Wen Sheng Boxing

Wen Sheng (Literary Sage style) is an old branch of Kung Fu. It is popular in southwestern ShanDong province. It was supposedly created by Gao Nan Guo. Gao was an descendent of Sung Tai Tzu the founder of the Sung Dynasty (960-1127). Therefore Wen Sheng is connected at least indirectly to Liu He Ba Fa and Tai Tzu styles of Kung Fu. Gao relocated to a mountain area and learned martial arts from a Taoist priest. He combined Chi Kung and Lao Hung Quan, a form created by Sung Tai Tzu’s descendents, into a new style: Wen Sheng Boxing. This new effort more perfectly combined internal and external actions and had definite health benefits. Practitioners of the style are known to live into their 90’s. Most Wen Sheng can be practiced in Wen Gong (literary or “static”) mode or Wu Gong (martial or “active”) mode. Therefore Wen Sheng has many postures than can be performed standing, sitting or lying and in lotus positions.

Another version of its origin has Liu Feng Tian as the originator living at the beginning of the Qing dynasty. It is said that Gao Nan Guo (Yun Long), a student of Liu’s, had nonetheless studied 32 movement Tai Tzu and that the two of them collaborated on incorporating this and other Taoists practices into the style that would be called Wen Sheng. With time it spread through Hebei, Henan, Zhili, Shanxi and Shandong.

A point of pride in Wen Sheng’s method utilizing the above sources is that commonly Weh Sheng practitioners are long-lived. In fast it has been called Longevity Boxing. One famous instructor, fifth generation practitioner,  Song Chuan Ping was awarded a Grand Lion Golden Award when he played at a tournament at age 94 (1986), ten years before his death.  He was followed by his son, Sun Ru Yi, another Wen Sheng instructor.

He was succeeded by Wang An-Lin who has spread Wen Sheng far beyond any amount of recognition it had attained before. Through many tournament wins and actions in executive positions of Wushu organizations he has popularized the system and its methods so it has recognition throughout the world. One of his top disciples is the Argentinian teacher Mr. Claudio Di Renzo.

Wen Sheng style instructor: Wang An-Lin.

Wen Sheng style instructor: Wang An-Lin.

Wen Sheng has a definite flavor all its own. Movements seem to combine actions that look like Tai Chi and Xin Yi. It also shows a peculiar hopping action that, though relaxed, covers a lot of ground. As in the old days, when forms were first being developed, Wen Sheng concentrates on small sequences of moves in combination. These can be strung together in tangs or laps. They can be practiced broken into parts or mixed linked into longer sections. A practical style each series of movements, unless it is overtly Chi Kung, has demonstrable martial meanings. Other sections are obviously health and meditation oriented. Wen Sheng also has a partner practice for developing listening and fighting skills known as Ka Mo Shou which can be translated as “probing” or “shaving” hands. Like a combination of Push Hands, Sticky Hands and Chin Nah, it starts with mutual patterns that can be probed for their martial applications.

A classical description of Wen Shang will have the following characteristics: ” Strong and straight as a pine tree; the entire body infused with intent; fast and slow alternating; both parts of respiration as one organic whole. In Wen Shang hardness occurs when extreme softness becomes truly hard: softness occurs when structural hardness becomes truly soft. Other characteristics include: the straight line is also crooked; fist strike to the four directions; strength reaches to the eight faces; Reeling Silk Energy is tight; the whole body is integrated for power all parts connecting to issue strength with upward and downward Fa Jin (explosions of power) occupying first place.”

Plum Publications Wen Sheng Resources:

Wen Sheng Boxing VCDs