the PLUM Publication:
SPRING AND AUTUMN of WUSHU
from Professor Kang Ge-Wu's book of the same name
The Scene: The "LADY FOUR"
Miao Zhen, a female folk Wu Yi (Martial Arts) specialist, led
people to rebel against the Jin in Wei Lu of ShanDong. Yang, called
"Lady Four", was skilled in shooting from horseback
and practicing Spear. She once said, "I have twenty years
of experience in Spear practice and am unmatched anywhere in the
world with my Li Hua Qiang (Pear Blossom Spear)." Qi Ji Guang
of the Ming Dynasty said, "The practicing methods and techniques
originating in Yang Shi and Li Hua Spear techniques have been
learned by people all over the country." In contemporary
times those who created routines of Liu He Qiang (Six Harmony
Spear) and Da Li Hua Qiang (Great Pear Blossom Spear) have given
Yang's name as the inventor.
stone rubbing of Xing Yu defending Liu Bang
This little paragraph tells so much about Spear that we need to
know! First note the that top spear expert in China was a woman.
Acutally not an unusual event. In fact the first mention
of a Wu Shu teacher by name in the historical records of the Spring
and Autumn was a Sword Teacher, Yue Nu. Long weapons are common
in Woman's Boxing because the leverage reduces the differences
in muscular force to nothing. To this day I will never forget
stumbling into one of the only Naginata demonstrations by Japane's
finest completely by accident. Sitting in the auditorium of the
local Buddhist Temple I watched as a petite lady from Japan sparred
with a six foot blonde Kendo Brown Belt. Suddenly she missed.
You could almost see the glint in his eye thinking he had the
upper hand on this champion. When he rushed she deftly caught
his body between her thigh and her weapon (the miss had been a
ploy) and tossed him right on his ear. The next thing we know
is that so-called "Yang Spear" and "Pum Blossom
Spear" are named so in tribute not direct lineage.I did see
a "Great Plum Blossom Spear" - which I have since learned
- once in Taiwan. It was multiples the best spear work I have
ever seen: anywhere, any time. Ted
about this important source book
Year 206 B.C.E.
See the Year 1101
See the Year 1680