Daughter Of Grand Master Wu Kung Yi (The Fourth Generation Grand Master) (1931 - 2001)
Grand Master Wu Yan Hsia was born in Shanghai in 1931, and became a fourth generation Grand Master of Wu Style Tai Chi. Her great grandfather, Master Chuan Yau, practiced martial arts under Yang Luxian and Yang Banhou. He served the Qing royal family, was a martial arts instructor for the presidential guards of Republic of China, and head referee in the National Martial Arts Competition. Her father, Grand Master Wu Kung Yi was a drill instructor at Huangpu Military Academy and a coach at Sun Yat-Sen University. The 1954 charity match held in Macau (Grand Master Wu Kung Yi vs. Master Chan Hak Fu) was well-known throughout the world, and was a first in Kungfu open competitions. Her uncle, Grand Master Wu Kung Cho, was instructor in the Hunan Martial Arts Institute. Her brothers, Grand masters Wu Tai Kwei and Wu Tai Chi were both well-known in their days.
Grand Master Wu Yan Hsia began practicing Tai Chi at the age of eight. She was known as the "Best Sword in Taichi" for her graceful style in Tai Chi Sword, which she often demonstrated in public events.
During the Japanese invasion, the family fled to Hunan and Guandong (mainly in Changsha and Macau), and Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan Academy was formed in Shanghai, Changsha and Macau. Grand Master Wu Yan Hsia returned to Shanghai after the war, then moved to Hong Kong after she married Kwok Hsia Jong. While teaching at the Kowloon Tong School, she helped Grand Master Wu Kung Yi run the Academy, which continued to prosper, branching out to Nathan Road and Jordan Road (its current headquarters), then further expanding into South East Asia and North America.
Grand Master Wu Yan Hsia took over as chairman of the Academy in 1993, with Master Wu Tai Sin and Master Kwok Hsia Jong as vice Chairman. In 1995, she presided over the inauguration of the International Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan Federation in North America. In 1998-1999, Grand Master Wu Yan Hsia frequented Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Hong Kong and Shanghai to speed development.
Grand Master Wu Yan Hsia had an eye for talent and a high standard for accepting disciples, with a total of thirteen disciples over her entire career. She was always patient, approachable and methodical, and students from various cultures and all walks of life have benefited from her teaching and guidance. Through her hard work, she had helped to establish Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan as an essential element of the Chinese culture.
Grand Master Wu Yan Hsia will be remembered for her kindness, generosity and charisma. Her selfless and giving nature will be missed by family and friends. The essence of Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan - the duality of flexibility and strength - was fully reflected in the way she carried on the family business and her sincerity toward others.