Wu Quanyou

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Wu Quanyou
1834 (1834)
Died1902 (aged 67–68)
StyleWu-style tai chi
Notable studentsWu Jianquan
Wang Maozhai
Guo Songting (郭松亭)
Chang Yuanting (常遠亭)
Xia Gongfu (夏公甫)
Qi Gechen (齊閣臣)
Wu Quanyou
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Depiction of a Manchu Imperial Guards Bannerman wearing similar uniform and gear to that worn by Wu Quanyou as a military officer

Wu Quanyou (Chinese: 吴全佑; Wade–Giles: Wu Ch‘üan-yu; 1834–1902) was an influential teacher of tai chi in late Imperial China. His son is credited as the founder of the Wu-style tai chi.[1] As he was of Manchu descent, and would have been named by his family in Manchu, the name "Wú" (吳) was a sinicisation that approximated the pronunciation of the first syllable of his Manchu clan name, U Hala.[2]


Wu Quanyou was a military officer in the Yellow Banner camp in the Forbidden City, Beijing and also an officer of the Imperial Guards Brigade during the Qing dynasty. Wu wished to study under Yang Luchan, the tai chi instructor for that banner camp, but he was still a middle grade officer and Yang refused to teach him.[1][2][3] Instead, Wu and two other officers, Wan Chun (萬春) and Ling Shan (凌山), were asked to become disciples of Yang Banhou, Yang Luchan's oldest adult son and also a tai chi instructor for the Qing military.[2]

When Wu retired from the military, he set up a school in Beijing. Wu's Beijing school was successful and there were many who studied with him, he was popularly known as Quan Sanye (全三爺) as a term of respect. His disciples included Wang Maozhai, Guo Songting (郭松亭), Xia Gongfu (夏公甫), Chang Yuanting (1860-1918; 常遠亭), Qi Gechen (齊閣臣), and Wu's own son, Wu Jianquan (see Wudang tai chi lineage). Wu's skills were said to be exceptional in the area of softly "neutralising" (化勁; huà jìn) hard energy when attacked, which is a core skill of good tai chi.[3] Chang Yuanting's son Chang Yunji teaches a style known as "Quanyou laojia tai chi" (全佑老架太极拳) or "Chang-style tai chi" (常氏太極拳).[4]

Wu's son, Wu Jianquan also became a cavalry officer and tai chi teacher, working closely with the Yang family and Sun Lutang, promoting what subsequently came to be known as Wu-style tai chi in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.[1][5][6]

Tai chi lineage tree with Wu-style focus[edit]


  • This lineage tree is not comprehensive, but depicts those considered the 'gate-keepers' & most recognized 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.

Solid linesDirect teacher-student.
Dot linesPartial influence
/taught informally
/limited time.
Dash linesIndividual(s) omitted.
Dash crossBranch continues.CHEN-STYLEZhaobao-style
Wang Lanting
2nd gen. Yang
Yang Jianhou
2nd gen. Yang
2nd gen. Yangjia Michuan
Yang Banhou
2nd gen. Yang
2nd gen.
Guang Ping Yang
Yang Small Frame
WU (HAO)-STYLEZhaobao He-style
Li-styleYang Shao-hou
3rd gen. Yang
Yang Small Frame
Wu Quanyou
1st gen. Wu
Qi Gechen
2nd gen. Wu
Xia Gongfu
2nd gen. Wu
Wu Jianquan
2nd gen. Wu
108 Form
Chang Yuanting
2nd gen. Wu
Guo Songting
2nd gen. Wu
Wang Maozhai
2nd gen. Wu
Dong Yingjie
4th gen. Yang
Qi Minxuan
3rd gen. Wu
Cheng Wing Kwong
3rd gen. Wu
Wu Yinghua
3rd gen. Wu
Wu Gongyi
3rd gen. Wu
Wu Kung-tsao
3rd gen. Wu
Ma Yueliang
3rd gen. Wu
Yang Yuting
3rd gen. Wu
Cheng Tin Hung
Wu Ta-k'uei
4th gen. Wu
Wu Yanxia
4th gen. Wu
Wu Daxin
4th gen. Wu
Li Liqun
4th gen. Wu
Wang Peisheng
4th gen. Wu
Wu Kuang-yu
5th gen. Wu
Luo Shuhuan
5th gen. Wu

See also[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. ^ a b c Wu, Ying-hua (1988). Wu Style T'ai Chi Ch'uan – Forms, Concepts and Applications of the Original Style. Shanghai Book company, Ltd., Hong Kong.
  3. ^ a b Wu, Kung-tsao (2006) [1980]. Wu Family T'ai Chi Ch'uan (吳家太極拳). Chien-ch'uan T'ai-chi Ch'uan Association. ISBN 0-9780499-0-X.
  4. ^ Zhang, Tina (2006). Classical Northern Wu Style Tai Ji Quan. Berkeley, California: Blue Snake Books. ISBN 978-1-58394-154-6.
  5. ^ Yip, Y. L. (Autumn 2002). "Pivot". Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health and Fitness. Insight Graphics Publishers. 12 (3). ISSN 1056-4004.
  6. ^ Philip-Simpson, Margaret (June 1995). "A Look at Wu Style Teaching Methods". T'AI CHI the International Magazine of T'ai Chi Ch'uan. Wayfarer Publications. 19 (3). ISSN 0730-1049.

External links[edit]