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Great Grandmaster Liu Yun-Qiao

Great Grandmaster Liu Yun Qiao

Founder of Wu-Tan and master of styles such as Bajiquan, Piguazhang and Baguazhang.
Grandmaster Kurt Wong

Grandmaster Kurt Wong

Our instructor's shifu teaches traditional guoshu in the city of Anchorage, Alaska.
Sifu Paolo Castaneda

Shifu Paolo Castaneda

Wu-Tan's proud tradition was brought to Oslo by Shifu Paolo Castaneda, head instructor at Oslo Wu-Tan.

Zhang De Kuei

Picture of Zhang De-Kuei

1902 - 1990
Styles: Meihua Tanglangquan, Mimen Tanglangquan.

Born in 1902/7 in Shandong. He studied Meihua Tanglangquan under under Wang Zi-Jing. Some sources also mention that he trained under his shi gung (Song Zi-De). Zhang De-Kuei learned Meihua Tanglangquan from Wang Zi-Jing sometime in the late 20s or early 30s.

Due to the Communist revolution a lot of people migrated from the Shan Dong province to Taiwan, Zhang De-Kuei was one of them.

Zhang De-Kuei did not differentiate much on the terminologies used to designate Tanglangquan and he did not care what name to call his style. There were his students which started to call the style as Mimen Tanglangquan (Secret Door Praying Mantis Boxing).

When he arrived to Taiwan he worked collecting wood in the mountains and selling it in the town. He had to walk about five hours to the mountain and the same distance coming back to town. When coming back to town he used to bring with him about 100 kg. (about 50 pounds) of wood.

He used to meet a famous master in the road, that was well known because of his strength, his corpulence and his martial arts knowledge. Although Zhang De-Kuei was older than this master, the big man never gave Zhang De-Kuei the right to go first.

One day this master pushed Zhang De-Kuei trying to drop his wood and other people in the road laughed about this. Zhang De-Kuei got angry and dropped the other man's wood. The other master tried to punch Zhang De-Kuei, but he intercepted the punch and controlled the man with a ching na technique. Still locked, the other master shouted because of the pain he was feeling and the people in the road was very surprised because he was a very strong man. Zhang De-Kuei "flew" with him (still locked) to the other side of the irrigation ditch and then jumped back. "If you want to fight come here", he said.

Since that incident the people in the town (initially eight persons) gathered money and asked him to teach them. The communications were difficult because Zhang De-Kuei spoke Mandarin, and the people in town spoke Taiwanese dialect, but he agreed to teach them.

The first class Zhang De-Kuei taught movements very different to the southern styles they knew in that area. Feet did not look firm or static, but unstable and soft, the southern ma bu (riding a horse stance) is wider than the northern one and the steps in the southern styles are shorter. A lot of people went to look at the first class, and noting the differences, they found funny the praying mantis' movements.

One hour later, Zhang De-Kuei talked to the people: "I will give you an exhibition". After drinking a glass of liquor he bowed and did movements with their arms and legs (extremely fast), when finishing he performed a double flying kick and he appeared in the roof of a house (more than three meters high). From there he asked to the people: "Am I capable to teach you or not ?".

Zhang De-Kuei was a very traditional master and he made his students train eight basic exercisis for 6 months (even students who already were teachers themselves on other styles). That is probably why Zhang De-Kuei only had a few students that visited him in his house in the mountains and he was not very a very famous master in Taiwan.

Zhang De-Kuei taught in Taiwan until he died in 1990/1.