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Dongming of Shandong: Inheritance of Fohan Boxing with Essence of Chivalry, Zen Spirit

HEZE, China

In Dongming County, the hometown of Chinese thinker Zhuangzi and a hometown of martial arts, there are different kinds of boxing, the most famous and popular of which is believed to be Fohan Boxing.

Fohan Boxing was originally one of the boxing arts of the Shaolin Temple, which was introduced into Dongming 180 years ago and has been practiced and inherited by six generations of inheritors. Drawing the essence from other forms of boxing, it shows characteristics such as a simple boxing route, a strong actual combat capacity and exerting force at a short range without the aid of any weapon.

Xilizhai Village in Dongming County has been honored as a provincial village in Shandong for the inheritance of Fohan Boxing. In order to inherit and promote Fohan Boxing, the village's sixth-generation inheritor Zhang Jimin, raised a fund of more than three million yuan alone to build the first and the only "Fohan Boxing Research and Development Center of Dongming County" in China, which has now become an important place for the studies of Fohan Boxing and a tourism spot of the village.

The coaches and trainees at the Center have achieved excellent results in domestic large-scale traditional martial arts competitions for several times. Among them, Zhang Zhenjun, the seventh-generation inheritor of Fohan Boxing, has practiced the basic skill of Iron Claw in Fohan Boxing – pulling hand out of heavy millstones. The back of his hand can bear seven millstones with a total weight of 1,228.9 kg for six seconds before he pulls his hand out of the millstones. He won the Guinness World Record in August 2019.

Currently, more than 10,000 people are practicing Fohan Boxing in Dongming County. It is not only practiced by Chinese people, but also performed by many fans in other countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada and Singapore.

Source: News Office of the People's Government of Dongming County