A devout Buddhist, Master Wu Chiang Hsing ensures that every aspect of his life is touched by his religeous belief. A small, stocky man, his every action is characterised by a calm and clear mental attitude.

The first martial art that Master Wu studied was the southern style of Li Gar. After his master moved away, he looked around for another art to study and was introduced to tai chi chuan by a friend. Shortly afterwards, he became a disciple of Master Lim Suo Wei of the Cheng Man Ching school. After several years' studying, his teacher asked him to start his own class, which he did in his hometown of Batu Pahat.

As well as studying under Master Lim, he is also a disciple of Master Tan Ching Ngee, and from a blending of their respective styles he has developed his own unique approach to the art. This is best exemplified in his pushing hands which is calm and inexorable, with each push like a tidal wave.

As mentioned earlier, Master Wu's Buddhism affects every area of his life and tai chi chuan is no exception. He insists that only by perfecting our character can we hope to perfect our art. The calmness and peace of mind that the practitioner of Buddhism achieves through his efforts to lead a good life, as well as his practice of Buddhist meditation techniques, must carry over into his practice of tai chi chuan. Indeed, he points out that the state of mind required of the tai chi chuan practitioner is identical to that cultivated by the Buddhist.

For Master Wu this is not just a matter of abstract theorising, but rather it is something that he daily puts into practice.

On one occasion when challenged by a student to a pushing hands match he gladly accepted, but then things turned nasty, with the student doing his best to hurt and humiliate his teacher. What made matters worse was that it was in front of the whole class. Calmly, Master Wu met his every attack, neutralising and uprooting his opponent who became more and more enraged. Finaly, having been once again propelled across the room, the opponent picked up a stack of chairs and, throwing them in the direction of Master Wu, stormed out of the class, threatening revenge.

The following night he returned with his brother and twenty-five of his triad associates to "redress the wrong"

 

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