Yang Style Taijiquan was founded by Yang Lu Chan (1799-1872) - often referred to as “Yang the Invincible” because of his impressive “wu shu” (martial) prowess.
The Yang family lineage is well documented elsewhere. Suffice to say that the last major traditional exponent of this form of Taijiquan was Yang Cheng Fu (1883-1936) who passed away without teaching his sons.
Fortunately for us Yang Cheng Fu passed his art onto one of his main “tudi” (disciples), Fu Zhong Wen who himself married into the Yang family. It was Fu Zhong Wen who created the Yong Nian Yang Shi Taijiquan Association to ensure that his masters teachings were not changed or corrupted in any way.
Yang Cheng Fu was the grandson of Yang Luchan and among Yang Cheng Fu's many disciples, Fu Zhong Wen was especially highly regarded by him for his excellent character. Zhong Wen happens to marry the great grand-daughter of Yang Jian Hou, Mdm. Zhao Gui Zhen, and gave birth to another great Tai Chi Master of our time, Fu Sheng Yuan.
From the age of nine, Fu Zhong Wen, was by Cheng Fu's side, learning Wu Shu from him both by day and by night. Zhong Wen's diligence and determination in mastering the art of Tai Chi Chuan, saw him advance rapidly in the knowledge and expertise of Wu Shu. As he was learning directly from Cheng Fu, he was able to derive tremendous benefit from and gained profound insight into Tai Chi Chuan. Consequently his Wu Shu skills attained a very high standard.
As he matured in age and skill, Zhong Wen accompanied Cheng Fu in his travels around their homeland, to demonstrate their art. He also served as Cheng Fu's assistant in teaching and earned his Master's highest regard.
In their travels to Guangdong, Zhong Wen represented his Master in many local competitions, not once failing to uphold his Master's honour. So highly regarded was he by his peers, that Cheng Fu's first disciple,Chen Wei Ming wrote to him after their Master's death, acknowledging the excellence of Zhong Wen's Wu Shu and the accuracy with which he reflected their Master's art.
Following his Master death in 1936, Fu Zhong Wen continued to teach the authentic Taijiquan that had been taught to him - in order to advance this mission, he created the Yong Nian Taijiquan Association in 1944.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of students have come under his instruction. In May of 1958, Zhong Wen went to Shanghai City to teach a Wu Shu group there. Under his expert guidance, many of these students were successful competitors in the National Wu Shu competitions. Tai Chi Chuan as practised in Shanghai, is regarded as the best form of Tai Chi Chuan in the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.).
Ten years after the Associations foundation, Chen Wei Ming, first disciple of Yang Cheng Fu, paid tribute as follows:
“Mr. Fu Zhong Wen of Yong Nian has received the teachings and guidance from his relative, Yang Chen Fu Lao Shi. Mr. Fu has learnt accurately to a very high standard and has made no alterations, which is why people say that it is authentic...When it comes to continuing the legacy of Yang Style Taiji, who else can compare with Fu Zhong Wen?”
Before the passing of Master Fu Zhong Wen on the 25th september 1994 he was:
Vice President of the Shanghai Wu Shu Society
Chief Instructor of the Shanghai Wu Shu Association
Consultant and Patron of the Tongji University's Tai Chi Chuan Research Society
Professor of the Shanghai Chemical University
Following the work of his father, Grand Master Fu Sheng Yuan, son of Fu Zhong Wen continues spreading out the teaching of Authentic Yang Tai Chi through the World. Fu Sheng Yuan began his training at a very young age and following in his father's footsteps he began his training at the age of 9, under the watchful eye of his father, Fu Sheng Yuan also master the skills of Tai Chi. He had the added advantage of not only being born in a Wushu family, but was also a member of the Yang family.
He has been a Tai Chi instructor and a sports coach at the Tonji University, Shanghai College of Economics, Shanghai Institute of Chemical Engineering and Ching-Wu Association. Master Fu has also been a referee on a number of occasions in International Martial Art Competitions.
Yang Cheng FU's wish was for Fu Zhong Wen to pass on the family art of Tai Chi to the world, since that time he had worked tirelessly to promote Tai Chi in China. Due to restrictions on traveling out of china at that time, Fu Zhong Wen was unable to fulfill his master's wish of spreading Tai Chi to the rest of the world.
Grand Master Fu Sheng Yuan was fortunate to see and learn from his father's kung fu brothers. Training with the experts has enriched his experience and understanding of the art immensely.
Grand Master Fu Sheng Yuan was also honoured by the Chinese Wushu Association with a life time achievement award for his contribution in promoting Tai Chi around the world.
Grand Master Fu Sheng Yuan is currently the president of the World Yong Nian Tai Chi Federation and Fu Sheng Yuan International Tai Chi Academy and his son Master Fu Qing Quan (James Fu) is the Vice-President.
Today, the legacy of Fu Zhongwen is carried on by the World Yong Nian Taijiquan Federation.