Wu Chien-ch'uan

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吴鉴泉
Wu Chien Ch'uan
Born 1870
China
Died 1942
Style Wu-style taijiquan
Notable students Wu Gongyi (吴公儀),
Wu Gongzao (吴公藻),
Wu Yinghua (吴英华),
Wu Yinghua (吴英华),
Ma Yueliang (马岳梁),
Zheng Rongguang (鄭榮光)
Wu Chien-ch'uan
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese

Wu Chien Ch'uan or Wu Jianquan (1870–1942), was a famous teacher and founder of the neijia martial art of Wu-style t'ai chi ch'uan in late Imperial and early Republican China.[1]

Biography[edit]

Wu Chien-ch'uan was taught martial arts by his father, Wu Ch'uan-yu, a senior student of Yang Lu-ch'an and Yang Pan-hou.[1] Both Wu Chien-ch'uan and his father were hereditary Manchu cavalry officers of the Yellow Banner as well as the Imperial Guards Brigade, yet the Wu family were to become patriotic supporters of Sun Yat-sen.[2]

At the time of the establishment of the Chinese Republic in 1912, China was in turmoil, besieged for many years economically and even militarily by several foreign powers, so Wu Chien-ch'uan and his colleagues Yang Shao-hou, Yang Chengfu and Sun Lu-t'ang promoted the benefits of t'ai chi ch'uan training on a national scale. They subsequently offered classes at the Beijing Physical Culture Research Institute to as many people as possible, starting in 1914. It was the first school to provide instruction in the art to the general public. Wu Chien-ch'uan was also asked to teach the Eleventh Corps of the new Presidential Bodyguard as well as at the nationally famous Ching Wu martial arts school.

As the focus of t'ai chi ch'uan teaching in his time changed from a strictly military art to a discipline made available to the general public, Wu Chien-ch'uan modified the teaching forms he learned from his father somewhat.[3] Wu Chien-ch'uan's changes to the initial forms shown to his students included smoothing overt expressions of fa chin, jumps and other abrupt time changes in the training routines in order to make those forms easier for the general public to learn.[3] These modified elements were preserved and taught in various advanced forms and pushing hands, however.

Wu Chien-ch'uan moved his family to Shanghai in 1928. In 1935, he established the Chien-ch'uan T'ai Chi Ch'uan Association (鑑泉太極拳社) on the ninth floor of the Shanghai YMCA to promote and teach t'ai chi ch'uan.[4] What he taught has since become known as Wu-style t'ai chi ch'uan and is one of the five primary styles practised around the world, the others being Chen-style t'ai chi ch'uan, Yang-style t'ai chi ch'uan, Wu (Hao)-style t'ai chi ch'uan and Sun-style t'ai chi ch'uan.[2]

The Chien-ch'uan T'ai Chi Ch'uan Association schools have subsequently been maintained by Wu Chien-ch'uan's descendants. He was succeeded as head of the Wu family system by his oldest son, Wu Kung-i, in 1942.[2] His second son, Wu Kung-tsao, also became a renowned T'ai Chi master. Wu Kung-i moved the family headquarters to Hong Kong in 1949.[2] Today the Association still has its international headquarters in Hong Kong and is currently managed by Wu Chien-ch'uan's great-grandson, Wu Kuang-yu, with branches in Shanghai, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and France.[2]

Several of Wu's disciples also became well known t'ai chi teachers. Prominent in that number were the senior disciple, Ma Yueh-liang, Wu T'u-nan and Cheng Wing-kwong.[4] His daughter Wu Yinghua and her husband Ma Yueh-liang continued running the Shanghai Chien-ch'uan T'ai Chi Ch'uan Association until their deaths in the mid 1990s.

T'ai chi ch'uan lineage tree with Wu-style focus[edit]

Note:

  • This lineage tree is not comprehensive, but depicts those considered the 'gate-keepers' & most recognised individuals in each generation of Wu-style.
  • Although many styles were passed down to respective descendants of the same family, the lineage focused on is that of the Wu style & not necessarily that of the family.


Key:
NEIJIA
Solid lines Direct teacher-student.
Dot lines Partial influence
/taught informally
/limited time.
TAIJIQUAN
Dash lines Individual(s) omitted.
Dash cross Branch continues.
CHEN-STYLE
Zhaobao-style
YANG-STYLE
(王蘭亭)
Wang Lanting
1840–?
2nd gen. Yang
(杨健侯)
Yang Jianhou
1839–1917
2nd gen. Yang
2nd gen. Yangjia Michuan
(杨班侯)
Yang Banhou
1837–1892
2nd gen. Yang
2nd gen.
Guang Ping Yang
Yang Small Frame
WU (HAO)-STYLE
Zhaobao He-style
Li-style
(杨少侯)
Yang Shaohou
1862–1930
3rd gen. Yang
Yang Small Frame
(吴全佑)
Wu Quanyou
1834–1902
1st gen. Wu
(齊閣臣)
Qi Gechen
2nd gen. Wu
(夏公甫)
Xia Gongfu
2nd gen. Wu
(吴鉴泉)
Wu Jianquan
1870–1942
2nd gen. Wu
WU-STYLE
108 Form
(常遠亭)
Chang Yuanting
1860–1918
2nd gen. Wu
(郭松亭)
Guo Songting
2nd gen. Wu
(王茂齋)
Wang Maozhai
1862–1940
2nd gen. Wu
SUN-STYLE
(董英杰)
Dong Yingjie
1891–1960
4th gen. Yang
(齊敏軒)
Qi Minxuan
3rd gen. Wu
(鄭榮光)
Zheng Rongguang
1903–1967
3rd gen. Wu
(吴英华)
Wu Yinghua
1907–1997
3rd gen. Wu
(吴公儀)
Wu Gongyi
1900–1970
3rd gen. Wu
(吴公藻)
Wu Gongzao
1903–1983
3rd gen. Wu
(马岳梁)
Ma Yueliang
1901–1998
3rd gen. Wu
(杨禹廷)
Yang Yuting
1887–1982
3rd gen. Wu
(鄭天熊)
Zheng Tianxiong
1930–2005
Wudang-style
(吴大揆)
Wu Dakui
1923–1972
4th gen. Wu
(吴雁霞)
Wu Yanxia
1930–2001
4th gen. Wu
(吴大新)
Wu Daxin
1933–2005
4th gen. Wu
Li Liqun
1924–Present
4th gen. Wu
(王培生)
Wang Peisheng
1919–2004
4th gen. Wu
(吴光宇)
Wu Guangyu
1946–Present
5th gen. Wu
(骆舒焕)
Luo Shuhuan
1935–1987
5th gen. Wu
CHEN-STYLE
YANG-STYLE
WU-STYLE
SUN-STYLE
WU (HAO)-STYLE

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wile, Douglas (1995). Lost T'ai-chi Classics from the Late Ch'ing Dynasty (Chinese Philosophy and Culture). State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-2654-8. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Yip, Y. L. (Autumn 2002). Pivot – Qi, The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health and Fitness Vol. 12 No. 3. Insight Graphics Publishers. ISSN 1056-4004. 
  3. ^ a b Philip-Simpson, Margaret (June 1995). A Look at Wu Style Teaching Methods - T’AI CHI The International Magazine of T’ai Chi Vol. 19 No. 3. Wayfarer Publications. ISSN 0730-1049. 
  4. ^ a b Li, Liqun (October 1998). A Remembrance of Ma Yueh-liang – T’AI CHI The International Magazine of T’ai Chi Ch’uan Vol. 22 No. 5. Wayfarer Publications. ISSN 0730-1049. 

External links[edit]