Research into the Resource Development and Brand Promotion for ...

Research into the Resource Development and Brand Promotion for ...

2012 International Conference on Education Technology and Management Engineering

Lecture Notes in Information Technology, Vols.16-17

Research into the Resource Development and Brand Promotion for

Martial Arts culture of Henan

Wei Deliang

Department of Physical Education, Huang Huai University, ZhuMaDian, Henan, 463000

Keywords:Martial arts culture, Henan province, Brand research

Abstract: With Shaolin martial arts and Taijiquan (a kind of traditional Chinese shadow boxing)

being two dominant brands, the culture of martial arts in Henan is closely related to the profound

culture in the Central Plains. In this paper, it mainly adopts the method of literature study to make

an in-depth research into cultural resources of Henan martial arts. Studies suggest effective

measures be taken to enlarge and enhance the two brands, which will have an important

significance on the development of cultural undertakings and cultural industries in Henan. Also

some specific countermeasures to the brand development of Henan martial culture are proposed.


Shaolin martial arts and Chenshi Taijiquan (one style among various schools of Taijiquan) are two

dominant brands of Henan martial arts, which show the world our distinguished Chinese traditional

culture. Therefore we should expand and promote the publicity of Henan martial arts from the

perspective of brand marketing by the advantage of the popularity of Shaolin Temple and Taijiquan.

It is of strategic importance to promote the rapid and healthy development of Henan martial arts


Martial Arts Central Plains culture was nurtured in a strong culture of

The core values of Central Plains culture in Chinese culture. During its long process of

development, the Central Plains Culture shows flexible characteristics by constantly learning from

the strengths of cultures in its neighboring and other regions to improve and perfect itself. And we

regard these cultural characteristics as inclusive and profound. Central Plains Culture is at the core

of Chinese culture. A large number of archaeological findings and ancient literature data show that

the culture in those dynasties preceding Han Dynasties give birth to Chinese culture, and this

ancient Chinese culture is mainly derived from the early national culture of Xia and Shang Dynasty

and can date back to more remote Henan Longshan Culture, which is proved to be the direct source

of the formation of Chinese culture according to statistics from years of archaeological discoveries.

It is verified by rich, comprehensive and systematic archaeological resources, that the Kingdoms of

Xia and Shang are early kingdoms existing in ancient China. [1] Archaeologists revealed that Henan

Longshan culture in the Central Plains region is the mother culture of the Xia culture. Therefore, as

to the long development of ancient culture after Xia Dynasty,

Henan Longshan culture and Xia culture are of great importance in the formation of Chinese


The essential features of Central Plains culture. The long-established culture in Central Plains

has made significant contribution to the development of ancient Chinese culture. The occurrence

and development of such great thoughts as Confucianism, Mohism, Taoism, and Legalism are

closely linked to Central Plains region. The essential features of Central Plains culture are listed in

the following: First, orthodoxy. Central Plains culture not only Holds a dominant position in the

978-1-61275-016-3/10/$25.00 ©2012 IERI ETME2012


long history before the Northern Song Dynasty but also makes significant contribution to those later

dynasties. It is an important backbone and the core of traditional Chinese culture. Second,

inclusiveness. In the history, surrounding minorities made continual invasion into the Central Plains

areas,introducing Buddhist culture originated from India to this areas, then culture from the Middle

Asia and South Asia were continuously introduced through the Silk Road, all of which promoted

the diversity of Central Plains culture, making it so inclusive. Third, radioactivity. During the

changes in the thousands-of-year history,Central Plains culture was scattered to every corner of the

mother land and even overseas because of the great migration of population in Central Plains

regions. Fourth, innovation. As the mainstay of Chinese history and culture, the reasons why

Central Plains culture can pass down for thousands of years lie in its self-succession, and more

importantly in its constant innovation and development. Fifth, epochal characteristics. From the

perspective of ideological content, the Central Plains culture is not only with geographical features,

but more with the times. It is a product of China's agricultural civilization, with the coexistence of

good and bad features when observing from the modern values. [2]

The Essential Connotations of Henan Martial Culture

The time between pre-Qin Period and the Opium War Period is the formation stage of Central

Plains martial arts. During this period, the creation of three main schools of martial arts laid the

foundation for the formation of Henan martial culture. The diversified values of martial arts were

recognized by people gradually. Being in the political, economic and cultural centre for a long time

and with a number of talented scholars, the academic thoughts were active and the academic

undertakings were prosperous in Henan Province. Under such environmental impact, Henan martial

culture has a characteristic of early maturity compared with other regional cultures, and is the main

form of Chinese martial arts culture. Located in Central Plains and with its convenient

transportation and simple, honest people, Henan has always been a place of strategic importance

since ancient times, which can be known from the old saying “Who wins the Central Plains will win

the world.” In the long river of history, ancient civilizations are intersected, developed and extended

here. Excellent traditional martial culture beats together with the pulse of history to enrich the

Central Plains culture. Four of the eight well-recognized ancient Chinese capitals all lie in Henan

province. Infused with the unique regional characteristics of ancient capitals, the colorful martial

culture of Henan, involving all levels of society, plays a special role in its cultural development.

There are mainly two dominant brands in Henan martial culture:

Shaolin martial culture—integrated with the essence of world’s martial culture. Located in

the Song Mountain in Henan, the Shaolin Temple enjoys a reputation of “having the best Kung fu in

the world”. After its establishment in the 19 th years of Taihe in Wei Dynasty (A.D. 495), such

monks as Huiguan, Chouchan, Yuanjing and other monks in the temple engaged in martial arts one

after another. By the time of Ming Dynasty, the Shaolin Temple had become an influential temple,

famous for its martial arts. [3] Wang Shixing in the Ming Dynasty wrote in his book “All of the four

hundred monks in the temple are all skilled in martial arts”. Shaolin martial arts has its strong point

in cudgel techniques. There is a folk tale saying “It’s the monks who were good at cudgel

techniques that had saved the life of the King Tang” and Shaolin cudgel arts even fully displayed its

prowess on the battlefield to resist the invasion by Japan. By the late years of Ming Dynasty,

Shaolin monks turned to learn and practice boxing instead of cudgel. Shaolin martial arts and

ancient religion are closely linked. The scholar, Han Xue, proposes that the cultural characteristics

of Shaolin martial arts have been the accomplishment and combination of “Zen” and “Wu”(Zen

refers to a school of Buddhism; Wu means martial arts),“Wu” being the body of “Zen” and

“physic” being the wing of “Wu”, drawing advantages of all schools and maintaining an open mind,

stabilizing and safeguarding the society and nation. She further puts forward it is the Confucian

thoughts which advocate good morality and noble deeds both internally and externally that make

these Shaolin monks able to live a transcendental monastic life. Owing to this kind of unique


cultural essence, Shaolin martial arts is able to gain boundless praise and love. So far, Shaolin

Temple has become a world-famous tourist resort featuring martial culture.

The Chen style of Taijiquan—integrating the arts of fitness, health, self-defense and

aesthetics. According to research by Chen Hao (a martial artist), the current styles of Taijiquan are

all derived from the clan of Chen family in Chenjiagou, Wen County, Henan. The Chen style of

Taijiquan was created by Chen Wangting, altogether there are seven series of boxing skills.

Moreover, he innovated new skills which were specially designed to improve the sensitivity of

one’s body. Taijiquan gains popularity among more and more people for its unique Characters and

charm. By practising it, one can gain the ability to keep fit and do self-defence when necessary;

what’s more, the spirit conveyed from it can provide one with a calm heart and thus is more likely

to enjoy a prolonged life. Taking “Ying Yang” (the two opposing principles in nature) andthe

study of meridian” from the traditional Chinese culture as its theoretical foundation, Taijiquan is a

natural “living fossil” that demonstrates people’s body culture, and it has been known as “boxing

with Chinese philosophical and cultural characters”, which fully inherits and interprets the

traditional Confucian morality. “Justice and harmony” has been one of the core ideologies of

Taijiquan. [4] From the perspective of ideological content, Taijiquan aims to cultivate people’s

awareness of justice and the air of peace, seeking the state of psychological equilibrium. It

emphasizes what we call “An iron fist in a velvet glove.” in pursuit of a state of being calm, easy

and doing nothing, which is more of a spiritual realm. In essence, the Confucian ‘golden mean’

thinking regards that as a criterion to regulate human beings’ social activities.

Countermeasures to the Brand Development of Henan Martial Culture

Being a major brand in Chinese martial culture, Henan martial arts is an important aspect of the

culture in Henan. The development of Henan martial arts is of great significance to the development

of the cultural cause and cultural industry in Henan. Furthermore, it will exert a great influence on

the whole martial culture development of China. Currently the biggest problem affecting the

progress of Henan martial arts is that the speed of the loss of martial skills surpasses that of the

transmission of skills. While the transmission of some styles of boxing has been temporarily

suspended, some even face the danger of extinction, which will cause irreparable loss to our

national culture. In order to change this situation and let Henan martial arts continue to be passed

along, we should take the following measures:

Developing the unique brand of Henan culture. Henan is an important birth land of Chinese

civilization, whose culture condenses and enriches the culture of Chinese nation. With culture in He

Luo district and the Yellow River district, the Central Plains culture is the source of Chinese culture

and thus a unique treasure. The spirit of “social commitment and self-reliance” originated from it

has become an important spiritual support for the Chinese people throughout the world. [5] It is

known that four of the eight ancient Chinese capitals lie in Henan province. The profound historical

culture resources and long-established cultural tradition are the favorable advantages and precious

intangible assets of Henan. Central Plains culture is bound to play an active role in the great

rejuvenation of Chinese nation, as it is the most distinctive and influential content of charm and

unique brand of Central Plains. The renaissance of Central Plains culture, the development of

Henan cultural industry and the construction of a cultural province are in accordance with the

people’s will. The restoration of Central China, is to make it in the lead of all the ethnic groups and

of the world. Only by the rise of Central Plains culture, can the realization of overall restoration of

Central Plains be fully promoted.

Expanding and enhancing the cultural resources of Henan. Culture is the mother of

innovation. Having had the innovative cultural environment, we can gain the endless creative ability.

Central Plains culture embodies the Confucian philosophy that advocates “the golden mean”. Henan

is a province abundant in cultural resources, but that is not equal to major industrial province. Only

when we can transform the resource advantages into economic advantages, can we have genuine

industrial advantages. We should focus on making advantage of brand to run cultural industry by


modern means of marketing. Brand is the ticket to the market economy, and the core competiveness

is ultimately reflected in the competition of brand. There is still a lack of brand awareness and

modern marketing means as well as professional marketing personnel in managing the rich martial

culture resources in Henan. [6] The ballet “Shaolin in the Wind” takes a big step forward in

publicizing “Shaolin culture”. In marketing, however, we can do better to achieve greater economic

and social benefits. To inherit the cultural heritage is in essence to realize the modernization of

Central Plains culture. Henan is an important birth place of Chinese civilization. How to make a

“creative transformation” of these exceptionally advantaged historical culture resources and realize

the modernization of Central Plains culture, is a key connotation of cultural construction.

Implementing effective measures to protect martial culture. With abundant cultural resources,

there should be an accurate brand positioning and some promotion strategies, which can be

conducive to the healthy development and dissemination of Shaolin martial arts. To enable the

sound development of Henan martial culture, it is necessary to take the following measures: First,

enhance the awareness of protecting traditional martial arts.The P.E.departments concerned are

recommended to formulate work schemes for the discovery, classification and inheritance of martial

culture. An investigation to the background of martial artists is needed to give merit recognition and

support for outstanding martial artists and their achievements. Second, set up martial arts museums

and professional research institutions. With rich martial culture, Henan is proposed to establish

martial arts museums and specialized research institutes as well as resource and personnel database

of martial arts. By taking full advantage of its favorable geography, it is programmed to become the

center of martial arts in and abroad. Third, establish institutions for martial brand research. Martial

arts organizations should work together to establish a joint research institute or brand management

corporation, introducing brand marketing strategies and modern marketing management theories to

guide the development of martial arts. Fourth, take advantage of modern dissemination to actively

and steadily introduce Henan martial arts culture to the world. We should get rid of the stereotype

of traditional martial arts. While maintaining the essential characteristics of martial arts, deepen the

reform and innovation, expand the popularization and play an active role in introducing Henan

martial arts to the world so as to accelerate the economic growth in Henan.


[1] Yang Yuhou. Central Plains Cultural History [M]. Zhengzhou: Oncidium Press, 1988.

[2] Tan Xinmin. Central Plains culture and the contemporary value of [J]. North Water Transfer


[3] Lv Hongjun. Songshan Shaolin Temple [M]. Zhengzhou: Henan People's Publishing House,


[4] Chen Zhenglei. Chen Shadowboxing [M]. Taiyuan: Shanxi Science and Technology Press, 1999.

[5] Xu Guangchun. Central Plains culture and the rise of Central China [M]. Henan People's

Publishing House, 2007,4.

[6] Guo Debing. Development of the Central Plains Martial Arts [J]. Shandong Institute of Physical

Education, 2010,26 (5) :48-51.


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