Fanzi Quan 翻子拳

March 12, 2008

Fanzi Quan or tumbling boxing is also known as Bashanfan (eight-flash boxing). It is so called because of its eight major flashing movements, which are executed as fast as lightning and thunderclaps. The movements in tumbling boxing are varied and unbroken.

The Fanzi Quan ballad says: “Wu Mu has passed down the FanziQuan which has mystery in its straightforward movements.”  

Wu Mu is the other name for Yue Fei, a famous general of the Southern Song Dynasty. Some people have taken this to mean that Fanzi Quan was created by Yue Fei, but no historical record has verified this.

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From Wikipedia:-

Until at least the Ming Dynasty (13681644), Fānziquán was known as Bāshǎnfān (Chinese: 八閃翻; literally “8 flash tumbles”), or “8 evasive tumbles”.

Fānziquán is often taught in conjunction with Chuōjiǎo, not unlike how Xíngyìquán and Bāguàzhǎng are often taught together. The routines of Chuōjiǎo, with its kicks, wide open stances and focus on hard power, were known as Martial Routines and those of Fānziquán, with their more compact movements combining soft and hard power, were known as Scholarly Routines, which is why the Chuōjiǎo Fānziquán combination is known as “Martial-Scholar”.

Both Fānziquán and Chuōjiǎo are associated with the 12th century Song Dynasty general Yue Fei and the association between the two may date that far back. However, as a legendary figure, Yue Fei has had many martial arts attributed to him, including Eagle Claw and Xíngyìquán.

Nonetheless, the association between the two is old enough that by the mid-19th century, Zhao Canyi, a general in the failed Taiping Rebellion, was a master of both styles.

After the failure of the rebellion, Zhao went into seclusion in Hebei Province in Raoyang, where he taught Fānziquán, which emphasizes the hands, to the Wang family and Chuōjiǎo, which emphasizes the feet, to the Duan family.

During practice, the families would exchange techniques.