Professor Yan Zijie

Professor Yan Zijie, born in 1938, is a retired professor of Mathematics at Shandong University. At the age of 19 he enrolled in Beijing University where he studied geophysics. Afflicted with poor health, he originally began Meihuazhuang under the famous Beijing master Han Qichang and after several years became one of the master's favorite students.

Meihuazhuang master Yan Zijie teaching guandao weaponry techniques. Shandong University Old Campus, Spring 1998

He also became accomplished in other martial arts such as Xingyi Quan and Shaolin Chuojiao. After graduating in 1962, Professor Yan traveled to Tibet to work in the Meteorological Research Institute where he worked for 18 years. Professor Yan was awarded second place in the 1978 Tibetan Scientific Conference and second place for his achievements in the Shandong Science and Technology Progress Show.

In March 1981, Professor Yan joined the faculty at Shandong University where he was appointed lecturer and professor in the mathematics department. He has published more than thirty articles about meteorology and mathematics in national and academic publications.

He began teaching Meihuazhuang publicly in the 1980s at Shandong University. Since that time over one thousand students, have learned Meihuazhuang. In 1990, he became a Standing Director of the Shandong Eastern Culture Foundation, a professor of the Shandong University Zhouyi Research Organization (Book of Changes) and Director of the International Meihuazhuang Organization. Professor Yan has published dozens of articles about the relationship between the Book of Changes and Meihuazhuang.

From May to July 1994, Professor Yan and his daughter Yan Yan, traveled to Denmark, Belgium, France, and Israel to lecture on Meihuazhuang and ancient Chinese culture. The lectures drew attention to the study of this art by scholars fascinated by its rich history, by those wishing to improve their health and by martial arts enthusiasts. As a result of this initial trip the first groups of Meihuazhuang practitioners were formed in France, Switzerland and Israel. Several of Mr. Yan Zijie's French, Danish, German, Italian and Israeli students have returned to Jinan to continue their studies of Meihuazhuang.

In 1995, from September 10 to October 13, Professor Yan lectured at the University of Regina (Saskatchewan, Canada) as a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Religious Studies. He lectured on the relationships between Meihuazhuang and religion and was a guest teacher in the Performing Arts Department explaining theories of natural body movement. The trip was entirely organized and sponsored by the Meihuazhuang Association in Canada. The lectures were very successful and this ancient art drew popular attention due to its rich history, health benefits, and its martial applications.

Professor Yan at Mount Everest, taking part in a climb. Tibet 1966

In June 1996, the first general assembly of the newly founded International Meihuazhuang Organization was held. The meetings were attended by Meihuazhuang practitioners from Austria, Canada, France, Germany, and Israel. In the summer of 1996, Professor Yan hosted a delegation from France for two weeks. Members of the tour consisted of Chinese traditional medical doctors fascinated by the healing arts of Meihuazhuang and is very busy and by enthusiasts interested in studying Meihuazhuang qigong methods to improve health. The trip was successful and drew even greater attention both in China and abroad to the newly "discovered" martial art of Meihuazhuang. Mr. Yan received official support from the representative rural Meihuazhuang masters to act as the representative of Meihuazhuang and to be responsible for its teachingto the world outside of China.

In 1999, the AE-MHZ (Association Europenne de Meihuazhuang) was founded to support the organization and dissemination of Meihuazhuang in Europe. Professor Yan's daughter Yan Yan and son in law Ren Junmin hold regular training seminars throughout France. In 2000, Professor Yan taught a series of seminars at many locales in France. Currently, Professor Yan is busy organizing and training the many Meihuazhuang practice groups in the cities within China.

Professor Yan's Bibliography

Meihuazhuang Master Han Qichang

Master Han Qichang at 82 years.

For centuries meihuazhuang has enjoyed wide popularity in rural areas of Shandong, Hebei and Henan. One of the foremost proponents of meihuazhuang in modern times was Han Qichang. Originally from Shen county in Hebei, Han Qichang studied meihuazhuang after first acquiring expertise in Xingyiquan, Shaolin Chuojiao and other schools of boxing. He became famous throughout the martial world in 1929 when he won first place in the national competition in Hangzhou. However, until Han Qichang began teaching in Beijing in the 1930s, meihuazhuang remained largely unknown in the larger urban centres and to the martial world in general. Han taught meihuazhuang first at Zhicheng Middle School, then at Teacher's College Girls High School, Beiman High School and at several other schools including Beijing University. Teacher Han continued to teach meihuazhuang until well into his 90s. His martial skills, great dexterity and sharp mental acuity during his later years amazed and surprised all who met him. Master Han Qichang passed away in 1988. Many meihuazhuang and baguazhang practitioners studied their arts under Master Han Qichang and carry on his teachings to the next generation.

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