Chaquan Cha Fist

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Chaquan (Chinese: 查拳) is a style of Chinese martial arts that features graceful movements and some acrobatic aerial maneuvers. Chāquán also includes a large range of weapons. Chāquán falls under the classification Chángquán (literally “long fist”), a general term for external Northern Chinese martial arts, which are known for their extended, long movements.

Chāquán is associated with Hui. One famous master of Chaquan was the famous Wang Ziping (Chinese: 王子平), who was known for his great strength. Other famous modern day masters include Zhang Wenguang, Ma Jinbiao, and Liu Hongchi. Chaquan is one of the sources of the contemporary wǔshù Chángquán often seen in movies and tournaments. Chaquan is a system that has 6 main weapons(staff, saber, sword, spear, kwandao, hookswords).It emphasizes long range movements and stances combined with speed and power.

The style includes many forms, including 10 lines of tantui for basic power training, 10 longer sets of chaquan, and other forms as well. During XVI century eastern provinces of China was attacked by japanese pirates. Great general Qi Jiguang asked all masters of martial arts and usual patriots to help in defending the country.

One gorup came from Xinjiang province (far west of China), there was a moslem man called Cha-mir (Jamil). The way was long and hard, he became ill and comrades asked peasants from Guanxian county of Shandong province to save him, because he couldn’t go anymore.

After restoring Cha-mir taught peasants martial art. After his death this martial arts was named “fist of Cha-mir” (“chaquan”), and Guanxian became known as “Homeland of chaquan”. Successor of Cha-mir was Sha Liang, nickname “Flying Legs Sha Liang”, he spreaded this style among chinese muslems.

There was many famous chaquan masters. For example, Zhang Jiwei (1848-1932) trained “iron fingers” and was able to defeat several dozens attackers. One of the famous Zhang Jiwei’s students was Chang Zhenfang (1898-1979) – teacher of most famous chaquan masters of ourdays.

Among his students we can name famous Zhang Wenguang – one of the creators of modern sport wushu, ex-vice-head of All-China Wushu Assotiation. Chaquan is one of the four classical long-range fighting styles. Chaquan fighters emphasize kicks and combine them with throws and takedowns.

Cha Quan or the Cha style of Boxing is popular in north China. According to the chronicle of the Cha-family Chuan, a Tang Dynasty (618-907) crusade went on an expedition to east China. When the army reached Guanxian. County in today’s Shandong Province, a young general named Hua Zongqi had to remain behind to recover from a serious wound. When he recovered and re-rehabilitated, thanks to considerate care by local residents, General Hua Zongqi taught the local people his martial art Jiazi Quan (frame Boxing)
in appreciation. Because Hua had good Wushu skills and taught his art very earnestly, a great number of people followed him. Since he could not handle them all alone, Hua invited his senior fellow apprentice Cha Yuanyi from his residence to help him. Cha Yuanyi was proficient at martial arts. Cha and Hua stayed together and became esteemed Wushu teachers.

After Cha Yuanyi and Hua Zongqi died, their followers named the two styles of Jiazi Quan after their tutors in their memory. The style of boxing passed down by Cha Yuanyi was called the Cha Quan, while the Jiazi Quan taught by Hua Zongqi was named the Hua Quan.

Later on, the Cha Quan and the Hua Quan were known as one style. Those who were good at Cha Quan were also good at Hua Quan. Subsequently, this style of boxing became known as the Cha-Hua Quan. The Hua Quan has four routines. Three of them are long programs with varied tricks and moves, which are considered the cream of Jiazi Quan.

The Cha Quan on has 10 routines. During the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1736-1795), the Cha Quan divided into three technical schools at Guanxian County and Rencheng County in Shandong Province. The Zhang-style of the Cha Quan, represented by Zhang Qiwei from Village Zhangyin at Guanxian, is fast, agile and compact. The Yang-style of the Cha-style, represented by Yang Hongxiu from the southern part of the town of Guanxian, is upright, comfortable and graceful. The Li style of the Cha Quan, represented by Li Enju from Jining, is powerful, continuous and masculine.

Wushu masters Wang Ziping, Chang Zhenfang and Zhang Wenguang were well known in China and all experts in the Cha Quan. They have contributed to the dissemination and development of this school.

Chaquan and Tan Tui: Chaquan and Tan Tui belong to the family of Chinese martial arts known as Jiao Men, or “Sect Fighting”. China has many ethnic minorities, each with their own skills. Chaquan and Tan Tui originate from the Hui (Muslim) community of North West China, one of the larger minority groups. Over the centuries the Hui people spread across China and many great masters of many styles have been Hui.

Chaquan and Tan Tui were both developed by Cha Shangmir or “Chamir” (Jamil) during the Ming Dynasty. Cha rose to fame fighting the Japanese pirates who plagued the Chinese coast during the later Ming Dynasty. According to Legend he became sick and was taken in by a group of villagers. When he recovered he taught them Chaquan and Tan Tui out of gratitude. From there the style spread across China.

Chaquan is a longfist system, utilising fully extended movements and long, rapid footwork. It is however unique in it’s rhythm. Whereas most longfist styles teach the practitioner to move all their limbs in unison, the Chaquan practitioner moves at an offset, disjointed rhythm. Their movements all finish at the same time, but they move at different speeds to get there.

Chaquan is a beautiful and powerful system, and it’s fourth form has been assimilated into the syllabuses of many shaolin longfist schools for just this reason. Because longfist systems in general, and especially Chaquan , are quite difficult for beginners to grasp the fundamentals of, Chamir created the Tan Tui (springing legs) routines. The Tan Tui routines consists of ten short combinations or “lines”. These can be practiced as a form, or each line can be repeated over and over to perfect it.

Much of the emphasis in Tan Tui, as the name suggests, is on leg work, with each line revolving around a leg technique. The principle kick of the Tan Tui is a snapping mid level front kick, but it also contains others such as skipping kicks and sweeps. The Tan Tui are not solely leg routines however. Each line has effective punching, locking and throwing applications as well.

Tan Tui provides a student with an excellent grounding in longfist, and as such it has also been adopted by many Shaolin schools. The famous Chin Woo Institute in Shanghai adopted a twelve line Tan Tui which breaks up some of the principles of the higher lines into more digestible pieces as one of their core routines.