Wu Family Genealogy

Wu Kam-chan practicing Tai Chi. Wu Kam-chan

The Wu Family style of Tai Chi originates with Wu Quan-yu, a student of both Yang Lu-chan, the founder of the Yang Style of Tai Chi, and his son, Yang Pan-hou. He was Manchurian by race and worked as a bodyguard in the Imperial Court in Beijing. Because of his skill in it and his renown, he did much to popularize Tai Chi Chuan

It is said that the smaller movements and more restricted style of the Wu Form (in comparison with the Yang Style) has its origin in the elaborate and restrictive clothes of the Imperial Court. In order to be able to practice combat in this apparel the movements of the original Yang Style had to be modified somewhat.

For many years there was no differentiation between the Yang and Wu Styles. There was close contact between the two families and, for instance Wu Jian- quan and Yang Cheng-Fu would practice Push-hands together.

Wu Kam-chan practicing Tai Chi. Wu Kam-chan

Quan-yu taught the style to a number of students, including his son Wu Jian-quan. He, in turn passed his teaching on to his son Wu Kong-yi and students Ma Jiang-bao and Cheng Wing-kwong from whom many of today's Wu Style students descend.

Currently the Wu Style of Tai Chi is second in popularity only to the Yang Style.

For more detailed information on the historical development of these styles of Tai Chi see Peter Lim's fine article:

  1. The Historical Development Of Wu Jian Quan Style

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