Oh no, not another one!!!

December 10, 2009

So you think I am exaggerating when I said that Crane arts are multi-layered?

In all my years of collecting CKF materials and in particular Crane related, I’ve found variegations that, literally, know no bound.

Apart from the 20 over styles and sub-styles recorded in Taiwan, the equal number in SE Asia (so far) and now with more access to materials from the mainland, I am starting to see diversifications that I’ve only but heard about from Crane elders and seniors.

And there I was thinking the great divide is between Fujian Cranes and Fuzhou Cranes that splintered into a variety of Cranes that later left for outside of mainland……

Now the emerging picture is that even within Fujian Cranes, there are many branches each with their distinctive features to keep researchers busy for a long time….hahahaha…..

So when you read about Karate and Wing Chun having relationships with Crane, the 6 millions dollar question is which Crane are we talking about?

In the absence of proper documentations, simply by comparing the arts might not be so simple after all.

Say you’re taught that your style is an off shoot of Yong Chun White Crane and you start comparing what you do with the “mainstream” YC White Crane from Fujian and you find big incongruities between the 2. What are you to conclude?

Wrong transmission of info in your family line maybe?

Or could it be that you’re looking at the “wrong” YC White Crane ……..

Take a look at this next video I found, Yong Chun White Crane that is a strong shade off the regular YC White Crane that you might encounter.

Just look at that elaborate opening salute sequence … I am almost sure it’s telling a story of some sort.

Now I just got to find the right people to enlighten me on this………

Arrh …..love it…….

Yeah, yeah … I am now updating every other day instead of my usual daily rhythm… I am moving remember?

Plus, some of you might still be going thru the older entries …. Hahahaha….

Anyway, James Ting (National Wushu Coach Sarawak) invited me to one of his association’s dinners; this I believe has something to do with his upcoming wushu competition and that evening, I was introduced to many traditional CKF masters.

The dinner was held at the local Civic Centre and there were at least 50 – 100 tables of guests, officials and athletes there who were treated to a wushu performance and live music provided by a local band “The Revivals” fronted by none other than James himself.

You can imagine the place was noisy, making it hard for me to carry out any meaningful conversation with the masters.

So contact numbers were swapped, we need to meet again in a quieter environment.

At this time, I just to let you know that some of the masters involved are very senior from the late GM Kan Teck Guan Wuzu lineage, a Hakka Chu Gar master, Hung Gar and a few Fuzhou Crane veterans who were seated at the same table.

And talking about Crane, I was asked by one master why I picked this as my base style?

Well, I had no choice really … bearing in mind the fact that my dad and uncles all did Fuzhou Cranes and I am expected to continue this custom.

Plus, over the years, I’ve grown to really like the Cranes. Could be the “pwan gain noon” or “half hard soft” methods that characterize the Cranes or the fact that it’s so “multi-layered” making it a real challenge to fully grasp the core.

And to quote Mr. Bourdain again – the more I do, the more I discover how little I really know …..

That to me, in a nutshell, is exactly how I feel about the Cranes that I have spent a major portion of my life pursuing…

Here’s a clip showing another expression of the familiar Yong Chun White Crane – performers are from “Tao Yuan Wushu Guan” and you’ll see a little of the “walking cane” form found in many Fuzhou Cranes.