Wu Kung-tsao

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吴公藻
Wu Kung-tsao
Born 1902 (1902)
Died 1983 (aged 80–81)
Nationality Chinese
Style Wu-style taijiquan
Notable students Wu Daxin
Wu Kung-tsao
Traditional Chinese

Wu Kung-tsao or Wu Gongzao (1902–1983) was a famous Chinese teacher of t'ai chi ch'uan. He taught in Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha and Hong Kong. The second son of Wu Chien-ch'üan, he was the grandson of the first teacher of Wu-style t'ai chi ch'uan, Wu Ch'uan-yü.[1] Wu Kung-tsao was the younger brother of Wu Kung-i and the older brother of Wu Ying-hua. The Wu family were originally of Manchu ancestry.

Biography[edit]

As a young man, he studied t'ai chi ch'uan, along with his brother, under the supervision of Yang Shao-hou. 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-yü had died the same year Wu Kung-tsao was born, he and his brother were taught by Yang Shao-hou, who was technically a generation senior to their father. Both Yang Shao-hou and Wu Chien-ch'üan 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]

In the 1920s Wu Kung-tsao served first as an infantry officer in the Thirteenth Brigade of the Nationalist army until 1929, then later as a martial art instructor for the Hunan Martial Arts Training Centre as well as an instructor for the famous Ching Wu martial art school. During the 1930s, he wrote a well-known commentary on the classic writings in 40 chapters on t'ai chi ch'uan that his grandfather had inherited from Yang Pan-hou.[1][3] His commentary (including the original 40 chapters) was published as Wu Chia T'ai Chi Ch'uan (吳家太極拳, Wu family T'ai Chi Ch'uan),[1] also known by English speakers as The Gold Book because of the colour of its cover.[3] In 1937, he established his family's first school in Hong Kong. In addition to his teaching and literary contributions to the art, Wu Kung-tsao became known as a specialist in the nei kung aspect of T'ai Chi training, both for martial purposes and for therapeutic interventions along the lines of traditional Chinese medicine.[4]

Wu Kung-tsao stayed on the mainland after the Chinese Communist takeover in 1949. During and for a short time after the Cultural Revolution of 1964-1978 he was imprisoned by the Red Guards due to his history as a Nationalist military officer, a traditional Confucian scholar and Taoist teacher as well as a hostage to ensure the "good behaviour" of the rest of his family who were at the time living in Shanghai and Hong Kong. He was routinely tortured while a prisoner but was finally released in 1979, when he moved again to Hong Kong.[4]

Wu Kung-tsao's second son Wu Ta-hsin was also known as an expert martial artist and teacher who in his turn was the senior instructor of the Wu family schools internationally from 2001 until 2005.[4]

Generational senior instructors of the Wu family[edit]

1st Generation

Wu Ch'uan-yü (Wu Quanyou, 吳全佑, 1834–1902), who learned from Yang Lu-ch'an and Yang Pan-hou, was senior instructor of the family from 1870-1902.

2nd generation

His oldest son, Wu Chien-ch'üan (Wu Jianquan, 吳鑑泉, 1870–1942), was senior from 1902-1942.

3rd Generation

His oldest son, Wu Kung-i (Wu Gongyi, 吳公儀, 1900–1970) was senior from 1942-1970.

Wu Kung-i's younger brother, Wu Kung-tsao (Wu Gongzao, 吳公藻, 1903–1983), was senior from 1970-1983.

Wu Kung-i's younger sister, Wu Ying-hua (Wu Yinghua, 吳英華, 1907–1997), was senior from 1983-1997.

4th Generation

Wu Kung-i's daughter, Wu Yen-hsia (Wu Yanxia, 吳雁霞, 1930–2001) was senior from 1997-2001.

Wu Kung-tsao's son, Wu Ta-hsin (Wu Daxin, 吳大新, 1933–2005), was senior from 2001-2005.

5th Generation

The current senior instructor of the Wu family is Wu Ta-k'uei's son Wu Kuang-yu (Wu Guangyu, Eddie Wu, 吳光宇, born 1946).

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 c 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. ^ 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 c 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]