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吳式太極拳
Wu Style Taijiquan

吳式太極拳第一代宗師全佑為滿族正白旗人,任職王府護衛。本來學藝於楊露禪,可是在當時露禪的學生多為王族高官,身份有別,所以囑全佑拜其子班候為師。全佑在楊家拳基礎上,發展出自己的一套拳架,以配合其體會及內練心法。得其藝者有王茂齋及其子吳鑑泉。鑑泉是清廷禁衛軍軍官,在1910年開始在北京教授太極拳;1924年應邀到廣洲黃埔軍校教授太極拳,吳式太極拳開始南傳;1928年在上海精武體育會授拳,1935年在上海成立鑑泉太極社,由其女婿馬岳良當副社長協助拳社的經營。而王茂齋則一直在北京授拳,傳人亦多,最近曾到港作講座的祝大彤及高壯飛,兩位前輩均是吳式王氏一系的傳人。自此吳式太極拳有南,北宗之分。中日抗戰前鑑泉兩位兒子公儀、公藻,分別到香港及澳門授拳。抗戰期間吳氏兄弟回國避難,和平後公儀回香港成立鑑泉太極分社,而公藻則留在湖南推廣吳式太極拳。而鑑泉卻因糖尿病在抗戰期間缺乏藥物而病逝。

Quan You, the great master representing the first generation of Wu Style Taijiquan, was of White Banner Manchu extraction. He worked as a royal guardsman at the imperial court. He studied originally with Yang Luchan. Unfortunately, amongst Yang’s students were a fair few royal officials. In view of the difference in status, Yang instructed Quanyou to learn with Banhou, his own son. Based on what he had learned from the Yang style, Quanyou developed his own form set for the integration of his knowledge and internal methodology. Both Wang Maozhai and Wu Jianquan, his son, were fine students of his teachings. Jianquan was a defence guard at the Qing court. He began teaching Taijiquan in Beijing in 1910. The Wu style began spreading south when he was invited to teach at the Huang Pu Military School in Guangzhou in 1924. He went on to teach at the Shanghai Jing Wu Sports Association in 1928. The Jianquan Taiji Association was established in Shanghai in 1935, and its operation was assisted by Ma Yueliang, the vice president and son-in-law of Wu. Wang Maozhai continued to teach Taijiquan in Beijing. His lineage flourished. Zhu Datong and Gao Zhuangfei, two senior Taijiquan masters who both ran seminars in Hong Kong in recent years, are direct descendants of Wang’s lineage. One can easily note the split into the northern and southern style in the Wu school. Gongyi and Gongzao, the two sons of Jianquan, taught in Hong Kong and Macau respectively before the Japanese occupation. During the war, the Wu brothers took refuge back in the Mainland. When the war was over, Gongyi returned to Hong Kong to establish a branch of the Jianquan Taiji Association. Gongzao, on the other hand, stayed on in Hunan for the promotion of the art. Unfortunately, Jianquan died of diabetes due to a shortage of medicine during occupation times.

公儀在香港所傳之拳架為吳式小架,相傳此拳架是傳自楊班候晚年。

Gongyi taught the small frame of the Wu style in Hong Kong. It is said that this particular style was passed down by Yang Banhou in his twilight years.

吳式太極拳因早在香港扎根,從學者甚眾。後人輾轉由香港移民到東南亞,北美洲及歐洲,經過百多年的生化流行,習吳式太極者已遍布世界各地。

Since Wu style Taijiquan took root early in Hong Kong, it has collected a large following. Some of the students eventually migrated to South East Asia, America and Europe. After popularization and dissemination of over a hundred years, Wu style practitioners are found all over the world.

By Patrick SW Chan
Translated by Vicky Wong