Northern Wu Style Taiji Quan

A brief chronicle history of Wu Taiji Quan

Yang Lu Chan was the Yang style Taiji Quan founder who taught Taiji Quan during his time in the imperial army in Beijing. Throughout the course of his life he had taught many people, but by the time he retired only three were considered skilled students. They were Wang Chun, Ling Shan and Wu Quan You.

One day, Wu Quan You saw Yang Lu Chan was in a carriage to return to his home village, he decided to follow the carriage by foot. At the end of the journey Yang Lu Chan said to him 'I have already taught you all the Kung Fu I know. The only thing I have left to tell you is, beat inside the circle, throw outside the circle'. Inspired, Wu subsequently founded Wu style Taiji Quan.

Wang Mao Zhai spent his childhood in a village in the Shan Dong province. At 16 he began his Kung Fu training under Wu Quan You in Beijing. Wang became one of the two students (the other one was Wu's son, Wu Jian Quan) who later on carried on with Wu's Kung Fu legacy. Wang remained in Beijing and Wu Jian Quan moved down south to Shanghai. It was these two students that popularised the Wu style Taiji and made it famous across north to south of China.

Xui Pei Xun began his Kung Fu training in Ba Qua Zhang. By the age of 25 his Kung Fu journey lead him to meet Wang Mao Zhai, he immediately decided to become Wang's student. After just eight years of training he was one of the three best students that Wang ever had. He returned to his hometown, the Yen City of Shang Dong province and started to teach Taiji Quan, and became the first Chairman of the Martial Arts community in Yen City.

Zhan Po was born in Yen City where he studied Taiji Quan with Xui Pei Xun from a young age. During these times people were generally very poor, and only a selected few children could go to school. Zhan Po was one of the fortunate few. Xui liked him and took him aside, Xui began to speak about Taiji philosophies, Kung Fu and combat knowledge in-depth with Zhan Po, who then was responsible for writing things down to help subsequent students learn Taiji and to preserve the history of the art.

Many years later, circumstances took Zhan Po to Harbin City in northern China, where he began teaching Wu style Taiji Quan.

Yan Long Jiang was born in Yi Chun, a village in northern China. He trained in external Kung Fu from the age of 9. He subsequently moved to Harbin City to further his education in Harbin University where he also started learning Taiji Quan with Zhan Po, he remained Zhan Po's student ever since. Later on Yan Long Jiang took the opportunity to come to England where he carried on with the Wu Taiji legacy by setting up the Wu Style Taiji Society in Birmingham in 2003, which became a branch representing the Wu Style Research Group back in Harbin.

As the Wu style Taiji Quan legacy continues, the new skilled students will take their place in the family tree. This path is long, there are no short cuts but success awaits those that try their best.

Written by Sifu Yan Long Jiang and Martin Gregory