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Yang Style Taijquan Master Ou Rong Ju

 

 

 

 

by Sifu Derek Frearson

Master Ou was born in November 1919 in the famous boxing city of Foshan in Guangdong province South China. He was a sickly child and a doctor made two recommendations that he should drink green tea every morning and also practise Chinese Martial Arts.

At the age of 11 he joined the Foshan Chin Woo Athletic association to start his martial arts training.

His first area of study was to learn the Chin Wu standardised forms from Master Cai Liqu. He then studied Seven Star Mantis style and Eagle Claw Boxing.

In 1946 he moved to Guangzhou to study the Yang family Taijiquan from Master Yang Chengfu’s eldest son Yang Zhenming (Yang Sau Chung) he learnt the Yang Family Fist Form, Broadsword, Straight Sword, Single Spear and Two Person Spear sets and Pushing Hands.

In 1947 Master Huang Baixiang taught him the Six Combinations and Eight Methods Boxing a very rare internal system.

In 1952 he began the study of Wu family Taijiquan, Push Hands and Wu’s Daliu with one of the great masters of Wu style Wu Gongzao.

 After 28 years of study he began to teach in 1958 and his students number in their many thousands including his first foreign student to have learnt the complete Yang Taijiquan system from him Sifu Derek Frearson.

He has travelled to Hong Kong, Malaysia and Beijing to demonstrate and exchange experiences with other Masters including Fu Zhongwen and Dong Yingjie. 

Foshan city organised a competition in 1957 and Master Ou was the winner of the Taijiquan and Taiji Sword event. He also represented Guangdong Province in a national event and gained third place in the Taijiquan category.

 

About Sifu Derek Frearson 

 

 

Derek Frearson first became interested in the Chinese arts through contact with Chinese friends in the early 60s this time was spent just working techniques. He joined his first club in Leicester in the mid 60s again the club concentrated on self-defence style techniques without formal training of any style of Chinese martial art in particular.

He continued training throughout the 70s and in the end inherited the group by default; it was in the early 70s that he started training in Manchester in a new mystical style call Taijiquan.  Sifu DannyConnor had studied the Cheng Man Ching (Zheng Manqian) style in Singapore from a Cheng Man Ching student Lo Psu Han; Cheng learnt the art from Yang Cheng Fu.

Sifu Connor formed the British Kung Fu Union and Derek Frearson was made the Midlands area representative, the Union was a founding member of the British Kung Fu Council which was later renamed the British Council for Chinese Martial Arts.

Later Derek formed his own Association the then British Taijiquan and Shaolin Kung Fu Association as the association grew internationally it was renamed the International Taijiquan and Shaolin Wushu Association which joined the British Council for Chinese Martial Arts in its own right. Derek held various posts over the years including Vice Chairman, Head of the Technical committee and committee member.

 Derek went to Boston USA to study Taiji with Master Bow Sim Mark in 1980 and also studied Wah Lum Mantis Style from Sifu Yao Li and the Grandmaster of the style Chan Poi.

From Master Bow Sim Mark Derek studied 24 Movement Taijiquan, 32 Movement Taiji Sword, Yang Family Broadsword and modern Wushu.

Derek made his first visit to China with his Taiji Teacher Master Bow Sim Mark in 1984 and attended the first International Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) meeting in Wuhan the group also visited Beijing and Guangzhou it was in Guangzhou that the group visited Master Fu Wing Fay the son of the Great Grandmaster Fu Chen Sung.

Derek was an invited guest at the grand opening of the Shaolin Wushu Training Centre in Dengfeng China it was after this opening that Derek made his first visit to Foshan (Fat Shan) to research the various branches of Wing Chun and had a chance meeting with a man who was to become Derek’s last Taiji instructor Master Ou Rong Ju.

They met by chance and as Master Ou told Derek “I never go to this area of the park at this time of day but for some reason I had the feeling to go there this morning but didn’t know why. I now know that it was our fate to meet”

Derek also learnt the 42 and 48 movement Taijiquan forms from Master Sha a mainland Chinese coach who visited England, and studied Chen style Taijiquan at the Shaolin Wushu Training Centre, Dengfeng China.

Since first meeting Master Ou Derek has returned to Foshan once or twice each year the only year he was prevented from travel to China was when the student troubles were taking place in Tiananmen Square and the British government advised its citizens not to travel. 

 In 2001 Derek travelled to Hebei province China to visit Yang Cheng Fu’s second son Master Yang Jen Ji and also made several other visits over the next few years.

During Derek’s 28 years travelling to China he has also learn various Qigong (Chi Gung) systems including medical Qi Gong.

 Sifu Derek Frearson has learnt the complete Yang Style system from Master Ou Rong Ju including weapons and push hands.