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 Master Liang Guang Man on Flexible Dummy

Master Liang Guang Man Tan Sao
Master Liang Guang Man and Derek Frearson
Master Liang Guang Man Chi Sao
Master Liang Guang Man Chi Sao
Master Liang Guang Man on Nine Arm Dummy
    Master Liang Guang Man and Steven Frearson Butterfly Knives 
Master Liang Guang Man and Craig
Master Liang Guang Man Butterfly Knives


 Buddha Hill Young Springtime Boxing

By Master Derek Frearson

This series is based on information given to me by Master Liang Guang Man, on a recent visit to Foshan and also on his book Yong Chun Quan. Wherever possible I have used the pinyin system of spelling which is based on Mandarin.

The making of Yong Chun Quan

Tradition has it that Yong Chun Quan was created by Yan Yong Chun a Fujianese girl who developed the style after watching a fight between a snake and a crane.

During the Qin Dynasty (1810 A.D.) a man named Yan Si escaped with his daughter Yong Chun to the suburbs of a small country to avoid arrest after violating the law. Yan Si was a martial arts master of the Quan Zhou style of Fujian Province.

Yong Chun began to learn martial arts from her father as a child and she developed a high level of skill, they made a living selling bean curd. One day while washing clothes by the river she observed a fight between a white crane and a green snake. After watching for sometime she was inspired by the movements of these two creatures, after returning home she began to imitate the movement and combine them with the essence of the prevailing fist fighting styles of this time.

Some time later a businessman named Liang Bo Tao who was from Jiang Xi Province stayed at a local inn. He accidentally saw Yan Si and his daughter practising Wushu, having once learned martial Arts at the Shaolin Temple of Henan Province, he was overwhelmed by her profound Wushu skills. After conversing with each other and exchanging views on Wushu on several occasions Liang Bo Tao felt heartfelt admiration for her.

Liang was a middle aged widowed man who could not help but cherish the idea of marrying her. Soon afterwards he proposed marriage to her, since her father had no objections as they were both followers of the same Shaolin style, Yan gave his consent to the marriage and thus Liang lived with the brides family.

Some years later Yan Si died, the couple buried him and returned to Jiang Xi to seek a better life. But soon they had to leave for Nanxiong County north of Guangdong Province because of unrest by the bandits. Apart from doing some small business the couple set up a Wushu hall to impart martial arts, they named their art of fighting Yong Chun Quan.

The development and spread of Yong Chun Quan

About the year 1815 Liang and Yan removed their Wushu Hall to Zhaoqin, a city of Guangdong Province, where they made the acquaintance of Huang Huabao, Liang E-di, A Jin and Sun Fu, who belonged to a theatrical troupe in Foshan. The four took the couple as their teacher and learned Yong Chun Quan. Later they went back to Foshan to spread Yong Chun Quan.

In his late years, Huang passed on his skills of Yong Chun to Liang Zan, the young master of the Zan Sun Tang Drugstore. He had many disciples, amongst the top ones were Chen Hua, Chen Gei, and Ling Qi. After completing his training Chen Hua returned to his own village in Shunde County where he set up his own Wushu hall. His disciples included Chen Yumian, Wu Zhong-shu etc; Other branches of Yong Chun were represented by Guo Baoqian, Yan Ji-yin, Yan Qi-shan, Yao Cai and Ye Wen. After years of exchanging and learning skills from each other, Yong Chun continued to develop.

Yong Chun is now prevalent in many places; the prominent figures in Guangzhou are Yao Chi, Chen En, Peng Nan, etc,. In Foshan Liang Guang Man, Chen Yin-song and Zhou Jianqiang. In Zaoqin, Liang Wei-zai and others. In Xintan of Shude County, Chen Hua and his grand children, in Macao, Liang Quan and others. Yong Chun halls were also founded in Hong Kong by Yewen and Liang Ting respectively.

The Style and Characteristics of Yong Chun Quan

Yong Chun Quan has a long history and is rich in content, apart from Yong Chun Shanshou (free hand forms); its basic skills include bamboo pole, foot pole, three star pole, dragon gate pole, sword pole etc.

The fist forms consist of Little Idea form, Thrusting Fingers form, and Arm Seeking form. The forms with weapons are the Two Word Double Swords and the Six and a Half Point Long Pole form.

Arm clinging exercises are also very important in Yong Chun and it consists of Circling Hand, Hard Cling, Two Person Single Arm Clinging and Two Person Double Arm Clinging. Arm Clinging is a very practical method of training which has the function of attacking and defending and is suitable for everyone young or old, male or female.

Yong Chun is mainly defensive. It focuses on the steadiness and nimbleness of the body to achieve the protective purpose. On the theoretical ground, one should seal oneself up to cope with various attackers.

The hand techniques include Palm Up Arm, Bridge on Arm, Wing Arm, Fend Arm, Horizontal Arm, Deflecting Arm, Explode Arm, and Bar Bridge Arm. The movement of the fist should be like running water, one action after another, coping with different situations. The stances of the style are Character Two Abduction Stance, Moving in Horse Riding Step, and Stepping Forward in Horse Riding Step, Stepping Back in Horse Riding Step, Horse Riding Stance and Stepping Back under Horse Riding Stance.

The foot positions are Arc Shaped Feet, Kick with Heel Leading and Fend Foot. Practical use is emphasised instead of showy performance; the protective techniques of Yong Chun Quan tend to use the forearm to defend. Generally in protecting oneself one should use the rotating forces to achieve the effect of attacking and defending. So when the rival attacks, one is supposed to receive the attack by dissolving its force, and then return the attack when the rival retreats.

Yong Chun Quan lays emphasis on Gui Zhou (returning elbow). That is, to use the elbow to defend waist and stomach from being attacked. Yong Chun also stresses the rotating force, which is produced by the rotation of fists, palms and arms. The rival's offensive is dispelled by the rotating force.

Yong Chun is particular about the point, feeling, direction and degree of the forces. The points of force come from fists, palms, arms and feet. Most of the points of force are produced by the gentle force of wrist, forearm, elbow and ankle. Therefore, the changes and use of the hand-form (should) deserve attention.

Learning Yong Chun Quan

When one begins to learn Yong Chun Quan, he is required to practise Shanshou (Yong Chun Free Hand Forms) first; it is the basis for learning the style as well. It is imperative to master it and once one has a good grasp of it; one can learn other techniques by drawing influences from the basics. On this basis, one can continue to learn the fist fighting forms, the forms involving weapons and the wooden man forms. The trainee will then be able to enter the final stage of Sticking Hands.

One is not expected to learn it well unless he / she practise’s it gradually and painstakingly. In the process of learning for instance, the starting movement of the fist begins from the Meridian Gate (the heart), just as the saying goes, "The hand starts from the heart while the force comes from the waist".

Correct point, feeling direction and degree of force are required in practising in order to lay a good foundation. Some actions such as Snake like form; Mei Nu Chuang Suo, Thrusting Arm, Thrusting Elbow and Arrow Fist have to be practised repeatedly until one is exhausted. A general rule for the sequence of action is from left to right, from front to back.

The Forms

Little Idea Form is the basis for learning Yong Chun forms, it contains ten sections. The form is practised mainly for increasing the power of the palm, wrist, waist, chest, explosive force and centre line.

Names of Little Idea Form

  • Opening Stance

  • Double Cross Scissors

  • Sway Fingers

  • Buddha Palm

  • Killing palm

  • Deflecting Palm

  • Erecting Palm

  • Palm Up Arm

  • Wing Arm

  • Freeing Arm

Thrusting Fingers is the next form and is the basis for further learning of the fighting art of Yong Chun. In practising the three "Elbows" the choice of force should deserve attention. The movement of the elbow has its own direction, degree and point of force. The movement Worship the Buddha is used to practise the posture of the waist. Only a stable posture of the waist can produce the soft and powerful force. Every action, either attack or defence comprises three changes of the direction of, upper level, middle level, lower level.

Exploding force is produced by combination of the soft force of foot, knee, buttocks, shoulders, wrist and fist. The Thrusting Fingers Form contains ten sections these are: -

  • Opening Stance

  • Double Cross Scissors

  • Sway Fingers

  • Throwing Elbow

  • Kneeling Elbow

  • Thrusting Elbow

  • E Tong Shou

  • Throwing Hand

  • Stick in Fist

  • Worship the Buddha

The Arm Seeking Form is the highest level of Yong Chun hand forms. It is considered the "top of the ladder" to the practical fighting art of this style. All of the movements of this form are designed for the purpose of both attack and defence. The form also teaches the principles of defending the "three levels". The Arm Seeking Form has eight sections: -

  • Opening Stance

  • Double Cross Scissors

  • Sway Finger

  • Arm Seeking Form

  • Bar Bridge Arm

  • Single Wing Arm

  • Double Wing Arm

  • Three Empty Arm


Profile on Master Liang Guang Man

As long as he can remember Liang Guang Man has been surrounded by Yong Chun boxing. His elder brother Liang Quan would practise every day from around the age of eight, when he began to train with his brother who was the 8th generation Master of Yong Chun Quan.

Training with his brother was very hard as he insisted that all the movements were correct. On leaving the family home he continued to practise and develop his skills to a higher level. On one occasion when his brother came to visit he asked him to demonstrate his skills, he was amazed by the progress made by his younger brother.

In 1987 the Wushu Association in Beijing was doing research into many different styles of Wushu and asked the various Provinces to put forward information on them. Around thirty Yong Chun Masters submitted information, of these only Liang Guang Man was invited to the research meeting in Beijing. Master Liang's thesis on Yong Chun boxing won great acclaim, he was presented with an honours Testimonial by the National Wushu Association of China.

In 1988 he joined the Foshan Wushu Association and is Chief Coach for the province his martial arts lineage has been traced and verified by the Guangdong Wushu Association, making him the 9th generation Master of Yong Chun boxing.

He published a book in Chinese in 1989 and this has now been published in English.

Its often said that today the martial arts of China are only good for sport and that they have lost all fighting ability, the cause of for this was the ban on martial arts during the Cultural Revolution. Master Liang disagrees with this, "even today the majority of Wushu Masters prefer to train in privacy, During the Cultural Revolution training was done under the table". He continued "not only are you welcome to bring people to train with me you can also arrange some fighting contests".

Fatshan is the birthplace Yong Chun the city has a history of over 1,300 years. "If the martial arts of China are not of high standard then how come Masters from Hong Kong, America, Japan and England come to Foshan to Learn"

The importance of Chi Sao practise is stressed by Master Liang; great attention must be paid to the angles and measurements, because the practise of Chi Sao is so close if your position is incorrect your opponent can hit you.

What about the use of Chi Sao for real fighting? Is it possible to tell if your opponent has real fighting ability by practising Chi Sao? Through Chi Sao practise you can of course tell what level your opponents Chi Sao is. You can't however tell if he has real fighting ability. There are many other factors to take into consideration for fighting, mental attitude, will to win, can you if needs be take a punch and also deliver a telling blow.

Chi Sao training should give you the right angles and measurements to defend yourself.

Master Liang has strong muscular body but doesn't use any supplementary training. Yong Chun Quan was developed by a woman so it is not necessary to do other training; we use the soft to defeat the hard. Defence is soft and circular attack hard in a straight line.