Martial arts have a long history of development in our country,it’s one of the important cultural heritages our ancestors has left with us.It’s not only a kind of body building sports,but also contains the historic significance about our nation’s resistance against invasion.
Yongchun White Crane is the youngest fist style among the fist styles of Shaolin Wuzu. Legend has it that during the Kangxi time of Qing Dynasty,in a temple located in the Bai Lian temple, out of the north door of Fu Ning region there’s a woman named Fang Qi-Niang, daughter of Fang Zhong,who is a disciple of Shaolin Kung Fu.Her father had taught her martial arts from an early age.One day,she was weaving in the temple,when a white crane flew and rested in the roof,perking its head and flapping its wings,dancing and playing with its alas,using its beak to peck its own feather,holding out its neck to search for food,twisting its neck to take a rest, Fang Chee-Niang was very surprised with its amazing gesture.Then she threw a box on it,but the white crane easily dodged it;she contined to use her ruler to attack it,but once again the attack was effortlessly deflected,after that the white crane open its wings and flew high into the sky. Astonished by the crane's skill, Fang Chi-Niang sought to practice with it on a daily basis. Eventually she recognised the significance of the crane's movements, and began incorporating them into her training Shaolin pattern,developing a characteristic fist style,namly “White Crane”.
Since then Fang Qi-Niang taught Kung Fu at the Bai Lian temple,and became very famous.She was named famous teacher of the world、heroine of the nation.And she has taught countless students.Zhengli 、Zhengchong、 Yefu 、Pansai、 Liuzao came from Yongchun to the Bai Lian temple to be prentices of Fang Chee-Niang.During the period of Kang Xi Emperor,“Fang Chee-Niang and her husband were exiled to Yongchun”(《Yongchun county annals* biography of Fangji》They together taught students of 24 different surnames—Wu、Wang、Lin、Cai、Le、Xu、Shu、Zhou、Kang、Yan、Zhang、Ci、Li、Bai、 Zheng、Yao ect.
In the 22nd year of Emperor Kang Xi(In the Summer of 1683,a Grand-Master Bai Jie from Taiwan,also prentice of Fang Qi-Niang at the Bai Lian temple,came to Yongchun to teach”Inch power saves strength”,from then on white crane has become more perfect.It can be judged from this that white crane had already spread to Taiwan at that time.
The establishment of Yongchun National Martial Arts Gym
Yongchun is the cradleland of White Crane,in the past dynasties,masters came forth in great number, then they recruited their own prentices,taught them White Crane based on their own understanding of White Crane.
In Octber,1928,the first National Martial Arts Competiton(NMAC) was held in Nan’jing.When this news came,on July 20 caculated in lunar calendar,the county head Lv Jue Jian、division commander of the garrison invited 125 people from the field of martial arts to have a demostration in West Plaestra (now the People’s Plaestra).And they selected Pan Shi Huang、Pan Si Qing(three Pans are prentices of white crane orthodox master Pan Zhen Tuan)、Li Wan Yue、Song Zong Da、Wang Zong Ying、Lin Bao Shan、Xie Xing Shi……ect as representatives of Yongchun white crane fist style to join the NMAC(annotation:there’re 20 competitors who joined the fist NMAC,athletes from Yongchun made up 50 percent.)
The NMAC began on Oct.17th,according to <Shen Bao>one critical newspaper of <Special Edition of NMAC >”there’re around 341 competitors who join the first round…….”The first people to perform was Pan Shi Huang,though aged 72,he was still in very high spirit.After several days’ competitive contest,all ten representatives of Yongchun were awarded for passing the competition in both personal demonstration part and score of the competition.One of them named Pan Si Qing ranked second in the competition, curator of Central National Martial Art、Chife Commissioner of the NMAC Zhang Zhi Jiang and chife judge of the competition Li Lie Jun awarded him a stele written ”Martial Art Wins over other master-hands”、“Gain honor for our nation”.Pan Shi Huang was named as the eldest master of NMAC,awarded with a stele written “Excellent Master of Natioanal Martial Art”
After the NMAC,Zhang Zhi Jiang、Song Yan Yuan(Song was born in the Rulin town of Yongchun,an official of Nan Jing government.)specially had an interview with masters of white crane,congratulated their good performance,encouraged them to advocate national arts after returning to Yongchun, developed the quintessence of the nation,established national arts gyms and cultivated good students.
Coming back with great glories,every master who had joined the NMAC was very active on the estabishment of National Martial Arts Gym to develop the quintessence of the nation,people came from all walks of life also actively took part in it.With the support of former governor Zheng
Qian Shan and the newly-appointed governor Chen Ying Kui,in the winter of that year,selecting “Weng Gong Ci”as the location of the Wu Shu building,its whole name was “The Yongchun branch of the Central National Martial Arts Gym”,directly affiliated to Central National Martial Arts building.Appointing Lin Bao Shan as the first curator,Pan Shi Huang as vice curator,Pan Xiao De as constant coach,other boxers as coaches.After everything was ready,they began to enrolled prentices,changing the tranditional way of private teaching into collectively teaching.In this way,not only it’s easy for every boxer to show their advantages,but also let the prentices learning a comparative integrated Yongchun white crane.
Together two terms were held from the winter of 1928 the lunar June of 1928.The second curator of the building was Pan Shi Huang,enrolled 128 prentices in all.The prentices were divided into eight groups according to the ability,separately taught fist position、application of broadsword、spear、sword、stick and other instruments. The study time was fixed as four months,at the end of study there would be a test,after passing it they can graduate.And if you ranked among the first ten,you would be award medals.In July 1929 they form a delegation to go abroad to perform,the National Martial Arts Gym was temporarily closed down.
In lunar calendar July 1929,in order to develop the quintessence of the nation,do away with accumulated weakness people in the field of Yongchun national art organized a delegation named”Delegation of Southern Fujian’s Arts”,20 members of the delegation included Pan Shi Huang、Pan Xiao De、Li Wan Yue、Song Zhong Da、Lin Bao Shan、Pan Si Jiong、Pan Rui Ying、Pan Bo Hui、Pan Shen Wu、Pan Ru Song、Wang Xin You、Wang Li Du、Chen Tian En、Ke Jian Feng、Li Guo Xiang、Xie Xing Shi ect.
When the group arrived in Singapore,they received warm welcome and support from head of overseas Chinese Chen Jia Geng、chief editor and concurrently supervisor on print of Report Li Tie Min and overseas Chinese celebrity Chen Jing Qing ect.They aslo took photos as a souvenir.Mr. Cheng Jia Geng full of patriot passion for our nation made two couplets as a present to the group,encouraging them to sweep away our nation’s shame and win honour for our nation.The content of the couplets is as follows:
With the help of Mr Cheng Jiagen, it made its first public performance in Singapore. Then, it made a tour around the major cities in Malaysia. Lasting a period of 8 months, it received overwhelming welcome and praise of overseas Chinese there.
On January 20th of 1930, the Books and Newspaper Press in Penang City and other personages from the press field held a special conference to welcome them as well as in Malacca, Sitiawan(实兆远) Lumut红土坎. Moreover, the Yongchun overseas Chinese commercial community in both Sitiawan and Lumut showed their warmness and respect by presenting the great banner of “Publicize the Martial Arts” to them.
On the evening of March 18th and 19th in 1930, the National Martial Arts Group performed in the China Great Theater Jialiu Street in Seremban District(芙蓉镇). they made their contributions to the welfare of Chinese cultural education by donating all the tickets income to the the Seremban Chinese School.
The performance abroad of this very time impress the local overseas Chinese of southeast Asia so greatly that Mr Cheng Jiagen proposed to set up a National Martial Arts centre in Singapore at the end of their trip, for the purpose of nurturing new blood of martial arts abroad. So a portion of masters of the martial arts stayed there. As for the invitation of Mr Cheng Jiagen, Pan Xiaoden was appointed as the curator of the National Martial Arts Group, Xie Xingshi and some others as the coaches. During the May of 1930, the participants of it amount to more than 300, when the Group began to enroll learners in the Singapore Industrial Remediation School. As to the time when the Group was formally opened, the British viceroy of both Singapore Colonial and Malaysia King Wenty came to celebrate and congratulate the establishing ceremony. In the mere four months in Singapore, the learners of overseas Chinese were more than one thousand. After that, the Group went to Selat Klang巴生, Malacca cities in Malaysia, taking in around 200 to 300 new learners.
In the spirit of his love for mother land and overseas Chinese,besides teaching White Crane Pan Xiao De also imparted the prescriptions on bone fracture during his stay in south east Asia. Perfects and patients in the area PAN to cure the cold and bone. Xiao De was praised by overseas Chinese for his excellent prescription and his ability to effect a miraculous cure and bring the dying back to life.
" Delegation of Southern Fujian’s Arts "was the first in our county to perform and teach abroad,making solid foundation for the wide-spread of Yongchun White Crane across the Southeast Asia.
In 1932, the National Martial Arts Gym opened up again,appointed Pan Xiao De as the curator, and Pan Shi Qiong was as constant couch. The gym was closed down for several reasons two years later, but it was used as a place of practising martial arts,bringing up persons martial talents to take part in various martial arts competitions util the year of 1948.
The first sports meeting was held in Xiamen in 1935, Yongchun sent a delegation mainly consisted of athletes from the National Martial Arts Gym to join the competition.Six people included Pan Xiao De , Pan Shi Qiong, Pan Bo Hui won the firsr prize, winning two silver medals.
After the meeting,Yongchun held an arena competition in Xia Men,eight athletes included Song Zong Da、Lin Ru Hai 、Pan Bo Hui、Su Xian Zhong、Zheng Wen Cun、Li De Jin、Zhang Zhi Xian、Lin Feng Biao joined the match, but because of the interferance of the police office in Xia Men,no one came to compete though the arena had been prepared. This was enough to prove that Yongchun White Crane denomination had the ability to hold an arena competition,their strive for victory.
In the year of 1935,the fourth district Supervisor Special Office held a martial arts competition of its supervising region in Quan Zhou,Yongchun aslo sent a delegation mainly consisted of athletes from the National Martial Arts Gym.The leader was Zhang Zhi Xian,team members included Zheng Wen Cun,Pan Rui Ying,Li De Jin,Zhang Hang Shan,Yan Gong Kan,Yan Shu Bing,Pan Hui,Chen Yan Quan,Chen Lai Cheng ect.Finally Yongchun won the champion,and got a bright and beautiful champion flag.
In 1936,the country again sent a delegation mainly consisted of atheles from the National Martial Arts Gym to join the third Shuijing district Soldiers and the masses sport meet held in Putian County .The leader was Zhang Zhi Xian,team members included Zheng Wen Cun,Pan Rui Ying,Li De Jin,Zhang Hang Shan,Yan Gong Kan,Pan Hui,Chen Yan Quan,Chen Yan Quan,Chen Lai Cheng ect.At last,Yongchun martial arts team won “General Group Champion”,together got a shield presented by Hu Wen Hu.
In the exhibition game held in 1943 to commemorate “Birthday of the Prime Minister”,Yan Shu Bing won double first prize separately for demonstration of lion and bare-handed demonstration.
After the liberation of China,our gym has cultivated lots of athleles.They have joined county,city,provincial and even national martial arts competitions and performances with excellent performance and achievements.
In Nov.1952 our county held the first People sports meet,in the martial arts competition,Yan Gong Kan won the first-class prize,Pan Cheng Miao,Pan Jin Biao won the second-class prize.
In the year 1952,Zhou He Han won an excellent performance diploma in the martial arts exhibition game held in Jin Jiang area.
In 1958,Pan Cheng Miao won the third-class medal in the provincial martial arts sport meet.
In 1959,Pan Cheng Miao won the juvenile group first prize in our county’s martial arts exhibition game,and Pan Ying Ruan second.
In the martial arts exhibition game held in Jin Jiang area in 1984,Zhen Xiao Hong won double champions of the juvenile group optional fist position and traditional women instrument(cudgel).Zhang You Li came as second in traditional women instrument(Broadsword),third in women traditional fist arts.Zhang Pei Can,Zhang Bo Hu won the third in juvenile group’s training versus each other.
In the provincial martial arts exhibition game held in Jian Yang,1984,Zhang Hang Shan won double champion on the elder group fist position and traditional instruments.Lin An Na came as second in the women adult all-round competition.
Thanks to the support and sponsorship of governments of all levels,"Fujian Yongchun Weng Gong Ci Wushu Gym,"formerly known as "Yongchun Wushu Gym",opened in August 10th,1985,with Pan cheng miao,nephew of Pan Xiao De,as chief curator,Su Ying Han,Yan Gong Kan as vice- curatorand chief coach,Yan Shu Bing,Lin Da De ,Zhou He Han,Zhong Jing Yuan,Huang Shi Fen as coaches.
In 1985,Zhang Zhu Shan won copper medal in a view and emulate meeting of national martial arts that held in Tianjin by performing traditional arts of fist position(white crane).
In Dec1985,led by its regimental commander,Yi You Qing ,a Japanese karate association whose aim is to promote friendship visited Quan Zhou.Pan Cheng Miao,Shu Ying Han,Zhan Xing Shan were invited to exchange ideas.
In the year of 1986,Zhen Wen Chun,Shu Chang Dong,Shu Wen Mei,Yan Shu Bin,Huang Shi Feng,Lin Da De won first-class prize of the group of the old in the martial arts exhibition game which was held in the area of Jin Jiang.
In 1988,Yan Gong Sheng won first-class prize of the group of elder people in the martial arts view and emulate meeting in San Ming.
Under the support of the Communist Party and the governments,especially the head of Xi'an village,Yan Jian Feng.Yongchun Weng Gong Ci National Arts Gym recovered from all the difficulties .From then on Yongchun Weng Gong Ci National Arts Gym has received lots of support and aiding fund from compatriots at home and overseas.（In 1985,overseas compatriot Zhou Zi Sheng subscribed 200 yuan as outlet of Yongchun Weng Gong Ci National Arts Gym.Moreover,Yong Chun Hong Kong compatriot Yan Bin paid more attention to it.,adding broadswords,spears,swords,sticks and other weapons martial arts uniforms as the Gym’s possessions.And in the year 1988,he generously donated 35000 to repair the old and precious “Weng Gong Ci”Martial Arts Gym,giving it a brand new-look.
After its recovery to operation,our Gym based on the principle of developing Yongchun white crane fist position,improving people’s health has opened up various activities,opening perennial training classes mainly on youngsters.Up to now,we have held 8 times of this training,each period lasts 30 days.To meet the requirement of the mass,we have held 3 times special training class for the juveniles during their summer vacation,during the process of imparting them we put lots of emphasis on the education of martial virtue,using “Virtue before arts”as our principle to educate the youngsters to be a qualified citizen
Nowadays our gym is organizing people to dig and rearrange the various fist styles of white crane,we’’ll try our best to make the gym better,to meet everyone’s expectation.