from the PLUM Publication:

excerpted from Professor Kang Ge-Wu's book of the same name


Time: 1214
The Scene: The "LADY FOUR"


Yang 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.

Ancient stone rubbing of Xing Yu defending Liu Bang

COMMENT: 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

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