Fujian White Crane
福 建 白 鶴 拳

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Helen Shen White Crane Kungfu
黃 漢 婷 武 館            

ht_on_mountain Helen Shen White Crane Kungfu is dedicated to excellence in White Crane Kungfu training. The White Crane Kungfu system offers a wide range of martial arts training, forms and general fitness, and allows individual to advance at his or her own pace. From beginner level through advanced, each student will be benefited greatly through the training to reach his or her greatest kungfu potential.

White Crane Kungfu is a traditional Chinese martial art, which emulates the characteristic and movements of white cranes. The traditional White Crane Kungfu had a traditional beginning as well. Legend has it that the founder Fang QiNiang developed the White Crane Kungfu, to revenge her father's unjust death, by observing how white crane lives in the wild. White cranes are common in those days in Fujian province where the legend began. White Cranes live by the fringe of rice fields, the edge of waters, or in swamplands. Though moderate in size, white cranes remain as one of the top predators in their environment. With their elegant movements and agility, they prey on snakes and fish for food and fend out the marauding coyotes and foxes in self-defense, and they live in swamplands without being boggled down by the muddy environments. Living gracefully and peacefully, white cranes are truly martial artists. Inspired by their superior techniques, courage, and elegance, founder Fang QiNiang emulated white cranes' characteristic and movements and developed White Crane Kungfu.

Boasting with 170 years unbroken lineage, Dong MuYao Fujian White Crane Kungfu is said [by the family tradition] to be one lineage/variant of Fang QiNiang's White Crane Kungfu. Grandmaster Dong MuYao has learned the White Crane in a hand-down family tradition that began with his great grandfather, hence preserved its originality and purity. Dong MuYao White Crane Kungfu sports a host of external and internal training. Helen Shen is a senior disciple of Grandmaster Dong MuYao.

Following Grandmaster Dong MuYao's tradition, Helen Shen White Crane Kungfu also trains and practices the six fist-forms, various fundamental exercises and San-Shous, staffs, and sabers for the external disciplines and techniques. Some of the extreme external techniques are difficult to pursue as time and environment have changed greatly; however, in favor of higher-level internal training, 吞吐浮沈 (float, sink, inhale, exhale) and Qi/breathing are practiced with each form and technique, and the internal disciplines, Nei-Gong/Qi-Gong, are also emphasized and practiced.

There are some kungfu applications you may find interesting; ideas are ancient but practical and adaptable to pursue one's own endeavor, even for modern-day sports and activities. You will also find some interesting philosophical sites of classical kungfu and references in the references page.

吞 吐 浮 沈

Principles of White Crane Kungfu

無   有   宿   吞
形   形   鳴   吐
鐵   心   飛   浮       建
膽   眼   食   沈       白
氣   手   定   功       鶴
勁   身   精   練       堂
神   步   神   氣

Float, sink, inhale, exhale,
White Crane Kungfu cultivates Qi;
sleeping, calling, flying, preying,
Crane Forms breed spirit.

Having forms,
mind, eyes, hands, steps, and body coordinate;
Without forms,
the iron courage exemplifies the Qi, strength, and spirit.

The Principle 心法
The first line is saying that coordinating the inhaling and exhaling with the floating/un-weighting and sinking/weighting of the body, respectively, is the practice to cultivate Qi. The second line, Sleeping, Calling, Flying, and Preying are referring to the four initial basic forms. The third line, in regarding forms, the practice is emphasized in mind and body coordination, and superior techniques. And, the fourth line, without forms, the practice cultivates inner strength, courage, and Qi, Jing, Shen.

The poem reflects the practices and the spirits of Dong MuYao White Crane accurately.

External Practice 外功
Helen Shen White Crane Kungfu is practiced and trained from external to internal. The external trainings are for developing the body coordination, various fighting techniques, and the stamina/Gongli. And Qi/breathing is the substance that glues them all together.

Qi 氣
Qi has three meanings in Chinese: in term of cosmology, it means "energy"; the energy moves inside the body, it is the "pressure"; and when the energy projects out the body, it appears as "force." As in martial art training, these three -- energy, pressure, and force -- cannot really be separated as different entities, Qi is used to describe their functions. Qi is embedded in breathing. Thus, the proper breathing with each body movement becomes the foundation of the external practice. To facilitate the coordination of the body movements and breathing, the mind, as well as the practice, starts to turn internal.

Internal Practice 內功
The internal practice is to coordinate the Qi/breathing and the body movements internally, thus establishes how the inner body works. With the inner body leads and the external form coordinates, Qi flows through the body as though the body is not there. Without the body friction (jerky movements), the delivered Qi would have achieved its maximum potential. Upon where Qi is freely delivered according the Way of White Crane Kungfu principles and techniques, the White Crane Kungfu would have been learned.

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