OPENING DISTANT JINGWU BRANCHES
[Part Twelve of 精武本紀 The Annals of Jingwu, published Dec, 1919]
[translation by Paul Brennan, Dec, 2019]
[PART TWELVE] OPENING DISTANT BRANCHES
 THE OPENING OF THE NANXUN BRANCH by Qiu Liang
Three years ago , a branch was opened in the Nanxun District of Huzhou, Zhejiang. At that time, a photo was taken of its military band.
Military band of the Nanxun branch (led by martial arts instructor Li Jianmin):
 A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE HANKOU JINGWU ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION by Zhang Wende
The Hankou Jingwu Athletic Association was established on July 7, 1918. It was sponsored by Zeng Wuchu and Lao Yonghong, with the assistance of Qian Qinxi, Tang Langshan, Liu Zijing, Wang Bonian, Guan Hefang, Ouyang Huichang, Li Huatang, Chen Xianzhou, Zhou Xingtang, Tang Shancuo, Liang Yaoting, Liang Pansheng, Zhang Biquan, and Zhang Lü’ao, who are all local businessmen representing many walks of life. Shanghai Jingwu Association directors Chen Gongzhe and Lu Weichang had first visited Hankou [now part of Wuhan, in Hubei] and worked hard to sell these gentlemen the idea of the Jingwu Association, its sincere purpose, the importance of physical education, the value of preserving and promoting our martial arts since they are the essence of our national culture, and so on. They presented their case so impressively that all of these gentlemen decided then and there to sponsor a Hankou branch, a remarkable moment.
With the Hankou branch now established, who even remembers that its genesis actually lies in a single evening’s conversation with Chen and Lu? The businessmen then enthusiastically set about planning and managing the construction of it, in particular the Gold Star Corporation generously donating the site and also advancing the money to build the sports ground in the parkland adjacent to their own corporate headquarters. Letters were sent to the Shanghai Jingwu Association inviting instructors. Li Jianmin came to Hankou to assume the office of head instructor.
With membership already totaling sixty or seventy people, the Hankou branch had its grand opening on July 7. By general recommendation, Chen Xianzhou was made master of ceremonies. He declared this branch of the Jingwu Association to be open, then described the circumstances that brought it into being and its objectives for the future. Chen Gongzhe then gave a speech about how physical education is vital to the work of “strengthening the nation by strengthening the masses” and how martial arts in particular are essential for this task. Guests eagerly joined the Hankou Jingwu Association and the members were all exuberant. It was a magnificent occasion.
Then on that same day, members were elected into positions to manage the affairs of the new branch. Tang Shancuo was appointed as president, Zeng Wuchu as vice-president, then Lao Yonghong – head secretary, Lin Yongchi and Ke Fanshi – under-secretaries, Liang Pansheng – secretary, Zhong Zifeng – bookkeeper, Tang Ruiqing and Tang Dingxiang – customs officers. With the right people in the right positions, responsibilities have been placed in the right hands. The affairs of the branch will flourish now that we can rely on the strengths of all of these gentlemen. President Tang makes it a point to be there every single day, regardless of wind or rain, frost or snow. His enthusiasm and determination is especially laudable.
Teachers and students alike have been able to whole-heartedly throw themselves into the activities, [from Lun Yu, 7.2:] “insatiably learning, tirelessly teaching”, something of which they deserve to be proud. Members who have been practicing martial arts, even when they have not been able to commit a great amount of their time to the training, have nevertheless been making unusually rapid progress, many of whom have proven themselves to have remarkable ability at learning the weapon sets, boxing sets, and two-person sets. And the soccer team has already had great success as well. This is the state of the Hankou branch.
This year, on July 7, the first anniversary of the Hankou branch, Tang Shancuo convened a meeting to hold a new election for staff positions and discuss all aspects of the branch and how to make improvements. Positions were smoothly decided: Lao Yonghong – president, Tang Shancuo – head secretary, Lu Jiming and Zhong Ouxuan – heads of business affairs, Lin Yongchi – bookkeeper, Jiang Jiqing – customs officer, Zhang Wende – secretary. As for the improvements addressed in the meeting, these changes were suggested: add more weapons to the training hall so that students will have a more thorough range of tools to use, reduce membership fees, and start having special summer classes in hopes of better providing classes for people with all types of schedules, and also that we ought to have an Encouragement Club, a reading room, an army drill unit, and so on, one suggestion after another. It seems there will surely be no end to the future progress of this Jingwu branch.
However, even if the staff members carry out their duties with tremendous zeal, will it be enough? We are after all a long way yet from clearing our nation’s shame of being the “sick men of Asia”. Indeed, with the flourishing of the Jingwu Association, there is a real glimmer of hope for strengthening the nation by strengthening the masses. There are men of integrity who have heard the call to action and are rising up to cleanse the people of their indolence. I cannot help but burn some incense to offer this project my best wishes.
- July 9, 1919
Hankou Jingwu Association:
Commemorative photo for the grand opening of the Hankou Jingwu Athletic Association – July 7, 1918
Photo of members of the Hankou Jingwu Association during a class in 1918 (instructed by Li Jianmin):
Current members of the Hankou Jingwu Association:
 THE GUANGDONG JINGWU ASSOCIATION
Photo for the opening of the Guangdong Jingwu Association, taken by a Shanghai reporter during the slide show:
Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association, photo 1 – front entrance of its first location, after which it moved into the Ningbo Guild Hall on the Jianglan Road, Xiguan District:
Guangdong Jingwu Association, photo 2 – its martial arts practice hall [showing “Tantui in Four Parts” (series of photos) on the left wall and “Complete Chart of Twelve-Line Tantui” (series of drawings) on the right wall for the handy reference of beginners]:
Guangdong Jingwu Association swimming team:
Photo of the members of the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association swimming team – Aug 31, 1919
發起人兼理事 李福林先生 廣惠鎭守使
Sponsor & director – Li Fulin (commander of Guangdong Provincial Garrison):
發起人兼理事 魏邦平先生 廣東警務處長兼省會警察廳長
Sponsor & director – Wei Bangping (head of Guangdong Police Department and Guangzhou Police Department):
發起人兼理事 陳廉伯先生 商團團長廣東匯豐銀行華經理
Sponsor & director – Chen Lianbo (head of Guangdong Commercial Group, director of Guangdong HSBC [Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation]):
上海本會董事粵東本會發起人兼總幹事 簡經綸先生字琴石 商團副團長省會議員督軍府參議
Shanghai Jingwu director / Guangdong Jingwu sponsor & secretary-general – Jian Jinglun, called Qinshi (deputy head of Guangdong Commercial Group, member of Guangzhou legislature, advisor to provincial military governor):
上海本會董事粵會發起人兼理事 簡照南先生 南洋菸草公司
Shanghai Jingwu director / Guangdong Jingwu sponsor & director – Jian Zhaonan (co-founder [together with Jian Yujie] of Nanyang Brothers Tobacco Company):
發起人代理總幹事兼總務員 羅嘯璈先生 七十二行商報總主任
Sponsor & deputy secretary-general – Luo Xiao’ao (general director of All Businesses Bulletin):
發起人兼總務員 楊達三先生 福軍軍需長
Sponsor & general-affairs secretary – Yang Dasan (quartermaster for Li Fulin’s army):
發起人兼總務員 陳恭受先生 廣東警務處祕書兼市政公所總稽核
Sponsor & general-affairs secretary – Chen Gongshou (secretary for the Guangdong Police Department and auditor for the Municipal Administration & Public Works Office):
發起人兼總務員 何劍吳先生 南武中學校長
Sponsor & general-affairs secretary – He Jianwu (principal of Nanwu [old name for Guangzhou] Secondary School):
Sponsor & general-affairs secretary – Xiong Changqing:
發起人兼總務員 金曾澄先生字湘帆 高等師範校長兼廣東教育會長
Sponsor & general-affairs secretary – Jin Cengcheng, called Xiangfan (principal of Guangdong Advanced Normal School and president of Guangdong Educational Association):
Director of martial arts program, sent from Shanghai Jingwu Association to Guangdong branch – Shen Jixiu:
發起人兼會計員 黃礪海先生 鴻彰疋頭莊司理
Sponsor & bookkeeper – Huang Lihai (manager of Hongzhang Goods):
編述主任 秋蟬 民意報記者
Director of speeches – Qiu Chan [“Autumn Cicada”] (reporter for People’s Will Newspaper):
Correspondence secretary – Xu Jiongfan:
出納主任 屈湘萍 順安銀號
Paymaster – Qu Xiangping (banker at Smooth & Stable Bank):
會計員 杜琯英 民興銀號
Bookkeeper – Du Guanying (banker at People’s Prosperity Bank):
醫務幹事 黃漢榮 福軍軍醫
Secretary in charge of medical issues – Huang Hanrong (medical officer for Li Fulin’s army):
會醫 何焯 廣東公醫學校畢業
Physician – He Chao (graduate of Guangdong Public Medical School):
總務員 郭仙洲 珠寶業
General-affairs secretary – Guo Xianzhou (jeweler):
庶務員 陳兆均 萬友蓆莊
General-affairs secretary – Chen Zhaojun (owner of Ten-Thousand Friends Banquet Supply Store):
庶務員 黃俊新 正昌古玩店
General-affairs secretary – Huang Junxin (owner of Genuine Prosperity Antique Shop):
庶務員 姚杰 廣鴻盛司理
General-affairs secretary – Yao Jie (manager of the Guanghongsheng Company):
Business-affairs secretary – Liu Shaosu:
Business-affairs secretary – Lu Ding’an:
調查員 蕭漢明 厚興銀號
Examiner – Xiao Hanming (banker at Rising Prosperity Bank):
Examiner – Huang Huanting:
調查員 林蔭堂 信豐棧司理
Examiner – Lin Yintang (manager of True Abundance Warehouse):
調查員 謝沃生 廣泰來號司理
Examiner – Xie Wosheng (manager of Guangdong Thailand Imports Firm):
Examiner – Chen Fengsun:
Vice-director of martial arts studies – Yang Chenlun:
Martial arts instructor – Zhao Liancheng:
☉開辦廣東精武體育會實紀 起草者 盧煒昌 陳鐵生
A FULL ACCOUNT OF THE OPENING OF THE GUANGDONG JINGWU ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION by Lu Weichang & Chen Tiesheng
In the winter of 1918, the Guangdong provincial garrison commander Li Fulin specially asked Ma Bolin to go to Shanghai and engage two representative Jingwu instructors. Because Li is skilled in martial arts and has been personally promoting these arts for a long time, the Shanghai Jingwu Association sent instructor Ye Fengqi and member Yang Chenlun to accompany Ma back to Guangdong and explain the purpose of the Jingwu Association in detail. Li was deeply impressed and soonafter sent Yang back to Shanghai to urge them in person to send people from the Shanghai Association to Guangdong to set up a Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association. Secretaries-in-charge Chen Gongzhe and Yao Chanbo, together with martial arts director Lu Weichang, gathered to exchange views and then sent secretary Chen Tiesheng ahead of others to make preparations for a Guangdong location.
On Mar 12, 1919, Chen Tiesheng, accompanied by member Yang Chenlun and instructors Li Zhanfeng and Li Liancun, went south by boat. When they arrived in Guangdong, Li Fulin told them: “Martial arts ought to hold to the doctrine of universality, not be associated with my name.” Therefore he sent letters of invitation to those in business circles (Jian Qinshi, Jian Zhaonan, Chen Lianbo, Tan Liting, and Huang Lihai), academic circles (Jin Cengcheng, president of the Educational Association and principal of the Advanced Normal School), military circles (Yang Dasan), and police circles (Wei Bangping, head of the police department, and secretary Chen Gongshou), to explain to them all in detail the reasons why there should be a Guangdong Jingwu Association.
Jian Qinshi, being himself a director of the Shanghai Jingwu Association, then took charge of the discussion, saying: “As a director of the Shanghai Association, I now fully realize the depth of Commander Li’s generosity. I feel duty-bound to say that with the approval of everyone present having been given, and everyone volunteering to undertake a share of the work involved, the groundwork of the Guangdong Jingwu Association has hereby been laid.” Once the main ideas had been established and these notable people from various circles had all given their endorsement, it was then decided to make use of the Hoi Tong Temple as a space for a preparatory office. On Mar 25, the Heaven’s Voice Daily News of Guangdong published an article which established the trend of public opinion:
Article in Heaven’s Voice Daily News, Mar 25:
“Promoting the Establishing of a New Jingwu Athletic Association”
Guangdong provincial garrison commander Li Fulin has recently been doing his utmost to promote martial arts. Yesterday he held a special banquet at a new restaurant in Henan Island [now the Haizhu District], to which he invited distinguished people to discuss this matter and methods of progressing. Among those present were Wei Bangping, Chen Lianbo, Jian Zhaonan, Jian Qinshi, Jin Cengcheng, Chen Gongshou, Tan Liting, Huang Lihai, and Yang Dasan, all of whom consider martial arts to be the most priceless treasure of our culture. Since these arts have the effect of boosting a person’s spirit, it follows that they will help fulfill the task of developing our national prestige, and therefore we should unanimously promote them.
Over the course of the banquet, it was suggested that they make use of the Watermelon Park Business Group’s archery range as a site for the new branch, provided of course the Business Group gives its permission. The Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association has sent five martial arts masters to Guangdong. Li is determined to get everyone working together to make this happen, especially now that a name has been settled on: it will be called the “Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association”. If the various necessary tasks are energetically attended to, it will not be long before it opens.
Note by Chen Tiesheng: With this groundwork being laid, I telegrammed to the Shanghai Jingwu Association for Chen Gongzhe, Yao Chanbo, Lu Weichang, and Huang Hanjia to return to Guangdong. Before they left, vice president Nie Yuntai and directors Yuan Hengzhi, Huo Shouhua, Huang Jizhi, and Wang Weifan, as well as member Zheng Zhuochen all gave them a farewell dinner to encourage them not to fail in their pioneering task.
Article in Republican Daily News, Shanghai (Mar 23 ):
“First Signs that Martial Arts Will be Spread Throughout Guangdong: Lu Weichang and Chen Gongzhe Go to Guangdong to Organize a Jingwu Branch”
At the Jingwu Athletic Association, on Baikai Road, a farewell party was held yesterday (the 24th) at 2pm for Lu Weichang, Chen Gongzhe, Yao Chanbo, Shen Jixiu, and Huang Hanjia, who are going off to Guangdong to organize a new Jingwu branch. Jingwu Association vice-president Nie Yuntai gave a speech about how martial arts benefit body and mind, then director Yuan Hengzhi and members gave speeches of farewell, in which this was said: “You go to Guangdong to bear this great responsibility. Today we see you off, but tomorrow we will have to dry our eyes in order to see your achievements. We look forward to physical education flourishing because of you.”
Then Lu Weichang and Chen Gongzhe each gave a thank-you speech, in which this was said: “We now head off to do our very best to ensure that martial arts for the benefit of body and mind will spread throughout the whole of Guangdong. We do this in order to bring challenging training to ordinary young people, thereby preparing them to undertake any difficult tasks that may lie ahead.” To conclude the evening, various members together played various kinds of music while tea was served, and then everyone dispersed. Lu and company will set off on their journey tomorrow (the 26th) by steamship.
Photo of the farewell party for the visitors from the Shanghai Jingwu Association, who came to open the Guangdong Jingwu Association, showing [seated at the rear table, from right to left] Chen Gongzhe, Yao Chanbo, Lu Weichang, Huang Hanjia, Shen Jixiu:
Following the farewell party, Chen Gongzhe and the rest left by steamship on Mar 28, 10am. There were fortunately no stormy seas on the way, and they arrived in Hong Kong on Mar 31, 11am. As soon as they got ashore, they visited many comrades in physical education circles, and then that evening, they continued by steamship upriver to Guangzhou. The next morning at 6:30am, they obtained lodging at the Great East Hotel, where old Jingwu Association member Zhuo Renji had also arrived.
Then they all went together to the Jingwu preparatory office at Hoi Tong Temple, Henan Island, where they met with instructors Ye Fengqi, Li Zhanfeng, and Li Liancun, secretary Chen Tiesheng, and Jingwu Association sponsors Li Fulin, Yang Dasan, and Jian Qinshi. They discussed ways of moving forward, but all agreed that finding a site would be difficult. They suggested borrowing the use of the public affairs office of the Watermelon Park Business Group as a temporary Jingwu office. The next day, the press recorded the process of events in the following articles.
“A Plan to Establish a Jingwu Athletic Association” (Heaven’s Voice Daily News)
Martial arts are truly our nation’s specialty, but they are a form of endangered knowledge, too rarely getting passed down, diminishing further by the day, and our superb cultural essence is gradually vanishing. However, Chen Gongzhe, a Cantonese man living in Shanghai, cherishes them passionately. That is why he has brought together comrades to start a new Jingwu Athletic Association in order to carry these arts forward, turning them into an exquisite field of learning to benefit the next generation of students. There are like-minded people in Guangdong, such as there are Li Fulin, commander of the Guangdong Provincial Garrison, and Wei Bangping, head of the Guangdong Police Department, as well as Chen Lianbo, Jian Zhaonan, Jian Qinshi, and Jin Cengcheng. They are all very forthright in their opinions, wanting to sponsor an organization in Guangdong to widely promote these arts.
Therefore the Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association has specially sent Chen Gongzhe and Lu Weichang to Guangdong to arrange things. They called on Li Fulin and Wei Bangping to discuss methods of moving forward, and have now borrowed the use of the Business Group’s public affairs office as a temporary location for managing affairs. They are of the same mind as the YMCA, trying to establish martial arts training as a specialized subject and get all the schools in the nation to offer it as a standard course of study. This would thereby preserve the work of previous generations and keep our cultural essence from slipping away.
Day after day, Jian Qinshi and Li Fulin sent out invitations to important people in various circles for a banquet celebrating the founding of the new branch. Jian Qinshi had arranged the use of the Sea Pearls Theater on Changdi Road as the meeting place and set the date for Apr 9. Further details about the event were published in the articles included below:
Various Newspaper Articles Chronicling the Progress of Events:
“An Introduction to the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association” (All Businesses Bulletin)
Ever since teaching methods have been greatly changed in Guangdong [transformed by foreign influence], Bushido has been talked of. It gets described ostentatiously as a rarity from overseas, but it is actually just a characteristic of a strong nation. It is common knowledge that the “way of the warrior” began in China, where martial arts long ago became a specialized field of study, passed down ceaselessly, similar to other military training such as sports and hunting. Although methods of boxing and stick training are difficult to verifiably connect to ancient times, everyone in the nation has some ability to distinguish if this-or-that style is worthy of being widely spread in modern times. In this way, the refined achievements and great effectiveness of the old ways of training seem almost visible to us.
Unfortunately, the custom of elevating literary studies and putting aside martial training took hold, and thus over the centuries these arts gradually faded away. After going a long time without rich food, even the meagerest scraps suddenly seem gourmet, and so we made use of what we received from overseas, even boasting that it was better, and saying with resignation: “This is how in foreign countries they strengthen the masses to rouse the nation.” Surely our methods of martial boldness ought to be all that is required to strengthen the masses and rouse the nation. The ancient people of our nation already understood this and thus developed martial arts into a science, striving for there to be more than enough competent instructors. Why then should we not develop this field of learning further, progressing without limit until we have earned the respect of the world and stand as a powerful nation? This is why the Jingwu Athletic Association began.
The Jingwu Association which started in Shanghai has now come to Guangdong. Chen Gongzhe is just the first to get this process started, but there will soon be others. Being himself a Cantonese man, he is drawing forth many talented men who know the old ways and are capable of passing them down. The success of a Guangdong branch is assured because Chen Gongzhe, accompanied by Lu Weichang, has specially come from Shanghai, his mission to promote the martial spirit and spread these arts as a marvelous field of learning. Fellow enthusiasts may not be quite up to their level, but are ardent about assisting the cause of strengthening the masses to rouse the nation. As a famous poem says [Book of Poetry, poem 165]: “The birds call out to seek a response from their friends.” In other words, countrymen should all be comrades. Some of the rules that have been drafted so far for this new branch are shared below:
Name: This Jingwu Association will be known as the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association.
Purpose: This purpose of the Jingwu Association is to preserve the spirit of Chinese martial arts and to improve the physique of our people. We will not presume to get involved in political affairs, nor argue about which style is best.
Membership: All who have good conduct, proper discipline, and have been recommended by Jingwu Association directors or members, are eligible to obtain membership. (There are no age restrictions.)
Staff: The Jingwu Association will appoint several directors, selecting those with the most stamina for the position, as well as one secretary-general, one martial arts director, appointed from among the most experienced members, and also one person in charge of business and accounting, and several martial arts instructors. Further details of these appointments will be explained later.
Location: A suitable site will be chosen on which to construct this Jingwu Association so that it will last for a long time. In order for things to progress faster, it has been decided to rent the Jiashu Guild Hall on Changdi Road as a temporary location.
Funds: The construction and opening of this Jingwu Association is being funded from money raised by sponsors. Ordinary expenses are maintained by membership fees, the specifics of which will be explained later.
發起人 李福林 魏邦平 陳廉伯 簡照南 簡琴石 楊梅賓 陳恭受 金曾澄 熊長卿 李明揚 黃礪海 卓仁機 楊達三
Sponsors: Li Fulin, Wei Bangping, Chen Lianbo, Jian Zhaonan, Jian Qinshi, Yang Meibin, Chen Gongshou, Jin Cengcheng, Xiong Changqing, Li Mingyang, Huang Lihai, Zhuo Renji, Yang Dasan
贊成人 李烈鈞 譚學衡 莫榮新 翟汪 林虎
Other assistance from: Li Liejun, Tan Xueheng, Mo Rongxin, Zhai Wang, Lin Hu
“Fixing a Date for Opening of Jingwu Athletic Association” (Chinese National Newspaper)
An event for the Jingwu Athletic Association has been organized by people in both military and academic circles, sponsored by Li Fulin. After a long time pondering the issue, he invited martial arts instructors from Shanghai to come to Guangdong. With the announcement that a Jingwu Association would be established here, Li Fulin and Wei Bangping were chosen as president and vice-president of the new branch. Other noteworthy contributors include governors Mo Rongxin and Zhai Wang, Jin Cengcheng, president of the Educational Association, Chen Lianbo, president of the Relief Society, Zhuo Renji, artillery battalion commander, and Li Mingyang, Yunnan regiment commander, as well as Tan Xueheng and Yang Meibin, all of whom are working to promote these arts.
A grand event will be held tomorrow (Wednesday) to establish the new branch, held at the Sea Pearls Theater, which is suspending its performances for a day so that the stage is available for martial arts masters to perform their skills. Apart from Jingwu Association instructors, there will also be Fujian Army commander Wu Jin, businessman Xiong Changqing, Abbot Iron Zen from the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, as well as more than twenty famous martial arts masters from various parts of Guangzhou, to demonstrate the skills of their particular arts. On that day, there will also be a sparring competition upon the stage, in which the best fighters will win a prize, with divisions for both soldiers and civilians. People from all circles – military, government, business, academia – will be sending representatives to participate in this founding celebration.
“Jingwu Athletic Association to Start Branch in Guangdong” (All Businesses Bulletin)
The Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association opened ten years ago, its purpose being to strengthen the masses in order to rescue the nation. It has had tremendous results, which have earned it the respect of Chinese people and Westerners alike. The pillars of the Jingwu Association – Chen Gongzhe and Lu Weichang (who are both from Guangdong themselves), and Yao Chanbo (of Jiangsu) – accompanied by seven or eight other members, including Chen Tiesheng, Huang Hanjia, and Guo Weiyi (who are each from Guangdong), have recently come to Guangdong to form a branch in Guangzhou. For several days, they have been meeting with representatives of the community, who have all made them extremely welcome. Journalists and businessmen alike have all decided to become members.
On the evening of April 6, Chen Gongzhe and his colleagues, responding to great demand, gave their slide-show lecture, involving hundreds of slides and detailed explanations of what the Jingwu Association has been through over the years. A grand celebration for the opening of the new branch will take place tomorrow, starting at 1pm, at the Sea Pearls Theater. While they are here, these Shanghai Jingwu Association representatives have decided to rent the Jiashu Guild Hall on Changdi Road as a temporary space for the branch and are staying at the Great East Hotel.
A Long-Running Announcement about the Jingwu Association:
“Announcing Founding of Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association” (published in various newspapers)
The Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association was established ten years ago to preserve our cultural essence and develop our martial spirit, and has had outstanding results both north and south of the Yangzte River. It has started a trend, their colleagues now teaching martial arts in accordance with their philosophy of “strengthen the people to strengthen the nation”. Physical education is truly a study that we cannot do without. Jingwu Association instructors and members, who have all intensively studied martial arts, have come to Guangdong to found a branch location, for which they have received much praise from people of all circles. The founding of it will soon be commemorated with a celebratory event, to be held at the Sea Pearls Theater on April 9 at 2pm.
At this gathering, there will be martial arts demonstrations, welcoming local masters to demonstrate their styles so that northern and southern styles can be united, “smelting together in a single oven”, in the cause of improving the physique and spreading the trend to the whole nation. With such an event, the strengthening of the nation has officially begun. How can our comrades not be inspired? To people of all walks of life, your gracious presence is invited. Please write to Great East Hotel, Room 37, to obtain tickets to the event.
發起人 李福林 陳廉伯 簡琴石 楊梅賓 金曾澄 李明揚 卓仁機 魏邦平 簡照南 譚禮庭 陳恭受 熊長卿 黃礪海 楊達三
Sponsors: Li Fulin, Chen Lianbo, Jian Qinshi, Yang Meibin, Jin Cengcheng, Li Mingyang, Zhuo Renji, Wei Bangping, Jian Zhaonan, Tan Liting, Chen Gongshou, Xiong Changqing, Huang Lihai, Yang Dasan
贊成人 譚學衡 李烈鈞 莫榮新 翟汪 林虎
Other assistance from: Tan Xueheng, Li Liejun, Mo Rongxin, Zhai Wang, Lin Hu
Sponsors Yang Dasan, Huang Lihai, Xiong Changqing, and Jian Qinshi sought out a site for the new location, drew up a branch constitution, made a program for the grand opening, and sold admission tickets, a heavy workload indeed. The program for the event was recorded in detail in All Businesses Bulletin and two thousand extra copies of that issue were printed to give to people of all circles. The program is included below:
PROGRAM FOR TODAY’S GRAND OPENING
OF THE NEW JINGWU ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
(to be held at 2pm, regardless of wind or rain)
A. Beginning the event
B. Military music
E. Ceremony of presenting the Jingwu Association emblem
F. First section of performances by Jingwu Association instructors & members
G. Xiong Changqing’s family exercises
H. Performances by martial arts instructors arranged by provincial garrison commander Li Fulin, and by his army martial arts team
I. Guest performances
J. Performances by small citizens [i.e. children]
K. Second section of performances by Jingwu Association instructors & members
L. Military music
M. Concluding the event
First section of performances by Jingwu Association instructors & members:
1. Gongli Boxing: (all members)
2. Taming-Tiger Boxing: Ye Fengqi
3. Taizu Boxing: Chen Gongzhe
4. Taiji Halberd: Yang Chenlun
5. Taiji Whip-Rod: Xue Gongchu
（六）對棍 陳公哲 盧煒昌
6. Two-Person Staff: Chen Gongzhe & Lu Weichang
7. Emei Spear: Chen Tiesheng
8. Tiger Claw Boxing: Lian Jundu
9. Second Son’s Saber: Ye Fengqi
（十）對手八卦刀 陳公哲 姚蟾伯
10. Two-Person Eight-Trigrams Saber: Chen Gongzhe & Yao Chanbo
11. Spring & Autumn Halberd: Li Zhanfeng
12. Shaolin Boxing: Yu Shaochang
13. Double Sabers: Huang Hanjia
14. Gongli Boxing: Liu Zhaoming
（十五）雙刀串槍 盧煒昌 陳公哲
15. Double Sabers Versus Spear: Lu Weichang & Chen Gongzhe
16. Large-Scale Fight: Li Liancun
17. Liuhe Saber: Shen Jixiu
18. Tying Boxing: Li Zhanfeng
（十九）虎頭鈎串槍 姚蟾伯 陳公哲
19. Tiger Head Hooks Versus Spear: Yao Chanbo & Chen Gongzhe
20. Four-Six Boxing: Yang Chenlun
21. Fifth Tiger’s Spear: Lu Weichang
22. Escaping-Techniques Fight: Ruan Wencun
23. Two-Section Staff: Chen Gongzhe
（二十四）戰槍 葉鳳岐 李蓮村
24. Two-Person Spear: Ye Fengqi & Li Liancun
25. Articulated Boxing: Xiao Bing
26. Breaking Manacles: Lu Weichang
（二十七）空手入白刃 陳公哲 姚蟾伯
27. Empty-Hand Versus Saber: Chen Gongzhe & Yao Chanbo
Second section of performances by Jingwu Association instructors & members:
1. Damo Sword: Li Liancun
（二）刀拐串槍 盧煒昌 姚蟾伯
2. Saber & Cane Versus Spear: Lu Weichang & Yao Chanbo
3. Nine-Section Whip: Chen Gongzhe
（四）雙掃子串槍 李占風 葉鳳岐
4. Two-Section Staff Versus Spear: Li Zhanfeng & Ye Fengqi
5. Pouncing-Tiger Shepherd’s Staff: Shen Jixiu
6. Drunken Eight Immortals: Yang Chenlun
（七）開門豹 姚蟾伯 陳公哲
7. Gate-Opening Leopard: Yao Chanbo & Chen Gongzhe
8. Plum Blossom Double-Tongued Spear: Lu Weichang
9. Fifth Tiger’s Boxing: Huang Hanjia
（十）單刀串槍 李占風 李蓮村
10. Single Saber Versus Spear: Li Zhanfeng & Li Liancun
11. Eight-Trigrams Saber: Zhuo Renji
12. Ancestral Elixir: Yao Chanbo
（十三）合戰 陳公哲 盧煒昌
13. Cooperative Fight: Chen Gongzhe & Lu Weichang
14. Crescent Moons Halberd: Xue Gongchu
（十五）紥拳 李占風 李蓮村
15. Tying Boxing: Li Zhanfeng & Li Liancun
（十六）盤捶 葉鳳岐 楊琛倫
16. Coiling Boxing: Ye Fengqi & Yang Chenlun
（十七）盤龍棍 姚蟾伯 陳公哲
17. Coiling-Dragon Staff: Yao Chanbo & Chen Gongzhe
Performances by Jingwu Association children:
1. Tantui: (whole group)
2. Articulated Boxing: Li Yerong
3. Double Sabers: Li Yerong
4. Escaping-Techniques Fight: Li Qingchang
5. Sword: Li Qingchang
6. Gongli Boxing: Wei Guangyuan
7. Double-Head Staff: Wei Guangyuan
8. Hard-Hammer Boxing: Xie Donggui
9. Rattan Shield & Single Saber: Xie Donggui
1. This Jingwu Association’s curriculum copies the method used in Shanghai of dividing it into three levels: beginner, intermediate, advanced. Graduates at each level have stars stitched onto their jackets. Three stars indicates a six-year graduate, two stars indicates a four-year graduate, one star indicates a two-year graduate, and no star indicates a beginning student. Similarly, the Jingwu Association banner has three stars stitched onto it, and the standardized emblem which is in the shape of a shield, representing defense, also contains a three-star pattern.
2. The Jingwu Association teaches Tantui first of all, for it has deep meaning and the experience of learning it brings excellent results. Let us briefly introduce a few of its qualities. The art of Tantui has many hand techniques and stable footwork. Each technique is exquisite and practical. Once it has been trained to the point of skill, not only will all of the techniques learned later make sense, it will also cause spirit and strength to increase each day. It can be drilled movement by movement in groups of over a hundred people. Because it can be taught by way of verbal commands, it is suitable for both large groups or small, and it can be practiced by both young and old alike. If you can find time to practice it for a half hour every day, then both mind and body will obtain endless benefit. Physical education is something relevant in both the home and the nation as a whole. We hope that the masses will give it more attention.
A Look at the Deeds of Huo Yuanjia & An Overview of the Jingwu Athletic Association:
Huo Yuanjia was born in Hebei. His father, Huo Endi, passed down the family tradition to him. He practiced the art his whole life, then used his skill to become famous everywhere. Huo Yuanjia further benefited from internal training, drawing much from various other arts, obtaining the essence of martial arts as a whole. His body was soft as cotton, and yet his bones were hard as steel. Even leopards would not frighten him, so powerful were his arms, and yet he had an elegant and gentle temperament, not an attitude of drawing a sword or aiming a crossbow. Glancing at him, he did not look like someone who was skilled, and people were not often aware that he was an expert in both internal and external styles.
In the first year of the reign of Emperor Xuantong [i.e. 1909], he came at the request of a friend to have a contest with a European muscleman named O’Brien, hoping to wash away the humiliation of being the “sick men of an old empire”. When he arrived in Shanghai, he planted a banner at Zhang’s Garden which declared that he would accept challenges from the strong men of any nation, and which said: “Even if he has skin of bronze and bones of iron, I am not afraid of him.” The very idea caused people to become enraptured and jump with excitement.
O’Brien at this time did not yet know of Huo’s great skill, and so he puffed himself up as though he was mighty enough to conquer the whole world. But when he suddenly saw how strong Huo was, he became apprehensive. He wanted an agreement over the rules that required no jabbing with fingers, hooking with feet, or striking with fists. This made it clear that his heart was not in it, that he was strong only on the outside. Well, if a “sick man of an old empire” can frustrate a muscleman in this way, it only reveals foreign arrogance, and our compatriots sighed with relief.
With the blue-eyed [i.e. Western] fighter ending up going away in fear, having arranged a match and then suddenly calling it off, Huo was left standing alone on the platform. Spectators saw his penetrating eyes, but unfortunately did not get to witness his skills. Noticing this situation, Huo then began to flourish his fists and palms, performing his family’s art, and invited any brawny fellows onto the platform to have a bout with him. They each only got as far as throwing out three punches before being overwhelmed by the effectiveness of his internal skill. Some were more skillful than others, but all of those who were willing to try out their skills looked like fools when trying them against Huo.
Several days later, a man named “Eastern Sea” Zhao climbed onto the platform and asked for “instruction”. Huo made it a point to not injure compatriots, and so he declined the challenge. Zhao became very annoyed by this, so Huo felt compelled to accommodate him in some way and [thus had his student, Liu Zhensheng, have the bout with Zhao]. Zhao lost and thus knew that he would be no match for Huo, so he sent for his friend Zhang to get revenge. Huo then had Liu Zhensheng test Zhang’s skill as well and this bout ended in a draw. The next day, Zhang tried to provoke Huo himself to have a bout by insulting him, but Huo did not fall for it and instead circled around behind him. In an instant, Zhang was in such a position that he had already lost anyway. With this “competition” ending in this way, Huo’s fame spread quickly. So that such an occurrence would not cause our most dedicated fighters to become demoralized, he decided he would share his family’s unique art instead of keeping it secret.
Throughout the summer, students from every school wanted to learn from Huo, joining his Jingwu Association one after another. This was the genesis of the Jingwu Athletic Association, which now stands rock-firm, but had many difficulties in the beginning, such as seventy students being crammed into the original location in the Wang Family Neighborhood in the Zhabei District. The space was cramped and the facilities were incomplete, and so the sweltering summer heat was made even more oppressive, but it could not make the students give up.
The Jingwu Association inspired people, which of course further motivated Huo. With such a sense of purpose, it seemed that the training would go on for many years, with no difficulties that would capable of stopping either the students or Huo himself. However, Nature not only brings a talent into the world, but also takes him back. Some villain soon hatched a scheme, and before Huo’s grand work could be completed, there came the sad news of his death. This was not only a tragedy for Huo, but also for all of the Jingwu students.
When Huo Yuanjia had established the Jingwu Calisthenics Association, there was a Japanese man who had a Judo school and whose wrestling skill had made him famous throughout Japan. Huo had by then become famous for defeating more than a dozen fighters, and so the Japanese man came to Shanghai to challenge Huo. They both decided on a date and had it put in writing. Many other important people from Japan were also in attendance.
Huo first had his top student [Liu] test the skill of the Judo master’s students in turn. Not being familiar with Judo techniques, Liu therefore stood motionless and watchful. When each of the Judo practitioners saw an opportunity, they attacked directly toward Liu’s chest, hoping to then grab him and throw him down. But they did not know that our martial arts are based in stable stances, the whole foot planted on the ground, making one like a mountain, and no amount of their arm strength could move him. The Judo practitioners consequently could not comprehend what Liu was doing and thought it was some kind of trickery. Their initial amazement turned to sneers of contempt.
After these exchanges, all of the techniques that had come out of Huo’s student made the Judo practitioners furious and this caused the master himself to come forward to fight with Huo. The master indeed possessed skill, but as soon as he clashed with Huo, his feet stumbled in confusion and he began panting with exertion. Suddenly there was a distinctive sound, and the Judo master’s arm had been broken. His students then made an uproar, but since there were witnesses, the students simply expressed their rage and left.
Later on at a banquet, Huo fell into a fit of coughing and was then recommended to a Japanese physician for treatment. But the medicine Huo received was actually a slow-acting lung poison. The Jingwu Association had been open for barely two months and had effectively become a home for many of the students, and so they harbored quite a grudge when Huo died.
Thereafter both the students and assistant instructors decided not to give up on the association that Huo had founded and to strive to fulfill Huo’s ambition. Among countless plans to maintain the Jingwu Association, and after endless setbacks, they moved the location into another building, slightly farther north in the neighborhood, and it was there that the more familiar Jingwu Association affairs gradually started to take shape. However, it was viewed in the area as something uncivilized, and although the members did their utmost to promote it, the praise it received usually did not outweigh the slander. Despite experiencing difficulty and derision, they labored on without complaint.
By that autumn [of 1912], the Jingwu Association had insufficient funds to continue, and so it borrowed a stage on which to have an athletic meet to raise money. It nowadays has an athletic meet every autumn, and this is the source of that custom. The students had only practiced for a few months, and so they had little success to speak of, but once Huo’s younger brother Yuanqing came to Shanghai, he trained them hard and they made great progress. Society at large grew more confident about the Jingwu Association with each day, and those in academic circles became inspired everywhere, both north and south of the Yangzte River. Because of this, membership increased to a number that was higher than could be provided for.
To fulfill the needs of branch locations and the requests to teach in various schools, there were only a few instructors available. Beyond giving lessons at the Jingwu Association, they simply had no spare time to attend to it all. People were therefore sent to Hebei to sincerely invite many practitioners, including Zhao Lianhe, Zhao Hanjie, Zhao Guangyong, Li Jianmin, Zhang Fuyou, Li Zhanfeng, Li Liancun, and Huo Yuanjia’s son Dongge, all of whom are skillful and experienced, to take on teaching duties in various schools, such as Nanyang Public School, South City Business Group Fishery School, 1st Business School, Chinese Calisthenics School, and the Precious-Time Public Association Secondary School, which had all asked for instructors from the Jingwu Association.
Branch locations have since been established, such as in Shaoxing, Nanxun, the Songjiang District of Shanghai, and Hong Kong, and Cantonese businessman Lao Yonghong has recently also been working to establish a branch at the barracks in Hankou. In 1912, the Shaoxing branch was getting damaged by the forces on Wang Jinfa [during his time as military leader over Shaoxing], but fortunately Chen Yingshi [Qimei], who was running Shanghai at the time, sent a flurry of telegrams to him, ordering him to protect the area and keep it safe. During these several years, although the expansion of the Jingwu Association is due mainly to the painstaking effort of its members, it also owes much to the strong support of its president Yuan Hengzhi.
In the winter of 1915, there was a staff meeting in which all agreed that membership had constantly increased and the old location [having been ruined by typhoon damage] was no longer sufficient to handle the steady influx anyway. They planned a new location which would have more complete facilities in order for these arts to be passed down better, building on a foundation that would not decay. Their words lived up their ideals, a case of “where there’s a will, there’s way” coming true, for in the spring of 1916, the completion of the new location was announced, chiefly due to the efforts of Chen Gongzhe, Lu Weichang, and Yao Chanbo.
Soonafter, the date was set to open the space. Members had no idea what it was going to be like inside and were amazed, finding the building to be an example of superlative craftsmanship. They were not aware that from winter to spring, Chen, Lu, and Yao had been preparing and arranging everything, rushing around so busily that they were now exhausted. It really seems that ever since the emergence of martial arts in our nation, these arts have never had such a magnificent shrine as this, and all our ancient weapons can at last gleam freely within the Foreign Concession. The Jingwu Association achieved this because of the stubborn determination of its staff members, managing to eat bitter by pretending it is sweet.
With the new location now established, countless new tasks arose. The name was changed from “Calisthenics” to “Athletic Association”, representing the broader range of courses offered, though still related to and focusing on physical education. That bias had unavoidably provoked some mockery, and thus moral education and intellectual education have been infused into the curriculum so that there is particular attention given to all three forms of education.
The Jingwu Association therefore now has an Encouragement Club, a reading room full of books and periodicals, Chinese and English language night classes, and so on. The improving presence of the Encouragement Club is particularly praiseworthy. Club members are steeped in self-respect, never being rude or insulting to others and yet will put forth their opinions frankly. Everyone in the club is therefore reliable. There are also departments for music and recreation in order to nourish both body and mind, not letting either part be neglected.
The affairs of the Jingwu Association became too numerous for staff members to handle. To deal with this problem, a board of directors was formed in the spring of 1916 so that they instead could absorb the burden. The current directors are: Jian Qinshi, Yuan Hengzhi, Jian Zhaonan, Huang Boping, Huo Shouhua, Wen Qinfu, Tan Haiqiu, Hu Yaoting, and Tang Jiezhi. The Jingwu Association has received great support from the enthusiastic people of ordinary society.
The autumn athletic meet of 1916 at last involved the graduation of members at all three levels – beginner, intermediate, advanced – showing progressive achievement in the learning of northern styles. There needs to be an experience of various styles to make one’s studies more well-rounded, and therefore a couple of instructors of southern styles were hired at that time: Chen Weixian of Jiangyin and Sun Zanxuan. Also added was: another instructor of northern styles, Ye Fengqi; as well as a course in archery; instructors of styles from Guangdong, which increase physical strength; the Exemplary Women Team, which is the harbinger for a future Women’s Athletic Association; classes in gymnastic skills such as horizontal bar, balancing platform, and vaulting horse. Clearly the Jingwu Association is now thriving.
Various schools in Shanghai are now engaging Jingwu Association instructors to teach boxing arts, such as the Chinese Railroad School, Fudan Public School, Warehouse-of-Wisdom College, Guangdong Primary School, Chengzhong Secondary School, Lingnan Secondary School, Developing Fundamentals Primary School, St. John’s University, Developing Virtue Primary School, Patriotic Girls’ School, Enduring Abundance Cotton Mill and Virtuous Greatness Cotton Mill, China Public School, Encouraging-the-Workers’-Children Association of the Commercial Press, Peerless Primary School, and Xun Guang Secondary School.
People from all walks of life delight in practicing these arts, which are an excellent means of exercising the body, deriving from naturalness rather than great exertion. They are also suitable for young and old alike. The success of the program at Guangdong Primary School verifies the benefits for children, and the training of Jingwu Association director Liang Lizao and editor Chen Tiesheng demonstrates the benefits for older people.
For people who are in the prime of life and yet in a weakened state, the effects of the training are also obvious. Shen Jixiu had been deathly ill, so he came to train at the Jingwu Association, and after not even year, he had an enormous appetite. Chen Gongzhe’s sister, Ms. Chen Shichao, had suffered from heart palpitations and anemia for several years. Medicines had been ineffective, so she switched to trying martial arts, which quickly produced results. After receiving instruction of Huang Weiqing and others for only six months, her body was flourishing and she seemed to be a different person. Countless times, weak children have been changed into robust young people within the span of a mere year.
Looking back on Huo Yuanjia’s simple sincere idea, it has turned into a grand enterprise. It will someday transform the general mood and will play an important role in forming the national spirit, no longer merely drawing the attention of those in business and academic circles. The future looks very promising. We hope that our comrades will encourage each other to go ever further.
- April 8, 1918
Support from the press has not been limited to articles such as these. On the evening of April 5, a banquet was given for the press at the True Light Company. Li Fulin’s representative Yang Dasan gave a speech introducing staff members to everyone, followed by Lu Weichang and Chen Gongzhe declaring the purpose of the Shanghai Jingwu Association and discussing how the promoting of martial arts is also a means of increasing morality and improving recreation.
Because journalists had been extremely helpful for spreading the word, Chen Luosheng and Luo Xiao’ao declared with sincerity that the promoting of martial arts had mainly been the work of the press, and all the guests were very moved to then be given honorary membership at the Jingwu Association. These journalist members are listed below:
Rong Boting, Chen Luosheng (China News)
Li Peishi (Peace & Elegance News)
Deng Shuyu (Sky Rover Daily News)
Song Jiji (Republic News)
Liang Zhi’an, Wang Zemin (Chinese National Newspaper)
Luo Xiao’ao, Chen Baozun (All Businesses Bulletin)
梁懍丹 趙秀石 何傑三（羊城報）
Liang Lindan, Zhao Xiushi, He Jiesan (Yangcheng [old name for Guangzhou] News)
Li Daxing, Li Kangxi (Daily News)
陸見如 甘六持 馮伯礪（天聲報）
Lu Jianru, Gan Liuchi, Feng Boli (Heaven’s Voice Daily News)
Deng Jingya, Lei Hensheng (Common People News)
Tian Daren (New Republic News)
Liu Shaoping, Zhang Jingli (Financial Strength News)
The following evening, they gave a lecture before the Press Guild, giving their slide-show presentation, including more than two hundred slides. Beyond the press, among those present were many people in educational circles. At the end of the event, comrades within the press had contributed to provide refreshments. Support for the event also came from people in military and police circles, attendance including members of military police, military bands, and armed escort services.
Faculty members and students from Nanwu Secondary School and Guangdong Women’s Normal School were present to manage everything and receive guests, the guests including Huang Lihai, a secretary-in-charge from the Business Group, He Jianwu, principal of Nanwu Secondary School, as well as general secretaries Yang Dasan, Jian Qinshi, Chen Luosheng, Luo Xiao’ao, Xiong Changqing, Chen Gongshou, Li Mingyang, Zhuo Renji, and many others, who had all provided extraordinary assistance. Details of the grand opening are recorded in the articles below:
“Opening of Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association” (China News)
Yesterday afternoon, the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association held a grand opening event at the Sea Pearls Theater. It was attended by thousands of people, from all walks of life – military, government, education, business – men and women alike. Jingwu Association members and staff had performed various tasks beforehand. At the front of the theater they had hung a pair of mottos in calligraphy presented by the Nanwu Secondary School, which said: “From the Kunlun Mountains have flowed countless styles.” / “The citizens of Wu and Yue are now one family.” On the stage, there was a variety of weapons displayed with meticulous care. At the middle of the stage was hung garland wreaths and a portrait of Huo Yuanjia, founder Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association, was hung between the national flag and the three-star flag.
At 1pm, a bell was rung to commence the event. First Yang Dasan, secretary-in-charge and representative for provincial garrison commander Li Fulin, proclaimed the opening of the new branch, summarized the remarkable results of the Shanghai Jingwu Association, and explained how the pillars of it – Chen Gongzhe, Lu Weichang, and Yao Chanbo – had enthusiastically came to Guangdong to form the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association, gaining such ardent support from people of all walks of life that they succeeded in establishing it here in just a few days, and how they sincerely hope that everyone will have the tireless willpower to make it last forever.
Secretary-in-charge Luo Xiao’ao announced that army commander Lin Hu had been selected as chairman overseeing this event, which was met with great applause by the crowd. Lin then gave a speech in which he said: “Our people need to have spirit and stamina to be able to deal with worldly affairs. Our nation’s martial arts are a wonderful means of both strengthening the body and increasing spirit. The gentlemen of the Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association have for a decade been collecting the best of our nation’s martial arts so that our nation’s people will be able to live up to the principle of ‘strengthen the masses to protect the nation’. Having had great success in Shanghai, they have now come to establish a Jingwu Association here in Guangdong. We Cantonese people should all encourage each other to work hard and not betray the great kindness that men like Chen and Lu have done for us.”
After this speech was finished, Lu Weichang stated that the Jingwu Athletic Association had now been managed from Shanghai for a decade, and then he gave a speech in which he said: “Some of the greatest masters of our nation’s martial arts are in Guangzhou. But even though there are many styles here, not a single athletic association has been established, a great pity indeed. It has to be understood that Chinese martial arts have already spread to other nations and have become highly respected by foreigners. How then can our own people be obsessed over particular styles instead of joining together so that our arts can progress? Martial arts masters in Guangzhou have made the great mistake of feuding over their styles. I hope they will now come together instead, uniting to encourage each other for the sake of constant improvement, and thereby enable the mission of the Guangdong Association to endure.”
He went on to say: “Ten years ago, our nation’s martial arts practitioners were looked upon as little more than bandits, but it is now understood that these arts are an excellent means of physical education. In those days, the teaching methods were not always appropriate, sometimes hindering rather than helping a student’s body, such as emphasizing footwork while ignoring physiology, or having no systematic order for learning the material, causing the student to work harder than necessary and making it more difficult to succeed. We have since adopted better teaching methods, involving more consideration of physiology and study of practical application, greatly improving the effectiveness of these arts.”
After this speech, congratulatory telegrams and poetry that had been sent to the Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association from people in various circles was read out. Then Chen Luosheng, a journalist for this newspaper, gave a speech about how the martial spirit is entirely patriotic and how he sincerely hopes that someday these arts will be spread to the rest of the world and be held in high regard as something exquisite. Then Wei Bangping gave a speech about the two issues of strengthening the nation and preserving our cultural essence, and was full of optimism. And then speaker [for the Guomindang] Lin Sen gave a speech about how martial arts are actually not only of great benefit to individuals but also to the nation as a whole, and was very forthright in his views.
After these speeches, the ceremony of presenting the Jingwu crest was carried out by Chen Gongzhe on behalf of the Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association, which had sent it to the Guangdong Jingwu Association. The bronze shield was placed on a large pedestal, displaying the Jingwu Association’s “shield”. It represents the use of martial arts only for defense, never for bullying others. After this was explained, speaker Lin presented a dozen smaller versions of the shield to a dozen sponsors of the Guangdong Jingwu Association: Li Fulin, Wei Bangping, Chen Lianbo, Jian Qinshi, Yang Dasan, Xiong Changqing, Chen Gongshou, Huang Lihai, Yang Meibin, Lin Hu, Jian Zhaonan, and Jin Xiangfan [Cengcheng].
The Jingwu crest:
Then it was time to begin the performances (which are already listed above and thus are only briefly discussed here). Among the guests were Xiong Changqing’s sons and daughters, who performed various staff sets. Xiong family instructors Wen Weiqin (son of Wen Shengcai) and Li Zhenchang performed boxing and staff sets, which they are each experts in. After these performances, then Li Fulin’s martial arts team performed these sets:
刀拆扒 帥大佳 鄧林
Saber Versus Rake: Shuai Dajia & Deng Lin
Double-Head Staff: Deng Richu
Sunrise Sword: Deng Weiying
Single Soft Whip: Guan Shaoshen
Carrying Saber: Shuai Wenjia
拆拳 帥堅 帥堯
Two-Person Boxing: Shuai Jian & Shuai Yao
Double Sabers: Zhou Longhui
白手拆刀 周標 李昌
Empty-Hand Versus Saber: Zhou Biao & Li Chang
Double Soft Whip: Lin Shirong
Double Hooking Sabers: Li Hong’en
Double Sabers: Wu Renhu
Rake: Zhou Haigun
Xie Heng’s Boxing: Gan Biaochai
Eight-Trigrams Saber: Zou Jinghuang
Kunwu Boxing: Huang Li
Flying Plummet: Huang Feihong [Wong Fei-hung]
Rake: Wang Fenggang
Gong Hua’s Boxing: Ye Xianrong
Rake: Hu Zhong
Virtuous Boxing: Chen Yaochi
Each of these sets is that person’s specialty. The applause went on continuously right up to the end. Then the group began a demonstration of exercises accompanied by drumming, displaying even more spirit than before. Therefore on that day, the several thousand men and women in attendance were all given good reason to hope. The event finished at 5pm and then the crowd dispersed.
“Details about Opening of Jingwu Athletic Association” (Cantonese Voice News)
Yesterday, the 9th, the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association borrowed the use of the Sea Pearls Theater for its grand opening. It was attended by thousands of people from all walks of life. There were no seats to spare for those who arrived late. Audiences there had seen famous plays, but nothing like this, and so it is easy to imagine how it caught the attention of the public. Dozens of letters of congratulations had been sent from various sources, and the audience was comprised of both men and women.
In front of the doors was hung a horizontal placard which said: “Grand opening of the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association”. To each side of the doors was hung a pair of mottos in calligraphy, on one side saying: “From the Kunlun Mountains have flowed countless styles.” / “The citizens of Wu and Yue are now one family.” And on the other side saying: “Spirited and martial!” / “Our ways are now in the south.” There was also a variety of ornate decorations, producing a sense of spectacle.
At 1pm, the event commenced with drums and military music. Military chief-of-staff Lin Hu announced the mission of the Jingwu Association. Lu Weichang, one of the pillars of the Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association, explained the situation in more detail, saying that students of martial arts must at the same time study physiology in order to obtain the most benefit, and should also give great attention to martial virtue. Lin Sen and Wei Bangping each gave a speech. Then came the ceremony of awarding the Jingwu crest, a shield emblem representing the covering and protecting of the body. Chen Gongzhe presented bronze shields, enthusiastically assisted by Lin Hu and Wei Bangping, who each presented smaller shields.
Then there were performances, beginning with Tantui, directed by verbal commands, like a calisthenics workout, and therefore over a hundred people were able to perform at the same time. The Jingwu Association teaches Tantui first of all, and thus it was the first thing to be performed. Its movements are suitable for young and old alike, “much easier than trying to tame a horse” [i.e. a more general form of exercise rather than a specialized task]. It was then followed by other performances for a total of forty-four different kinds of practice sets. Then Li Fulin’s martial arts team performed more sets, all the way until the end of the event at 5pm.
A few further details about the event: Yesterday, when the Jingwu Athletic Association borrowed the use of the Sea Pearls Theater for its grand opening, the seats were already packed by noon and there was no longer even any room to stand. Members of the Shanghai Jingwu Association performed northern styles and then Li Fulin’s martial arts team performed both northern and southern styles.
Highlights were Li Zhanfeng and Ye Fengqi performing Two-Section Staff Versus Spear, which was particularly outstanding, Lu Weichang and Yao Chanbo performing Saber & Cane Versus Spear, Chen Gongzhe and Lu Weichang performing Cooperative Fight, praiseworthy in both spirit and technique, and Yang Chenlun performing Drunken Eight Immortals, for which he appeared so drunk that it made everyone laugh. Children performed too, such as provincial garrison commander Li Fulin’s two sons wielding sabers, the boys being of equal height, whose movements were very nimble.
Other notable performances were Li Liancun performing Damo Sword, Huang Hanrong [Feihong] performing Flying Plummet, and Lin Shirong’s performing Double Whips, all extremely impressive. Over a hundred people gave martial arts performances that day, showing particular skill with weapons, performing until the end of the event at 5pm. We have learned that there are now no less than a thousand members of the Shanghai Jingwu Association.
An announcement following the event (appearing in various periodicals and posted as a public notice):
To all those from various organizations who contributed to the opening of the Jingwu Association, honoring us with your attention and gifts, we sincerely thank you. Our headquarters has not yet been determined, so if you wish to write to us, please send your letters: care of the Hoi Tong Temple, or of the Main Barracks of Li Fulin’s Army.
- Respectfully, the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association
Financial Support from Enthusiastic Sponsors:
“Donations to Help Open Jingwu Athletic Association”
The Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association has been established, though it still does not have a proper address. For this urgent situation, Jingwu Association sponsors and secretaries-in-charge have donated altogether a large sum of money toward securing a temporary location. Each of these men donated 1000 yuan: Li Fulin, Chen Lianbo, Jian Zhaonan, Yang Meibin, and Wei Bangping. Together they have managed to find a location and have set a date to open there.
After the grand opening event, Yao Chanbo went back to Shanghai on the steamship Suiyang, while Lu Weichang and Chen Gongzhe left on the same day at 3pm to go to their hometowns and visit their family gravesites, making a survey of the communities on the way, advertising these arts by meeting with the president of the Educational Association, the president of the Business Affairs Association, and the editor of Compassionate Words News, who then all pledged their support. Liu Risan, president of the Educational Association, even urged instructors should be brought to teach martial arts courses in various schools in the county. These detours on the way home added up to more than thirty miles before returning to Guangzhou on the 14th, whereupon the Jingwu Association received a welcome from various circles, as recorded in the articles below:
“People from All Walks of Life Welcome Athletic Association One After Another” (All Businesses Bulletin)
After the announcement that the Jingwu Athletic Association had been established, people in various circles eagerly welcomed it. Scheduled one after another, various organizations held welcome celebrations for Jingwu representatives, demonstrating how much those in business and educational circles care about physical education: at the Nanwu Secondary School, Henan Island, on the 14th at 1pm; at the headquarters in Jiuyaofang District of the Guangdong Province Educational Association on the evening of the 14th (including performances and slide show); at the public affairs office of the Watermelon Park Business Group on the 15th at 12pm; at the Guangdong Girls’ Athletic School on Celestial Horse Lane on the evening of the 15th (including performances and slide show).
“Nanwu Secondary School Welcomes Jingwu Athletic Association” (All Businesses Bulletin)
Yesterday at noon, the Nanwu Secondary School held a welcoming celebration for members of the Jingwu Athletic Association. It was very crowded, the entire student body in attendance and more than five hundred guests.
The event began with the students lining up to stand in a circle and then singing. Then principal He Jianwu declared the Jingwu mission with these words: “Lu Weichang and Chen Gongzhe are pillars of the Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association, and indeed of society, for they made use of their position as wealthy businessmen of Shanghai to do an act of great philanthropy for the community, ten years ago establishing the Jingwu Association. They have now put what extra energy they have into coming to Guangdong to form the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association in order for Cantonese people to flourish as well. We in this school are extremely thankful for the great attention they have brought toward physical education, and therefore we are now holding this welcoming celebration to show them how we all feel.”
He then introduced Lu Weichang to the students and guests. Lu got up and made a speech about the genesis of the Shanghai Jingwu Association and the difficulties of its first six years, then its successes during the last five years, how the addition of new elements such as the Encouragement Club have elevated moral standards and how the addition of various scientific courses have made the curriculum more comprehensive. He then explained that the key to physical education lies in the muscular development of the entire body, and that Chinese martial arts are the most suitable tool for achieving this. The crowd gave him great applause.
He Jianwu then introduced Chen Gongzhe, who likewise made a speech, the general idea of which was that the body experiences enormous benefit from physical education, and that after thinking for a long time about how best to make a contribution, it was decided to bring this benefit to Guangdong. These gentlemen expressed how much they were moved by this distinguished gathering and that they felt extremely honored.
They then discussed some of the departments within the Jingwu Association, highlighting the music courses, which offers training in various styles of music, be it northern or southern, Chinese or Western, all of which have the capacity to calm one’s mind. They even performed some music for the gathering, displaying sincerity and humility. This was followed by a song on the violin that was so melodious and elegant that the audience of more than a thousand listened with rapturous attention and were delighted by every moment of it.
There were then performances of martial skill from Ye Fengqi, Li Zhanfeng, and Li Liancun, as well as from Lu Weichang, Chen Gongzhe, Huang Hanjia and Shen Jixiu, who demonstrated various weapons such as saber, staff, and spear. The event lasted about two hours, ending with the serving of tea.
The Guangdong Educational Association will also be holding a welcoming celebration for the Jingwu Association, tonight at Southern Gate Advanced Normal School at 7pm, and have invited the Jingwu representatives to give their slide-show lecture. All Educational Association members and staff of both private and public schools may attend. (In a previous issue, we incorrectly stated that it would be held on the night of the 14th rather than the 15th.)
“Business Group Welcomes Jingwu Athletic Association” (All Businesses Bulletin)
Yesterday, the 15th, the Guangdong Provincial Business Group held a welcoming celebration for the Jingwu Athletic Association on the sports ground at Watermelon Park. A raised stage was used for martial arts performances, and on it was hung a horizontal placard proclaiming “Welcome!” To each side hung two pieces of vertical calligraphy, saying: “To assist us in wars of trade,”/ “We promote martial virtue”.
In attendance were Li Fulin, commander of the Guangdong Provincial Garrison, and Wei Bangping, head of the Guangdong Police Department, as well as the 1st Headquarters military band, Li Fulin’s martial arts team, who brought two auspicious lion-dance lions to liven things up, and more than a thousand guests from all walks of life, both men and women alike.
The event commenced at noon with the president of the Public Security Bureau, the speaker of the Advisory Council, and colleagues from various organizations, meeting the members of the Jingwu Association. Then Advisory Council speaker Luo Xiao’ao explained the mission of the Jingwu Association, gave a welcoming speech, and read out a poem of praise from the Guangdong Provincial Business Group, included below.*
Luo then invited Jingwu Association member Lu Weichang to give a speech, in which Lu said: “The prosperity and strength of nation depends entirely on the assistance of industry and commerce. For those in industrial and commercial circles to be able to give such assistance, the key is first of all for them to study physical education. Because physical education can boost morale, it can help sustain all kinds of industry. Although there are many masters of our nation’s martial arts, there are many more that we have not yet met, and so we cannot yet get any results from what they have to teach. But the scale of the Business Group is now so vast that the future expansion of the Jingwu Athletic Association will grow from it [i.e. be able to reach out and connect with more and more teachers] and both will succeed together.”
The crowd applauded this, and then Luo Xiao’ao announced that since these Jingwu Association members were scheduled to attend another [welcoming] event, time was too short for any more speeches. There were then martial arts performances to leave a lasting impression, the Jingwu members demonstrating their exquisite skills, all eliciting applause and praise. Then Li Fulin’s martial arts team and lion dancers continued to perform, the spectators all struck speechless with admiration, all the way until the end of the event at 5pm.
* “Our business group today welcomes the Jingwu Athletic Association. It has been a delightful day with a veritable parade of esteemed guests. Deeply honored by their presence, we sincerely offer this poem:”
Great is the Jingwu Association, distinguished in its success.
Your athletic spirit will spread far.
You promote martial virtue, not just martial force.
We welcome you and have limitless admiration for you.
“Minutes of a Meeting with Jingwu Association Staff” (All Businesses Bulletin)
On the 15th, the Jingwu Athletic Association came to the headquarters of the Business Group for an impromptu meeting [which presumably took place during the morning, before the welcoming celebration had begun, since they would have been too busy after it for the rest of the day]. Chen Gongzhe first thanked the Business Group for making them so welcome and then said: “We have come to Guangdong to form a branch location, but have still not found a suitable site for it, and so we have to consider borrowing one. Having searched everywhere, we wonder if the site of the Business Group itself might be the most appropriate.”
Chen Lianbo, head of the Business Group, said: “We strongly welcome the esteemed Jingwu Association, but to lend you the use of our space requires a resolution from the advisory committee. We shall discuss this matter in a way that conforms to precedent.”
Luo Xiao’ao said: “The heads of the Business Group are all sponsors of the Jingwu Athletic Association already, as we have all agreed. But now we should unite with the members of the Shanghai and Guangdong Jingwu Associations to actively help make arrangements.”
Jian Jinglun [Qinshi], deputy head of the Business Group, said: “My opinion is twofold: Firstly, a building must be constructed that would last, but since time is also pressing, we should let them borrow the use of our space in the meantime, making allowances for the situation. I request that the advisory committee convene as soon as possible. Secondly, a site must be chosen to construct upon, permission gained from the offices of the governor and municipal administration to break ground, and funds raised. We currently have about four thousand yuan that can be put into such a project. With another ten thousand, construction would not be difficult. We should start by setting a date for a planning meeting to discuss different proposals as to ways and means.”
Lu Weichang said: “I think we should immediately set up a board of directors, appointing those who are the most practical-minded.”
Luo Xuefu said: “The Jingwu Association is admirably hardworking, but planning must begin at once. Time is pressing, and if we cannot bring everyone together, another date will have to be set.”
Jian Qinshi said: “We should first have a formal letter from the Jingwu Athletic Association requesting to borrow our space, and then we can set to work.”
Chen Tiesheng said: “Even before that, we ought to appoint a temporary secretary to manage all of these matters.”
Cen Qiongbo said: “If the Jingwu Association borrows our space, it would bring us notoriety and endless admiration, but we must first discuss it and have a majority approval. I suggest we do this right away, otherwise as Luo Xuefu has said, a further date will have to be set.”
Luo Xiao’ao said: “I recommend that we convene on the 17th. I would also recommend that Chen Lianbo be put provisionally in charge of this project, but he is surely too busy, and so Jian Qinshi is probably the best bet to get it done.” All agreed.
Jian Qinshi said: “I too am very busy with a multitude of lesser tasks, but I will do my best for you all because I truly care about this project.” All applauded this. He continued: “I hereby call upon Luo Xiao’ao to draw up a proposal and for Xiong Changqing, Yang Dasan, and Huang Lihai to assist him.” All approved. Everyone consented to having Chen Lianbo put in charge of the finances. Applause. Meeting adjourned.
“Business and Academic Circles Welcome Jingwu Association” (Yangcheng News)
The Guangdong Provincial Business Group today, the 15th, will hold its welcoming celebration for members from the Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association at 12pm, as was announced yesterday, arranged by those in business and military circles, and it looks like there may have been more tickets sold than seats available. Below is the order of performances by Jingwu members:
1. Group performance of Tantui: youth members
2. Black Tiger Boxing: Huang Hanjia
（三）對棍 陳公哲 盧煒昌
3. Two-Person Staff: Chen Gongzhe & Lu Weichang
4. Moon-Embracing Saber: Shen Jixiu
（五）單刀串槍 李占風 李蓮村
5. Single Saber Versus Spear: Li Zhanfeng & Li Liancun
6. Group performance of Gongli Boxing: youth members
（七）雙刀串槍 陳公哲 盧煒昌
7. Double Sabers Versus Spear: Chen Gongzhe & Lu Weichang
（八）紮拳 李占風 李蓮村
8. Tying Boxing: Li Zhanfeng & Li Liancun
9. Fifth Tiger’s Boxing: Huang Hanjia
10. Silk-Robe Sword: Chen Tiesheng
（十一）對槍 葉鳳岐 李蓮村
11. Two-Person Spear: Ye Fengqi & Li Liancun
12. Articulated Boxing: Lu Weichang
13. Nine-Section Whip: Chen Gongzhe
（十四）幼稚會員各個運動 李業榮 衞廣元 李慶昌 謝棟柱
14. A variety of exercises for youth members: Li Yerong, Wei Guangyuan, Li Qingchang, Xie Dongzhu
（十五）雙掃子對槍 李占風 葉鳳岐
15. Two-Section Staff Versus Spear: Li Zhanfeng & Ye Fengqi
16. Double Sabers: Huang Hanjia
（十七）合戰 陳公哲 盧煒昌
17. Cooperative Fight: Chen Gongzhe & Lu Weichang
（十八）三節棍對槍 李蓮村 李占風
18. Three-Section Staff Versus Spear: Li Liancun & Li Zhanfeng
The Guangdong Educational Association will hold a welcoming celebration for the Jingwu Association at the Advanced Normal School at 7pm, inviting them to give their slide-show lecture. All Educational Association members and staff of both private and public schools may attend.
The public affairs office of the Guangzhou Business Group is an enormous space. The preparations for the Jingwu Association began with making connections, pooling resources, meeting every day with representatives of various organizations so that those who did not yet understand the purpose of the Jingwu Association, and thus might hesitate to contribute to it, would gain an overview of it that lets them know the qualities that make it a wonderful thing. One of these qualities for instance is that it is not at all like other associations that exist simply to profit off of their members, which would become manifestly clear once this Jingwu Association had been established.
The Business Group did their utmost to help with installing a raised platform for martial arts performances in a very short time, and then on the 15th, they held their welcoming celebration for members from the Shanghai Jingwu Association, followed that evening by a banquet, and everyone was very impressed by the amount of work that had been put in for the occasion. The events of that day, reported in an article in All Businesses Bulletin, are detailed below:
A Discussion of the Jingwu Era (published in All Businesses Bulletin):
“Three Organizations Welcome Members of the Jingwu Association” by Luo Xiao’ao
The three pillars of the Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association – Chen Gongzhe, Lu Weichang, and Yao Chanbo – have just headed back to Shanghai after founding the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association. While here, they were eagerly welcomed by people of all circles and repeatedly told reporters that the fervent hope of the Jingwu Association is to greatly benefit not only individual bodies, but also have an enormous effect on society in general and the nation as a whole. Reporters tirelessly took notes about all that occurred to keep readers up to date, keeping the newspapers very busy.
Yesterday, the 15th, the Business Group held a grand welcoming celebration for them. In the afternoon, various directors from the Guangdong Girls’ Athletic School held another welcoming celebration for them, while in the entire staff of the Business Group was at the same time setting up a banquet that would take place afterward. A carriage escorted eight gentlemen – Chen Gongzhe, Lu Weichang, Huang Hanjia, Ye Fengqi, Li Liancun, Yang Chenlun, Shen Jixiu, and Lian Jundu – to the welcoming party at the school, where they spent three hours.
To finish that event, Lu Weichang gave a speech discussing physiological function, encouragement of women, getting rid of bad habits, and giving attention to physical education in order to enhance the mind and fulfill the potential of one’s talents rather than serving no purpose in the world. He spoke a great deal, simple words, deep ideas, sparking thought in all of the more than a thousand people there. There were then several concluding performances of martial skills, after which the guests dispersed.
The eight men were then rushed back for the Business Group’s banquet, where they were met joyously, but they could not stay very long because they were shortly after expected at the Guangdong Province Educational Association, near enough that they proceeded to it on foot. It was already 8pm and the hall there was filled with over a thousand people. Jin Xiangfan [Cengcheng], president of the Educational Association, then stood and announced the mission of the Jingwu Association, the importance of physical education, the success of the methods of these Jingwu gentlemen, and how much they deserve a grand welcome.
Then Lu Weichang was invited to give a speech, in which he said: “Martial arts training is not only for strengthening the body, but can also develop the mind, drain away impurities, cleanse the blood, all of which calms the temperament, making it a fundamental means of moral cultivation. Because it focuses on the three components of essence, energy, and spirit, it is a pure skill and full of wisdom.”
Chen Gongzhe then gave a slide-show lecture which involved hundreds of slides over the course of almost an hour. The first slide was an image Huo Yuanjia. Huo was a fighter from the north who was a seventh-generation inheritor of his family’s unique art, which he then intended to pass on to the world. He once said: “I will share my art with the whole nation, and thus I will be able to die without regrets.” A certain instructor to the imperial guards once challenged Huo to a match. Huo won, which made him famous, and he became known as the “yellow-faced tiger”.
During the final year of the reign of the Emperor Guangxu , there was a certain foreign strong man in Shanghai who was advertising that he was challenging Chinese people to fight him. Huo came to Shanghai to face him and the man fled. Now that he was in Shanghai, Huo then formed the Jingwu Calisthenics Association (the original name of the Jingwu Athletic Association). At that time, He Jianwu was also in Shanghai and, together with Huang Jiesan and others, formed the Set-an-Example Society. Similar organizations formed in Shanghai one after another. Lu Weichang formed the Supporting Progress Society and Chen Gongzhe formed the Rouse-the-Masses Society. Although these organizations were formed separately, they all had the same idea in mind. With the emergence of the Jingwu Association, members from the various other organizations joined in rapid succession, coming together for the same cause.
The Jingwu Association was originally located in the Wang Family Neighborhood in the Zhabei District. Presiding over it at the time was long-time student Nong Zhu, who was made martial arts director. But then suddenly, just a few months after opening, Huo became resented by the Japanese, who used medicine to poison him. Carrying on from Huo were two instructors, Liu Zhensheng and Zhao Hanjie. At that time, Lu Weichang, Chen Gongzhe, and Yao Chanbo had just joined, but were soonafter taking charge of its affairs, consulting daily with the instructors, improving methods, integrating styles, and taking extra pains to manage the Jingwu Association. After a few years, everything was at last running smoothly.
And then it was smashed [by a typhoon]. Funds were insufficient to rebuild. Although these three gentlemen came from wealthy families, they swore they would never take so much as a single coin from their fathers or brothers, determined only to use money that they had made for themselves. (In their youth, they had each received a good education, studying both Chinese and English. With his qualifications, Lu was hired as an English language secretary and then found himself in charge of running New Luck Hardware. Ten years before, he had been pawning his clothes at the end of each year of his university education to pay for the next year’s tuition.)
At that time, the Jingwu Association had been emphasizing more physical education, hiring Zhang Fuyou and Zhao Lianhe as additional instructors. But the space became too small for the increasing number of members (going from only about sixty people in the beginning to more than two hundred), so in the third year of the reign of Emperor Xuantong [i.e. 1911], they leased the former site of the Business Group in the Zhabei District of Shanghai to be the new location of the Jingwu Association and appointed Yuan Hengzhi as president.
(Since the Jingwu Association was founded ten years ago, it has welcomed guests both Chinese and Western, and has had no shortage of encouragement and support. The position of president over the years has gone to Yuan Hengzhi, Zhu Qinglan, Nie Yuntai, and Wang Gechen. They have made contributions of their own money each year and have guided the Jingwu Association with devotion, but it is Yuan who has had the most stamina. Whenever martial arts get reviled as being ineffective, strongly criticized by people from any walk of life, it is Yuan alone who is able to convince them otherwise. He not only donates money every year to the Jingwu Association, he also insists that his own children and grandchildren train there. The Shanghai Jingwu Association has built a solid foundation and the new branch in Guangdong has been now completed, and these things would not have been achieved if it were not for Yuan’s energy. Among us Cantonese are many talented people, plenty of whom are just like Yuan – those whom we admire for cracking the whip.)
On that same day, the name was changed to “Athletic Association”. Soon after [in the autumn of 1912], Lu, Chen, and Yao had graduated [at the beginner level]. (That was the first graduation ceremony. There have now been six.) During that year, a course in army drill was added, with Yuan as the head instructor, as well as courses in music and various kinds of recreation. During that December, various members went outside, took off most of their clothes, and laid down in the snow, some even making snowmen, in order to test how resistant their bodies are to cold. They also arranged their worn-out boots into a formation in order to show how hardworking they have been.
In 1913, it was decided that the compiling of martial arts requires making a record of them on film, and thus a photography department was established. First the Rising Harmony Photography Company was formed in order to make daily progress in the study of photographic equipment. Chen Gongzhe has since produced the well-known book Shortcuts for Calculating Exposure (a book that has been tested and approved by the British Photographic Society), and the Jingwu Association has now even produced a movie, which members made by themselves.
During a yearly excursion, a member who is male [Chen Gongzhe himself] made the photograph “Three Pools at Sunset on West Lake”, which has been greatly admired by Chinese people and Westerners alike. When the Hankou Jingwu Association was being established, this photograph was on display and ended up being bought by a certain gentlemen for hundreds of gold yuan. The Shanghai Association then sent this money as a donation to the new Hankou Association. Another photograph, called “Mist Over Sutai”, was made by a member who is female [Chen Shichao, Gongzhe’s sister]. More than twenty members vied to be the first to obtain a print of this photograph.
The directors of this department are Ye Xiangrong and Chen Gongzhe. When members join the Jingwu Association, they have to have a photo taken of their physique, and then another one when they graduate, in order to compare the before-and-after of whether one has gone from skinny to fat or fat to skinny, such as is the case for Zheng Zhuochen and Liu Yichen respectively, who seem to have transformed in both body and spirit right before our eyes. There is now also film footage of various martial performances, of speeches, and of the new location.
That year in Shanghai, the Jingwu Association collapsed due to a typhoon. Chen, Lu, and Yao then secretly had a new building constructed, which took almost a year to finish. Chen had offered his own nine-acre flower garden, purchasing an additional sixteen acres, on which to build it. Construction cost tens of thousands of gold yuan, and once it was completed, it was decorated appropriately. On the very day that the members were told about it, the space was ready for them to move their training into it, and they were all of them amazed by the superlative workmanship.
The Jingwu Association is now located on Baikal Road, within the Foreign Concession, having obtained written permission from the Ministry of Works. (Several Westerners at first would not give their consent, but then the head of the Ministry took a look at the Jingwu Association for himself and greatly welcomed it. Not only was permission given, but also a helpful donation, enabling members to purchase more training weapons.) Membership increased to more than five hundred people, there were more than thirty instructors, and the Jingwu Association received many awards from people in various circles.
During that year , there were finally graduates at the advanced level: Chen, Lu, and Yao, as well as Ning Zhuting, Qiu Liang, Li Huisheng, and Liu Yichen, who all have first-rate skills. The quality of instruction subsequently improved, and then various educational institutions began hiring members to teach on their premises, until there are now more than thirty schools where instruction is being given. The Exemplary Women Team was also established. (The calisthenics instructor at the Guangdong Women’s Normal School and the Kunwei Women’s Normal School is Jingwu Association member Pan Shenglian.)
Schools both north and south of the Yanzte River have hired instructors from the Jingwu Association, both male and female, who have since taught more than tens of thousands of students. This includes other organizations, such as the Shanghai YMCA, built by the Chinese Christian Church, as well as the Great Virtue Cotton Mill, Lasting Abundance Cotton Mill, and Better Living Cotton Mill, and the Encouraging-the-Workers’-Children Association of the Commercial Press, which have all hired Jingwu Association instructors. Once a month, students from the various organizations and schools which are receiving instruction gather to exercise as a large group. Often there are more than a thousand people being led by the commands of one person, making it a standardized exercise.
As for the army drill unit, it began with just over twenty people, but that number has now tripled. The director is Zheng Zhuochen. Students graduate from this course after two years of instruction. A music department has also been established, offering classes in Cantonese opera, Beijing opera, and Western music. There is also tennis, soccer, basketball, and various other recreations. After Chen Tiesheng, a reporter for the Heavenly Clarion Newspaper, joined the Jingwu Association, a calligraphy class was established, focusing on emulating the handwriting of various famous calligraphers. There are altogether more than forty people in this class, both men and women.
Then there is the Walking Club, which meets every day at 6:30am at the Hongkou Steel Bridge at the outer edge of Shanghai [i.e. where central Shanghai bordered the Foreign Concession], and from there walks over two miles to the Jingwu Association. Anyone who is late is penalized with a fine, but a gold medal is awarded for going a full year without missing a day. There is also the Encouragement Club. Its very strict system of fines serves to fund the making of awards for its members, as well as group dinners.
There is a drawing and painting class, for which the directors are Shen Bocheng and Zhou Bosheng. There are Chinese and English language night classes, for which the English language directors are Zhou Xisan and Liang Lizao, and the Chinese language director is Luo Bokui. There is a medicine class, giving lectures on hygiene, for which the directors are Lin Jinhua and Tang Jiezhi. Instructors in all courses each have their individual duties. Beyond membership fees, members do not have to pay additional fees to take any of the courses that are offered.
The outfits of leopard skin and leather boots display the body’s robustness and muscular development. The standard member uniforms are made of “patriotic cloth” dyed gray with the frog buttons in the “neatly threading” arrangement of interlinking buttons. These uniforms fulfill three functions: 1. The cloth used shows frugality. 2. The interlinking buttons shows meticulousness. 3. The uniform looks distinct from both the costumes of theatrical performers and the fashions of Westerners. We considered many designs before making our final selection, awarding a 100 yuan for the best design. This design was chosen unanimously and has not been changed to this day.
In recent years, an editorial department has been established in order to put various arts into book form. There have been seven publications so far, five on martial arts sets (a Twelve-Line Tantui wall-hanging, Damo Sword, Tantui, Cooperative Fight, and Fifth Tiger’s Spear) and two others, one showcasing the Jingwu Association itself (called simply Jingwu), the other addressing a particular field of study [photography] (Shortcuts for Calculating Exposure). There are various other books in the works, such as Hand-to-Hand Combat, Officer’s Saber at Close Quarters, Bayonet Versus Bayonet, and so on.
In 1918, Lao Yonghong of Hankou adopted the Jingwu Association’s goal of spreading these arts throughout the nation and promoted for there to be a branch location in Hankou, followed by another in Guangdong. He sponsored the forming of the Hankou Jingwu Association, which was then established on Yinsheng Road. Tang Shancuo was made its president. Tang is famous for his philanthropy to the Hankou Shang Dynasty Historical Society, and therefore this branch of the Jingwu Association was established very quickly.
During the winter of that year, our own Cantonese martial arts team, run by Li Fulin, so admired the martial arts of the Jingwu Association that they sent representatives to Shanghai to seek Jingwu instructors. The Jingwu Association then sent martial arts instructor Ye Fengqi and member Yang Chenlun by steamship to Guangdong to teach. These two gentlemen trained with our most talented practitioners every day, treating them with extraordinary camaraderie and respect, until they had a detailed understanding of the Jingwu material.
In Jan, 1919, Li Fulin sent a letter inviting Jingwu staff to Guangdong to form a Guangdong branch. The Shanghai Jingwu Association sent Chen Tiesheng, who then nominated Li Fulin, Wei Bangping, and Chen Lianbo as sponsors for the project, and the new branch was established that very day. Chen then sent a telegram reporting back to Shanghai. The directors there immediately held a conference, in which they selected Chen Gongzhe, Lu Weichang, and Yao Chanbo, accompanied by instructor Li Liancun and member Lian Jundu, and so on, some dozen people altogether, to go to Guangdong.
There was a welcoming celebration held for this entire group, who then gave their slide-show presentation which lasted late into the evening with still more slides left to be shown when it was time to stop. One last special image was shown, of Jingwu founder Huo Yuanjia, in order to express that his achievements will never be forgotten. It was then declared that it was time for the martial arts performances. Thousands of members and students filled that space to watch. The performances, each of which brought thunderous applause, went on until 11:30pm, after which tea was served, and then everyone dispersed.
The next day (the 16th), the students of the Guangdong Women’s Normal School received Jingwu instructor Pan Shenglian, and were full of admiration for her teachings. They then sent a staff member to give a letter to Lu Weichang and Chen Gongzhe to invite them to a welcoming celebration. Lu had originally planned on spending that evening going to Hong Kong in order to return to Shanghai, but because it was insisted that he stay an extra day, he instead went that afternoon to their school, where the entire student body, numbering more than six hundred, filled the main hall. They stood and awaited him, looking upon him with great respect. The school principal Tao Jisun announced the reason for this gathering and then the students sang a song of welcome.
Lu was asked to give some encouragement to the students, so he gave a speech about how the practice of martial arts in this school will affect them for many years to come. Every word of his speech was concerned with the essentials of martial arts, and then finally he gave them earnest encouragement, urging them to have the stamina to develop extraordinary skill. After finishing his many words, he called upon Pan to drill the students, and so she ordered a team of students to perform, showing themselves to be highly skilled with staffs.
She then ordered the martial arts team to perform the first six lines of Tantui, which they did methodically and impressively. For each line, Lu added a few comments and gave a few pointers where there were shortcomings, although because Pan is from Suzhou, Lu’s accent might have rendered some of his remarks meaningless. After these performances, instructors Ye Fengqi and Li Zhanfeng each gave an in-depth demonstration of the first line of Tantui, moving slowly and fully extending their arms and legs for the greatest clarity in order for the students to get to see exactly what they showing. Lu then gave a detailed explanation of the training, which was followed by performances of various boxing sets, as well as spear, saber, and sets, and Cooperative Fight, each of which received unanimous applause. At 5pm, tea was served and everyone dispersed.
Beyond the circumstances of the event being recorded in Chinese publications, it was also reported in the English-language newspaper The Times. Foreigners then also invited Jingwu members to demonstrate martial arts in the Foreign Concession. Unfortunately they had to decline because there was no time left in their schedule. The Times article is shown below:
Clipping from a Guangdong English-language newspaper [The Times]:
On the morning of the 17th, Chen Gongzhe, Lu Weichang, and Huang Hanjia went via Hong Kong to return to Shanghai, their train leaving Guangzhou at 7am and arriving in Hong Kong at 11am. After obtaining lodging at the Great East Hotel, they went to the Hong Kong Jingwu Association to meet with Yu Xiaochang and Ruan Wencun and discuss with them methods of moving forward.
Ruan said: “The Chinese Recreation Club just held a meeting about the opening of a Guangzhou Jingwu branch. All the members support the idea, but they think there isn’t a good site for it there. (Apart from a main office, there ought to also be a soccer field, tennis court, and so on, for all the sports that Westerners that imported, which would leave insufficient funds to even construct facilities for martial arts practice.) There’s also no way this branch can be opened in a short time. Because the whole of Hong Kong is under foreign rule, the bureaucracy’s pretty efficient here, but it’ll be very difficult to get things done quickly in Guangzhou.”
Old Zhao Fuchen, together with Ruan Wencun and Yu Xiaochang, not only invited Jingwu Association instructors to teach their skills, but also important people from all walks of life to discuss everything that might obstruct the branch from being established. One source of hindrance to progress is that the purpose of the branch had not yet been made clear. They were then joined by various comrades, as well as Wei Baoshan [known as Sir Boshan Wei Yuk] and Zhang Xinwu’s son (who is adept at the northern styles of martial arts), and all went to the preparatory office to give their slide show.
This presentation explained in detail the Jingwu Association’s purpose, curriculum, and future plans so that everyone would understood the true facts. They then decided to go up to the rooftop to perform their skills, each demonstrating his specialties. The camaraderie of the occasion is difficult to describe in words. They then continued to discuss the matter, not leaving until well after midnight, showing their tremendous focus for this project.
On the 21st, Chen Gongzhe and Lu Weichang went to visit Wei Baoshan, who even at the age of seventy was still full of vitality. (Many generations of the Wei family have been skilled at martial arts, with the result that their fullness of spirit usually gets passed down to the next generation.) They talked a great deal on the matter. He supported these Jingwu promoters in every detail, and then based on his many years of experience, he described it as a medicine for the troubles of ordinary young people, how wasting one’s youth was a particular cause of regret for so many.
Right before they left on their journey, he gave them many photographs as a gift, and they in turn also gave him a gift of Jingwu manuals [probably the Damo Sword and Tantui books]. Having great faith in his advice, they felt sure the foundations of the new location would soon be laid, a comfort they had been longing for. At 4pm, they left on a large steamship back to Shanghai.
When Chen Gongzhe and Lu Weichang left Guangdong, Chen Tiesheng remained in Guangzhou to handle Jingwu Association affairs. He went to director Jian Qinshi to discuss where the site should be. Jian told him that Wei Bangping [head of the Guangzhou Police Department] had already suggested a site in the eastern part of city, near the Temple of Agriculture, as being the most suitable. They began planning for the funding, but there could not be scheduling of construction until they had first settled on a site. They also daily increased the number of provisional secretaries, drawing from people of all walks of life, in order to progress more efficiently, as is recounted in this short piece from All Businesses Bulletin below:
“Jingwu Athletic Association Adds Provisional Secretaries” (April 18)
Yesterday at noon, the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association borrowed the space of the Grain Relief Association to commence their second staff member gathering, in which they resolved to add many provisional secretaries in various roles. The names in each of these appointments are listed below:
Provisional head secretary: Jian Qinshi
總務 楊達三 熊長卿 陳益南 何劍吳 李芝畦 李戒欺 黃礪海 黃漢榮 胡沛雲 霍公拔
General-affairs secretaries: Yang Dasan, Xiong Changqing, Chen Yinan, He Jianwu, Li Zhiqi, Li Jieqi, Huang Lihai, Huang Hanrong, Hu Peiyun, Huo Gongba
財政 陳廉伯 黃鷺塘 屈湘萍
Finance secretaries: Chen Lianbo, Huang Lutang, Qu Xiangping
文牘 羅嘯璈 梁孝魯 許逈凡
Correspondence secretaries: Luo Xiao’ao, Liang Xiaolu, Xu Jiongfan
庶務 黃煥庭 郭仙洲 陳兆均 蔡劍泉
Business-affairs secretaries: Huang Huanting, Guo Xianzhou, Chen Zhaojun, Cai Jianquan
The day after this article was written, Chen Tiesheng, accompanied by Luo Xiao’ao, Huang Lihai, Guo Xianzhou, and Huang Huanting, went hunting for a suitable building. Due to heavy rainfall, they subsequently spent three days walking in the rain in their quest, exhibiting an enthusiasm which bodes well for the future of the Guangdong Jingwu Association.
On the 20th, they rented some mansion space at #25 Xianle Village, in the Newtown area, to be a temporary meeting site.
On the 21st, members Shen Jixiu and Yang Chenlun, with instructors Li Zhanfeng and Ye Fengqi, relocated the Jingwu preparatory office from the Hoi Tong Temple into #25 Xianle Village, and the Guangdong Jingwu Association was then managed from there.
On the 22nd, Chen Tiesheng took advantage of the fact that Shen Jixiu had missed his boat back to Shanghai. Instead of traveling on the vessel Suiyang, Shen was now made martial arts director of the Guangdong Jingwu Association. Yang Chenlun was appointed as vice director. Ye Fengqi and Li Zhanfeng were appointed as instructors, since both men were already constant visitors there.
The managing of affairs at the Guangdong Jingwu Association was then divided into three sections:
1. Directors: sponsors Li Fulin, Wei Bangping, Jian Qinshi, Jian Zhaonan, Jin Cengcheng, and Yang Meibin, as well as enthusiastic support coming from people in various circles, such as Mo Rongxin, Zhai Wang, Lin Hu, and Li Liejun.
2. Management: Luo Xiao’ao, Guo Xianzhou, Huang Lihai, and Huang Huanting.
3. Martial arts: members Shen Jixiu and Yang Chenlun, who had traveled from Shanghai to the Guangdong Jingwu Association, as well as instructors Ye Fengqi and Li Zhanfeng, who continue to receive their instructions from the original Shanghai Jingwu Association.
Below is an additional record of the process from All Businesses Bulletin:
“Jingwu Athletic Association to Open Soon” (April 21)
After the announcement of the establishing of a Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association, the Jingwu representatives yesterday rented a space just past Tranquility Gate, in a mansion at #25 Xianle Village, to serve as a temporary site for conducting affairs. In a few days, they will finally set a date to open the Guangdong Jingwu branch. Apart from Chen Gongzhe, Lu Weichang, Yao Chanbo, who have to hurry back to Shanghai, those who will stay in Guangdong to fulfill this task are members Shen Jixiu and Yang Chenlun, as well as instructors Ye Fengqi and Li Zhanfeng. Coordinating with the Guangdong Jingwu Association’s secretaries-in-charge, they will within the next few days have a constitution printed and then fix a date to open.
The establishing of the Guangdong Jingwu Association is primarily due to Li Fulin, who has done his utmost to promote it, Yang Dasan, who has provided substantial assistance, and Jian Qinshi, one of the directors of the original location, who has done his very best to help shoulder the burden. Contributors from business circles are: Yang Meibin, Chen Lianbo, Huang Lihai, Guo and Xianzhou; from the press: Luo Xiao’ao, Chen Luosheng, Lin Sen, Tan Xueheng, Lin Hu, and Zhuo Renji; from police circles: Wei Bangping and Chen Gongshou; and from academic circles: He Jianwu and Jin Cengcheng. These people are all full of enthusiasm, as spirited as a raging fire.
The gentlemen of the Guangdong Jingwu Association are uncomplaining about the effort that their duties require, unwilling to shirk any part of their duty to the citizenry. Their greatest hope is that their fellow countrymen will be able to keep themselves from heaping every bit of the praise for this kind of work onto the Guangdong Jingwu Association alone [when there are also other organizations working toward the same goal].
Further progress came from Chen Gongzhe and Lu Weichang, who arrived in Shanghai on the 25th. They met with Nuo Suixing, representative from provincial garrison commander Ma Lin, and Lu Mengyan, representative from the Warriors Association of Tianjin, aware that northerners are also vigorously promoting these arts, adapting such exercise for people of all walks of life, wholeheartedly going forth to research the most appropriate methods.
Priority has been given to martial arts, with martial arts periodicals being produced in order to illuminate everyone throughout the nation. Martial arts seminars are being held everywhere for the purpose of unifying martial arts teaching methods. The people of Tianjin are particularly anxious to form a Jingwu branch there in order to support this grand scheme, but unfortunately with the organizing of the Guangdong branch keeping so many colleagues busy, it was not yet possible find any spare time to attend to the forming of further branches, though it is greatly hoped that members will urgently find a way to bring those projects to fruition as well.
Photo of the promoters of the Guangdong Jingwu Association, taken at Li Fulin’s mansion:
Li Fulin is seated center, second row.
Seated second and fifth in the first row on the ground are Li Fulin’s sons, age six and seven, both of whom are skillful in martial arts.
Photo of main corporate benefactors:
[from right to left]:
1. Huang Hanjia
2. Yao Chanbo
3. Lin Hu
4. Chen Gongzhe
5. Lu Weichang
6. Zhuo Renji
7. Chen Tiesheng
8. Guo Weiyi
9. Li Mingyang
Visiting the Grave of the Seventy-Martyrs of the Second Guangzhou Uprising:
Upper row [right to left]:
1. Lin Sen
2. Lu Weichang
3. Chen Tiesheng
4. Yao Chanbo
5. Chen Gongzhe
Lower row [right to left]:
1. Huang Hanjia
2. Zhuo Renji
3. Guo Weiyi
4. Luo Xiao’ao
PHOTOS OF ACTIVITY IN GUANGDONG
I was sent to Guangdong to help open the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association. I sincerely present for you all a glimpse of events through these photos.
- Chen Gongzhe, April, 1919
Three photos from the Business Society’s welcoming:
Photo 1 – Business Society members Huang Lutang and Zhao Xiushi, as well as members of the Jingwu Association, and also provincial garrison commander Li Fulin and head of [police] department Wei Bangping:
Photo 2 [oval photo] – performing martial arts under a tent in front of the Merchants Society,
Photo 3 [rectangular photo] – and in front of seated guests:
Two photos from the welcoming party at the Guangdong Girls’ Athletic School:
Photo 1 [upper photo] – A schoolgirl performing a boxing set
Photo 2 [lower photo] – and Jingwu Association instructors preparing to perform:
Two photos from the welcoming party at the Guangdong Women’s Normal School:
Photo 1 [rectangular photo] – Indoors during the party
Photo 2 [oval photo] – and schoolgirls doing a group performance of a boxing set:
The woman standing alone in Photo 2 in the white top and black skirt is Pan Shenglian, a graduate of the Patriotic Girls’ School of Shanghai. She received boxing arts instruction from Jingwu Association members Ning Zhuting and Lu Weichang, and is currently the calisthenics instructor at the school.
Photos of Guangdong Jingwu Association sponsor Xiong Changqing’s family:
Photo 1 – Xiong’s family with Jingwu members:
Photo 2 – members of Xiong’s family performing boxing techniques:
Xiong is an expert at martial arts. His entire family practices, regardless of male or female, young or old. He has recently hired the martyr Wen Shengcai’s son Weiqin to give them further instruction (who appears at the far right of the top row in the first photo).
There are other organizations, such as the Press Guild, the Nanwu Secondary School, the Educational Association, and so on, but no photos of them could be taken due to lighting limitations.
LETTERS OF WELCOME FROM VARIOUS ORGANIZATIONS (not including the letters of invitation that preceded them)
Photo of a few welcome letters:
Letter of welcome from the Guangdong Educational Association [which in the photo is found in the upper right]:
To everyone at the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association,
Since the esteemed Jingwu Association was established, word has spread throughout the southeast. You have been rousing martial spirit and promoting the doctrine of physical education, for which you have our immeasurable admiration. Tomorrow, the 15th, at 7pm, our own association is holding an event for you at Southern Gate Advanced Normal School. We look forward to the honor of your presence and your advice. We also request that you please give one of your slide-show lectures as a means of enlightening the students. We very much hope that you can attend and that the road to the event is smooth.
- Respectfully yours, Guangdong Educational Association (April 14)
Letter of welcome from the Guangdong Girls’ Athletic School [in the lower right in the photo]:
To Lu Weichang and Chen Gongzhe,
For the special event at our school today, we welcome you both from the esteemed Jingwu Association. All is prepared for you and we greatly appreciate your presence. Lian Zhuanzhi arrived last night, and today at 1pm the members of the Chamber of Commerce among others will also come to watch your demonstration. We hope that the payment we sent you was accurate and that you may pardon us for the space not being specially decorated for the event. We await you eagerly and hope that the road here is smooth.
- Li Lian, principal of the Girls’ Athletic School (April 15)
Letter from Lian Shenghai, representing the members of the Guangdong Girls’ Athletic School [lower left in the photo]:
(When members of the Jingwu Association were going to be in Guangdong for just a days, various organizations rushed to prepare to receive them, feet never stopping and yet no one daring to ask to rest. This particular letter is an example just to show what a strong enthusiasm for martial arts there is in society now.)
To Lu Weichang and Chen Gongzhe,
We at this physical education school for girls have been preparing for several days to welcome you. It has been a hive of activity. But today we have suddenly heard that tomorrow you will be going somewhere else! The members of the welcoming party cannot bear to miss the opportunity to meet you, and so the principal has asked me to write a letter to plead with you to make it here tomorrow no matter what. If you could grace us with your presence, it would keep the students and guests from being terribly disappointed. Therefore I am writing to trouble you to please postpone whatever is delaying you and choose to come here instead. I cannot tell you how much this means to us.
- My humble best wishes, Lian Shenghai (April 14)
A reply letter from the Guangdong branch:
When Jingwu Association members went to Guangdong, they carried with them letters of introduction singed by Wen Qinfu [Zongyao]. Of the many replies to these letters that have by now been sent from the Guangdong branch, this one has been chosen as an example. Here is the text of this original handwritten letter:
Wen Qinfu has clearly been intently observing the clouds and trees and has found that along with the coming of this new spring, an exemplary teacher has arrived. Your letter has brought great tidings, news that fosters good fortune and great relief, foretelling auspicious progress. Much sought after and endlessly praised, Chen Gongzhe has come to Guangdong to establish a branch of the Jingwu Athletic Association in order to promote esteem for our martial arts and to rouse the national spirit. I happily endorse him, and to aid you in your own estimation, I hope all the way to the horizon that you will presently bestow upon him the respect due to a great teacher and not let him slip through your fingers.
- Respectfully and with blessings, Mo Rongxin (April 10)
(written on the stationary of the Guangdong provincial military governor)
The Chinese Recreation Club in Hong Kong:
A gift from the Jingwu Association’s painting instructor, Shen Bocheng (May 9, 1919):
“Jingwu is on the rise!”
女界 軍界 學界 商界 政界 報界
And it is due to support from women’s groups, the military, academia, business, government, the press, etc.
ADDITIONAL RECENT NEWS ABOUT THE GUANGDONG JINGWU ASSOCIATION
“Events of the Jingwu Association Staff Meeting” (All Businesses Bulletin, April 28)
The Jingwu Athletic Association yesterday held its third meeting at its Xianle Village site. Head Secretary Jian Qinshi, who chaired the meeting, gave a few words about their progress, the plans for financing the building construction having been the priority for a long time. Other issues are the arranging of a branch constitution, the registering of new members and setting the qualifications for membership, the electing of staff members and providing for their expenses, all of which must now be decided.
Luo Xiao’ao then announced that he had already taken care of the situation and presented a draft of a constitution for discussion, to which everyone then gave their approval and it was voted for by a majority, the voting being strictly limited to Jingwu Association members. Jian then put forward the issue of whether or not there should a president specifically for this branch. Liang Lindan supported establishing a board of directors, comprised of five to seven people, to be in overall charge of affairs. This was also voted for by a majority.
Jian then stated that there was not much time left to get this Jingwu branch organized before losing the confidence of the community, and that they had been overly relying on the press to maintain public interest, with the result that advertising the branch had been taking the place of running it. “Since members of the press have been doing so much to promote the martial spirit, I feel that we ought to let them join for free, and then they would be able to show that they possess both literary and martial talents.” This was then discussed and agreed.
He Jianwu and Jin Xiangfan [Cengcheng] proposed fixing a regular time for meetings. It was decided to hold a meeting every Wednesday at 3pm, and it was also decided to accept members on May 1 and to gather to elect the board of directors on May 3 at 1pm. Xiong Changqing proposed that further discussion should wait until after collecting the general opinions of the female members and until there was a final draft of the constitution. The meeting dispersed at 4pm.
“The Constitution of the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association” (as published in All Businesses Bulletin, May 1)
The Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association will today begin teaching classes, as has already been announced in newspapers. This Jingwu branch has also adopted a constitution [a provisional and incomplete document modeled upon the more formal Jingwu Constitution (which can be found in the Appendices)], the details of which are shown below:
Section 1: General Points
Item 1: This Jingwu Association imitates the China Jingwu Athletic Association in Shanghai for its methods of studying martial arts and its approaches to physical education, and will likewise establish departments for recreational activities and literary studies. It is called the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association.
Item 2: The Jingwu Association pays particular attention to physical education, but lays equal stress on moral education and intellectual education. Its purpose is to build a stronger and more resolute citizenry. We therefore forbid the politics of keeping styles secret and will in no way segregate styles from each other.
Item 3: A suitable location has been chosen for constructing the building for this Jingwu branch, where it will remain in the long term. But in order to get things moving quicker, we have rented a space past Tranquility Gate, in a mansion at #25 Xianle Village, to serve as a temporary location for opening this Jingwu Association.
Section 2: Membership
Item 4: All who aspire to join the Jingwu Association require a recommendation from other members. (There are no age restrictions.)
Item 5: All who join must also have a letter of recommendation. Those from academic circles should bring a letter from the head of their school. Those from business circles should bring a letter from the head of their company. Those from military or police circles should bring a letter from their commanding officer.
Item 6: Three months after joining the Jingwu Association, members will be reviewed by directors, instructors, and staff. If they have indeed not violated any of the rules throughout those three months, they will then be given a Jingwu badge and thus be formally recognized as a member of the Jingwu Association.
Item 7: Once members have received a badge, they must take it seriously and not treat it as a mere decoration. If they behave improperly within the Jingwu Association, or even cause trouble outside it, or engage in immoral conduct, the examinations officers will tell them to hand over their badges and leave the premises, and their names will be removed from any lists of member names to be printed in newspapers.
Item 8: Members who decide to end their membership must write a letter to inform office staff in order to formally cancel their membership fees [i.e. official documentation is required to prevent confusion and not end up still getting billed for tuition].
Item 9: Membership is divided into four types:
A. Ordinary membership is for those who participate in martial arts courses and other courses.
B. Recreational membership is for those who only participate in recreational activities.
C. Limited summer membership is for those who participate in martial arts courses and other courses, but only during a six-week period in the summer.
D. Honorary membership is for those who help out here or who donate funds.
Section 3: Staff
Item 10: The staff of this Jingwu Association involves:
A. a board of directors, comprised of five to seven board members, who are in overall charge, deciding what affairs are to be maintained or expanded,
B. a certain number of secretaries-in-charge, who do the actual handling of affairs.
Item 11: The board of directors is elected by members every May, appointed on the basis of who has the most enthusiasm and determination. Whenever issues arise about whether certain affairs should be maintained or expanded, the board will convene and decide how to proceed.
Item 12: The secretaries-in-charge will appoint a head secretary who is in charge of dividing the staff into the various duties of general affairs, literary matters, bookkeepers, examiners, and medical matters.
Item 13: There is a director of instructors. Many of the instructors are engaged from the Shanghai China Jingwu Athletic Association, but we will add more instructors who represent various other styles. For dealing with business matters, we will specifically appoint from among our own secretaries-in-charge.
Item 14: After staff members have completed a full year of serving in their position, they are eligible to be re-elected to their position for a second term.
Section 4: Funds
Item 15: Our Association is funded by two means: A. donations, B. tuition.
Item 16: Donations to this Association have come enthusiastically from people of all walks of life. All those who donate 50 or more yuan earn the title of “honorary member” to commend them for their noble contribution.
Item 17: Ordinary membership is 2 yuan per month, 8 yuan per six months, or 12 yuan per year. Recreational membership is 3 yuan per six months. Summer membership is 1 yuan [per six weeks]. All fees are to be paid at the accounting office. (After the completion of a course of study, there are also graduation fees.)
Section 5: Curriculum
Item 18: This Jingwu Association’s established curriculum:
1. Martial arts department:
a. boxing sets,
c. two-person sets (i.e. application methods),
d. internal skill (i.e. energy movement).
2. Recreational Activities Department
3. Artistic Studies Department
(These two departments have not yet been opened. Further details will be given when courses within them begin.)
The martial arts curriculum (which takes six years to complete) is listed below:
1. Boxing Sets:
Blue Dragon Boxing
Fifth Tiger’s Boxing Set
Fifth Tiger’s Boxing
Drunken Eight Immortals
Second Son’s Boxing Set
Swinging-Kicks Boxing Set
Serpent Slayer Boxing
Black Tiger Boxing
Small Tying Boxing
2. Weapon Sets:
Fifth Tiger’s Fork
Basic Saber Set
Sun Bin Cane
Spring & Autumn Halberd
Tiger Head Hooks
Fifth Tiger’s Spear
Coil & Flourish Saber
Eight-Trigrams Double Sabers
Crescent Moons Halberd
3. Two-person sets:
Saber & Cane Versus Spear
Two-Section Staff Versus Spear
Two-Person Eight-Trigrams Saber
Fifth Son’s Boxing Set
Mace Versus Staff
Double Canes Versus Spear
Empty-Hand versus Double Sabers
Large Saber Versus Crescent Moons Halberd
Large Saber Versus Spear
Double Sabers versus Spear
Coiling-Dragon Staff versus Spear
Empty-Hand Versus Spear
Three-Section Staff Versus Spear
String of Beads
Gate-Opening Leopard Saber
Two-Person Large Saber
Tiger Head Hooks Versus Spear
Section 6: Schedules
Item 19: Hours for the martial arts department: every day, throughout the day, from 6am to 9pm, instructors will teach material to individual groups. All ordinary members can come to learn at any time. (Scheduling for recreational activities and artistic studies will be made known when those departments have opened.)
Section 7: Graduation
Item 20: Once members of the martial arts department have completed two years of training, they are given a beginner-level diploma. After completing four years, they are given an intermediate-level diploma. After completing six years, they are given an advanced-level diploma. Graduation at all levels is held during our annual autumn athletic meet. If advanced graduates wish to continue to progress toward even higher levels of accomplishment, they are especially welcome in the Jingwu Association, and their membership fees will annually decreased. (As for graduating from courses in the departments of recreational activities and artistic studies, details will be arranged once those courses have started.)
Section 8: Supplementary Items
Item 21: Our colleagues have formed the Jingwu Association with the purpose of strengthening the masses to strengthening the nation. Although each department has its own criteria, there are also strict rules that all members must abide by.
Item 22: If there is something that this constitution does not cover, it can be amended by Jingwu Association staff or a majority decision by members.
- Signed by sponsors and assisting members (names not included here)
“Jingwu Athletic Association Staff Appointments” (All Businesses Bulletin, May 5)
The Jingwu Athletic Association yesterday elected many staff members and secretaries-in-charge. Jian Qinshi chaired the meeting. Following much discussion, votes were cast. Li Fulin, Wei Bangping, Jian Zhaonan, Chen Lianbo, and Yang Meibin were elected as board members. Jian Qinshi was elected as the head secretary-in-charge. Other decided appointments are listed below:
總務 金湘帆 何劍吳 楊達三 陳益南 熊長卿 路錫三 蘇相平 郭仙洲 趙秀石 李芝畦 霍公拔 卓仁機
General affairs: Jin Xiangfan [Cengcheng], He Jianwu, Yang Dasan, Chen Yinan, Xiong Changqing, Zhou Xisan, Su Xiangping, Guo Xianzhou, Zhao Xiushi, Li Zhiqi, Huo Gongba, Zhuo Renji
文牘 許逈凡 梁孝魯
Secretaries: Xu Jiongfan, Liang Xiaolu
庶務 陳兆均 盧定安 姚杰 蔡劍泉 劉少蘇 黃俊新
Business matters: Chen Zhaojun, Lu Ding’an, Yao Jie, Cai Jianquan, Liu Shaosu, Huang Junxin
文事 陳蘿生 馮伯礪 甘六持 梁懍丹 羅嘯璈 吳鑄魂
Literary matters: Chen Luosheng, Feng Boli, Gan Liuchi, Liang Lindan, Luo Xiao’ao, Wu Zhuhun
會計 黃礪海 杜琯英
Bookkeepers: Huang Lihai, Du Guanying
財政 陳廉仲 屈湘平
Treasurers: Chen Liangzhong, Qu Xiangping
醫務 黃漢榮 何焯
Physicians: Huang Hanrong, He Chao
調查 宋季輯 胡沛雲 黎佩詩 杜星棠 蕭漢明 謝沃生 黃煥庭 楊桂勳 陸見如 何傑三 陳鳳孫
Examiners: Song Jiji, Hu Peiyun, Li Peishi, Du Xingtang, Xiao Hanming, Xie Wosheng, Huang Huanting, Yang Guixun, Lu Jianru, He Jiesan, Chen Fengsun
A BUNCH OF REVIEWS IN VARIOUS NEWSPAPERS
“Physical Education & Martial Arts” by Shigong (Guangdong China News, Apr 9)
Physical education is the branch of learning that has to do with training the bodies of the people, and martial arts are the essence of our nation’s physical education. Together they form the basis of strengthening our people. The work of strengthening the body requires courage, liveliness, and great willpower, and then one can do great things. Our nation’s long-standing weakness actually comes from our people’s listlessness. If we wish to strengthen the nation, we must first strengthen the people, but to strengthen the people, we must first promote the best means of doing so. Gentlemen from the Jingwu Association have come all the way to Guangdong to promote martial arts, expressing the sincere goal of strengthening the nation by strengthening the masses. Hearing about this delighted me so much that I could not sleep.
I have observed that today’s generation has an inclination toward a sense of universal brotherhood, everything now being a goal globally. Although our martial arts originated in our nation, these arts could with a bit of enterprise advance to become global arts. Indeed I hope that these gentlemen plan to do their utmost to promote these arts, increasingly striving to take the glorious arts of our nation to the whole world and earn for them a place as a significant form of physical education, outshining the likes of the Sumo of Japan or German fencing. How else will the glory of our nation gain the praise of the people of the world except by the efforts of the Jingwu Association?
“Easterners & Westerners” [not in this case referring to Asians & Europeans, but to people from Shanghai (to the northeast) & people from Guangdong (to the southwest)] by Situ Lengguan (Guangdong China News, Apr 9)
The Jingwu Athletic Association started in Shanghai with the aim of providing physical education, further supplemented by moral education and intellectual education. It began with Huo Yuanjia of Hebei, whose martial skill dominated the area both north and south of the Yangzte River. Encouraged by his students, he founded the Jingwu Association. Since it was established, ten years have flown by, and there are now more than a thousand members.
Both directly and indirectly, his teachings have been passed down to more than fifteen thousand people, after having started with a mere seventy students. It was originally also a rather cramped space, and so in recent years Chen Gongzhe, Lu Weichang, and Yao Chanbo strongly pushed for the construction of a new location. After laying the foundation of the building, everyone involved has made it a haven for martial arts.
The Jingwu Athletic Association has chosen Nie Yuntai for its president, who is a famous industrialist in Shanghai. He is passionate about social causes and feels that physical education is especially important. Through the work of Nie, the Jingwu Association has made great strides.
The Guangdong branch has now been established, and those who had been promoting martial arts here are thrilled to discover that they are not alone in their ideals and heartily welcome the Jingwu Association.
“The Relevance of Boxing Arts” by Tie (Power-of-the-People News, April 8)
Boxing arts are the very essence of our nation’s culture. In the past, military men valued strategy and were especially skilled in martial arts. Since the invention of firearms, boxing arts have been considered to be much less important, but those with the opposing view will point out that this is not the case when facing a highly determined adversary. During the Russo-Japanese War, it was after all hand-to-hand combat that was the decisive factor in overpowering the Cossacks, rendering their weapons no better than rotten wood due to the effectiveness of boxing arts.
The marvel of boxing arts is that they are not only useful for defending the self and defeating opponents, but are also an excellent peacetime exercise for rousing the energy and blood in order to strengthen one’s physique and enhance one’s health. Schools need to make physical education a part of their curricula, giving everyone the training they need to become soldier-citizens. This is the most important step.
In the past, scholars became frail and brittle, fit only for turning the pages of a book. As this ended up being customary for many generations, how then can we transform the nation away from being weak, the people from being feeble? If we now wish to give a boost to the weak and feeble, there is no hope unless we promote boxing arts, and our countrymen must encourage each other in this endeavor.
“Jingwu” by Yun (Daily News, April 8)
Our nation’s boxing arts are truly unique. First of all, scholars would not give them any attention, considering them to be something for the lower classes. Then low-class ruffians feuded over differences of style. And then finally, due to the constant improvements in firearms, these arts have at best become no better than the ancient Guangling Melody. But now it is time for our martial arts to be reborn, to have a renaissance.
Lu Weichang gave a speech in which he said: “If we don’t hurry up and reclaim these arts, our cultural essence will end up exported to the West, and then we will have to go to Europe or America to get it back.” These words filled me with grief. Thankfully the Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association has had distinguished success. We Cantonese people will whole-heartedly attend [the new Guangdong branch].
“The Shield” by Tian Daren (New Republic News, April 10)
It is wonderful that the Jingwu Athletic Association uses a shield as its emblem. A shield is used for defense, and so the Jingwu Association’s purpose is clear at a glance. Of course they are not the only ones who have shields in mind. To prevent harm to the nation and the people, we use laws as a shield. To fight off aggression from neighboring countries, we rely on the will of the people to be a shield. For both a person and a nation, there always has to be some kind of shield. I greatly respect the Jingwu Association and I especially admire this shield.
“Our Cultural Essence” by Xinggong (China News, April 12)
Having a great variety of weapons is a specialty of our martial arts and something that cannot be sneered at. However, the weapons used during the European War [WWI] were never old-fashioned, making our traditional martial arts weapons look like fossils. In the essays of Wang Chuanshan, he said this on the subject of training troops: “Constantly drilling and doing mock battles does not compare to the authentic battle of hunting wild beasts. This is because a mock battle maintains a level of dignity, whereas a real fight gives an experience of genuine stress.” If we are to preserve our cultural essence [i.e. Chinese martial traditions], we must keep this point in mind.
The term “cultural essence” may seem rather vague, but ever since the Yellow Emperor wielded his battle-ax to keep out threats from the wilderness, his peerless martial accomplishments have resonated to this day. If we are to be worthy of this inheritance and develop it further, we cannot expect the people of other nations to do the work for us. Our hopes are with our Jingwu Athletic Association as they bear the “iron shoulder-pole” [i.e. take on the responsibility of rescuing the nation] and wield the “iron stick” [have the power to defend it].
“To the Future of the Jingwu Athletic Association” by Kai (Daily News, April 11)
The people of our nation have never really paid proper attention to physical education, with the result that we have soft muscles and brittle bones. Everyone mocks us as being weak as worms. But now the Jingwu Athletic Association has come south from Shanghai to found a new branch, determined to expand in order to help turn the boys of Guangdong into soldier material. Now that it has been established, the benefits it will have for Cantonese people will by no means be meager. I hope it will have a great future here.
“The Right Medicine for the Illness” by Tian Daren (New Republic News)
Is there anyone who does not hate to be weak and love to be strong? Of course not. So why then do our countrymen accept being the “sick men of Asia”? Japan is very pleased with itself for its Bushido, and even the blue-eyed blondes [i.e. Westerners] constantly express their admiration for it. But they do not know that it actually came from our people, from these pitiful sick men.
When things reach an extreme, they will reverse their course. Thus the Jingwu Athletic Association has emerged to promote our cultural essence: our martial arts. Its purpose is to transform our countrymen by strengthening the weak and invigorating the sick. Now that it has come to spread its teachings in Guangdong, Cantonese people will at last want to wipe out the humiliation of being the “sick men”. Let us not neglect these arts. They are the best medicine for our situation.
“The Jingwu Athletic Association” by Feifei (Sky Rover Daily News)
They call us the “sick men of Asia” – because we are lifeless zombies. With so many sick people, we have made a sick society. With such a sick society, we have made a sick nation. It is no wonder that the great powers think of us as a complete failure. To cure our sickness, physical education is the key. Westerners have a saying: “Mens sana in corpore sano.” [“A healthy mind in a healthy body.”] The Jingwu Athletic Association has now come to Guangdong to establish a new branch, in order to expand their martial virtue into southern China and transform us from the “sick men of Asia” into the mighty men of the world. Not until we are respected by the great powers will the Republic of China earn a lasting place upon the globe. Because of this, we must all encourage each other to cherish our martial arts.
“My Feelings about the Founding of the Guangdong Branch of the Jingwu Athletic Association” by Luo Bokui (Shanghai Guangzhou-Guangdong Weekly News, April 13)
All the nations in the world stare at each other fiercely, all of them having relied on their military might to leap onto the stage of the twentieth century. Ever since the establishing of the Qing Dynasty, people from all levels of our society, from official to commoner, have been full of lethargy, weak and dispirited, like sick old people who have become paralyzed by limbs that have lost the strength to move, having never developed their abilities. When encountering foreign aggression, it goes without saying that their knees buckled and they collapsed in fear, then curled up into pathetic fetal positions, resigning to their fate under the yoke of the powerful, letting themselves be chopped up like meat on a cutting board. We were in a desperate situation indeed.
Therefore men of those anxious times pushed for political reform, giving their lives for the Revolution. Since recovering our lost land in the form of the Republic, we have reformed the government and implemented new methods. But China somehow has remained in a dreary condition. State affairs are full of corruption, society is overgrown with weeds, and the current political framework is in peril. In many ways, we seem to be worse off than in the past. However, there is a strategy for rescuing the nation: “A nation is that which is formed by the gathering of many people.” The survival of a nation always depends on its national spirit. Therefore we must have a resolute sense of independence and get the people to cultivate a martial spirit in order to strengthen the nation and keep other nations from oppressing us or holding us back.
In the past, Otto von Bismarck used the doctrine of “blood and iron” in German education to make Germany strong. Herbert Spencer used the doctrine of “survival of the fittest” in English education to make England strong. Adolphe Thiers used the doctrine of “restoration” in French education to make France strong. Since the Meiji Restoration, Japan has used a martial philosophy to establish itself, the ideas of “Bushido” and “Yamato-damashii” resonating through the islands to make Japan strong. Otherwise, Japan would have become like Korea [controlled by Japan], Vietnam [controlled by France], or India [controlled by Britain]. Due to the decadence of their governments and military, the spirit of the people entirely dissipated into idleness and they could no longer put up a fight. They simply gave in to ruin, crushed into servitude, no way left to rescue themselves. Is this not a fearful situation?
The China Jingwu Athletic Association steadfastly supplies physical education to cultivate the martial spirit of the people, in order to “strengthen the people to strengthen the nation”. It opened two years before the first year of the Republic [i.e. 1910]. Dozens of students were receiving instruction from Huo Yuanjia. After our nation went through the calamity of transformation, we were then soon bumped and jolted by the swells of foreign tides. With the ambition of other nations driven by the law of the jungle [“the strong eat the weak meat”], they bared their fangs and extended their claws, waiting for an opportunity to pounce, but our nation of four hundred million people was just as complacent, just as asleep as before.
Within the Jingwu Association, there are men of vision, determination, energy, aspiration, and confidence who therefore feel that unless we promote a martial quality to forge a national spirit, we will not have what it takes to rescue the nation. It is only by encouraging each other through the ordeal of a kind of military training that we can fully achieve our ultimate goal and then actually deserve a rest. Over the last ten years, the Jingwu Association has provided instruction, whether directly or indirectly, to tens of thousands of people. Branch locations have been established in Shaoxing, Nanxun, Songjiang, Hong Kong, Hankou, one after another, and now the Guangdong Jingwu Association as well.
This makes me very hopeful indeed. We Cantonese people have a boldness of spirit, but if only we could apply it in the right way, with the proper instruction teaching us how to harness it, then we could make use of our morale to someday be the defenders of our country, or even the backbone of the nation, anything at all. Moreover, perhaps our boldness could spread from the Guangdong branch to the whole nation, helping to quell everyone’s fear and timidity. If ordinary people throughout the nation can make the leap of washing away old habits and become valiant warriors committed to defeating enemies, who would dare to insult us? No one! It is heroes who have a vision for the world. It is heroes who make history happen. As long as the Jingwu Association has both of these heroic qualities, it will surely succeed in rescuing the nation.
Note by Chen Tiesheng: I recently heard the news from Guangdong, learning that the site chosen on which to build the Guangdong Jingwu Association will be a plot of land in the eastern suburbs. The project will cost 20,000 silver yuan and take more than six months to complete. The local townsfolk are enthusiastic, inspired, and gratified that it will at last have a real presence there. I have furthermore heard that after just over three months since it opened [in the temporary location], there are already more than two hundred members.
Practitioners at the Jingwu Association are very eager and feel they cannot wait six months for the building to be completed, so it has been decided to first shift the temporary location into a large mansion space and then later to move into the completed building of the new location at the end of those six months. This branch will surely flourish beyond measure. I remember that this summer during the celebration for the new branch at the Sea Pearls Theater, the Nanwu Secondary School gave us a present of a pair of mottos in calligraphy: “Spirited and martial!” “Our ways are now in the south.” It is so delightful that these words have indeed come true.
- written Aug 1, 1919
TELEGRAMS OF CONGRATULATIONS FROM VARIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
Telegram of congratulations from the Shanghai Guangzhou-Guangdong Public Affairs Office:
To the provincial garrison commander Li Fulin in Guangzhou,
The establishing of the Guangdong branch of the Jingwu Association has been heard of far and wide. It is impossible to express the extent of our congratulations. Jingwu transforms us all, not only through physical education, but moral and intellectual education as well. Strengthening the nation depends entirely on strengthening the people, and talented people will someday flourish indeed, adding yet more light to our resplendent Republic. Creating this new branch will be as immortal an achievement as creating the Republic itself. We sincerely send this telegram to express our great admiration.
- Best wishes, Shanghai Guangzhou-Guangdong Public Affairs Office
Telegram of congratulations from the Guangdong Social Club of Shanghai:
To the provincial garrison commander Li Fulin in Guangzhou,
As lush as the mountains of Guangdong, as vast as the sea off the Guangdong coast, with this Jingwu Association established in our homeland, there will in physical, moral, and intellectual education be endless improvement. We venerate these heroes, our nation’s glory.
- Best wishes, Guangdong Social Club of Shanghai
Telegram of congratulations from the Hankou Jingwu Athletic Association:
To all at the Guangzhou Jingwu Athletic Association, care of the Hoi Tong Temple,
“At the Guangdong Jingwu Association, officials have gathered, and for the grand opening the banner has been raised…” When we at the Hankou branch heard this news, we could picture it so clearly. We send our greetings to you all from so far away and declare that your fame will live forever.
- Wired from the Hankou Jingwu Association
POEMS OF CONGRATULATIONS
1. Poem of congratulations from the Guangdong Educational Association:
On April 9, 1919, the Guangdong branch of the Shanghai Jingwu Athletic Association was established. After the ceremony, we made this poem of congratulations:
Chinese martial ways
flourished in ancient days.
But whenever our society fell into a decline,
literary pursuits were held high and martial affairs were looked down on.
Our nation’s long-standing weakness
tempts foreign aggression and invasion.
At the end of the Qing Dynasty, men of integrity
grabbed us by the wrist and slapped their chests in indignation.
For encouraging physical education,
the Jingwu Association succeeds best of all.
Word has spread, the people have been roused,
and our martial arts are being given new life.
The project of strengthening the people to rescue the nation
is already taking shape,
and the Guangdong branch
is perfect for this task.
People from all walks of life have been praising it
from the moment of its founding.
It welcomes practitioners of all styles
to perform their martial arts.
Same way, same message:
the military is the foundation of a nation.
These warriors of the East
will make all others retreat.
To assist by teaching
is the solemn task of the Jingwu Association,
and in the realm of physical education
is where it gives the most powerful encouragement.
To be among this distinguished gathering
was incredibly gratifying.
We wish for the Jingwu Association to receive great renown
and that its influence will spread far.
It is magnificent and bursting with potential,
a beacon of national glory.
With such an army to depend on,
the nation will grow stronger by the day.
Surrounding countries will give up their aggression,
frozen in awe by our fortifications.
The sun shines down
on our five-color flag rising up.
To pursue achievement to its height,
Jingwu has what it takes.
May the Guangdong Jingwu Association
2. Poem from the Henan Island Sincerity School of Guangdong:
On April 9, 1919, the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association had its grand opening, a distinguished gathering blessed with many colleagues, an occasion joyful beyond words. We sincerely offer this poem we made to celebrate the event:
Setting an example that will extend far,
making a lasting impression upon future Chinese descendants,
these heroes of eastern Asia
will be heard of everywhere.
By mastering our martial arts,
they drive away enemy threats,
a form of military preparation
that is a triumphant success.
With strong physiques,
with bravery and loyalty,
they are training a talented multitude
and imbuing an abundance of spirit.
Having been tested through the training,
we will advance together toward a greater harmony.
From this great undertaking,
there will be benefits without end.
The record of their achievements
will be full of heroic deeds,
an abundance that we can look upon
and take delight in.
3. Poem of congratulations from Lu Xingyuan, Ph.D. [a graduate of Oxford]:
On April 9, 1919, the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association was established. My colleague Chen Gongzhe, who was in charge of the event, invited me to attend this distinguished gathering, for it is a cause that I strongly endorse. I sincerely offer this poem to show my admiration and esteem:
They are Confucian scholars and heroic warriors.
Their ways are not empty bluster.
When the wind meets them, it gets out of their way,
for their strength is so powerful.
In the struggle for existence,
there are winners and losers.
Without spirit [“jing”], how can we win?
And without a martial quality [“wu”], how can we even struggle?
The mighty Chen Gongzhe
is powerful and bold.
He rouses the weak and timid
to be the defenders of the nation.
The Jingwu Association has made its mark
from Shanghai to Guangdong,
causing the south
to now outshine the sun and moon.
It guides our children,
strengthens our comrades,
making them able to wield weapons,
training them to employ strategies.
They are valiant and martial,
like dragons, like tigers,
showing the soul of the Yellow Emperor,
the way of the warrior.
Whether facing one enemy or ten thousand,
these heroes will be filled with strength.
I am sure they will be warriors
who will live forever in poems of praise.
“Second Report on the Guangdong Jingwu Association” (Guangdong All Businesses Bulletin, Aug 1, 1919)
Throughout this May, from the 1st to the 31st, the Jingwu Association celebrated its grand opening, and we have reported on the event over the course of the month. Below are further reports, detailing the events that have continued through June and July:
1. An Example of Progress Made in Jingwu Association Affairs:
The original plan of the Jingwu Association was to provide various recreational activities so that members can practice skills and train their bodies. Facilities should be provided for both Chinese and Western activities. Not long after opening, students found some of the facilities to be inadequate, slowing their progress. But then in June, new member Qin Renjun, who is skillful at swimming, suggested members have access to an alternate cleaner site for learning to swim, and that books on both Chinese and Western swimming methods be purchased for study.
Staff members agreed to this and soon selected the sandy-bottomed shallow-water site at Dachongkou, Henan Island, deciding that there would be extra instruction given two days a week, 3–5pm, instruction duties being divided between Shen Jixiu and Yang Chenlun. All members are free to attend, whether ten people or twenty, to learn Chinese and Western swimming methods. This extra class has produced excellent results.
2. Order of Instruction:
The Jingwu Association’s martial arts instruction uses Tantui as the fundamental training. Beginners spend the first month learning Twelve-Line Tantui, then the second month learning Gongli Boxing, and then the third month learning Articulated Boxing. However, Tantui is still practiced every day, for it is also in accordance with the order of instruction that students keep returning to and reviewing what they have learned in order to use it as a means of increasing physical strength.
When new members are helped by other new members, they progress more slowly, but many have benefited from the influence of older members, and so the process is not merely the result of instruction, but of members encouraging each other. There are now more than a hundred members practicing Gongli Boxing and fifty or sixty practicing Articulated Boxing. The rest of the new members are being taught Tantui every day in accordance with the order of instruction.
3. Current State of Membership:
The Jingwu Association gives instruction in martial arts, with the purpose of strengthening the masses to strengthen the nation. But beyond physical education, there is also equal emphasis given to both intellectual education and moral education. Therefore membership has increased by the day. From May 1 to July 31, tallying up the older members, newer members, and members who have joined for summer programs, makes a total of two hundred forty-six. Instruction has also been given beyond the Jingwu Association, to two hundred fifty students at Nanwu Secondary School, and to more than eighty students at the Guangdong Girls’ Athletic School. Pan Shenglian, an instructor originally from the Shanghai Jingwu Association, taught more than a hundred students at the Guangdong Women’s Normal School and more than forty students at the Kunwei Women’s Normal School. Altogether, this makes no less than seven hundred students.
During June, Pan Shenglian also decided to go further and formed the Guangdong Martial Arts Club. She consulted with the Jingwu Association about sending instructors. There were forty people per class, but then the classes suddenly came to an end due to unforeseen circumstances, just prior to the start of summer. Pan Shenglian had to return to Shanghai, resulting in a temporary hiatus, and those classes have still not yet resumed.
As for the Jingwu Association itself, students have been practicing every day, with not one taking a break despite the summer heat. Every day, in both the morning class and the evening class, there are more than a hundred people training, and even at noon there are dozens. Since the beginning of June, whenever it is time to practice Tantui, they practice until their sweat falls like rain. They consider this to be a cleansing experience rather than an ordeal. The more they sweat, the more their bodies benefit, cooling them against the heat.
This month, Qin Renjun of Hong Kong University had been suffering from wet dreams so persistently that he discontinued his studies and came to train at the Jingwu Association. He had been repeatedly breaking into sweats every day, but after just a week, his illness had been eliminated. Likewise, Song Xihong had suffered from asthma since his childhood, so he came to train at the Jingwu Association. After not even a month, his body had transformed. Events like these have brought reporters to the Jingwu Association, such as Qiu Chan, Situ Lengguan, Feng Chengfu, Chen Baozun, Su Zhongmin, Chen Haibo, Kuang Zanquan, Ou Xiruo, and Li Erjia, who have published praise in the newspapers for the results and benefits of physical education.
4. Planning for the Site:
The site of the Jingwu Association has already been settled by the staff members: it will be built in Second Park, in the eastern suburbs. The plan for the Second Park site still requires time, but the Jingwu Association’s temporary rental site has already become so crowded that a new site has to be built quickly. Staff members who are familiar with the workings of business have managed to find a site in Second Park near the old Temple of Agriculture, which has a spacious area, plenty of room.
They resolved to make sure the finances were ready before beginning and then to start construction as soon as possible. In order to proceed, a document was presented to local government during the last week of July, formally requesting to build on the site, and approval has been given. The time to complete construction has been estimated at three to four months. All other matters in the meantime will be handled according to standard Jingwu Association rules.
Additionally, a succession of items has been donated to the Jingwu Association which deserve to be acknowledged: 100 injury-healing pills from secretary-in-charge of medical matters Huang Hanrong; 20 boxes of “treasure elixir” from Provincial Buddhist Charities; 3 iron dumbbells ranging in size from large to small from board member Li Fulin; 50 bottles of “true treasure elixir”, 100 bottles of peppermint oil, 50 bottles of clove oil, and 50 bottles of “wish granting” oil from Ye Wanquan of Taiping Street; and a 50-pound iron staff from director of speeches Qiu Chan.
- Report from the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association, July 31.
“Latest Report on the Jingwu Association” (from Guangdong Commercial News)
Since this branch of the Jingwu Athletic Association opened three months ago, the members have already learned so much. Badges have been given to indicate certain students as formal members, after being tacitly critiqued by staff and verified by head instructors. Then yesterday, Aug 1, an event was held in which membership cards were presented by instructors to eighty-four people, among them Luo Wenxi, in recognition of their dedication.
Membership now totals more than two hundred people, and so the original location no longer has adequate space. It has therefore been decided to construct a new location, for which an appropriate site is currently being looked for. Before the new building is completed, a temporary location will be found and the Jingwu Association will be moved into it during the interim.
“Jingwu Athletic Association has Moved” (All Businesses Bulletin)
Since the Guangdong Jingwu Athletic Association opened, its activities have flourished. Because of this, its original location was no longer of sufficient size, and so a more appropriate site was looked for in order to further grow. Thanks to provincial governor Zhang Liyuan and army commander Zhang Zhuyun, whose troops are stationed at Ningbo Hall, it has been allowed to move into the Hall [as its temporary location], and has been given 500 yuan to assist with expenses. Ningbo Hall is located at the western end of Jianglan Street in the Xiguan District. This is a place that is easy to reach in the heart of Guangzhou and is a very spacious location.
Note by Chen Tiesheng: The article above was written on Oct 1. As soon as it was in the news that construction of a new Guangdong location was underway, the students made it known that they were too impatient to wait for it to be finished, and therefore it was moved to this temporary location.
Photo of the members of the Guangdong Jingwu Association welcoming Lu Weichang [shown in second row, sixth from left] – Oct 23, 1919:
 HONG KONG BRANCH
Director Yu Xiaochang:
Martial arts instructor for the Hong Kong Local History Office, Li Zhenjiang [Liancun]:
Photo of our Hong Kong Jingwu Association comrades, showing students and instructor: