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|Fujian White Crane|
|Mandarin:||Bái Hè Quán|
|Amoy Min Nan:||Pe̍h-ho̍h-kûn|
|Literally||"white crane fist"|
White Crane Style (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  as if to imitate a pecking bird. The flying crane style however has a greater amount of long range techniques although it too does prefer close quarters hand oriented combat, which simulates the flapping of the wings. Some white crane styles also use a great variety of traditional weapons whereas others have discontinued practice with ancient weaponry.
Fujian White Crane is an imitative-style of Shaolin Boxing based on the characteristics of the Taiwanese Crane. An entire system of fighting was developed based on the observations of their movement, fighting abilities and spirit. There are five other famous animals of Shaolin Boxing: the Tiger, Monkey, Leopard, Snake and Dragon, as well as lesser known ones such as Dog, Deer, Bear, etc.
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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 and women are better able to imitate the pecking motion so common in the crane style of fighting. Popular karate bunkai (breakdown) of white crane katas like hakutsuru, stress vital point striking or kyusho.
Over time White Crane branched off into 5 styles:
|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|
|Feeding 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|
|Shaking Crane Fist||縱鶴拳||zong hè quán||hui1 hoh8 kun5||aka jun hok kuen|
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.
The Xu-Xi Dao style of White Crane as taught by Chen Zuo Zhen (Chen Zhuo Zhen) is described with pics on www.chinesemartialarts.eu > 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.
The lineage of Feeding Crane in Taiwan:
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.