Mei hua quan 梅花拳
Mei hua, one family around the world
Like many other traditional Gong fu styles, Mei hua quan has a long and uncertain history. People often say "Mei hua quan existed since the beginning of the world" and folk legends claim that its history extends as far back as the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC). The oldest written records of Mei hua quan report about a second generation master named Zhang Sansheng. The modern style of Mei hua quan was named and passed down by Zou Hongyi. The fourth generation masters Zou Wenjiu and Zou Wenrei taught Meihuazhuang (梅花桩) boxing to villagers, who used it against bandits and oppressive rulers. Meihuazhuang was (and is) practiced on high poles to train balance and flexibility.
During the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD), Mei hua quan was originally only known as Fuziquan, or father-son fist, as it was literally taught only by fathers to sons and thus was inherited patrilineally. Eventually, some masters started to teach to non-family members, although the acceptance of students was governed by strict rules. The name of Mei hua quan 梅花拳was adopted later in history.
Mei hua quan is uncommon and few Mei hua quan masters of teach publicly in the major cities of China. The internationally renowned Meihuaquan teacher of Shandong Province, Professor Yan Zijie (燕子傑), disciple of the famous Beijing Mei hua quan master Han Qichang (韓其昌), has been teaching publicly in Jinan, Shandong province since the 1980s.
Baijiazhi Mei hua quan 白家支梅花拳
Baijiazhi Mei hua quan 白家支梅花拳 (Plum Blossom Boxing Branch of the Bai Family) is a Mei hua quan style founded by Bai Jindou(白金斗), a ninth generation master of Plum Blossom Boxing. The identity of Bai Jindou is not clear, but there are two possibilities: he was a Shaolin monk who created the style, or he learned it from a Shaolin monk. Mei hua quan is a Northern Shaolin style; Mei hua quan possesses the characteristic long and wide stances, intense footwork and long distance combat of the styles belonging of Northern Shaolin. The jiazi, or framework, of the school (Baijiazhi) is named laojia (old frame). Originally the framework was divided into 3 parts, and in Italy it was divided into 5 parts for didactical purposes.
We teach Baijiazhi Mei hua quan of the program of Master Zhang Zu Yao (張祖堯). Zhang Zu Yao is the master who brought this authentic traditional Chinese Martial Art to Italy and who in later years worked with passion and dedication for its transmission elsewhere in Europe. He was born in Pei(沛縣), China 1918. At a young age (six), his father allowed him take private lessons from Liu Baojun(劉保軍), one of the most famous Masters of North China. Liu Baojun taught him many external styles (predominantly Northern Chinese classical Shaolin Kung Fu) as well as Taijiquan(Tai Chi), the most important internal Kung Fu style. Liu Baojun was considered one of the greatest masters, having studied numerous external styles with another famous master named Wu and Tai Chi Chuan with Yang Chen Fu, Master of Yang style Tai Chi.