Wu (Hao)-style t'ai chi ch'uan

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Wu (Hao)-style t'ai chi ch'uan
Also known as Wu (Hao)-style taijiquan
Wu (Hao) family taijiquan
Wu (Hao) school of taijiquan
Wu (Hao) shi taijiquan
Date founded mid-19th century
Country of origin China
Founder Wu Yuxiang
Current head Liu Jishun (刘积顺)
6th gen. Wu (Hao)
Arts taught T'ai chi ch'uan
Ancestor arts Chen-style taijiquan,
Zhaobao-style taijiquan,
Yang-style taijiquan
Descendant arts Sun-style taijiquan
Practitioners Li Yiyu (李亦畬),
Hao Weizhen,
Hao Yueru (郝月如),
Hao Shaoru (郝少如)

The Wu or Wu (Hao)-style (Chinese: 武氏 or 武/郝氏; pinyin: Wǔshì or wǔ/hǎoshì) of t'ai chi ch'uan of Wu Yu-xiang (武禹襄, 1813–1880), is a separate family style from the more popular Wu-style (吳氏) of Wu Chien-ch'üan. Wu Yu-hsiang's style was third among the five t'ai chi ch'uan families in seniority and is fifth in terms of popularity.


Wu Yu-xiang was a scholar from a wealthy and influential family who was a friend of Yang Luchan and financially supported him in his endeavor to study Tai Chi with Chen Chang-Xiang 陈长兴. Upon Yang's return from his studies Yang transfer the knowledge to Wu because of the financial support. Upon the third time Yang returned from study he said he had promised his teacher he could not teach to others, so Wu went to Chen Village try to learn directly. However, Chen Chang-Xiang was too old and refer him to a friend Chen Qing-Ping 陈清平 in the neighbor Zhao-Bao (赵堡) village. Wu studied for a few months and returned. Wu's older brother on a chance visit to a salt store find a Tai Chi Classic and provide the book to Wu. Wu upon getting the book, he gathered Li Yi-Yu 李亦畬 his nephew to work on combining what is described on the Tai Chi Classic and what he has learned to form the bases for Wu 武 style Tai Chi。 Wu and Li spend over 20 years in formulating this new style, that is why it is very different from other style of Tai Chi. Since Wu and Li both are scholars - they have written substantially on what they discovered and published the body of writing on the subject of t'ai chi theory, writings that are considered influential by many other schools not directly associated with his style. Li Yi-yü had a younger brother who was also credited as an author of at least one work on the subject of t'ai chi ch'uan, Li Ch'i-hsüan. It is a little known fact that Wu Yu-xiang also taught Yang Luchan 2nd son Yang Ban-hou 杨班候; which are known for his small frame style that are the hall mark of Wu-Hao Tai chi. Li Yi-yü best student was Hao Wei-zhen (郝為真; 1842–1920), who brought the Wu-Style Tai Chi outside the village. He taught Li Xiang-yuan, Li Shengduan, Sun Lutang, his son Hao Yüeh-ru (郝月如) and others. Sun Lutang after learning from Hao Wei-zhen later created Sun style Tai Chi. Hao Yüeh-ru in turn taught his son Hao Shaoru (Hǎo Shǎorú, 郝少如), so that it is now sometimes known as Wu/Hao or just Hao style t'ai chi ch'uan. Hao Yüeh-ru was teaching in the 1920s, a time when t'ai chi ch'uan was experiencing an initial degree of popularity, and he is known for having smoothed out (in the sense of under-emphasising jumps and snap kicks, etc.) and standardized the forms he learned from his father in order to more effectively teach large numbers of beginners. Other famous t'ai chi ch'uan teachers, notably Yang Ch'eng-fu, Wu Chien-ch'üan and Wu Kung-i, made similar modifications to their beginning level forms around the same time.

Wu Yu-hsiang's t'ai chi ch'uan is a distinctive style with small, subtle movements; highly focused on balance, sensitivity and internal ch'i development. It is a rare style today, especially compared with the other major styles. While there are direct descendants of Li Yi-yü and Li Ch'i-hsüan still teaching in China, there are no longer Hao family members teaching the style. The inheritors to learn under Hao Shaoru currently living are:

Hao Yinru (Chinese: 郝吟如; pinyin: Hǎo Yínrú; 1958), who is Hao Shaoru's adopted son in the martial tradition. As Hao Shaoru didn't have a son, he chose a close disciple and gave him the name Hao Yinru. (Wang Muyin is Yinru real name, initially told public he was Hao family but later found out. According to Hao family Muyin is not acknowledged as adopted son nor representative of Hao Shaoru) Hao Yinru is currently teaching Wu-style t'ai chi ch'uan in Shanghai.
Li Wei Ming (Chinese: 李伟明; pinyin: Li Wěimíng), who is Hao Shaoru's adopted son and disciple. (Discipleship not awarded by Hao Shaoru but claimed by Weiming) Li Wei Ming is currently flying between Bangkok, Thailand and Shanghai, China to teach Wu-style t'ai chi ch'uan.
Liu Jishun (Chinese: 刘积顺; pinyin: Liú Jīshùn), only disciple asked by Hao Shaoru to represent the art during his lifetime. Master Liu Jishun has authored many books on the art with many students around the globe with two disciples in the United Kingdom.



  • Wile, Douglas Lost T'ai-chi Classics from the late Ch'ing Dynasty (1996) State University of New York Press, Albany. ISBN 0-7914-2653-X

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