Meihua quan is an ancient style of Chinese boxing which existed as early as the Shang Dynasty (1600BC- 1046BC). According to a legend its boxing style is based on the Kunlun school and belongs to “Buddhist sect and Daoist schools”.
For thousands of years Meihua quan had been practiced as a secret martial art in tightly knit organizations, maintaining the internal unity. That had brought fine traditions and outstanding skills to the Masters of the past. Knowledge has been passed on to present day masters’ and currently Meihua quan is characterized by a family like atmosphere where practitioners of different level consistently help each other to improve on their levels.
Training Methods of Meihua Quan
The training methods are comprehensive and efficient. The study of Meihua quan consists of two parts: the theoretic field and the martial field. The theory is derived from ancient scriptures and documents which have been handed down from generation to generation. It is closely connected with the essence of Daoist, Buddhist and Confucian doctrines as well as the principles of “The Book of Changes”. The knowledge and practice of this all four religions – philosophical traditions bring wholeness and harmony in humans essence (jing), internal energy (chi) and spirit (shen).
The martial field of Meihua quan develops the martial skills and teaches the theory of boxing.
Some Meihuaquan disciples believe that there were 100 generations of masters before the 20 who came after the Ming Dynasty. During the Qing dynasty people who practiced this style were involved in various uprisings, like Wang Lun in 1774, Feng Keshan in 1814, and Zhao Sanduo in the 1900 Boxer Uprising. (Meihuaquan was particularly linked with the early phases of the Boxer Uprising.) Another practitioner, Yang Bing, was an Imperial Palace guard:
The history of this school (Meihuaquan) goes back at least to the kang-xi period, when it was taught by a certain Yang Bing, from Hua county in Henan, who had passed the highest military examination with third place honor, and served in the metropolitan garrison
— The origins of the Boxer Uprising
Now we know that Yang Bing is a fifth-generation master born in Neihuangxian, not in Huaxian.
About Feng Keshan and Meihuaquan:
In the 1800s, Feng Keshan developed the Mei Hua Quan or Plum Flower Boxing style. This style was strongly based on internal chi circulation and large external circular movements. It was developed out of the Shaolin system. In 1814, Feng recruited members for the Eight Diagrams Sect (Ba Qua Jiao) and participated in an anti-Ching uprising. He was caught by the Ching Court, found guilty, and executed by dismemberment. The Mei Hua style was attributed to Wu Mei (also called Ng Mui), who was a legendary figure – a Shaolin nun, in order to disguise Feng Keshan`s underground activities. The style was essentially a condensing of Shaolin's best techniques into one system and with its own footwork patterns (five directions) unifying the techniques.
— The history of traditional Chinese martial arts: Southern Style During the Qing Dynasty
Unfortunately, there aren't other sources to confirm that the style was attributed to Wu Mei. Feng Keshan is of the eighth generation. The legend of Wu Mei came from another style named Wumeihuaquan, or Wumeipai, and is found in some accounts of Yongchunquan, a martial art not practiced by Feng Keshan, and different from Meihuaquan.