We are beginning a study of Wu/Hao Tai Chi in my class. This is a fifth style of Tai Chi, less well-known that the four styles usually listed (Yang, Chen, Wu and Sun). My teacher, Grandmaster Gohring, knows Grandmaster Jimmy Wong, a sixth generation lineage-holder under Wu Yu Xiang, so we’ll have access to Jimmy as we study.
Wǔ Yǔ Xiāng (武禹襄) was active in the late 19th century. He was a student of Yang Luchan, the founder of Yang style Tai Chi, and also studied briefly with Chen master Chen Qing Ping. One of Wu’s students taught Hao Wei Chen, from whom both the Sun and Wu/Hao, styles are descended. The name Wu/Hao combines the names of these two founders, Wǔ 武 and Hǎo 郝, to form the name 武/郝式 Wǔ/Hǎo Shì (shì is style).
The better-known and older Wu style (吳式, Wú Shì) was created by Wu Quanyou, another student of Yang Luchan, whose family name is 吳 Wú, with rising inflection. For more detail, see Wikipedia on Wu/Hao and Wu-style Tai Chi.
We are starting with the short 8-step form, which is demonstrated by Grandmaster Wong in a nice, clear video that also shows the lineage and the names of the steps, which are as follows:
- 武起势 Wǔ Qǐshì
- 右懒扎衣 Yòu Lǎn Zā Yī
- 左搂膝拗步 Zuǒ lōu xī ào bù
- 双 抱捶 Shuāng bào chuí
- 栓马势 Shuān Mǎ Shì
- 退步懒扎衣 Tuì bù Lǎn Zā Yī
- 十字手 Shízì shǒu
- 收势 Shōu shì
The character 武 for the surname Wǔ is the same as the character for the Wǔ in wushu, the modern and general term for the Chinese martial arts. In that context 武 wǔ just means martial. In case you noticed that the Hua Wu Fan that I posted about yesterday uses the same character for Wu, it is used in this second sense, as in wushu.
Speaking of Hua Wu Fan, I found several more videos: this is a Nice one! The best! I will use it as my paradigm.
And several more:
- At a tournament
- Group Performance on stage
- Another one (with the music we’re using)
- Another tournament
- Another good one–but she drops the fan! Keeps going, great demo anyway.