Fujian was home to many confrontations including Japanese pirates during the Ming dynasty and battles of resistance against the Manchurian government during the Qing dynasty. Traditionally far from the central plains known for its military warriors, Fujian had to often quickly use farmers and locals to help in resistance efforts, the martial arts had to be quick and easily adopted without the years of conditioning and training that the Northern military families had to go through, however, they were known as the brave Hokkiens.

They had a reputation among other Chinese as fighters, built largely upon the fact that the Hokkiens were the last Chinese people, to capitulate to the foreign (Manchu) rule of the Qing emperors. Later also as sailors (pirates), traders and adventurers.

Yu Dayou was born in Quanzhou (Luojiang Heshi village) but his ancestors were from Anhui. In 1535 he sat the imperial examinations and later obtained a position within the Imperial palace. He helped to defeat pirates that raided the coastlines of China (they also attacked Japanese and Korean coastlines) in Jiaxing, Zhejiang and as result was promoted Garrison Commander of Fujian. Alongside fellow Ming Generals Qi Jiguang (1528-1588) and Tan Lun (1520-1577), and over a number of different battles over the years eliminate the pirate threat by 1566. Yu Dayou’s concepts of martial arts emphasized “direct, powerful”, advancing with each step and using the force of the whole body in each strike”, these principles are commensurate with that of Taizuquan. He created his own militia with the the local people of Zhangzhou and Quanzhou, teaching them his effective military methods, able to skill them up quickly even making them more effective than the official soldiers from Zhejiang. Yu Dayou wrote a classic《正氣堂集, Compilation of the methods from the Righteous Hall》that includes many great treatise on the martial arts (including a well known section, the Sword Classic). He was renowned for his Staff methods. It is said that in 1560, Yu Dayou travelled to the Shaolin Temple to research their renowned martial arts and staff methods. Unfortunately he was very disappointed as the monks were not skilled at all. As a result he brought two monks back to the South that followed him for three years to acquire his staff methods, which would become known as 《俞家棍, Yu Family Staff》until this day. In the South (Fujian/Guangdong), the staff would be the most commonly known weapon practiced in large arrays with up to hundreds of people in Zhangzhou, these are all thought to be legacies of Yu Dayou. 

The last truly Chinese dynasty were the Ming – and their last loyalist general was Zheng Chengong (郑成功,1624-1662),after the fall of the Ming dynasty he lead many troops from the Zhangzhou, Quanzhou and surrounding areas in attacks on the Qing forces often purged in defence with over 170,000 troops he lead expeditions all the way Northward to Nanjing city walls and then was forced to retreat with lack of supplies and inability to combat the large Qing armies. From the Xiamen (Amoy) areas he later established bases from which he later had expeditions to expel the dutch from Taiwan (they retreated to Indonesia).

The resistance continued and many of the great martial arts of southern Fujian were developed further during this period. Unfortunately, thereafter the Manchu responded to the resistance by laying waste to the province, instigating a wave of emigration to further south including forerunners of the anti-qing secret societies through Fujian, Guangdong and onto South-East Asia, and contributing to the development of overseas Chinese communities throughout the region. 

Fujian is home to a large number of fighting styles in China, although many being branches or derivations boxing systems, below is a list of some of those styles:

太祖拳 Taizu Quan
何阳拳 Heyang Quan
虎尊拳 Huzun Quan
罗汉拳 Luohan Quan
五祖拳 Wuzu Quan
白鹤拳 Baihe Quan
地术拳 Dishu Quan
梅花拳 Meihua Quan
龙桩拳 Longzhuang Quan
五兽拳 Wushou Quan
连成拳 Liancheng Quan
鹤拳法 He Quan Fa
牛拳法 Niu Quan Fa
鱼拳法 Yu Quan Fa
猴拳法 Hou Quan Fa
安海拳 Anhai Quan
伏虎拳 Fuhu Quan
花拳法 Huaquan Fa
八井拳 Bajing Quan
儒家拳 Rujia Quan
开元拳 Kaiyuan Quan
达尊拳 Dazun Quan
畲族拳 Shezu Quan
走廊拳 Zoulang Quan
五每拳 Wumei Quan
俞家拳 Yujia Quan
扁担拳 Biandan Quan
金狮拳 Jinshi Quan
集山拳 Jishan Quan
双枝拳 Shuangzhi Quan
护鱼拳 Huyu Quan
龙虎拳 Longhu Quan
文拳 Wen Quan
二郎拳 Erlang Quan
香店拳 Xiangdian Quan
女人拳 Nvren Quan