Fukien Wing Chun White Crane Style

White Crane is, in some ways, one of the most significant Kung Fu styles in history. Not only is it an efficient and direct fighting style but there is much evidence to testify to its tremendous impact outside of China. Okinawan Karate is, at least in part, derived from this dominant style from its neighboring Fukien provence. Historians all over the world have started to analyze the obvious connections and this style is coming into a regenerative period in the West and Taiwan fueling its much deserved preservation. Everything in this series is filmed in a nice old temple setting. Su himself always instructs, though he is voiced over, with the aid of a male and female assistant to show applications and demonstrate some forms. Side views are given which, in a style such as this, is very useful. Generally, if we don't mention applications there aren't any or they are minimal.
See VCD versions of these disk.

Instructor: Su Ying Han         Click on pictures to see larger versions.      
Investigate the history of White Crane and Karate...
          

Fukien White Crane Kung Fu DVD #11505 Fundamental Exercises
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

Here are the basics of the White Crane system. First there is detailed instruction on the stances, strikes and movement. This is followed by a long section on two man partner practices with emphasis on contact drills. Prevailing historical thought is that Karate derived from, among other influences, the Fukien White Crane system shown here. Be that as it may, we can add something from personal experience. Decades ago, when we began our martial training in Kenpo, an Okinawan/Chinese hybrid, we practiced a four hand partner exercise EXACTLY the same as shown here. This is the first time we've even seen the original exercise in four decades and it is from White Crane.

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu DVD #11506  7 Steps 3 Battles
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles


There is very little doubt that Karate is indebted to White Crane Style Kung Fu for some of its essential concepts. San Chin which in Chinese is San Zhan or Three Battles is a cornerstone of Karate practice. It is found in Wing Chun White Crane in abundance. (Note: The Wing Chun here refers to a location in Fukien from which this style originates, not the famous and somewhat similar fighting style known as Wing Chun.) Here is the foundational form of the system with its obvious similarities to Karate. After the breakdown there is also some two person applications and enough time to spare to show other signature forms from the style.

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu

DVD #11507 3 Shaking Steps
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

This set deals with the Coiling Shaking method of the Crane. This essential energy is divided into high, medium and low called respectively Green Dragon Reels from the Water, Green Dragon Exits the Water and Green Dragon Rolls from the Water. Though similar, these are three distinct coiling energies of WC. The form is shown straight on a number of times. It has strong short burst of focused energy. Highly conservative, the style concentrates on defending the "immediate" person. Minor applications shown.

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu DVD #11508 3 Beautiful Lady Grooms
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

How many people know that much of White Crane was said to be developed by a woman who, as the legend goes, has to deal with a kleptomaniacal crane trying to steal her toilet articles? This form is said to resemble a woman dressing: sticking in the hair pin, painting eye brows and, interestingly enough, performing her worship ritual. The woman demonstrating is good. And a nice thing about the series is that the older teacher, young male and young woman all help with the teaching duties. Considered an "internal" set. No applications shown.

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu DVD #11509 13 Royal Guards
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

This set derives somewhat from 7 Steps 3 Battles taking everything a step further and developing very clear and concise actions which lead to tight, compact work. It lays equal stress on attack and defense. It uses energies like, Wind Stirs Leaves, Green Dragon Exits the Sea, Mantis Flings Limbs and Leopard Cat Washes its Face. A strong intermediate set with important tasks.

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu

DVD #11510 White Crane Spreads Wings
Over an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

Now we take a step up. . . In this case, "spreads wings" may be taken to mean the introduction of lateral movements starting with the famous elbow, flicking fingers method. The steps here move out of the very conservative frontal approach which has been building throughout and introduce a wider side stride and even a lateral attack. Elbow usage, which has been introduced is increased dramatically. The set is not overly long but it does incorporate new moves. Other forms in the series are previewed at the end.
A double disk.

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu

DVD #11511 Penetrate the Heart
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

Is there any style that DOESN'T have a “penetrate the heart” form? It's almost mandatory like a Plum Blossom set. The ironic part is that Penetrate or Dot the heart is pretty close to Dim Sum with their little red dots to show how they “dot our heart” and make us happy – which is true. PTH generally refers to a heart directed uppercut, not a good thing for cardiac tranquility. This is the same. But in the crane's highly structured progressive method this form also introduces attacks from the 45ºangle, an essential feature of the style which, otherwise, fights straight on. Angular deviation presupposes and indeed introduces new entering steps. A double disk.

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu

DVD #11512 Duck Skims Water
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

White Crane is a beautifully structured style as far as learning. It is progressive but very careful in adding its principles. Here we become more varied adding punches, side steps, soft and hard moves, and everything together. To some, familiar with the order of Kung Fu styles, this is a "flavor" set where the possibilities of the style are explored as opposed to concentrating only on tasks. It may not be the most advanced but at this point one might say one is doing White Crane as well as learning it.

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu

DVD #11513 Mantis in Sunlight
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

If you out-weigh a mantis, its okay to startle it while sun bathing. If you are a mantis-sized bug, however, it's a bad idea. You may get eaten. This is somewhat the idea of this set with its quick energies and direct palm strikes. The lower and higher levels are emphasized with the fling hand actions of the Mantis giving a strong self defense usage to this set. Many slow motion sections to emphasize details. No applications. A double VCD.

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu

DVD #11514 1000 Word Strike
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

This is the last hand set in this series. It definitely takes a departure from the well structured information presented previously- as it should. It introduces, almost immediately, a jumping action with rolling hands; other exceptions include a single, surprising rear kick. This sudden addition of new movements follows the tradition that the good martial artist has not only a few tricks up his sleeve but the adaptability to know when to throw in the completely unexpected. Said to unify the three levels of previous material.

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu

DVD #11515 Three Battle Meridian Mallet
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

Were you looking at a person dressed in a Karate Gi you might very well see this as an Okinawan staff form. Though called a “mallet” this set shows strong basic staff strikes. It considerably less fancy than many similar forms of Kung Fu. There is also a short section on two person practice and enough room left over for a demonstration of 13 Guardians, another VCD in the series. Tight steps, controlled movements, the power generation common to White Crane and advanced Karate ka. Simple and strong, austere and direct.

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu DVDV #11516 Sage Goes Fishing Staff
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

A more sophisticated staff than the previous. There are a number of jumps and angle changes. In general the stick is treated with more spear-like movements. The structure is maintained with very clear actions, very little whirling and numerous changes of direction.

 

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu DVD #11517  Crane Wing Double Knives
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

Well, well, well. Here we have, at last, the often sought after "elbow knives". Though somewhat similar to the Butterfly Knives of, say, Hung Gar these are more serious. Pointed and obviously meant to be sharpened this is about as far from contemporary Wushu as you can get. The weapons, in this case, perfectly match the fist. The slashes and elbowing actions usually employ the knives in reversed or "hidden position". A great Southern set with obvious fighting spirit. If you've spent times in the Southern and Karate styles you already know about this weapon. A good demonstration of it.

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu DVD #11518 Horse Leading Rods (Sai)
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

The "Sai" is a weapon often associated with Okinawan martial arts. Here is the precursor, the same weapon used in essentially the same way. This set has many classic positions associated with this usage such as the half dragon-drop with one knee down. Flipping of the weapons is not excessive and the strikes utilized the interaction of both arms. A good example of the original structure of these forms.

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Fukien White Crane Kung Fu DVD #11519 Turn the River, Stir the Sea (Trident)
About an hour, Chinese with English subtitles

Though you can't see it on the cover this is a Trident set, also called "Mountain Word Rake" because the three points resemble the Chinese word for "mountain". It is also equipped with internal points just to make the catch more secure. This weapon is often associated with Southern Kung Fu and is also known as the Tiger Fork. The moves of the set are essentially linear and road-like with very precise turning of the tines and control of the angle. The running, retreating step often seen with this weapon is employed as are angle changes and some tight elbow up thrusts. A weapon of skill.

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