Eight Immortals Boxing

This style originated in that crucial period for martial arts at the end of the Ming and the beginning of the Qing dynasties (around 1644). The roots of this method date back to one Li Bao of Henan.
Li had three disciples:
Li Jun from Faifeng, Henan;
De Kai from Liaocheng, Shandong;
Wang Ying (Tang Shan style) from JiZhou, Hebei.

八仙拳

Wang Ying’s students:
Song YouWu and Song YouRui from CiYuTuo of Luan county
and both Zhang HuanMing and Zhang HuanRen from QianYing.
He also taught Wang Mei from DaZhuanTou, Dong Kuang.

Some people think this syle was originally called Ba Fang Quan, 8 Directions Boxing.

Basic Actions:

Shaking Body and Arms
Twisting and Stretching
Bending Waist and Moving Crotch
Plucking Gently

Gestures:
Moving
Twining
Piling
Tearing
Rushing
Withdrawing
Separating
Stretching
Locking
Catching
Circling
Stroking
Sliding
Stroking
Pulling
Pushing
Revolving

Key Control Actions
Covering
Passing
Rushing
Tracing
Locking

The explosive jing of 8 Immortals style.

During his journeys Li Bao came across birds, beasts reptiles and insects so he divided these into eight forms.
The Eight Forms:
Dragon Swimming in the Water
Phoenix Stretching Its Wings
Eagle Shaking Its Wings
Sparrow Hawk Turning
Moving Crane
Bending Deer
Snake Slithering in the Grass
Butterfly Hanging in the Air

The actions of the butterfly influenced the hand gestures creating 8 actions like the butterfly landing, flying, etc. Here are
The Eight Butterfly Hand Movements:
Phoenix Stretches Wings
Butterfly Turning Over
Butterfly Dipping
Butterfly Dancing in 8 Directions
Butterfly Passing Through the Branches
Butterfly Moving West with the Wind
Butterfly Hanging in the Air
Butterfly Hovers over Flower

He also observed wave actions and other forms of water movement, eventually  incorporating them into the flowing and counter pressure of fist movements with the power of the tides. This lead to the following analogies:

Body Moves like the Waves
Exerting Power is like the Tides
Move naturally like the waters

Each of the standard four methods of Kung Fu; namely Striking, Kicking, Catching and Throwing all have sub divisions of more detailed methods also in groups of eight.

Striking, for instance, there are eight targets.
Throat
Heart
Tan Tian
Crotch
Head
Temple
Liver
Ribs

Catching technique is aimed at:
Muscles
Bones
Spirit
Cavities
Limbs
Body
Yin
Yang

Key techniques are named after the Eight Immortals.
He Xiangu
Cao Guojiu
Li Tieguai
Lan Caihe
Lü Dongbin
Han Xiang Zi
Zhang Guo Lao
Zhongli Quan.

From the Qing dynasty onward 8 Immortals has been a significant school with many adherents though now it is has a more slender place in the Chinese martial scene.

click picture

Liu Jin He 5th generation holder. At nine Liu started with Wang Yun Chan, the 4th generation holder of Tang Shan Eight Immortal Fist style. Later he studied with Cu FengShan of Shandong. When he started teaching he combined the information for both Northern and Southern Immortals style and created Liu style 8 Immortals Boxing.

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