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Maîtres célèbres - Master Huang Baoshan  
Huang Baoshan Xu Yun Gao Zhankui Guo Chengyou



Born in the far town of Tianshui , along the silk road, in the Gansu province, Huang Baoshan was a master of the old Shaolin styles of boxing, the old weapons and expert of the stick techniques of north west China.
Tianshui, or the 'town of the 'Water from the sky' was very important in the history of the Chinese culture and civilisation. It is there that the first emperor Fuxi, riding the Pegasus (Qiling) had writing down the sixty-four Bagua diagram.
Tianshui was also a way for the Buddhist monks to come in China trough the silk road in the oasis of Gansu. The mountain of Maijishan, with his grottoes and marvellous sculptures are showing us the brilliant cultural past of the region.
But Gansu was also a place where many nomad minorities came, and those terrible warriors of the steppes where dangerous and able to fight riding on horses from central Asia.
Gansu was a region where many bloody battles fields had tacking place, and there is a mixture between Chinese cultivated civilisation and the furious warrior traditions of the steppes; As the proverb says:

'Gansu, Wushu chu t'u
'The military arts are growing from Gansu's earth'

In the all history of China, many of those fighters got sedentary, lived in towns, learned the Chinese culture, and formed the warrior caste of the earlier Chinese emperors.
Growing up in such a martial region, Huang Baoshan was a living treasury of the Chinese culture, because he was carry on the old wushu tradition of the Chinese warriors.
He started his study of the martial arts from his youth with Master Mu Songlin .
Then, he continued with the most famous teacher of north west China, great Master Sun Yanbiao (1884-1981), a man who was travelling from place to place with a group of disciples. Sun was earning his money by performing his wushu skills in public places. He was also a marvellous fighter, participating to many duels with other martial arts masters.
Sun was also the best expert of the old stick techniques of north-west China and his fame became famous in the all China.
The famous proverb says:

'Nanquan, beitui
Dongqiang xigun'

'Fists in the south, legs in the north
Spears in the east, sticks in the west'

Sun Yanbiao started to have very famous students such as Wang Ziping (1881-1973), and Wang Bugao 王步高 (1885-1960), also nicknamed 'Wang the fighter' wangbashi.
The master of Sun Yanbiao was a general of war named Shao Yinhuan (1862-1930) the 'men with the silver hearing', living in the Mountains of the Dragon of Gansu.
Shao Yinhuan was a famous general in the tumultuous time of the warlords in China and he has participated into many bloody wars.
Huang Baoshan who was included then to this famous lineage of great Masters, started to travel in China at the age of fifteen to find not only masters of martial arts, but also Daoist and Buddhist philosophy teachers.
It is why he has been in Henan province, to the Shaolin temple in 1920, at the time the great Venerable abbot, master Miao Xin (1876-1934)  who was ruling the temple.
There, the young Huang mastered the traditional Shaolin forms and the Shaolin steps techniques.
He went also in Xian, at the Buddhist temple of the sleeping dragon Xi'an wolongsi  where he studied Buddhist sutras and the ' Chan (zen) cane of the nine rings' jiuhuanchazhang with the Venerable abbot of the temple, the great Master Ranzhao .
Master Huang Baoshan has not only carry on in the modern times of China the traditional Chinese martial arts, but also the culture of the ancient, that has been lost in many places because of the cultural-revolution.
I visited master Huang in the summer 1993, at the age of nineteen in his town of Tianshui from the far provinceof Gansu, along the silk road.
The Master received me in his family, and teach me some of his knowledge.
The authorities hasn't do anything for him and the treasure he was carry on, so he was living in a poor house with no electricity built with dry earth.
Thanks to his teaching, I could study later, in 2001 with his closest student, Master He Tianfu , a fermer of ta village close to Tianshui town.
Here above, I introduce his forms, with historical and technical details.

Erlu Hongquan: 
The Red fist in two parts

Huang Baoshan represents the third generation of this form. He learned it in the Shandong province, the birthplace of this style.
Hong Quan mouvements are long and clear-cut. They are elegant and clear in the steps and the application. This style is very similar of the long-range boxing (Chang quan) of north China and it is a very classical and wild practised method of Chinese Boxing.
This form has many kicks from the back as a particularity and it requires agility and speed as well of strength.
In the red fist history, it is said that Zhao Kuanyi, the firs emperor of the Song Dynasty had created it; But the real time for the systematisation of the style is most probably recorded in the Qing Dynasty (1368-1911).
At the 13 year of the Kangxi emperor reign (1674), the red fist has been created between the provinces of Shandong and Shanxi.
There is also another Hong Quan, called the Hong family boxing , but it is different, coming from the Guandong province of South China, he has not the emphases of the red fist of the north.
Many Masters has been known in this boxing style, such as Chang Jinwen, Zhang Zhen, Guan Shuqing etc. But the three famous fighter where in the Daoguang Reign (1821-1851); Gaosan 'the hawk', Xin san 'the black tiger', et Su San 'the hungry tiger'.
The Red Fist system then started to be famous in the anti-mandchou secret societies, then it spread in the provinces of Henan, Sichuan and Gansu.
Master Huang Baoshan was also an expert of the Great Red Fist Dahong quan.
There are about thirty forms of the red fist and it is a very well known and spread classical style of martial art in China.

Shaolin Zuibaxian quan:
The fist of the eight drunken immortals of Shaolin

This wonderful and long form of fist has been transmitted to Master Huang Baoshan from the Shaolin temple of Henan in 1920.
Well known from the movie of Jackie Chan (Chen long), 'the Drunken Master' (Zui Quan), it represents the Daoist legend of the 'eight immortals crossing the sea' Baxianguo hai.
Han Zhongli, Lu Dongbin, Lan Caihe, Cao Guojiu, He Xiangu (a women), Han Xianzi, Zhang Guolao, and Tie Guaili are represented in various positions according to the legend, after having been drunk, everyone of them having his speciality.
For example , Tie Guaili was disable with the leg, Zhang Guolao could disappear, Han Xianzi could play the flute etc.
This style has been popular at the end of the the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) but this is in 1784 in the Qing Dynasty that two masters, named Cao Huando and Zhang Kongzhao has been arranged the system.
This system has been kept at the Shaolin temple and it was on of the subject the warriors monks had to study.
The form Shaolin zuibaxian is an excellent exercise of Wushu using a particularity of working keeping balance, changing directions and strength in the legs muscles.
It use the positions and the fist techniques of the various Boxing of the Shaolin temple, such as horse step (ma bu), bow step (gong bu), 'T' step (ding bu), and 'rest' step (xie bu).
His principal hand technique is the 'drinking hand' (bazi shou), the palm (zhang), the hook (gou) and the fist (Quan).
This style use the techniques of the Shaolin temple with the attitude of the drunken, but unlike modern performances routines of drunk style, the traditional Shaolin eight drunk immortal boxing is very rich in techniques and elegant in his application.
They are some falls in it, but they never hurt badly the body of the performer.
The rhythms are always changing, fast and slow, in a very relax way, as the directions of hitting with fists and legs are very specific. In the performance, the eyes are half closed and the look has to be as a drunk in the state of mind, but not in reality.
The basic way of fighting in this style is  Yi shou wei gong, gong ji yi shou, or the way to use opponent's difficulty or ones block to strike in a non-waited point and direction.
This Shaolin form is separated in height different section corresponded to height different immortals, all the form need about five minutes to be completed.

Luda Zuigun :
The stick of Luda, the drunken Monk

The marvellous stick form of Luda, the drunken Monk has been transmitted in the town of Lanzhou, in Gansu province by a warrior monk of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), named Tian Guanren.
This form has many different techniques, and it is based on a four doors scale diagram (simen) for the steps, (like most of the Gansu traditional cudgel forms).
Luda Zuigun has been created after Lu Da (of the famous Chinese classic shuihu) who became a Buddhist Monk in Wutai Shan in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), after he escaped is town because he killed somebody.
His name became Lu Zhishen, Lu the Great Wise soul, but in fact he was very big brutal and stupid. In the temple of Wutaishan, he managed to get drunk and brake the door of the temple (Zuida shan men).
The form has been made according to this legend , and it use the imitation of Lu Da's attitudes and rough moves of the cudgel. The movements are big and expression is the one of drunk men.
This system of stick is very good and subtle for fighting and like the Shaolin Zuibaxian, it has been kept well in secret.
Master Huang Baoshan performed in 1958 with this form at the first national Wushu championship at the capital Beijing.

The nine rings Chan (Zen) cane
(Jiuhuan Chanzhang)

The nine rings Chan (Zen) cane is a well-known Buddhist weapon transmitted from the travelling monks along the silk road.
It is composed of a nine rings top and a spear head like talon. It was before known as Khakkara in central Asia and it travelled along with the warrior monks.
The bonze could defend himself with the spherical top, giving heavy blows and striking the armours or breaking the lames. With the spear-talon, he could manage to kill if necessary by using it as a spear.
The nine rings Chan cane was also a ceremony instrument, used to perform dances of Dizang (Kshitigarbha) the Buddha of the hell saving the souls. During the ceremony, the monk was braking vases like he was getting the souls free of hell.
In the beginning, the Khakkara had six rings of iron, symbolising the six ways of the life (paramitas, liupolomi) of the Buddhist monk. The Buddha himself was supposed to have twelve rings, but in china it became later on nine rings.
In the Tang Dynasty  (618-907), the Jiuhuan Chanzhang was one of the eighteen objects that the Buddhist monk had to have on him.
The cane was also used to lock on the door fortress when he was travelling, and the sound of the rings could indicate that a monk was looking for refuge.
This weapon is almost lost in China and very few people still know it.
It is a chance that the young Master Huang could study in 1920 at the age of fifteen with the venerable Ranzhao in the 'Temple of the Sleeping Dragon' at Xian ().
Thanks to the living history of this form that had survived until today trough the ages.

Laoren Kantiangun:
The stick of the old men guarding the field

This famous form of cudgel, is a very effective fighting method of the town Lanzhou, in the Gansu province.
It has been transmitted from the general Shao Yinhuan to his respective disciples like Sun Yanbiao and Wang Bugao.
Laoren kantiangun imitate an old men watching his field and chasing out the wild animals. This stick method looking for long movements around and piercing techniques with the cudgel's head. It changes very fast in the directions and never strike where you are looking for. When it attacks, this cudgel turns around like a bloody wind, and it chased the opponents face, head, or nee.
This famous stick form is today only known in Gansu, with the name Gun Yangun or Laohan kantiangun (the old Han watching the field).

Master Huang Baoshan knew eighty-four forms... I introduce above some of them:

-Shaolin Mizong Quan (fist of the lost trace from Shaolin)
-Shaolin Damo Quan (fist of Boddhidarma from Shaolin)
-Shaolin Jinggang Quan (fist of the Vajras from Shaolin)
-Shaolin Luohanquan (fist of the Arhats from Shaolin)
-Dahong quan (Big Red fist)
-Fenshou (separated hands)
-Bagua zhang (eight trigrams palm)
-Tanglang quan (praying mantis fist)
-Simen gun (four doors cudgel)
-Wuhu Biangan (five tigers canes)
-Meihua biangan (meihua cane)
-Ba san quan (eight-four fist)
-Baxian gun (eight immortals cudgel)
-Baxian jian (eight immortals sword)
-Shuang jian (two spears)
-Baishe Tiaozi  (white snake stuff)
-Meihua tiaozi (meihua stuff)
-Moshou paizi
-Pai kou tiaozi
-Da qiang (big spear)
-Liuxin qui

Lucas Christopoulos, disciple of Huang Baoshan.

Switzerland, the 28 of August 2002.

Voir une vidéo sur le Maître Huang Baoshan

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Qu'est ce que le wushu ?
le style du grand singe blanc
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le tongbiquan de la famille Qi
Ying Zhao quan fa
l'école des serres de l'aigle
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le taiji de la famille Chen
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le style des jambes du moine Zhoutong
Shaolin Zuibaxian
le style des huit divinités
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l'école du fantôme de la forêt
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