder of White Crane, Fang Chi Niang right up till Huang Xin Xian.

I will post the full translation at a later date.

鳴鶴拳的源流始於白鶴拳。白鶴拳是流傳于我國東南沿海一帶、港澳臺地區乃至東南亞等地的一種傳統武術。其精闢的拳論和豐富多姿的拳法,深受當地人民的喜愛,尤其是它創始和演繹過程中神話般的傳說,更爲人們津津樂道。
“鶴,陽鳥也,而遊于陰……體尚潔,故其色白。聲聞天故其頭赤。食于水,故其喙長。棲于陸,故其足高。翔于雲,故毛豐而肉疏。大喉以吐,修頸以納新,故壽不可量……鶴之上相,隆鼻短口則少眠,高腳疏節則多力,露眼赤睛則視遠,風翼雀毛則喜飛,龜背鼈腹則能産,輕前重後則善舞,洪髀纖趾則能行。”(《東周列國志》“衛懿好鶴”)南方多洲渚,百鳥好繁衍,庶人甚愛鶴,常仿其行形意。
明末清初,閩福寧府(今福建省寧德地區的霞浦縣)北門外方家村,有位武師姓方名掌光字種公(祖籍浙江省麗水市),有女方七娘,天生麗質,聰穎過人。七娘幼時,種公把她許配給鄰里親友的兒子爲娃娃親。兩親家情趣相投,時常談拳論武。有一天,他們酒後切磋武藝,方種公不幸被對方失手誤擊,傷勢嚴重,後不治身亡。七娘悲憤萬狀,誓報父仇,終因女流,力不從心,報仇無門,只得不時仰天痛哭。
一天清晨,七娘思親精神恍惚,忽然聽到大院外傳來一陣陣“哦!哦!哦!”的鶴叫聲,其鳴悠揚。七娘驚奇,急忙跑出大院,但見一隻大白鶴落在一棵大樹幹上,一邊洗翅抖翼;一邊叫喚不停,大樹顫慄,落葉紛飛,尋思白鶴運勁,竟能以聲助力,真是世上罕見;欲試白鶴的功力,於是她;舉杖趨向白鶴,對正它的天庭使勁劈蓋而:下,鶴臨危不懼,機靈地醉身晃開,乘勢揮翅刷杖,七娘貪前仆地,鶴自巋然不動。七娘即起,又執杖看好目標橫掃而去,鶴敏捷地吞身躲過,借力張膀掃杖,七娘失足側倒,鶴依舊泰然處之。七娘大怒,再次端杖瞄準它的腹部頂刺而上,鶴速提襠避之,順便飛腳踢杖,七娘落空仰翻在地,只見白鶴一聲長鳴騰空而去。七娘無比驚訝,頓悟此爲仙鶴指點,遂當空拜謝。
七娘與白鶴的三次較量中,鶴以靜制動,用巧妙的身法,即醉身、吞挪、提襠縮骨躲過七娘諸般杖法的進攻,又後發制勝,以精湛的招數,即承接、掩掃、彈踢使得七娘前仆、後仰、東倒西歪。白鶴拳裏從“三戰”轉“四門”的技擊精微盡在其中。
七娘如獲至寶,日夜揣摩,穎悟鶴法,經三載苦練,武藝已十分嫺熟,便來到夫家討戰。她的公公再三賠禮道歉,懇求寬恕,七娘報仇心切,怒不可遏,右手早已虛晃閃擊,對方迫于無奈,急忙左拳架起右拳沖出,七娘就勢纏住提拳,左側身挪過邊門,避開直拳,上張膀開翅,下鏟踹彈踢,對方受創踉蹌後退,七娘飛騰而人,大喝一聲,滾身送出連環穿心掌,頃刻之間,仇人倒地斃命。
父仇雖報,但七娘的生活更不平靜。由於封建倫理的束縛,以及親人們的勸解,她還得依照婚約嫁到夫家。洞房花燭之夜,七娘和衣就寢。新郎掌燈看書,好不容易熬過子夜,怨恨的怒火再也按捺不住了。他飛快地拔出挂在壁上的寶劍,看准七娘的腦門狠劈下去,誰知七娘早有戒備,倏地綣縮轉身,以褥擋劍,躲過鋒芒,被窩裏飛出一腳踢中劍把,再崩一腳命中心窩,真是不怕千招會,只怕一招熟,可憐新郎不堪一擊,命喪黃泉。
此時的七娘,悔恨交集,自覺罪孽深重,從此深居簡出,修心養性,改過自新,後拜一位道人爲師,始創白鶴拳,被鄰里鄉人譽爲“白鶴仙姑”。白鶴拳裏的經典拳法有鶴道共鳴、裏應外合的“八步連”套路。該套路以恢弘磅礴的氣勢,意氣風發地演示了吸氣揚清、貫氣增氧、理氣和脈、養氣蓄銳、吞津潤澤、呼氣淨濁、蕩氣舒筋、振氣生力、閉氣握固、開聲助威的有氧氣功。白鶴拳的傳統拳法還有動感靈氣、活潑生機的“中框”套路,此套路以中低架勢,形象逼真地展示了飛鳴宿食、吞吐浮沈、橫直頂的(出控制)、搓摩擡撞、蹦撲穿插、洗翅抖翼等白鶴的生活習性以及剛柔相濟、騰挪閃展、手似弓矢、步如風驅的“柔箭”等技擊法,從而世代傳承。
福甯府原是閩東一帶著名的商品集散地,那裏物産豐富,如三沙的海産品、福鼎的白毛尖(茶葉)、碗窯的陶瓷、霍童的工藝品天下聞名。方氏七娘傳奇般的故事隨著商品流傳四方。福建省閩南永春縣西門外的武師曾四叔對七娘的身世亦有所聞。那四叔長得身如鐵板,手似鋼叉,力大無比,遠近無人匹敵。一天,曾四叔千里迢迢慕名造訪方家村與七娘切磋武藝,可是四叔的拳腳兇猛缺橫勁,氣息閉塞不調和,身笨步拙難相隨,貪前失後常落空,被七娘逼得手忙腳亂,一籌莫展。四叔信服,甘拜七娘爲師。不久,七娘隨四叔流落到永春縣,至今永春縣還保留著方氏七娘的故居。四叔盡得白鶴真傳,再傳教後人。

清朝雍正年間,北少林寺被毀,衆僧各自逃生,鐵珠長老幾經周折到了福建省閩侯縣的青口鎮,最終落腳在福州市郊區義序鄉高蓋山高官堂,回歸佛門廣收弟子傳教少林羅漢拳。時光流逝,到了十八世紀初,高官堂出了一位高僧能飛檐走壁,綽號“鐵腳長老”,八閩大地無人不知。且說永春縣的白鶴拳嫡傳林世鹹,素知“鐵腳長老”身手不凡,專程來拜訪。他趁著雨夜上山借宿高官堂。林世鹹發現寺廟的後牆牆沿十分光滑,推測是長老時常越牆進出寺廟留下的痕迹,又發現寺廟裏的石柱、石墩油光發亮,而且屋頂的瓦片十分稀疏,認定是長老練功掃踢撞擊震動所致,便對長老說:“石墩是呆物,任人擺布,人可運勁,見動以氣行力,不妨試試。”於是站樁運氣,讓長老掃踢,果然落地生根,絲毫未動。再經一番切磋,長老未占半點便宜,心裏非常佩服,願與林世咸結拜兄弟。這一幕幕竟被他的愛徒潘嶼八看得真切。數天後,林世成告別返鄉,潘嶼八代師送行,到了烏龍江邊,眼看林世咸就要渡江,潘嶼八慌忙下跪拜師,殷情難卻,林世成回轉潘家。
潘嶼八的家在福州市郊區潘嶼村,家境富裕,林世成在潘家執教多年,師徒如父子。潘嶼八先學羅漢拳,後得白鶴真傳,加以天資聰明,將南北拳法合而爲一,創出了別具一格的鳴鶴拳。其拳法中除保留白鶴拳的經典套路外,融入了羅漢拳“二十八宿”套路,增創了南北綜合拳“七景”以及對練等技擊法,人巧物開,他終於成爲鳴鶴拳一代宗師,從而推動了傳統武術在福州地區的沿承與發展,可謂後功至偉。
潘嶼八教徒廣衆,其中謝崇祥尤佳。謝崇祥(1852~1930年),福建省長樂市首占鄉岱邊村人,七歲隨父母搬遷到福州市星安橋畔居住。謝自幼拜潘師習武,勤學苦練,他練就的馬步有“三角馬、四維馬、七星步、不丁不八馬、包臁馬、犁頭馬、雀跳、蝙蝠腿、蝦彈跳”等,進退神速,虛實分明。他把掌法稱作“箭”法,有“鈸箭、對箭、洗箭、趕箭、雙單箭、上下箭、長短箭、陰陽箭、醉身連環箭、滾身套下箭、搖身過山箭、吞身回龍箭”等,達到“一觸即發、一發如箭”的境界。他的“借力聽勁、棄力化勁、見力生勁、找向引勁”以及“搖、攪、劈、抖、彈、扣、頂、撞、脫、搭、穿、插、纏、碾、鎖、剪”等技擊基本手勢,惟妙惟肖,令人感悟到傳統武術的魅力。鳴鶴拳的頭、肩、肘、膝、臁、臀、腿、腳各有所司,取法自然。
謝崇祥的弟子層出不窮,他的高徒琉球“那霸手”(古武道)中興鼻祖東恩納寬亮(1853~1915年),那霸西邊村人,1877年持義村禦殿函渡海來榕拜謝爲師,三年學成回國,開設武館,傳教中國傳統武術,流傳至今。他的賢徒陳世鼎(1898~1976年)字麻夥,匠心獨具,古技新作,所編的“鳴鶴化八拳”把白鶴表現得栩栩如生。他的愛徒黃性賢(1910~1992年),八歲習武,藝高膽大,1934年榮獲福建省武術擂臺賽亞軍。二戰時期,黃性賢先生曾活捉日本兵阿部正雄,傳爲佳話。後來黃氏旅居馬來西亞、新加坡一帶授徒,名揚天下。


Yong Chiaw Athletic Association

June 24, 2009

And this is where I got the most part of my Crane kung Fu – Yong Chiaw Athletic Association.

A pictorial walk-through first before I start describing:-white crane020a

The founders:-

Yong Chiaw started out as an exclusively Fuzhou Association accepting only Fuzhou students.

A meeting place for various Fuzhou linked CKF, the 2 predominant styles were Fuzhou and Fuqing lineages of MingHeQuan or Singing Crane.

In fact, the 2 founders were from Fuzhou and Fuqing and this could be the chief reason for 2 lines of MingHe to converge in Yong Chiaw.

white crane024a


Origin of Fukien White Crane – A first view.

June 24, 2009

This blog is dedicated to accumulating all the info, some received in written form and other from oral accounts from the many teachers, elders and seniors who had graciously and unconditionally passed on their knowledge to me.

Most of the info that you are about to read are obtained from elders who taught in the Fuzhou White Crane School that I spent many years of my life studying the arts of Fuzhou Zhong He / Ancestral Crane and Fuzhou MingHe / Singing Crane.

It is sad that the school is now defunct and this blogsite, humbly I hope, serves to keep the memories of all the devoted teachers and their solid teachings alive.

I will commence with some views of the origin of Fukien White Crane and as explained in the opening paragraph of the first account, there are many versions.

It’s impracticable to pinpoint the “right” description so instead of wasting time to try to do so, I will present as many reports as possible, hopefully, to present a panoramic perspective.

Chinese wushu has a very long history, passing down from generation to generation, splitting into many different styles and sects.Martial arts masters had never had high social positions in the past, most of them were illiterate. Many of the wushu masters simply instructed their students orally in the absence of any written records. As China is a huge country, with very many local dialects and languages, one style of wushu could have different names in different places, confusing the would-be learners. Very often, the same wushu originated from the same grand master would end up differently when the younger masters made certain changes due to certain needs or established their own sects or “ doors”. Thus, there are a large number of styles or sects of wushu nowadays.

White Crane Quan is among the earliest and most popular wushu inFujian. It originated from White Crane Quan of Shao Lin Temple, well known for its Five Types of Quan. Over the years, White Crane Quan evolved into different styles: Northern Fujian Style and Southern Fujian Style. They are similar and yet different. In this article, I will try to show the different types of White Crane Quan in Fujian. Fujian has four main styles of White Crane Quan: Flying(fei), Crying(min),Sleeping(su) and Eating(shi).There are also a few others: Long Twig Crane, Short Twig Crane, Wondering Crane, Tai Zhu Crane, Small Crane, Single-legged Crane, Hopping Crane etc.

One of the earliest written record of White Crane Quan:-

“It is said that to reach the depth of wushu, one has to learn widely. Only the devoted one will master the arts. The man, who has acquired very wide knowledge, spent regular time in wushu practice and training in the mornings and evenings, is able to achieve the peak of wushu in mind and body. Fang zhang-guang was such a man. Born to a rich family inZhejian Province, Li-shui ( Beautiful Water) County, Fang was an upright and helpful man. His love of wushu allowed him to socialise with many wushu masters. He would eagerly seek instructions from any grand master and practised seriously days and nights. Therefore, he was very fast and nimble in his performance. At first he thought he was the best inChina. One day, an old man visited him to discuss wushu. Fang was very pleased and proudly demonstrated his wushu. At the end of the show, the old man , while praising Fang a littile for his great show, commented that Fang had not really mastered the finer points of wushu and his muscles and limbs were not strong enough. So Fang decided to learn from the old man. The old man came to Fang’s house at night and left at dawn, never once revealing his true identity. When he saw that Fang had learned all he could teach, he found an opportunity to leave. One night, Fang saw that the door of the room where the old man stayed was closed, so he got up early next day to wait for him. Suddenly, he found the old man turned into a crane and flew out of the window. He realized that the old man was sent to teach him from the heaven. From then on, Fang practiced what he had learned even more diligently. As he progressed and achieved mastership in wushu, he became very well-known. At Yong Chun County, there was a master named Yan Qi-dan who learned from Ye Jin-xi of Tong An County. One day, Yan Qi-dan and his student Chen Si paid a visit to Fang Chang-guang at Li Shui . But Fang did not take any students, only his daughter Fang Qi-niang was able to inherit his wushu. Fang had planned to pass his wushu down to his son-in-law Chen Dui-xu. But Chen was an ungrateful man who left his fiancee and home and never returned. As a result, Fan Qi-niang decided to live in the temple and became a nun. Yan Qi-dan visited her in the temple. They talked about the origin of their wushu and knew they belonged to the same family line in wushu. But Yan was a very hot tempered and rude man. His wushu was the tough and rough kind and he was not humble in his words. So Fang Q-niang chided him. Being very annoyed, Yan requested her to try it out with him. Fang Qi-niang gladly accepted the challenge. Yan started his left“grip and catch”, attacked with single whip (dan pian). Qi-niang only lifted one finger and threw Yan to the ground, injuring him badly. Sadden by his defeat, Yan went home for treatment. But he knew that he would not recover from the injury, so he told his disciple Chen Si that he had not mastered wushu well enough and urged Chen Si to sincerely practice under Qi-niang. Yan thus brought Chen Si to the temple again to meet Q-niang and said to her,” I have paid for my mistake without any hatred. My disciple is still young yet intelligent. I hope you will take him in as your student so that one day he will spread wushu in the country. This will be the wish of our ancestral masters.” Chen Si thus followed Fang Qi-niang and trained until his muscles and limbs were very tough and became one entity. He was steady, quick in changing different fighting styles. He had inherited everything from the grand master Fang Qi-niang. “

“After leaving the temple and his master Qi-niang, Chen Si coached many students, including Zheng Li. Zheng proved to be the most hardworking student. He was able to combine many different types of wushu into one. Later Zheng had many more students under him. ’’There is no record of Zheng’s students.

According to the above record, White Crane Quan‘s family tree is as follows:

Fang Chang-guang—-Fang Qi-niang—-Chen Si—- Zheng Li ….Ye Jin-xi – Yan Qi-dan