A Life Dedicated to Martial Arts
Helen Xiao-Rong Wu was born in Shanghai, China in 1956. She began her training in the martial arts when she was 3 years old, studying under both her grandfather, legendary martial artist Zi-Ping Wang, and her mother, Professor Ju-Rong Wang, the first female professor of martial arts in China.
She became an expert in all the major styles of Kung-Fu and Tai-Chi under the tutelage of renowned Chinese martial arts masters, including Master Liu-Xin Gu, Master Bin-Quan He and Master Zhon-Wen Fu. During her years at the Shanghai Teachers’ University, Department of Physical Education, she trained under Professor Rong-Wei Shen and Coach Fu-Yun Zhang (currently head coach of Shanghai’s Wushu team).
In 1982, Master Wu graduated from the Department of Physical Education, Shanghai Teachers’ University and remained as a teacher of sports medicine. While teaching, she continued her own education by taking advanced courses in traditional Chinese traumatology, children’s physical fitness, rehabilitation medicine and treatment of athletic injuries. Master Wu has also carried out further research and study of the traditional Chinese martial arts from the viewpoints of exercise physiology and sports medicine. She has authored more than twenty articles, published in various Chinese journals, and has published five books on subjects including Tai-Chi, Wushu, traumatology and sports medicine.
Complementing her extensive formal education, Master Wu has gained considerable hands-on clinical and medical experience. She studied and practised healing under the direction of her father, Dr. Cheng-De Wu. She practised medicine at the Shanghai Sixth People’s Hospital and Shanghai Xin-Le Hospital, and served at a clinic in Shanghai for four years.
After she moved to Canada in 1989, Master Wu continued an active teaching career, and served as board member of the Canadian Taijiquan Federation and the United Wushu Federation of Canada. She has introduced Tai-Chi, Chi-Kung and Kung-Fu to North American audiences through a number of magazines and TV programs, and is in high demand as a guest speaker for major hospitals and universities, including Riverdale Hospital, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and York University. Professor Greg Malszecki of York University wrote, “No other I have met could offer such a lucid, informed and solid introduction to the subject of Eastern theories of the body, than this expert.”
As a testament to her teaching abilities, many of Master Wu’s students have been highly successful in competition. Her students won a total of 19 medals including the silver and bronze all-round grand championships at the 2000 U.S.A. all-Taijiquan competitions. One of her special students was actress Elizabeth Gracen, star of the TV series Highlander – The Raven. In 1998, Master Wu had the pleasure of performing the Flying Rainbow fan form with Elizabeth for an episode of the series.
In 1999, Kung Fu/Tai Chi magazine, a leading U.S. martial arts magazine, and the Canadian journal, Martial Arts Fitness and Profiles magazine, both honoured Master Wu’s extraordinary talents as a teacher and her inestimable contributions to martial arts. In February 2004, Kung Fu/Tai Chi magazine again ran a feature article celebrating her achievements as a pioneer in the introduction of Chinese martial arts and healing systems to North America.
Master Wu’s distinguished accomplishments as a martial artist, practitioner of Chinese medicine, physical trainer, and teacher flow from the training system passed down through generations of her family. As of January 1, 2000, Master Wu began to offer a formal programme encapsulating the major elements of her family’s martial arts system. The training syllabus includes techniques for achieving optimal health, a study of the internal and external martial arts, and instructors’ training. Students have been coming from Canada, the United States and around the world to experience the remarkable results of her teaching methods. She also received a Qualifications Certificate of Top One Hundred Wushu Extraordinary-Prominent Wushu Educators in 2008.
Master Helen Wu now teaches Tai-Chi credit courses at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University in Toronto, Canada. Professor Carol Wilson, Director of Undergraduate Studies, has spoken of “the impressive level of organization and diligence that Helen Wu brings to the teaching of Tai Chi and the excellent teaching and course evaluations that she consistently receives… her commitment to the development of the Tai Chi program within the School of Kinesiology and Health Science is exemplary.”
吴小蓉老师 出生于武术，中医伤骨科世家。自幼习武。1977年考入上海师范大学体育系-武术专业并兼修运动生理学，运动医学等基础理论。1982年毕业，留校从事“运动医学”教学工作。并兼任基础理论教研室付主任。至此她以优异成绩完成了“中医伤科学”，“运动保健学” ，“康复医学”及“推拿疗法与医疗练功”等进修课程。并先后在上海中医学院，上海第六人民医院医院，上海新乐医院等地完成临床实践。她曾将王氏推拿手法与王氏气功疗法相结合，于1983-1989期间，在上师大体育系内开设体疗义诊，为广大运动员的康复作出贡献。与此同时她又积极参与武术教学，裁判，太极教学片录制，科研等工作；发表专业文章20余篇，她参与写作的专著及大学教材有《武术伤科〉，《康复医学》等书籍。
她在教学的同时，积极编撰英文专著及大学教科书，现已发表的有：《气功太极与扇功的大学训练课程》“Chi-Kung, Tai-Chi and Fan: Step-by Step Training Course”；《飞虹扇功》“Flying Rainbow Tai-Chi Single Fan” 等书籍。与此同时她完成的还有《气功太极与扇功的大学训练课程》“Chi-Kung, Tai-Chi and Fan: Step-by Step Training Course”，《保健气功》“Therapeutic Chi-Kung”，《飞虹扇功》“Flying Rainbow Tai-Chi Single Fan” 等五部教学片。
Director Pat Rice, Master Wu and her students,
1999-2001 International Tai-Chi Championship