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Commemorating the 120th anniversary of master Ma Yueliang's birth

Written by Zhou Zhongfu, Shanghai 05/08/2021

In 1975, under the influence of my father Zhou Qingxian, I gave up martial arts training and learned Wu Style Taijiquan. Normally every night in the small garden of Zhongshan North Road, and to Zhabei Park on Sundays. The number of people practicing Wu style in the park has increased year by year, and even Yang Style Taijiquan teachers who have practiced for decades have come to learn to push hands.

At that time, Mr. Ma Yueliang came to Zhabei Park to give lectures every week and pushed hands with more than a dozen people every time. Almost 80 years old, he was hale and hearty without fatigue.

What impressed me most was an indoor lecture. Old Ma gave a performance, he took the “golden rooster on one leg” posture and five people couldn't push him. At that time, it seemed incredible and I was skeptical. Until I was 15 years old, I was lucky to feel the superb skill of old Ma. When I was student in MenHe middle school, teacher Qian Chaoqun specially arranged for me to go up and push hands with old Ma in order to let me feel it. As soon as I put my hands together, I felt that old Ma's hands were very soft. I rolled them twice. Old ma stuck to my right palm and stroked it gently. All of a sudden, my heels were off the ground and lost their balance. It was like being uprooted by an extremely gentle suction. It was amazing.

Once a month, Wu Style Taijiquan activities in various parks always attracted the attention of many people. The finale of each activity was teacher Ma Yueliang's pushing hands performance. In particular, the hand pushing performances of Mr. Ma, Fei Guoqing and Mr. Gao Feng always pushed the atmosphere of the activity to a climax.

I remember in the summer of 1991, under the leadership of my mentor Fei Guoqing, a group of young men, after two months of hard training, won the 48kg, 56kg and 60kg champions in the Shanghai "Tunnel Cup" Taiji push hand competition held by the martial arts academy. For this reason, old Ma was very happy and pushed away other affairs. He went to Yu Garden hotel with Mrs. Wu Yinghua to join in our celebration banquet, and encouraged us to continue to make efforts to continue to add glory to Wu Style Taijiquan. Under the guidance and expectation of our predecessors, in the 1992 Shanghai push competition, we worked hard, won several levels of champions, and shared equally with the representative team of Shanghai Institute of physical education. Old Ma told our mentor Fei Guoqing, "don't scatter these children. Put them in the door." Therefore, a group of thirteen of us formally worshipped under teacher Fei Guoqing and became loyal believers of Wu Style Tai Chi.

The past is vivid. Decades have passed, and Mr. Ma Yueliang's voice and smile still live in our hearts. He treated people modestly, sincerely and amiably. He continued to teach Wu Style Taijiquan in his old age. This spirit will always inspire us to move forward!

Zhou Zhongfu is the fifth generation descendant of Wu's Taijiquan, disciple of teacher Fei Guoqing, authorized teacher by Jianquan Society and Head of Jing Xiu Tang.

This article was written by Zhou Zhongfu in Chinese, published by the Shanghai Jianquan Taijiquan Association and translated in English by Dimitris Tsolakidis.

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