Great day of fantastic workshops enjoyed by over 60 people ! Now on to enjoy the night life on Fourth Street. All QICP registrants please remember your QICP booklets for tomorrow’s workshops. Looking forward to OPENING CEREMONIES tomorrow night and the drum show! Looking forward to many more registrants arriving this evening and tomorrow.
Hello all; I know that many of you are now travelling and making your way to Louisville Kentucky for the International Tai Chi Symposium. The Grandmasters are also set to arrive within the next few days. There are many exciting events organized and you should have all received your information by now. You can check here throughout the days for any updates. Sue Arione
By HOLLY SWEENEY-HILLMAN
May 2014, Academic Program Director
Author Arthur Rosenfeld will be speaking at the 2014 International Tai Chi Chuan Symposium as well as doing a book reading from his latest novel, YIN, a love story about the life of Lao Tsu. Arthur’s non-fiction book, Tai Chi – The Perfect Exercise, will also be featured at the Symposium. Tai Chi – The Perfect Exercise, was published in 2013 and has become a must-have book for Tai Chi enthusiasts and martial artists.
Holly: You have studied at many distinguished institutions in the United States and abroad. Which one, or ones, have inspired you the most to become the person you are?
Arthur: Institutions themselves don’t inspire me. I have, however, been inspired by certain individuals, and most of all by great ideas and, of course, relationships. I’ve had wonderful teachers going back to my early school years. Often, they led me to a Taoist worldview without ever knowing they were doing so. They were, for the most part, monistic, non-dual teachers, who saw everything as being united, and wept bitter tears for the destruction of the oceans and rainforest and other environmental cataclysms, that even back then, were the beginning of what we now call the 6th great extinction, a disaster of truly geologic proportions that our species has caused.
Share the gift of Tai Chi Chuan! The Symposium is a rare opportunity for your students and other students at Tai Chi schools of all styles in your area to learn Tai Chi Chuan from the Grandmasters. It is an opportunity for all students to expand their depth, knowledge, and skill of Tai Chi Chuan beyond their current level. Now there is an easy way to help make students aware of the 2014 Symposium.
There are Symposium posters that you can download, print and hang up in your school, or email to your student list if you would like to. Also, consider contacting other Tai Chi schools in your area to let them know about the Symposium and see if they would like a poster for their school. To view and download posters, please visit: http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/download/. Many thanks for your support in helping others learn about the 2014 Symposium and sharing the gift of Tai Chi Chuan.
Grandmaster Ma Hailong was born in 1935 into one of China’s most distinguished
martial arts families. His great-grandfather, Quan You (1834 – 1902), was an officer of the Imperial Guards Brigade in Beijing’s Forbidden City. At this time, Yang Luchan (1799-1872) was a martial arts instructor there and for many years Quan You studied with Yang Luchan and his eldest son, Yang Banhou.
Grandmaster Ma’s grandfather, Wu Jianquan (1870-1942), was a cavalry officer who subsequently taught Tai Chi Chuan and developed from his father’s art what is now the Wu style. Utilizing the “small frame” his father had learned from Yang Luchan, he made important modifications utilizing narrower circles and the distinctive footwork and body positions now seen in Wu style Tai Chi Chuan. In 1914, along with his colleagues Yang Shaohou, Yang Chengfu and Sun Lutang, he began teaching publicly at the Beijing Physical Culture Research Institute. As he taught to the general public, he continued to make modifications to his style, refining the more overt martial techniques in much the same way that Yang style has, making the motions slower and smoother for a wider appeal. In 1928, Wu Jianquan moved to Shanghai and formed the Wu style Tai Chi Chuan Association in 1935.
Grandmaster Ma’s father, Ma Yuehliang (1901-1998), began studying with Wu Jianquan at the age of 18. In 1930 he married Master Wu’s daughter, Wu Yinghua (1906-1996), and served as deputy director of the Shanghai Association.
From the age of 6, Grandmaster Ma began learning Tai Chi Chuan in this especially rich environment. Both his parents were accomplished teachers and his uncles had studied intensively with his grandfather. He remains dedicated to this day to sharing his family’s traditions.
For over 70 years Grandmaster Ma has been practicing his family’s techniques and is now President of the Shanghai Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan Association. His traditions emphasize focused, tranquil and consistent practice. Master Ma’s performances are characterized by a high degree of expressed equilibrium and natural calmness. He holds a doctorate in Chemistry and since his retirement as a professor, he dedicates his efforts to expanding the practice of Wu style Tai Chi Chuan.
It is an honor to have Grandmaster Ma Hailong at the 2014 Symposium.
Wu style originated from Quan You (1834 – 1902) who was born in Da Xing County, Beijing. He was a Manchurian and a member of the Imperial Guard in Beijing. He learned the art of Tai Chi Chuan directly from Yang Luchan, and also under his son, Yang Banhou. Quan You later modified what he learned, and his art evolved to be recognized as a separate style of Tai Chi Chuan. His style became known as the Wu School because his son Wu Jianquan (1870-1942), himself an accomplished master, adopted a Han family name “Wu”. Hence Quan You, through his son Wu Jianquan is honored as the founder of the Wu School of Tai Chi Chuan.
Wu Jianquan also modified the forms taught to him by his father. In 1928 he moved to Shanghai and was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Shanghai Martial Arts Association. He also became the supervisor of the Tai Chi Chuan section of the Jing Wu Association.
The first Wu Tai Chi Chuan Academy was established in Shanghai in 1935 and was directed by Master Wu Jianquan, with his son-in-law Ma Yuehliang as vice-director. Ma Yuehliang (1901 – 1998) was a student of Wu Jianquan and was the husband of Wu Yinghua (1905 – 1996), the third child and first daughter of Wu Jianquan. She was recognized as the senior instructor of the Wu family in China, along with her husband. Besides his daughter, Wu Jianquan also had two sons, Wu Gong Yi and Wu Gong Zao who also helped to spread the art.
Wu style’s distinctive hand form, push hands and weapons training emphasize parallel footwork and horse stances, with the feet relatively closer together than the modern Yang or Chen styles. It includes small circle hand techniques (although large circle techniques are taught as well). Wu style has an initial focus on grappling, throws, tumbling, jumping, foot sweeps, and at advanced levels, pressure point leverage, joint locks, and breaks. It seems to have a distinct forward leaning but actually the leaning is around the center. It is very rooted.
Wu style will be represented at the 2014 Symposium by Grandmaster Ma Hailong, the son of Masters Ma Yuehliang and Wu Yinghua.