Northern Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu
Our deepest gratitude goes out to my Kung Fu brother and friend Sifu James Man Chin, and his students, for their research and preparation of the materials below, and for allowing me to share them with you. You can visit their web site through our Links page.
The Northern Shao-Lin Long Fist Kung Fu System originated from a Buddhist Monastery called the Shao-Lin Temple. This martial art system was refined at the Central Kuo Su Institute by Great Grand Master Han, Ching Tan. Essentially, Northern Shao-Lin Long Fist encompasses traditional Martial Art Exercises, Breathing/Meditation, Stances, Empty Hand and Weapon Forms, Strikes & Kicks, Power & Speed Training, Striking Zones, Fighting Sequences, Theory and Application of Techniques.
Bei Shaolin Chang Quan (Northern Shao-Lin Long Fist) in Taiwan was mostly brought in during 1949. The highly popular Northern Shaolin Long Fist was mostly taught by the Central Martial Art Institute. The content of this style includes Lian Bu Quan, Shi-Lu Tan-Tui, Mai-Fu Quan, Cha Quan, and San-Cai Jian. Northern Shaolin is a school of martial art centered on long-distance combat skills. Its range of leg-extension is relatively farther than other styles. It is a style with open frame, clean-cut movements, and tempo.
The master who had the most number and widest spread of pupils in Taiwan would be the Martial Zhuang Yuan (Champion of the National Level Imperial Exam) - Mr. Han Qing-Tang. Although Master Han passed away in 1979, his students carried on his spirit and art. Quite a few renowned masters have taught Shaolin Chang Quan in Taiwan .
The Lineage of Northern Shaolin Long Fist
Historically, around 1928, the Koumingtang in China established Zhong Yang Guo Shu Guan. Within this organization, the dream was to establish a national martial arts school that would bring famous teachers from all around together in one place, thus offering students a situation of study that had never been achieved within before that time. Within this Guo Shu Guan, students would have the opportunity to work with teachers from a variety of styles in such a way as to promote healthy communication and deeper understanding of the many martial arts traditions present in China. Some of the many famous names that came from studying at there at that time are Han Qing Tang, Li Yuan Zhi, and Chang Dong Shen, just to name a few.
As the Kuomingtang was forced to move to Taiwan, part of the student population from this school moved across the strait as well. In approximately 1983, a cultural university was opened in Taiwan with the idea of once again bringing together famous martial arts instructors for the purpose of training interested students and carrying on a cultural tradition. Zhong Guo Wen Hua Da Xue (a cultural university) thus began to do in much the same manner what had earlier been accomplished in China. Within this university, students studied over 100 forms with the idea that doing so, they could distinguish and bold fundamental knowledge outside the university walls regarding the myriad of Kung fu styles they may encounter as they went on to become martial arts coaches.
Grandmaster Li, Mao-ching was born on July 5, 1926 in Qingdao City ( Shandong Province ), and grew up there. Later, when World War II began, he was drafted into the army. When he was in the army he started to learn Shaolin Long Fist (Changquan) from Han Qingtang, Praying Mantis (Tanlangquan) from Fu Jiabin, and Sun Bin Quan from Gao Fangxian. Grandmaster Han was the first generation of well-known teachers at the Nanking Central Guoshu Institute. When Jiang Kaishek's party retreated to Taiwan , he was invited to teach Chinese martial arts in the Central Police Academy . Grandmaster Han was also well known because of his high skills in joint-locking techniques.
Master Tsou, Yen-kai began his formal training for traditional Northern Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu in 1958. He was a senior student under the tutelage of Great-grandmaster Li, Mao-ching in Taiwan (Formosa), ROC. Master Tsou was the founder of the Shaolin/Five Tiger Martial Arts Center that was established in NYC during the early 1970's.
Master Tsou, Yen-kai is a living example of a discipline that has been preserved for over three thousand years. His highly polished skills, and the ability to make clear the movements to all students, are a result of countless hours devoted to the practice and perfection of traditional Northern Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu as a Chinese cultural art.