Chaquan is a Chinese martial art that features graceful movements and some acrobatic aerial maneuvers and includes a large range of weapons. Chaquan falls under the classification Changquan, a type of Northern Chinese martial arts known for their extended, long movements. The story goes that a famous Muslim general, Hua Zong Qi, was on a military campaign and was seriously wounded. He was cared for and nursed back to health by the villagers of Xin Jiang. In appreciation for their care of him, he taught them his style of martial arts, jiazi quan. His instruction became so popular that he asked his senior student, Cha Yuan Yi, to come and teach as well. Hua Zong Qi’s style was called dajia quan, or big frame fist, while Cha’s style was known as xiaojia quan, or small frame fist. After their death, their disciples changed the name of their style to Hua Quan and Cha Quan respectively in honor of their teachers.
The style is associated with the Hui people and related to the Turkic people from Central Asia. In the legend, a Turkic warrior named “Zha Mi-Er” from current Xinjiang or Central Asia passed down this martial art to the Chinese locals in the current Xandong province during the late Ming dynasty. One famous master of Chaquan was Wang Ziping, who was known for his great strength. Chaquan is one of the sources of the contemporary Wushu Changquan, which is often seen in movies and tournaments. The style is characterized as being open, graceful, clear and concise, continuous, rhythmic and utilizes many hand techniques as well as kicks. Cha quan served as the primary basis for modern changquan and most of the duan compulsory forms take their techniques from Cha Quan.
Chaquan is a system that has six main weapons (staff, saber, sword, spear, kwandao, hookswords). It emphasizes long range movements and stances combined with speed and power. The style includes many forms, including 10 lines of tantui for basic power training, 10 longer sets of Chaquan, and other forms as well.One of the most influential styles of Chinese martial arts, Cha Quan was developed by the Jiao Men, or Muslim Hui people of Shandong province. There are three main branches of Cha quan: Zhang, Yang, and Li.