Wu Shaoquan & Xiao Yanzhen
Sitai Xiao Yanzhen und Sigong Wu Shaoquan
My grandfather Sigung Wu Shaoquan (1909-1967 吳少泉 Kant. Ng Siu Cyun) was a student of Lam Sai Wing (林世榮). Later, with the permission of his master, my grandfather opened his own school, the martial arts school of the Wu family (吳氏 武館 kant. Ng Si Mou Gun). These four characters are also on the wooden panel at the entrance to the Wushu Taichi Academy. Although martial arts had accompanied our family before, here is the actual start of the Hung Kuen of the Wu family.
My grandmother Sitai Xiao Yanzhen (1923-2012 蕭燕珍 Kant. Siu Yin Zan) also learned from a well-known master: Dang Yi (鄧 二 Kant. Dang Yi), the younger of a famous pair of brothers, the Dang brothers. Dang Yi was a very progressive master at the time, you would say today. Because under his leadership my grandmother was in the first lion dance team from Guangzhou, which was exclusively occupied by women. So both of my grandparents learned from renowned masters and later brought their knowledge together in their own school.
Sitai Xiao Yanzhen mit ihren Schülern. Huang Daxiong vorne, zweiter v. r.
THE FIRST SCHOOL
They opened the first school in Guangzhou, on Wing Faat Street (永 發 新 街 Kant. Wing Faat San Gaai). My grandparents opened another school in Xintang (新塘 Kant. San Tong) at the end of 1949. This school later, even before the Cultural Revolution, was taken over by my grandfather's younger brother Wu Can (吳 燦 kant. Ng Caan) so that he could continue it. His son still runs a medical practice in Xintang and privately teaches a few, particularly interested students. I call him Uncle Ming (吳潤明), a small man without hair, somewhat conservative but incredibly strong. Somehow, all the little Chinese masters are incredibly strong ... that's probably due to the tea.
Erste Wu Shi Wu Guan Schule in der Wing Faat San Gaai, Reisegruppe 2017
Let's stay at this level first of the Kungfu family tree. In addition to my grandparents, there were other well-known masters in Guangzhou. Many of them fled to Hong Kong because of the Cultural Revolution, some went into hiding and unfortunately too many died in the chaos of the Cultural Revolution.
Wu Shaoquan mit seinen Schülern. Wu Rungen, Wu Mei Ling & Wu Wansong v. l.
FIRST ORTHOPEDIC HOSPITAL IN GUANGZHOU
Sigung Wu Shaoquan was not only a master student of Lam Sai Wing, but also a renowned doctor who focused on the art of bone straightening (Dit Da). In his previous schools and practices (Wing Faat Street and in Xintang), he was able to demonstrate his expertise and looked after many, many patients together with his wife Xiao Yanzhen. At a time when much of the neighborhood did not have the financial resources to see a doctor, my grandparents were still helpful and did all the treatments and provided the necessary medicine to the patients. Their reputation preceded them because they were called 義 公 and 義 婆, which roughly translated means fair step-grandparents. You will also find this in the family tree of the Wu family.
After returning from Xintang, Wu Shaoquan became a founding member of an orthopedic hospital, one of the first at the time. Around 1959/1960 this was still in Jiefang Zhong Lu (解放 中路), where the following photo was taken. After the hospital moved to Huifu Zhong Lu (惠福 中路), Wu Shaoquan slowly retired. The hospital was then expanded and moved to its current location in Dongfeng Zhong Lu (東風 中路), where it has now also received the official name of the Guangzhou Orthopedic Hospital (廣州 正骨 醫院).
Wu Shaoquan (zweiter v. l.) mit Arztkollegen
MARTIAL ARTS COLLEGUES
A martial arts brother (師 兄弟 kant. Sihingdai) of my grandfather was Lau Zaam (劉 湛), a well-known martial artist. Together they strongly shaped the Hung Kuen in Canton / Guangzhou. One of the special features of their generation is the distinction between "old Hung Kuen" and "new Hung Kuen". The "old Hung Kuen" was slower, closer to the ground, smaller and concentrated mainly on short to medium arm techniques. Grandfather, together with his martial arts friends, saw the need to further develop the Hung Kuen and adapt it to his time. The footwork became more flexible, the execution was quicker and movements also increased because of long arm techniques.
They therefore called this section of the Hung Kuen "new Hung Kuen" and added a special greeting at the beginning of their forms. These two movements are "Without ancestors there are no descendants" (承前啟後 ed. Sing Cin Kai Hau) and "the white crane opens its wings" (白鹤亮 翅 ed. Bak Hok Leong Ci). The first movement shows that further development can only take place on the basis of the old knowledge, so one should show respect for the old knowledge.
Lau Zaam was active in Hong Kong after the Cultural Revolution and very widely spread Hung Kuen there. Last but not least, his son Lau Gar Leung (劉家良), who was to be seen in almost all good kung fu films. Incidentally, he was also the mentor of the so-called "dragon trio" Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao.
The beginning, developed jointly by grandfather and Lau Zaam, can therefore be seen in many choreographies of the old Lau Gar Leung films.
Bewegungen Sing Cin Kai Hau (links) und Bak Hok Leong Ci (rechts)
Grandfather had not only made deep friendships with other Hung Kuen masters, but also masters from other styles. In his time there was always a friendly exchange and therefore there are influences in some forms, for example Choy Lee Fut (蔡李佛). In some cases, even whole forms from other styles were included in our training program. A typical example is the Sei Ping Kuen (四平 拳), which we often train and teach in our annual training camp in Saanen.