Master Han Xing Yuan was born in Nanjing, China in 1915. At a very early age, he began the practice of xing yi chuan with his father Han You San. He equally studied xing yi chuan with Master Wang Zhan Heng as well as wrestling with his uncle Xiao Cheng Shang. At the age of 16, he went to join his older brother, Han Xing Qiao in Shanghai. Both became disciples of Master Wang Xiang Zhai, the founder of yi chuan or da cheng chuan.
Master Han Xing Yuan
When Master Wang Xiang Zhai left to establish himself in Beijing, and in 1937 he asked Master Han Xing Yuan to join him to help teach yi chuan in the capital. In 1938, his older brother, Master Han Xing Qiao joined them, along with Master Wang, to help them in their teaching. At that time, Master Han Xing Yuan acquired a strong reputation as a practitioner in Beijing through rising to a number of challenges. He was given the nickname « guard tiger » of yi chuan.
Master Han Xing Yuan in a zhan zhuang posture
In 1946, Master Han Xin Yuan left Beijing and returned to Shanghai to yi chuan there for « the Association for research in health and martial arts of Shanghai », founded by his brother, Han Xin Qioa. In 1949, he moved to Hong Kong where he would maintain his capacities in this art secretly for a certain time. He converted to Christianity and changed his name to Joseph Han.
In 1960, he began to teach yi chuan officially again. In the 1970s, many of his students immigrated to different countries, like England, the U.S.A., Canada, France and Australia, contributing to the diffusion of this art throughout the world. Master Han Xing Yuan traveled to the U.S., Canada and England where he taught yi chuan for various lengths of time from 1-6 months.
Master Han Xing Yuan in a jiji zhan zhuang posture
Master Han Xing Yuan passed away in 1983. He greatly contributed greatly to the early development and rise of yi chuan throughout continental China and the world.