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He Quan (Crane Chuan)

He Quan or crane Chuan is the general name for five styles of crane-imitating Chuan. The five styles are jumping crane Chuan, flying crane Chuan, crying crane Chuan, sleeping crane Chuan and eating crane Chuan, all of which have a history of some 300 years. The five crane Chuans formed their respective styles by the end of the Qing Dynasty. All the five styles are practised in the south of China.

(1) Zonghe Quan (Jumping Crane Chuan)

In the reign of Emperor Tongzhi (1862-1874) of the Qing Dynasty, Fang Shipei, a native in Fuqing County of Fujian Province, went to learn martial arts at the Tian-zhu Temple on Mount Chashan. After 10 years of hard training he had achieved a great deal. He saw a partridge perching in a tree and the tree shaking when it cried. He realized that it was an articulation of energy. When he saw shrimps jumping out of water and dogs shaking off the water on their bodies after a swim, he realized that it was the force of vibration. Fang Shipei then tried to combine these forces in his style of Chuan to create Zonghe Quan (the jumping crane Chuan). His main disciples included Lin Qinnan and five brave generals of Fujian-Fang Yonghua, Chen Yihe, Xiao Kongpei, Chen Daotian and Wang Lin. They in turn helped disseminate the jumping crane Chuan.

(2)Minghe Quan (Crying Crane Chuan)

In the later years of the Qing Dynasty, Lin Shixian, an expert in the Yongchun white crane Chuan, went to teach his martial arts at Fuzhou. He passed it on to Pan Yuba who spread it to others. When it was passed on to shoemaker Xie Chongxiang in Changle, Fujian Province, it had undergone many changes. Xie set up a martial arts club to teach the crying crane Chuan.

(3)SuheQuart (Sleeping Crane Chuan)

Lin Chuanwu from Chengmen of Fuzhou went to study this style at the Shimen Temple. Lin studied with Monk Jue Qing for five years and then went back to Fuzhou and set up a club to teach the fist play.

(4) Shihe Quan (Eating Crane Chuan)

At the turn of the Qing Dynasty and the Republic, after learning the eating crane Chuan, Fang Suiguan from Beiling of Fuzhou passed it on to Ye Shaotao from Changshan of Fuzhou. Ye also followed Zhou Zihe to master the essentials of the eating crane Chuan and all its 36 tricks. Ye practised hard for life and taught it to many disciples, making himself the master of the style.

(5)Feihe Quan (Flying Crane Chuan)

In the middle of the Qing Dynasty, Zheng Ji, master of the third-generation of disciples of the Yongchun white crane Chuan, was fond of the flying crane Chuan and learned the essentials from Zheng Li. Zheng Ji was famous in Fuqing and Qingzhou. His style of fist play was passed down to three more generations and is still practised today. In the execution of the jumping crane Chuan, boxers are required to rove around in circles with their bodies and arms relaxed. They build the power and energy throughout their body before passing it to their shivering hands which are held out straight. The crying crane Chuan emphasizes forceful palm plays. The sleeping crane Chuan stresses trapping the opponent by pretending to be half sleep and half wake. Its actions are fast and hidden, its hand intensive and powerful, and its footwork steady and sound. It imitates the sharp claws of the crane utilizes the power and force of opponent. The eating crane Chuan pays attention to hand tricks of claw, palm, fingertips and hooks. It centers on single-hand attack and three-point, five plum blossom stances which are steady. The flying crane Chuan imitates the flight, leap, wing extension, walk and stand of a crane. Its movements are comfortably extended, spread out, and true to life. The upper limbs are more used in the actions and movements which have a great variety of changes to deal with different situations. When the opponent is hard, flying crane boxers play supplely to soak up the hardness; when the opponent is supple, they play hard to penetrate.

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