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"The secret art is not lost. Jimmy Wong brings back the Taiji Legacy to America"

Wu style or Hao style, better known as Wu (Hao) style today, is created by Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang (1812-1880). It is one of the 5 major Taijiquan systems in China today. The Wu (Hao) family rose in the year of the Qing Dynasty when Xiang Feng was the emperor. Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang who was the founder of the taiji boxing born in Guangfu town, Yongnian county, Hebei. He was a scholar. His taiji skills were taught by Chen Qingping, (1795-1868) who lived in Zhaopao, Wen County, Henan province. With his Confucianism, Taoism, and Sun Tze Art of War background, combined with his taiji skill and Mr. Wang Zhong-yue taiji theory, he developed a powerful taijiquan for health and martial arts. He also developed the 13 Taiji Spear (staff), 13 Taiji Saber, and moving step push hand applications. He carried on the research of Mr. Wang Zhong-Yue theory and developed the "13-Torso Method", "Analysis of Taijiquan theory", "Introduction of the 13 Postures", and "Secret of the Four Words". Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang had formed a complete Taijiquan system. Mr. Wu taught his art to his nephew, Mr. Li Yi-Yu (1832-1892) who also later developed "The Secret of Five Words", "Taiji Secret Attacks", and many other concepts. Because Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang and Mr. Li Yi-Yu were high scholar Confucians, they amazed themselves by studying the theories and martial arts aspects of the Taijiquan. They were not interested in teaching students. Mr. Li accepted Mr. Hao Wei-Zhang (1849-1920) who later made it very popular to the public. A famous Xingyi and Baqua teacher, Mr. Sun-Lu Tang studied from him and created the Sun Style Taijiquan. A very famous Chinese-Muslim scholar and a businessman by the name of Mr. Li Shen-Duan in Xintai studied from Mr. Hao Wei-Zheng. Mr. Li Shen-Duan taught to many students in the Xintai area. The most famous ones are Mr. Chen Gu-An, and Mr. Wu Wen-Han. Both taught and accepted Mr. Jimmy Kokkhang Wong as their disciple.

Wu (Hao) Characteristics
The characteristics of Wu (Hao) Taijiquan can be summarized as follows:

1) Simple postures, but complicated techniques. The posture and actions are simple, compact, and brisk, but have profound meanings and very practical. For example, 'Lazyman Ties His Coat' is an attack on his opponent's face and body. The upper hand is used to uproot and the lower hand is used to fa-ching (attack) - see fig. 1 & 2.
2) Strict demands of upright body and relaxed posture. The hip needs to be naturally tucked in, the back straightened, the shoulders loosened, and elbows sunken. The idea is to protect the crotch, straighten the spine, control the mind, and let the vital energy go into the dantian (Qi reservoir). At this point, we are ready to ambush, jump, remove, dodge, and turn at anytime. As Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang said, "As firm as a tree and as flexible as a wheel." Two palms protect the front and do not stretch them out beyond the foot and toes. The elbows don't stick to the ribs. Left connects with right, and up follows down. The mind links with the body.
3) To control the Qi (vital energy) with the mind. To use the mind to direct the Qi to the body movement like Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang said "to use the mind, not muscle", let the Qi flow around the body
4) To be coherent All movements have to be consistent, avoiding all possible shortcomings of broken links in the movement. You have to be aware of the body movements and be ready at all times. Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang said, "to gather the strength is to draw a bow, to let out the energy is to shoot the arrow".

Fig. 1 - Jimmy Wong performs Wu (Hao) 'Lazyman Ties His Coat'

Fig. 2 - Application of Wu (Hao) Taiji 'Lazyman Ties His Coat'


Wu (Hao) Complete System
The complete system of the Wu (Hao) style are:

1) First routine a. 13 Posture
b. 24 Posture
c. 32 Posture
d. 36 Posture
2) 2nd Routine: Long Form 108 Posture
3) Taiji jian (straight sword)
4) Taiji dao (sabre)
5) Taiji qiang (spear)
6) Taiji gun (pole) - developed by Mr. Chen Gu-An
7) 31/2 Step Tui-Shou (Push Hand Drills/Applications)
8) 32 Duan Da (quick fighting techniques)
9) Free Style Tui-Shou (Push Hands/Sparring)
10) Wang Zhong-yue, Wu Yu-Xiang, Li Yi-Yu Taiji Classical Theory

The development of Wu (Hao) Taijiquan
Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang is the creator of the Wu, or better known today as Wu (Hao), Taijiquan, and also the founder of Taijiquan theory. Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang (1812-1880) was born in Guangfu town, Yongnian County, Hebei province. He came from a distinguished royal family of the government. He has two elder brothers and his great-grandfather Wu Jingyuan was a high-ranking officer in the Qing Dynasty army. His grandfather, Wu Dayong, was a martial arts warrior in Xintai (one who passed the imperial examination at the county level in the Ming and Qing Dynasties). Wu Yu-Xiang's father, Wu Lee was a scholar, his elder brother Wu Chengqing, who passed the imperial examination, was the county mayor of Wuyang county, Henan province. His other brother, Wu Ruqing, also passed the imperial exam and worked as the chief inspector in the security department in Sichuan province. Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang himself was a scholar, educator, and worked as the leader for education.

Although all of the Wu's members are Confucian Scholars and all passed their examinations to be government officials, kungfu was also a tradition in the Wu's family. They believed in education and martial arts go together in what the Chinese called 'Wen Wu Her I (Warrior Scholar). The Wu brothers learned the kungfu from their father since their childhood. At that time, there was a Chinese medicine shop west of Yongnian county named Dahetang. The owner of the shop was named Chen Dehu. He was from Chen Jiagou Wen county, Henan province (the birthplace of Taiji). Mr. Chen rented a room from the Wu's family. Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang was very much into martial arts and started learning from him. He found out that that his kungfu was very different from Mr. Chen's, so he practiced the Taiji with him but later he found out that his skill was only mediocre. During that time, a man who lived in Yongnian county named Mr. Yang Lu Chan (1799-1872), the founder of Yang style taiji, came back home from Chenjiagou. He had acknowledged all the taiji skills from Mr. Chen Zhang Xing, came back and worked as a martial arts coach for Dahetang Chinese Medicine Shop. Mr. Wu and his brother knew that Mr. Yang had superb martial skills so they made friends and learned taijiquan from him.

Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang found many questions when he studied taijiquan. Later he heard a man in Zhaobao Wen County by the name of Mr. Chen Qing-ping was an expert in taijiquan. In 1852, the elder brother of Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang was appointed as the governor of Wuyang County in Henan province. With his mother's permission, Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang set his trip to visit his brother. However, he detoured to Zhaobao town of Wen County to visit Mr. Chen Qing-ping. Immediately, he studied from Mr. Chen diligently. Later, he also found Mr. Wang Zhong-yue Taijiquan manual in the salt factory of his brother's mansion. He was very excited and enlightened by the book. Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang gave up his official career and devoted all his life to the study of taijiquan. He spent the next nine years with his nephew, Li Yi-Yu to improve their taijiquan skill. With his Confucian theory, Sun Tze Art of War, Qigong, traditional Chinese medicine concepts, and martial arts skills, he formulated the following theory:

1) Explanation of 13 Postures
2) Taijiquan theory
3) Analysis of Taijiquan theory
4) 13 Torso Method
5) The Four secret words of Tuishou

Passing Wu (Hao) Down
He created a new Taiji posture that has martial art skill, health building through harmonizing the mind and the body. He revised some moves of the posture to make the names match reality. He improved and recreated the Taiji Tuishou, 13 Spear (staff), 13 Sabre, 4 Spear (staff), 4 Sabre and found a complete Wu (Hao) taijiquan system for us today. Mr. Wu devoted all his life to the study of taijiquan and has attained great achievement. Limited by the family customs and royal status, he only practiced taijiquan to amuse himself and was reluctant to teach students. Other than his nephew, Li Yi-Yu and Li Qingxuan, Yang Ban Hou also learned his expert martial skills. Mr. Yang Ban Hou (1837-1892) was the second son of Mr. Yang Lu-Chan. Mr. Yang followed Mr. Wu when he was very young. He was often sleepy when he was reading, so Mr. Wu taught him taijiquan. When he was 20 years old, Mr. Yang Ban-Hou already an accomplished martial artist, went to Peking (Beijing) to help his father Mr. Yang Lu Chan teach taijiquan. With Mr. Wu and his father coaching, Mr. Yang Ban-Hou's style was called Small Posture Yang Style. The founder of the other Wu (Woo) style, Mr. Wu Quan-You studied from Mr. Yang Ban-Hou.

Mr. Li Yi-Yu (2nd generation Wu (Hao) style) was the elder nephew of Mr. Wu Yu-Xing. He is also a scholar. Influenced by Mr. Wu, he gave up their official career. Mr. Li paid tremendous amounts of time on his taijiquan practice. Some masters said that Li Yi-Yu may have surpassed the skill of Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang. Besides perfecting his postures, he often challenged strong young men to verify what he learned. Whenever he comprehended something, he will write it down on the wall. Today, the notes that he and Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang are still in the walls of the training hall of their home in Yongnian County. He would research and modify them day and night until he felt satisfied. He wrote the "5 Secret Words", "Posture and Boxing Skills Application", "The Secret of Pushing Hands", "Post-Analysis of Wang Zhong-Yue theory", "Thirteen Posture Song", and a hand-written taijiquan manual personally calligraphed by Mr. Li Yi-Yu.

The Next Generations - Wu and Hao
Because of his royal status, Mr. Li Yi-Yu taught his taijiquan to very few students. One student who helped spread the art today is Mr. Hao Wei-Zheng (1849-1920). He was born in Yongnian County and his family was very poor. He was very honest and a well-respected teacher. Loved by Mr. Li Yi-Yu, he learned taijiquan from Mr. Li for many years and never ceased. He mastered the expert skills of both Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang and Mr. Li Yi-Yu. Mr. Hao Wei-Zheng has many disciples. His disciples have proved their taijiquan skills throughout China, so the taijiquan of Wu family is also called taijiquan of the Hao family. Mr. Hao respected his master and grandmaster, so he never considered his boxing the taijiquan of the Hao family. In the 1960's, his grandson published a book on taijiquan and called it Wu style taijiquan. Today, we often call it Wu (Hao) style to give credit to both Mr. Wu and Mr. Hao.

Mr. Hao Yueh Ru (son), Mr. Zhang Zhen-zong, Mr. Han Qin-Xian, Mr. Li Fu-Yiu, Mr. Fan Nian-zu, Mr. Li Shen-Duan (my grandmaster), Mr. Li Bao-Yu (who taught the Tung family Mr. Tung Yin-Jie), Mr. Zhong Hao-Tian, and Mr. Sun Lu-Tang (later he created Sun style taijiquan) were all taught by Mr. Hao Wei Zheng. From the 1920-1930, Wu (Hao) style taijiquan was widely spread.

Mr. Li Shen-Duan (1888-1948), along with Mr. Wang Peng-Nian and Mr. Hao Zhong-Tian, popularized Wu (Hao) style taijiquan. Most people who exercise Wu (Hao) style taijiquan in Xintai were taught by Mr. Li Shen-Duan. Two of the top students of Mr. Li Shen-Duan are: Mr. Chen Gu-An (1913-1992), a Chinese Muslim, had the greatest influence in Xintai, China. He was very famous for his martial arts skills. When he was younger, he used to be challenged by martial artists. He was also an expert in Chaquan, Baquazhang, and Xin-I-quan.

Mr. Wu Wen-Han (1928-present) retired in Beijing and spent tremendous amount of time researching the Wu (Hao) taijiquan theory and application. He has great accomplishments in the research of the history and theory of taijiquan. He has published many taiji articles and he is one of the top taijiquan theorists in China today. He is also an expert in Yinfu Baquazhang, and Xin-I-quan.

Wu (Hao) Today
From Xian Feng emperor of Qing Dynasty to modern day, Wu (Hao) taijiquan has developed for 130 to 140 years. Because there are not many practitioners of this taijiquan and most of them are scholars and also influenced by their ancestors and customs, they are reluctant to teach students. Therefore, the development of Wu (Hao) taijiquan to some degree is hindered. However, the taijiquan classical theory created by Mr. Wu Yu-Xiang and Mr. Li Yi-Yu are abided by all taijiquan teachers and students.

Today, Wu (Hao) taijiquan is prominent in Xintai, Handan, and Yongnian of Hebei province, Taiquan of Shanxi province, Beijing, Tianjing, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Guangzhou. In America, Wu (Hao) taijiquan is most widely spread in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Maryland, and New Jersey. Wu (Hao) may also be found within Europe in Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Peru, and some South American countries. Sifu Jimmy Wong is responsible for bringing this art to these areas. Sifu Jimmy Wong is the 6th generation direct lineage of the Wu (Hao) taijiquan. He is the closed-door disciple of both Grandmaster Wu Wen-Han and Chen Gu-An. In 1998, his student competed against the Chinese competitors in the 5th 1998 International Yongnian Taijiquan Championship in Handan, China, and won 1st place in Wu (Hao) form and Wu (Hao) Taiji sword. Sifu Wong was also granted the Grandmaster title of Wu (Hao) style by the China Yongnian Traditional Taijiquan National Association. He was the only person outside of China to receive this title. His classmate in China, Mr. Pang Da-Ming was also granted the Grandmaster title. His teacher, Mr. Wu Wen-Han was granted the Great Grandmaster title. Sifu Wong's mission is to spread the Wu (Hao) taiji and make it available to anyone who is interested. He recently established the North America Wu (Hao) Taiji Federation, which is based in Dallas, Texas. He has a strong belief in preserving the traditional taiji, and bringing this great style from Yongnian to the rest of the world. For seminar information or seminar arrangements, contact (972) 680-7888 or check www.wuhao.org or e-mail wuhao@chinwoo.com.

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