R.I.P Dr. William C.C. Hu

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R.I.P Dr. William C.C. Hu

Postby Bao on Tue Oct 05, 2021 1:10 pm

R.I.P Dr. William C.C. Hu April 22, 1935 - August 24, 2021

Damn, my old friend and Tai Chi training partner, who also had the privilege of studying for Dr. William C.C. Hu, just sent me this link. https://www.tributearchive.com/obituari ... liam-cc-hu

I had no idea. Now I am depressed. :'(


Requiescat in pace dear teacher. And thank you for your generosity, you will be remembered.
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Re: R.I.P Dr. William C.C. Hu

Postby oragami_itto on Tue Oct 05, 2021 2:44 pm

R.I.P.
"Never met a word that I wouldn't like a weapon just brandish."
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Re: R.I.P Dr. William C.C. Hu

Postby Tom on Wed Oct 06, 2021 12:41 pm

Requiescat in pace.

Dr. Hu explored taijiquan deeply and taught many. This article gives a sense of his collaboration over the years:

http://www.silverington.com/Pdf/The%20way%20to%20personal%20empowerment.pdf
“Only the disciplined ones in life are free.”—Eliud Kipchoge
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Re: R.I.P Dr. William C.C. Hu

Postby Bao on Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:31 pm

Tom wrote:Requiescat in pace.

Dr. Hu explored taijiquan deeply and taught many. This article gives a sense of his collaboration over the years:

http://www.silverington.com/Pdf/The%20way%20to%20personal%20empowerment.pdf


Ah, you found that article. Yes, it's an interesting piece of writing. The writer, Bill Dockins, who was one of Dr's Hu's few close/private students, introduced Tai Chi in Sweden in 1968, and he taught it as a martial art. And yes, Dr Hu explored Taijiquan deeply, but he only had a few close students in the USA, and he mostly only taught in private. I don't even think he taught Tai Chi to most of his close students. I remember him saying that he usually taught Shaolin and not Taijiquan. However, this was Old Shaolin which does not really resemble the Long Fist styles that people usually associate Shaolin with today. However, the vast majority of the people he taught was the students of Bill, at long and extensive Tai Chi summer camps held in Sweden in the 1990s.

His method was scientific, subtle and extremely precise. He didn't like to speak too much about things like qi or yi as he thought that using modern western language would be better to teach modern western people. Instead he emphasised the use of exact angles and leverage to control people with ease.
Last edited by Bao on Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
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Re: R.I.P Dr. William C.C. Hu

Postby nicklinjm on Wed Oct 06, 2021 6:01 pm

Looks like there's almost no information about William Hu online. Bao, would you mind introducing a bit about his MA background and what you found special about his taiji?
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Re: R.I.P Dr. William C.C. Hu

Postby Bao on Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:39 am

nicklinjm wrote:Looks like there's almost no information about William Hu online. Bao, would you mind introducing a bit about his MA background and what you found special about his taiji?


Oh... I don't know if I am in the right position to say much. I don't think I could possibly make him justice. He was a very private person, and I think that in the most of his life he seemed quite reluctant to teach, both earlier and later in life, so it would be much better to find some of his close students and let them tell their stories. I could mention a few things and say something briefly, but please don't make too much out of it.

First of all, he was born in a literate, well educated family with connections directly to the imperial court. His grandfather had been a librarian, so Dr Hu was more or less raised with books and remains of the imperial library. But his family was also a martial arts family, they all practiced martial arts. He would tell stories from when he was a child, about how he watched them train and what they did. I remember one time in a class when he taught a form, he showed different variations and applications of a movement as how his aunts and uncles had interpreted the same movement. It was quite fascinating as well as funny to watch and learn from his late family members. He always had a lot of heart and humor when he taught, and it was all very personal. From what I remember he had a formal teacher from about 6 or 7 years of age. But, and again if I remember correctly, he learned and practiced from about 3 years of age with many different people and family members.

Bill calls his Tai Chi the "Hu style", but this was never something I heard Dr Hu claim, so I guess this name is more or less just a practical way to keep things simple, or a way to label Hu's own teachings. I don't think Hu was was interested in labels and styles, though he learned many different arts. And I don't think his family tradition was a strict style. Just as someone described old Chinese thought as a "big pool of different ideas", this might be a good way to describe his own family tradition. But from what I understood, the main focus was absolutely about internal practice and principles. His own teachings focused on internal principles, but he was very careful about not labelling anything "this" or "that", though he called it Tai Chi. What he taught was not a certain or a strict Tai Chi style. He mainly taught shorter forms, drills, single movements and exercises, as well as body mechanics and applications/practical martial arts methods. More or less everything he taught as practical methods revolved around a few main principles of angles, leverage and the use of precise body mechanics.

So I hope this was vague and respectful enough and that it doesn't upset anyone.
(After writing this, I reached out to a couple of Bill's students and shared it before publishing. So at least, I have their approval.)

Please let my know if anything was unclear. I don't think I could say much more here. But I will try to answer any additional questions on PM.
Last edited by Bao on Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
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Re: R.I.P Dr. William C.C. Hu

Postby marvin8 on Thu Oct 07, 2021 11:57 am

R.I.P.

Dr. Hu's book Chinese Lion Dance Explained was an enjoyable contribution.
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