Wu Kung-i

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Wu.
吳公儀
Wu Kung-i
Born 1898 (1898)
China
Died 1970 (aged 71–72)
Nationality Chinese
Style Wu-style taijiquan
Notable students Wu Daxin (吳大新),
Wu Dakui (吴大揆),
Wu Daqi (吳大齊),
Wu Yanxia (吴雁霞)
Wu Kung-i
Traditional Chinese

Wu Kung-i or Wu Gongyi (1898–1970) was a well-known teacher of the soft style martial art t'ai chi ch'uan (taijiquan) in China, and, after 1949, in the British colony of Hong Kong. He was also the "gate-keeper" of the Wu family from 1942 until his death in 1970.[1]

Biography[edit]

Wu Kung-i was the grandson of the founder of Wu-style t'ai chi ch'uan, Wu Ch'uan-yu. Wu Ch'uan-yu's son, Wu Chien-ch'uan, became the best known teacher in his family, and is therefore also considered the co-founder of the Wu-style. Wu Kung-i was his eldest son. Wu Kung-i's younger brother and sister, Wu Kung-tsao and Wu Ying-hua, were also well-known teachers. The Wu family were originally of Manchu ancestry.

There was a tradition in the Chinese martial arts that youngsters be taught by teachers of a generation older than their parents'. Since Wu Ch'uan-yu had died while Wu Kung-i was an infant, he and his brother were taught as young men by Yang Shao-hou, who was technically a generation senior to their father. Both Yang Shao-hou and Wu Chien-ch'uan were famous for their "small circle" martial expertise. The motions of t'ai chi ch'uan forms and pushing hands are all based on different sized circles, small circle movements in the forms and applications follow a more compact pathway for different leverage applications than larger circles.[2]

After the fall of the Ch'ing dynasty in 1912, a new teaching environment was created. More people became aware of t'ai chi ch'uan, and the former dynamic of small classes and intensive military instruction of relatively young students became less practical. Wu Kung-i responded to the new demands of larger class sizes and older beginning level students by changing some aspects of the beginning level hand forms he taught. His modifications of the "square" forms he had learned from his father and the slightly different form he learned from Yang Shao-hou, distinguished by clear sectional instructions for each move in the form sequence, more compact "small circle" movements in the body and somewhat higher stances with the feet relatively closer together than in other styles of t'ai chi ch'uan. Wu Kung-i also formulated new styles of pushing hands based on smaller circles, most notably the "four corner" method of basic pushing hands.[3]

Wu Kung-i's children were also full-time t'ai chi ch'uan teachers; his oldest son Wu Ta-k'uei, his second son, Wu Ta-ch'i and his daughter, Wu Yen-hsia.[4]

In 1953, the fifty-three-year-old Wu was publicly challenged to a fight by the thirty-something Tibetan White Crane stylist Ch'en K'e-fu (陈克夫). The contest was arranged and fought in Macau in January, 1954. The ring was set up as if for a Western boxing match, and there were many rules prohibiting various techniques being used by the fighters; kicks, throws or joint locks, for example. The contest lasted not quite two rounds. During the second round, the judges ended the fight, declaring the contest a draw. This was done to ensure that there was no loss of face to either party. Both Wu and Ch'en invited the opposing sides to celebratory banquets. The contest was reported in detail by the media of the day, and resulted in many new students for the Wu family school, including a martial art teaching contract for Wu Ta-k'uei from the Kowloon police.[1]

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
1924–2013
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 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. 
  2. ^ Yip, Y. L. (Autumn 1998). "A Perspective on the Development of Taijiquan – Qi, The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health and Fitness Vol. 8 No. 3". Insight Graphics Publishers. ISSN 1056-4004. 
  3. ^ 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. ^ Cai, Naibiao (2006). "In Memory of Wu Daxin - Journal of Asian Martial Arts Vol. 15 No. 1". Via Media Publishing, Erie Pennsylvania USA. ISSN 1057-8358. 

External links[edit]