- TAI CHI MASTER PROFILES -
The greatly renowned and respected tai chi master, Wu Tunan, was born in Beijing in 1884 during China's last dynasty, the Qing. As a child he was weak and in continuous poor health, leading him to seek out a health-improving discipline while quite young.
At the age of nine, Wu became a student of master Wu Jian Quan who later became the co-founder, with his father, Wu Quan You, of Wu Style tai chi. When Wu trained, his master was an outstanding teacher of Yang Style tai chi, his father having learned from Yang Style founder, the legendary Yang Lu Chan and his son, Yang Ban Hou. After eight years of training, Wu moved on to study for four years with Yang Shao Hou, grandson of Yang Lu Chan and the brother of the famous, Yang Cheng Fu.
With such an early and illustrious start, Wu had earned an envious reputation for his tai chi skills while still a young man, becoming known as "The Northern Star of Tai Chi Chuan."
As an adult, Wu became a librarian and an archeologist, focusing his research on ancient Chinese ceramics. He wrote a book on the subject that never made it to print. His greatest interest, however, was tai chi chuan and he invested much of his time into researching tai chi's theories, history, and methods. During his years of research, Wu journeyed to various locations in China to study tai chi's evolution and various influences on its development. In addition, he investigated the histories and practices of other Chinese martial arts and his research was eventually condensed into the book, The Essence of Wu Tunan Tai Chi Chuan.
Wu promoted the concept that true tai chi mastery is highly dependent on accomplishments in chi gong, self defense, and personal spiritual development. His writings are recognized as a powerful expose on the breadth and characteristics of the art, based his own experience and research into its spiritual and martial nature and origins. Wu Tunan is regarded as having made significant contributions to tai chi, rescuing information on its ancient cultural and martial roots. Wu's work did much to specify the art's unique characteristics which set it apart from other martial systems.
Wu Tunan was and is respected as one of the greatest tai chi masters of the past century. At the age of 100 he was still demonstrating his Wu tai chi at tournaments in China. He lived a vital and healthy life right until his passing in 1989 at the age of 105. - TCJ
#TaiChi #Taijiquan #Wu_Taiji