Hua Quan, called the China-style Chuan, is one of Chinese Chuan styles. It originated in Jining of Shandong Province (ancient Rencheng). It is said that during the Kaiyuan reign of the Tang Dynasty (713-741), a Mount Hua knight named Cai Mao killed his enemy of a noble family of Chang’an, and went to hide in Rencheng. Cai Mao was excellent at combat and sword play. About 400 years later Cai’s offspring, Cai Tai and Cai Gang, were also proficient at combat and were often chosen to compete in prefectural and national Wushu contests. They developed their style into the present-day Hua Quan. Cai Wanzhi of Jining, during the Jiaqing reign of the Ming Dynasty (1522-1566), put the finishing touch to Hua Quan by writing a book The Secrets of Hua, Quan. He based his book on the traditional philosophy of combining spirit, breath and ego.
Cai Guiqin, grandson of one of the few remaining martial artists of Caixing, a village in Jining, was born in the third year in the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty (1877) and was fond of Wushu as a little boy. He learned martial arts from his grandfather and after his death, was forced by poverty to move away from Caixing to a district outside the southern gate of the city wall of Jining. Thanks to this migration, Cai Guiqin met with Ding Yushan, a well-known expert in Shandong Province for his mastery of Hua Quan. Cai studied with Ding for three years and later became a contemporary Hua Quan master during the late Qing Dynasty.
In the 23rd year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty (1897), Cai Guiqin traveled alone in south China. Eventually he met and discussed martial arts with Qiu Jin, a woman revo-lutionary from Shaoxing in Zhejiang Province, in Shanghai in 1906. In the ninth year of the Republic (1920), Cai Guiqin met with Dr. Sun Yat-sen before going to teach Wushu to government officials in the headquarters of the Republic in Guangzhou. After the death of Sun, Cai went on traveling before settling in Shanghai for the rest of his life. Hua Quan was spread as he traveled through Hubei, Jiangxi, Hunan and Henan provinces.
Hua Quan is characterized by its flawless, well connected movements, lightening-like speed and rock-still stances. Boxers breathe deeply to spread air flows throughout the body and body movements are a result of mental activity .
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