Chinese General Yue Fei: Martial Arts Facts, Tales, and Mysteries

Stanley E. Henning


Yue Fei (1103-1142), the famous Southern Song dynasty general who successfully resisted Jin (Jurched) incursions until he was murdered at the age of 39 as a result of court intrigues, has been credited with a number of boxing schools. While the historical record has not supported these relationships, there were reasons for the myths, which have persisted to the present. This article clarifies the Yue Fei-martial arts connection by use of original Chinese historical materials, including Yue Fei’s biographical record, and a visit to the Yue Fei Temple in Hangzhou. It confirms Yue Fei’s known martial arts skills and explains the factors behind his recognition as one of China’s most revered patriots and martial arts symbols.


Chinese Martial Arts Association (1983). Zhongguo wushu quanxie lu [Record of Chinese martial arts boxing and weapons (styles)]. Beijing: People’s Physical Culture Press.

Goodrich, L. (1935). The literary inquisition of Ch’ien-Lung. Baltimore: Waverly Press.

Qian Cai (1912). Huitu shuoyue quan zhuan [Illustrated complete patriotic story of Yue Fei]. Shanghai: Jinzhang Press.

Qian Ruwen (1924). Song Yue E wang nianpu [Biography of Song Yue, Prince of E (Wuchang, Hubei)]. Publisher unknown.

Reischauer, E., & Fairbank, J. (1965). East Asia: The great tradition. Tokyo: Charles Tuttle. Modern Asia Edition.

Tang Hao (Fansheng) (1935/1969a). Neijiaquan de yanjiu [Internal boxing school research]. Hong Kong: Unicorn Press.

Tang Hao (Fansheng) (1935/1969b). Taijiquan zongshi Wang Zongyue kao [Research on Taijiquan’s originator, Wang Zongyue]. Hong Kong: Unicorn Press.

Wang Anbao, & Wei Feng (Eds.). (2003). Xinyi Liuhequan fali yuJiji [Xinyi Six Combinations Boxing releasing force and fighting]. Beijing: Tiyu Daxue Press.

Wile, D. (1996). Lost T’ai Chi classics from the late Ch’ing dynasty. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Wu Gu & Liu Zhixue (Eds.). (1984). Shaolinsi ziliaoji xubian [Continuation of the collection of Shaolin Monastery reference materials]. Beijing: Shumu Wenxian Press.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2012 Stanley E. Henning

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas - RAMA

I.S.S.N. 2174-0747

Attached to the Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of León (Spain)

Edited by the Publications Office, University of León

Creative Commons License