The Origin and Development of Wu style Taijiquan
Wu style Taijiquan was created by Mr Wu Yuxiang a Confucian
scholar from the Prefecture of Guangping, Zhili, in Qing Dynasty
and further improved by his nephew named Li Yiyu. From then on Wu
style Taijiquan has been handed down to the sixth generator that is , it has a
history of more than 140 years.
Wu Yuxiang, who styled himself Heqing was born of a rich family in the seventeenth year during the reign of Emperor Ji aqing in Oing Dynasty . He had been fond of both polite letters and martial arts since childhood. Once he found that all the salesmen of the shop " Taihetang" Take the Taijiquan exercise, which was nimble and felxible and utterly different from his own. Knowing that it was called Chen Style Taijiquan, he began to learn the sort of boxing from Master Chen Dehu, the Shopkeeper, who was from Chenjia gou Village and later, very often did he discuss how to grasp the spirit of Chen Style Taijiquan with one of his fellow villagers , Yang Luchan , who had also been taught the very boxing in Chenjia gou Village. In such a way , he learned a Lot of essentials. Since then, he put several years of hard work, yet he failed to grasp the profound mysteries of Chen Style Taijiquan. Later on, he had asked for advice in the town of Zhaobao learning from Master Chen Qingping for about 40 days before he came back to Guangfu with a handwritten copy of "On Taijiquan" compiled by Wang Zongyue. On the basis of the foundamental skills learned from Masters Chen Dehu, Yang Luchan and Chen Qingping, applying the essential principles of "On Taijiquan", guided by the theory of the Confucianists and according to the practice of basic exercise, Wu Yuxiang at last created a routine of Taiji Boxing in three years, which successfully merged the art of attack and defence in wushu and health building in an organic whole. Such is the Chinese shadow boxing that later generations call Wustyle Taijiquan. It is not only based on the theory of Taijiquan, but also integrated with the practical experience of his own . In addition, we should point out that Wu Style Taijiquan is as well combined with how to control solidity and emptiness in training as all strategists do in war. Wu Yuxiang worked on a lot of articles such as "Four Explanatory Notes on shadow Boxing", " Ten Essential points of Body Techniques" and" Comprehension of practicing Thirteen Forms".
Master Li Yiyu, the second generator with the other name JingLun, was a resident of West street in the town of Guangfu. He started practicing Taijiquan with his mother's brother , giving up successful candidate in the examinations at the provincial Level, and devoted himself to the study of Taijiquan in all his life. In the end he made Wu style Taijiquan much more perfect than it had been ever before. He also was engaged in writing or compiling scholary works on Taijiquan. Some of them are" Five- Charater Formula", "Key to Success of Drawing and Letting Go" and etc. Besides, he compiled three handwritten copies, including some works of Wang Zongyue and Wu Yuxing and his own, which has been called" Three Old Copies".One of them was kept by Li Yiyu himself, the second one was given to his younger brother Li Qixuan and the other one to his disciple Haohe. The three copies have been handed down from generation to generation and full of praise in the world of Taijiquans as classical works of Taijiquan art because of " their conciseness and to the point" and " without any verbiage".
Li Shiquan and Li Xunzhi, the masters of the third generation, were of great attainments in martial arts inheriting and mantle of their father. They passed on their skill to Li Jinfan, Li to Qiao Songmao and Qiao to Xue Naiyin. Master Naiyin has compiled " Orthodox school of Wu style Taijiquan" and " Wu style Taijiquan and Swordplay" and made a videotape recording " Wu Style Taijiquan".