Wu style "Gold Book"

Wu style "Gold Book"

Postby Wushuer » Thu May 01, 2003 7:42 pm

I have been asked by a couple of different people about the Wu families "Gold Book" and if I had read it or knew of it's availability.
I go to the website of my old school from time to time, to see how the people are doing and catch up on any news.
Here is a direct cut and paste from that site.

Master Wu Kung Yi's younger brother Master Wu Kung Cho was an expert in many facets of Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan such as Chi Kung (breathing techniques). He is especially known as being the first to write a book on Wu style Tai Chi Chuan. This book initially published in 1935 is a classic and has been published again in 1980 spreading the Wu family tradition throughout the world and will be published in English for the first time by the end of 2003. The content of the 'Gold Book' includes all the Wu Family Tai Chi Chuan secrets known and transmitted to each generation only. This information will now be freely passed on to all Wu Style Tai Chi practitioners worldwide. The book is scheduled to be available at the end of 2003.


So...
There it is.
I will be contacting my disciple friends from the Wu family and finding out how I go about getting my copy of this book.
If anyone is interested just let me know, I will then post their answer so we can all get a copy, in English, for anyone who wants it.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu May 01, 2003 10:40 pm

Hi Wushuer,

I was able to obtain the Hong Kong (Chinese) edition of the Gold Book a number of years ago through the Wu family organization in Canada. It’s a very valuable source indeed. It contains the classic photos of Wu Jianquan’s form (wonderful!), with elegant form instructions in verse, photos of Wu Gongyi’s form (different!), and many short theoretical texts, most I think by Wu Gongzao (Wu Kung Cho). The main reason I purchased it was for the color photo reproduction of the handwritten ms.—in Wu Jianquan’s own brush—of the set of classics that have come to be known as the “Yang Forty Classics.” Wu’s handwritten preface says that these teachings were transmitted to him by Yang Banhou. Another handwritten manuscript of the same ‘Forty’ was reproduced in Yang Zhenji’s book, _Yang Chengfu Shi Taijiquan_, in which he says that the manuscript was given to him by his mother.

The first complete English translations of the ‘Yang Forty’ appear in Douglas Wile’s book, _Lost Tai-chi Classics of the Late Ch’ing Dynasty_. I highly recommend Wile’s book. Recently Yang Jwing-ming published his own translations of the ‘Yang Forty’ in a book titled, _Tai Chi Secrets of the Yang Style_, and he translates much of the Wu Gongzao material in _Tai Chi Secrets of the Wu Style_. I have some reservations about some of Yang Jwing-ming’s translations, but I think these recent publications are valuable, nonetheless. I’ve recently written to Doug Woolidge (the gentleman who is doing the Gold Book translation you mention) about some of the questions I raised about the Wu Gongzao materials in the “Single Weighting” discussion thread, by the way.

In any case, I’ve been looking forward to the publication of Doug Woolidge’s Gold Book translation for years. I’m glad to hear the good news that it’s going to be releasing before too long.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Polaris » Fri May 02, 2003 4:29 am

Louis,
This may not be the appropriate place to discuss another school, but since it involves Yang Ch'eng-fu's older brother, maybe I'll get away with it. Wu Kung-yi's form is indeed different, isn't it? He was sent to train with Yang Shao-hou when he was young, and the story is that his final form is higher sitting with smaller circles than Wu Chien-ch'uan's as a result of Yang Shao-hou's input and encouragement. The Yang and Wu family masters were also close friends and colleagues of Sun Lu-t'ang, so there is allegedly some of his Pa Kua and Hsing Yi influence in Wu Kung-yi's form as well. Yang Shao-hou had a reputation for being a physical, no punches pulled, teacher (like his uncle, Yang Pan-hou) with a heavy emphasis on martial applicability. Wu Kung-yi's form (if you ever get to see it done well) reflects that spirit. Wu Kung-yi's descendants also teach a larger circle form, in the manner of Wu Chien-ch'uan, but it isn't seen much outside of their schools.
Regards,
P.
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Postby Wushuer » Fri May 02, 2003 1:27 pm

Louis,
I have never seen the "Gold Book", either version. I have heard of it for years and just found out my brother got a copy of the chinese version, the one released in 1980, when he went to China last year. The rat never told me.
Brothers, go figure.
Next time I visit, he tells me, he will have much to show me.
I guess it can't hurt to divulge that it's my brother who's one of the "Wu family disciples" that I refer to.
I have a built in hesitancy to reveal too much about myself on the internet, that's why I don't get very specific. Also, I don't like to talk about other people without their permission or knowledge, so I tend to keep things like that vague.

He also jumped on me in his e-mail regarding an inaccuracy I have put forth on this site.
In the Wu forms, there are places where you step back to your toe. They are in the first kick series. You do Left High Pat on Horse, then Right Foot Kick, from RFK you step back onto your toe in a very similar fashion to the Repulse Monkey from Yang style. You do the same for the other side in the Right High Pat On Horse and Left Foot Kick series.
I have been doing it wrong for over fifteen years.
No one ever corrected me. I never caught it on my tapes, either.
In fact, one of my other Wu disciple sources confirmed for me that there was no stepping back to the toe when I asked her. We trained together and we both were taught that series incorrectly by the same instructor at the same time.
I apologize to all and sundry for my mis-information. I can only say, I didn't know. I had been teaching that series incorrectly as well. My brother was glad to learn where that came from, as he's been busily correcting it for years.
You learn something new every day.
I watched my Eddie Wu tape last night and sure enough there is a definite step back to your toe after the R and L Foot Kicks that I have been missing all this time.
At least I now know how to correct it! I learned it from the Yang style and I can do this easily. I practiced it all evening.
It opened up whole new vista's for me on that series. I picked up some internal energy movements that I had been missing all this time.
I am going to keep that tape out and watch, in very close detail and leave the narration on (which I usually don't do) to see what other inaccuracies I may have picked up from that instructor.
I don't like to speak ill of anyone, but this instructor was known for passing on bad information.
I understand that has been corrected but the damage to a lot of students, me included unfortunately, was allready done.
Ah, well.

I am "on the list" for the english version of the Gold Book when it gets released. Unlike my brother, I don't speak Chinese.

I have the "Lost Tai-Chi Classics of the Late Ch'ing Dynasty" book. I will pull it off the shelf and take a fresh look at those Yang Forty Classics, tonight. I had completely forgotten I had that book.
It's amazing what taking seven years off of something will do to your mind. You have gold at your fingertips, but you forget about it.
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Postby Wushuer » Fri May 02, 2003 1:54 pm

Polaris,
Not sure on the history with regard to Wu Kung Yi and Yang Shoa Hou. I have heard similar things, but don't know them for fact.
One thing I do know is that the Wu forms come up slighly higher generationally. The first generation I never learned, but it is purported to be very low indeed.
I did learn the second generation through the fifth generation forms of Wu style, thoguh I only practice the fifth generation regularly and don't do the others very well or, I'm sure, accurately. They do not have very many actual form differences, but the one they share is that each comes up higher progressively. Less depth through the knees, slightly smaller steps, a progressively greater emphasys on lean.
The circles get smaller each time as well.
They still are much lower even in the fifth generation than the YCF style, I can tell you that from firsthand experience.


"The more I know, the more I know that I don't know"- saying taught to me at Wu's T'ai Chi Ch'uan Academy.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:18 pm

I think the Enlish translation of the Gold Book has finally been published.

http://www.wustyle.com/goldbook/

Has anyone ordered a copy? I think it's a pretty steep investment, but I may spring for a copy. It's been on my wish list for years.

--Louis
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Postby Richard Man » Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:07 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Louis Swaim:
<B>I think the Enlish translation of the Gold Book has finally been published.

http://www.wustyle.com/goldbook/

Has anyone ordered a copy? I think it's a pretty steep investment, but I may spring for a copy. It's been on my wish list for years.

--Louis</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Here's what I wrote a few days ago:

On to the Grey Book (Gold Book, English edition). Bound in traditional style and printed on traditional folded pages styling on high quality paper, this has to be the handsomest English martial arts book ever. The translator Doug Woodlidge did an excellent job translating the book, including the "40 Chapters" written in Classical Chinese. I did a cursory check on them and it appears to be well translated. While Tai Chi "manuals" are more useful to people who already know the stuff, they do help to clarify. David L, I have checked chapter 26 and 27 and they are by and large similar to how Douglas Wiles translates them, although the language *may* flow a bit better. It's also gratify to see that my attempt to translate the 5th chapter of Wu Kung Cho's 15 Chapters "Essentials of Body Positioning" is not too far off the mark.

In short, if you are interested in Tai Chi theories and Wu style history and form presentation, this is a must have. As I understand, the publishing of the Gold Book is somewhat a milestone in martial arts book publishing. I suspect the publishing of the Grey Book is of similar importance.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:15 pm

Greetings Richard,

I've placed my order, and I'm looking forward to digging in to the English version.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Jul 27, 2006 5:18 pm

Greetings Richard,

I received my copy of Wu Style Taijiquan yesterday, and on first glance I agree with your appraisal. The design is attractive and distinctive. The traditional Chinese book paging and binding (like a volume in a “tao” case set) is a nice touch—it manages to look traditional and modern at the same time. As in the Hong Kong Chinese edition, it includes a color photo reproduction of the handwritten “40 chapters” manuscript, which is certainly a treasure in itself.

As time permits, I’ll enjoy taking a close look at the translations, and comparing them to the original. One thing I notice is that Woolidge does not provide any elaborative commentary, and only a few sparse footnotes to his translations. Some people favor that approach, but I tend to advocate for some scholarly intermediation to help the reader understand some of the language and context we encounter in texts of this sort. Still, from what I’ve seen so far, he works to a high standard.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Jul 27, 2006 5:58 pm

Louis, how much in US $ did it come to with shipping?
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:06 pm

$50.00

--Louis
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