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Wu Style Tai Chi Quan

武式太极拳

Overview

Tai Chi Quan is a traditional internal Chinese martial art. It is designed to develop “internal” power. Its movements are practiced very slowly and smoothly. In this way, one can develop connection through ones entire body. This training is very good for health, as has been shown in a recent study from Harvard University.

Wu Style Tai Chi Quan is a style of Tai Chi that is very difficult to find outside of Mainland China. For many years, the style was only taught to members of the Wu family.  It differs from other Tai Chi styles in that its movements tend to be smaller, and more focused on moving from ones center (core). Generating motion in this way uses all parts of the body. This is why high level Tai Chi can be such an effective martial art. More importantly, it is why Tai Chi is such a healthy exercise.

History & Lineage

Wu Yu Xiang (武禹襄; 1812-1880) | First Generation & Founder of Wu Style Tai Chi

Wu Yu Xiang was the youngest of three boys in his family. Born in Yongnian County, Hebei Province, China, Wu Yu Xiang, and his two older brothers, are considered to be the ancestral martial arts family of Wu Style Tai Chi Quan.

 

Li YiYu (李亦畬; 1832-1892) | Second Generation Master

Li Yiyu was born in Yongnian County, Hebei Providence, China. Li started learning Tai Chi Quan from his uncle, Wu Yu Xiang, at the age of 22. Li carefully studied and practiced under the instruction of his uncle for decades. Carefully keeping records of what Wu taught him. Eventually, Li would turn these notes into a number of books which are considered to be classic teachings of the martial art style.

 

Ge Fulai (葛福来) | Third Generation Master

Ge Fulai was born in Qinghe County, Hebei Province, China, during the late Qing Dynasty. As an armed escort he was highly skilled in martial arts, specifically Ba Fang Chui. Later in his life he studied under Master Li Yiyu (李亦畬) in order to learn Wu Style Tai Chi. He would eventaully become one of Li’s main disciples and a master of the style during the third generation.

 

Wu Haiqing (吴海清;1918-2005) | Fourth Generation Master

Wu Haiqing (吴海清) was born Qinghe County, Hebei Province, China. Wu studied martial arts almost all of his life. As a child he studied Ba Fang Chui and Wu Style Tai Chi under the instruction of master Ge Fulai. Wu had a very strict personal training practice. He would get up every day before the sunrise to practice his styles. Due to his devotion to learning his martial art styles Wu learned and developed the skills and characteristics of his masters relatively quickly. As a master of Tai Chi, Wu was very selective with what kind of student he would teach. However, among his disciples Wu is described as being modest and noble in character while giving his complete devotion to his students.

 

Zhang Yunchao (张云超) | Fifth Generation Master | Master Yun

Zhang Yunchao (张云超) began to learn Wu Style Tai Chi from Master Wu Haiqing. He starting learning the style in 1991 and took many of the discipline characteristics of Master Wu.