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Thread: Yu Chenghui, Hao Family Plum Blossom Mantis, and the Double-Handed Straight-Sword

  1. #1

    Thumbs up Yu Chenghui, Hao Family Plum Blossom Mantis, and the Double-Handed Straight-Sword

    Fellow brothers and sisters,
    If you have not heard already – the great sword master and actor Master Yu Chenghui 于承惠 passed away July 5th 2015.

    A thread in the main forum “Kung Fu Forum” about his passing is here:

    Master Yu Chenghui and his relationship to the Hao Family System Supreme Ultimate Plum Blossom Mantis Boxing 太极梅花螳螂拳 (taiji meihua tanglang quan):

    Master Yu was famous both for his acting in movies and, just as well, his skill with the double handed straight sword 双手剑.

    His rise to fame in acting began along with Li Lianjie 李连杰 (Jet Li) with their respective performances as the double-handed-straight-sword-wielding Wang Renze 王仁则 and cudgel-wielding Shaolin temple monk Jueyuan 觉远 in the ground breaking 1982 movie “Shaolin Temple 少林寺”.

    Master Yu Chenghui studied Competition Martial Arts 竞赛武术 (jingsai wushu; aka contemporary wushu) in Qingdao city, Shandong province. However, Master Yu’s most famous skill of the double-handed straight-sword comes from two sources:
    • In the beginning Master Yu studied the famous Hao family mantis boxing double-handed straight-sword from Zhang Wanfu 张万福 and Master Zhang Wanfu learned from Hao Bin 郝斌 who himself learned from his father the famous Hao Henglu 郝恒禄. One of the major contributions Hao Henglu gave to Mantis Boxing was in creating the double-handed straight-sword which Mantis Boxing is now so famous for. The original double-handed straight-sword Hao Henglu created is larger than a normal single handed straight sword yet actually is smaller than the enormous double handed straight swords which are now popular for demonstrations today.
    • Later however, after Master Yu Chenghui learned the Hao family double-handed straight-sword from Zhang Wanfu, Master Yu began developing his own sword style. After countless years of practicing and developing his own unique techniques Master Yu Chenghui created his own style of using the sword from his own creativeness and inspiration.

    He spent his entire life further developing his technique and was one of the few true great sword-masters of his time. Even the double-handed straight-sword routine he created was adopted as one of the standard routines of Competition Martial Arts 竞赛武术 (jingsai wushu; aka contemporary wushu). Master Yu was not a great master only because he learned a famous sword style or because he was creative, he was a master because he practiced hard every day. Master Sun Deyao, grandson of Hao Henglu, would see his friend Master Yu Chenghui practicing sometimes. He says Master Yu would practice for hours relentlessly every day and during that time his double handed straight-sword was one of the primary things he would practice. As well, on a personal level, Master Yu was a good and honorable man. He cared nothing for martial art politics and would do his best to avoid them.

    If you would like to see the Hao family mantis boxing double-handed straight-sword forms that Master Yu Chenghui learned before creating his own style you will find many videos online demonstrating both of them if you do a quick search for Eight Immortals Straight-Sword 八仙剑 (ba xian jian) and Bodhidharma Straight-Sword 达摩剑 (damo jian). You may want to try adding 太极梅花螳螂拳 (taiji meihua tanglang quan) if you want to help narrow your search. Both Eight Immortals Straight-Sword 八仙剑 (ba xian jian) and Bodhidharma Straight-Sword 达摩剑 (damo jian) are highly common names of straight-sword routines in Chinese martial arts.

    If you are interested in learning more about the Hao family and Supreme Ultimate Plum Blossom Mantis Boxing 太极梅花螳螂拳 (taiji meihua tanglang quan) please visit for more information. Master Sun Deyao is the great-grandson of the founder of the style.

    Of note: This thread was created both to pay respect to Master Yu Chenghui while at the same time to speak of Master Yu’s connection with Mantis Boxing yet not detract from the post of his passing in the main forum.

    Warm regards,
    Darin / Maofei

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Shanghai, China
    Very sorry to hear the bad news.

    RIP to him

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Our official obituary

    Grandmaster Yu Chenghui 1939–2015 by Gene Ching and Gigi Oh

    There will be another obituary in our next issue, the NOV+DEC 2015.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    North Canton, OH
    I am glad to see that you corrected some of the myths about this man and his swordmanship. Haojia swordmanship is a beautiful art!
    Below is a link to a video of my sifu, Master Zhang Weifu, teching Haojia jian at a seminar in Akron, Ohio many years ago.

    Last edited by mooyingmantis; 07-10-2015 at 09:23 PM.
    Richard A. Tolson

    There are two types of Chinese martial artists. Those who can fight and those who should be teaching dance or yoga!

    53 years of training, 43 years of teaching and still aiming for perfection!

    Recovering Forms Junkie! Even my twelve step program has four roads!

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