Lin Yin Sheng, Wang Jian Min. SHE ZU QUAN: Pugilistic Art of the SHE Nationality

   Shaolin Kung Fu OnLine Library:   Chinese Martial Arts - Theory & Practice / Old Chinese Books, Treatises, Manuscripts

              Lin Yin Sheng, Wang Jian Min

SHE ZU QUAN   

Pugilistic Art of the SHE Nationality  

                "Eyes are like a copper bells, mouth is like lion's jaws" 

"If you learn a martial art, you foster martial virtue, at the same time muscles, bones and tendons are strengthened, the skill is being improved, unbalanced character is reformed, spirit becomes strong"

   Shaolin Kung Fu OnLine Library:   Chinese Martial Arts - Theory & Practice / Old Chinese Books, Treatises, Manuscripts

LIAN GONG: Methods of Acquiring Mastery in SHE ZU QUAN 

(part II)


Rapidity, hardness, strength — three of those features of SHE ZU QUAN were called "three gems". There is the following saying among masters of that style: "If you learn combat technique and acquire the Mastery (GONG FU), you will become invincible like Sun Wu Kong." On the base of original conditions of life and geographical conditions unique methods for training the Mastery (GONF FU) as respect to their effectiveness have been gradually developed, they are aimed at acquiring "three gems" — rapidity, hardness and strength. This section gives the description of the following methods: "pole skill", "exercising on one bamboo trunk", "exercising on two bamboo trunks", "skill of bamboo bundle", "skill of one thousand paper sheets", "iron palm", "iron arm", "avoiding water shower", "eyes skill", "moving a millstone", "pushing a stone ball", "play with a stone lion", "juggling with a stone padlock"...>>

ZHUANG GONG: Pole Skill is the Base of Mastery.

>>...Improvement of base skills in each style of a martial art makes up foundation of mastery. It also completely applies to SHE ZU QUAN where great significance is given to the improvement of stances and technique of movements. There is the following saying among masters of SHE ZU QUAN: "The road to acquiring martial art starts from the skill "Standing like a pole". To evaluate the level of mastery in "Standing like a pole" ZUO ZHUANG, method TUO ZHUANG — "Pushing a pole" is employed. For that the learner takes the stance BA ZI MA and his assistant attacks him from different sides, pushes him, trying to make him lose his equilibrium. All the above said proves that steadiness and firmness of positions in SHE ZU QUAN is very important...>>

To Pay Particular Attention to Special Training Methods.
>>...Earlier we have already said about distinctive features of SHE ZU QUAN, they are "
rapidity, hardness and strength". Therefore, alongside with learning formal exercises (TAO) and sparring training, it is necessary to improve response, pay attention to special methods of acquiring hardness, develop strength and exercise in force application, making it fast and powerful. Without all these things you will never reach the top of mastery.
They say, ice three CHIs thick (1 m) can not form during one frosty day. To gain strength and power, it is necessary to diligently do exercises of the section
LIAN GONG: "pulling a pole with a load", "playing with a stone lion", "moving a millstone", "juggling with a stone padlock", "pushing a stone ball", etc. Gradually, it is necessary to increase the weight of training means and time of exercising, proceed from simple to more complicated exercises in consecutive order. When you move with a load as easily and naturally as without it, it means you have acquired the skill.
Hardness in SHE ZU QUAN is, first of all, hardness of body and arms. Due to special exercises the body becomes as if forged of iron. Special attention must be paid to such exercises as "iron palm", "skill of bamboo bundle", "iron arm". Thanks to those exercises hands and palms gain hardness of steel and fingers become similar to steel hooks...>>

About this book

Special Features of the Style SHE ZU QUAN:

 For the first time in English! 

Lin Yin Sheng, Wang Jian Min

SHE ZU QUAN

Pugilistic Art of the SHE Nationality

Origin of SHE ZU QUAN

During the reign of emperor Yongzheng (1723 - 1735) from the dynasty QING Shaolin patriotic monks made plans to overthrow the QING and restore the MING dynasty. The Southern Shaolin in Quanzhou became an underground center of the movement for the restoration of the MING dynasty in the south of China. After being reported about that, the QING government sent troops which had an order to demolish the monastery and kill the monks. By some miracle only four monks — Tie Zhu, Tie Xie, Tie Bing, and Tie Ban escaped. After long and dangerous wandering Tie Zhu reached the village of Jindouyang in the district of Fuan, the province of Fujian, populated by the SHE nationality. The village was situated in a remote mountain region in the North-East of the Fujian province; the villagers were kind and generous people. When they saw the ragged and emaciated Tie Zhu, they felt compassion to him. Tie Zhu who took the name Pan settled in the village.

Although Tie Zhu was outwardly dispassionate, his soul knew no rest and he did not lose the hope for the MING restoration. Homicide of monks and suppression of the people carried out by emperor Yongzheng fomented fire of vengeance in him. He swore that he would take vengeance for his tutors and comrades. He hung up on the wall a tablet with the following words offensive to his feelings: "Yongzheng, the First Hero of the Celestial who overcame four monks." Each day he read the offensive words and his heart was filled with hatred, adding him strength and inspiring for hard training. Tie Zhu exercised day and night. Exhausted, he fell asleep on a narrow bench but as soon as he woke up he immediately started exercising again. There was a stone cap weighing over ten JINs on his head, he wore clothes with sand weighing several dozens of JINs. With his hands he rammed wooden piles into the soil to improve the mastery in the "iron palm", exercised with millstones etc. to do exercises of the Shaolin School. Trees and bamboo around the house where Tie Zhu lived gradually withered because of countless number of blows with fists, palms, arms, legs, and head. So three years passed. Tie Zhu's mastery immensely improved, he was a great success in Shaolin skills of "iron head", "iron shirt", "iron arm", "iron palm", and "iron fingers".

Once Tie Zhu saw the local people exercise with a knife and a stick; he started teaching them the martial art to prepare fighters for overthrowing the QING dynasty. With time a lot of disciples gathered and he opened his school. Many people from Jindouyang, Niucheng and other villages situated in neighborhood were eager to learn from Tie Zhu. The ablest and most persistent Tie Zhu's disciple was Lei Chao Bao. He was the master of the family martial art passed down from generation to generation. Additionally, he persistently learned from Tie Zhu. Over time Lei Chao Bao excelled his tutor in mastery and became very popular, he was nicknamed "Teacher of tigers and leopards".

Years passed and Tie Zhu died in the village of Niucheng. Lei Chao Bao carried on the cause of his tutor and taught combat art to his disciples. He united methods and techniques of the Southern Shaolin and the local school and built up the original style SHE ZU QUAN with high combat efficiency and health-improving qualities. Since that time those who were eager to learn incessantly came to the village of Jindouyang, number of masters and tutors was on the rise. With time SHE ZU QUAN spread in localities where the SHE people lived and among the Chinese who lived in the north-eastern part of the province of Fujian.


The style SHE ZU QUAN belongs to the Southern Shaolin school, its special features are a resolute and steadfast step, hard release of force, sophisticated arm technique, caution in defense, and wide use of fingers and palms for striking. Special attention in the style SHE ZU QUAN is paid to the following four items:

1. XING WEI — Bellicose air.
"Eyes are like a copper bells, mouth is like lion's jaws." Special attention is paid to bellicose appearance that expresses "intrepidity of the lion and courage of the leopard" for intimidation and psychological suppression of the enemy. 

2. LI MENG — Hard release of force.
Hard release of force is characteristic of SHE ZU QUAN as well as of the whole Southern Shaolin school. Alongside with traditional power exercises, namely wearing a stone cap, piercing a bundle of bamboo stems, uplifting millstones etc, great attention is paid to the use of the internal energy QI and the effort JIN (internal strength). Breathing is in coordination with movements, release of an effort is based on principles of "swallowing and spitting out, submerging and surfacing". While releasing the effort JIN, the force LI acts together with the internal energy QI, "Thought leads QI, QI urges Force", as it's called. Often a release of the JIN effort is accompanied by a yell "Hey" which favors a more powerful release of force and at the same time intimidates the enemy.

3. MA SHI — Strong position.
Hieroglyphs "MA" (horse) and "ZHUANG" (pole) in names of techniques mean "position", "stance". SHE ZU QUAN has the following basic "step forms" (stances, or positions): BAZI MA — figure "eight", BU DING MA — "Half-nail, half-figure "eight", XU SHI MA — "empty-full stance". Steps (stances) must be firm and steady like a rock, kicking at the upper level and jumps is seldom used. It is necessary to exercise in ZUO ZHUANG and TUO ZHUANG in order to acquire a steady step and firm position. ZUO ZHUANG ("to sit on a pole") is to practice stances in a motionless position. TUO ZHUANG ("to pull a pole") is to practice motion and stances in moving. With the progress in mastery those exercises are done with stone "padlock" (weights) held by hands, in heavy clothes, with millstones tied to legs. Thanks to it steadiness in formal exercises (TAO) and in a combat is attained, "rooting into the soil" is said about this steadiness. To check steadiness of positions, the method TUI ZHUANG — "To push a pile" is resorted to: one trainee takes a certain position, another pushes him from different sides, trying to upset his balance. It may be said that a firm step and a steady position are the basis of mastery, the key element in acquiring SHE ZU QUAN.

4. SHOW LANG — Wolf's forepaw.
Arms technique in SHE ZU QUAN is sophisticated and of great variety. Often fingers and palms blows are used, hence "wolf's forepaw". Blows may be delivered with one, two, three, four fingers or with all five fingers; there are respective exercises. To reach mastery in SHE ZU QUAN, it is necessary to diligently exercise "iron palm", "the art of bamboo bundle" and other methods with the use of fingers and palms to strengthen them properly. It will allow hitting the enemy in a combat with fingers and palms.

Heritage of the Southern Shaolin

Besides the theoretical base of SHE ZU QUAN, combat methods and techniques the book presents many little known but very effective exercises for developing quickness, hardness and strength (see Part II: "LIAN GONG: Methods of Acquiring Mastery in SHE ZU QUAN"). Those three qualities are basic for the whole Southern Shaolin School, they are called "three jewels" in SHE ZU QUAN. In addition, original exercises for developing eyesight, balance, response time, etc. are available in the book.

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Lin Yin Sheng, Wang Jian Min.

SHE ZU QUAN: Pugilistic Art of the SHE Nationality

Translated from Chinese in 2006

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