Visiting Tianshui City: A Look into Martial Culture on China’s Northern Silk Route

Stanley E. Henning


Tianshui city, located in China’s ancient cultural center in Gansu Province, includes a large rural area known as Qinzhou. This area houses pockets of traditional martial arts culture, which allow one to savor the past in the present, even in the face of China’s unprecedented economic development and social change in recent years. The picture described in this short article is based upon the author’s visits to Tianshui, most recently in 2007, on-site discussions with Professor Cai Zhizhong, who teaches martial arts in the physical education program of Tianshui Normal College, and Professor Cai’s writings on the subject. While the modernization taking place throughout China cannot help but have an influence on Tianshui’s traditional martial arts practices, one comes away hopeful that the strong historical awareness and sense of cultural pride exhibited by the area’s residents will insure a continuing role for Tianshui’s traditional martial arts.


Martial arts; China


Cai Zhizhong (2003). Tianshui martial arts. Gansu People’s Publishers.

Cai Zhizhong (2002). Kezi staff research. Gansu Educational Publishers.

Liu Yanxiang (2004 August). Collected research on Tianshui Three Kingdoms sites. Journal of Tianshui Normal University, 24:4, 74-79.

Qinan County Kezi Gun. A documentary about Gao Family Kezi Staff downloaded from:



  • 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