We teach a traditional Northern Long Fist Kung Fu style - Hua Quan (Glorious/Magnificent Boxing).
Hua Quan is one of the five most famous Chang Quan (Long Fist) styles: Hua Quan (Glorious/Magnificent Fist Boxing), Cha Quan (Muslin Fist Boxing), Hua Quan (Flower Fist Boxing), Pao Quan (Canon Fist Boxing) and Hong Quan (Red/Flooding Fist Boxing). This style of kung fu dates back to the Former Song Dynasty ? 420 AD (and many believe it may have been in existence long before that). Although there are no historical records to state the exact creator of Hua Quan, we do know that the style was already in existence before the Tang Dynasty (618 - 906 AD) since there were novels and legends during the Kai Yuan period (713-741) that talked about an ancient knight that was a Hua Quan master named Cai Mao.
Legends have it that Cai Mao killed an enemy in battle from a noble family from Chang An. After that Cai Mao fled and hid deep within Hua Mountain and became a Taoist Monk and took on the name Ren Cheng. Legends have it that the Cai family kept Hua Quan hidden from the public for about 400 years when finally two descendants from the Cai family, Cai Tai and Cai Gang, were reported competing and demonstrating their kung fu in the open public. Due to their great skills in competition and the fame they were developing (plus the fact that everyone knew their ancestors were from the Hua Mountain area), people started calling their kung fu Hua Mountain Boxing or The Boxing Fist from Hua Mountain. It was these two brothers that made Hua Quan prosper. Because of this and the fact that the Cai family had disappeared for about 400 years many people lay claim that these two brothers were the creators of Hua Quan.
Another Famous Cai (Cai Wanzhi) came about during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD) and wrote a book called "The Secrets of Hua Boxing." He is credited to adding the finishing touches to Hua Quan. Unfortunately, no one really knows exactly what those finishing touches were, if any. It may have just been the fact that he documented the complete system of Hua Quan in his book sharing with others Hua Quan concepts, ideas and principles of combining breath, spirit and the ego.
In 1877, Cai Guiging was born. From a very young age he was trained in Hua Quan by his grandfather (one of the few remaining masters of Caixing). In 1897 Cai Guiging moved to Ji Ning and it was there that he met another famous Hua master, Master Ding Yu San. Master Ding Yu San knew a different version of Hua Quan. It is said that Cai Guiging spent the next three years learning Master Ding Yu San?s version of Hua Quan and upon completion, combined both versions together and once again made Hua Quan complete. This action made him stand out and all the local masters identified him as the grandmaster of Hua Quan. Cai Guiging then taught and promoted Hua Quan. Some say he was the one responsible for making Hua Quan known and famous again. It is also reported that Cai Guiging, in his later years, traveled throughout southern China sharing the skills and concepts of Hua Quan.
In 1943, we hear of another famous Hua Master, Cai Longyun, son of the last recorded Grandmaster of Hua Quan, Cai Guiging. Cai Longyun is the author of over a dozen books on Chinese martial arts including a few that have been translated into English. He is also the co-founder to today?s modern wushu taught in all school?s and universities throughout China, but the greatest story of Cai Longyun is on November 13th, 1943, at the Phillip Coliseum in Shanghai: The first-ever public match between Chinese (Cai Longyun age 14) and Western (Marceau Love age 25) fighters. Within five minutes, or two-and-a-half rounds, Cai Longyun knocked the Russian kick boxer down thirteen times. Each was a blow of confidence for the Chinese people. Young Cai won the hearts of the Chinese that day, forever earning the nickname "Sheng Quan Da Long" (literally "spirit fist of the big dragon" but commonly translated as "The Big Dragon with the magic fists"). Today many refer to grandmaster Cai Longyun as Tai Long (The Big/Great Dragon).
Just recently (December 22, 2009) Grandmaster Cai Longyun was one of 18 masters that hold 9th level black (the highest ranking awarded to any master in China) was appointed to the new expert committee. This committee is resposibile for preserving the cultural heritage and continuous research on the Chinese martial arts.
Hua Quan has a huge boxing repertoire with many hand sets, weapon sets and sparring sets. Its movements are really quite beautiful and it is a true "long arm" style. There is an old saying in a form of a peom that basically states "knowing the 48 hand sets of Hua Quan, one can travel anywhere under the heavens." The word Hua means "Glorious/Magnificent" but also a synonymous for the word ?China/Chinese? itself (due to the close pronunciation many Americans confuse this style with Hua Chuan - Flower Fist).
Hua Quan students work on controlling their temperament, cultivating their bodies and developing true kung fu. The Hua Quan manual states, "practice boxing like a boat floating on water, flowing along for a thousand miles, avoiding the barbaric style of practicing martial arts which lends to disorders of the body and mind." This is another reason why some people say the naming of the style is believed to be from the type of training in the Hua Quan. Hua Quan focuses on the training of the three pure essences of energy ? Jing (flowing energy), Chi (internal energy) and Shen (spiritual energy). By combining these three energies or essences of energy into one it becomes Hua Quan (Glorious/Magnificent Boxing).
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For more information on the History of Hua Quan go to the online encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huaquan
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