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The Wu Yi Jie He Family System of Chinese Healing and Martial Arts

Grandmaster Wang Ju Rong (1928-2005)

Grandmaster Wang Ju Rong was born on November 4th, 1928 in Cangzhou County, Hebei Province, China. Her father, Grandmaster Wang Zi Ping named her Ju Rong, Ju to represent the fall birth and strength and Rong to represent prosperity. It was Grandmaster Wang Zi Ping’s wish that his daughter would have a happy and prosperous life.

Watch Grandmaster Wang Zi Ping with his daughter Grandmaster Wang Ju Rong performing with the straight sword. In the background is her young daughter Master Helen Wu.

Grandmaster Wang began her training at age five in the skills of Wushu and traumatology. At a very young age, she would practice the physically demanding body conditioning training that her older classmates would do. She also trained with one of the heaviest of all Chinese weapons, the large Guandao, as her first weapon. Her tenacity was just like her father’s was in his youth. She inherited the family trait of wanting to be a great martial artist, just like her father and generations before her.

From her father’s personal tutelage, young Ju Rong developed a deeper and deeper interest in Wushu and traumatology. While in high school, she was already well known throughout China in the martial arts community. In her youth she competed and won the Woman’s Championship at the 7th China National Athletic Games and gold medals in China’s National Wushu Competitions.

In 1952 Grandmaster Wang graduated from the Aurora University in Shanghai with a degree in physical education. After graduation, she became one of the founding professors of the East China Physical Education College. The college was later renamed as Shanghai Physical Education University, one of the most prestigious physical education universities in China. In 1960, Shanghai Physical Education University officially began the first Department of Wushu ever in China. Wang Ju Rong was appointed as head of this department. She developed the graduate programs in Wushu and was the first professor in the Physical Education University to graduate students with master’s degrees in Tai Chi Chuan.

Throughout her life Grandmaster Wang Ju Rong and her father Grandmaster Wang Zi Ping, dedicated their lives to promotion of Wushu and medicine. They were both members of the Wushu Competition Committee during the New China’s First National Athletic Meet in 1953. Wang Zi Ping was responsible for the leadership role. Wang Ju Rong roll was as judge and the announcer.

In 1955, Grandmaster Wang married Dr. Wu Chengde, a highly accomplished martial artists and professor of Traditional Chinese medicine.

In 1959, Wang Ju Rong was instrumental in the first compilation of the “Barehanded Compulsory Routine” and “Sword Compulsory Routine”. She was personally responsible for the compilation of the “Narrow Blade Sword” and the “Double Sword”, all of which were partof the required Wushu curriculum.

In 1960, Grandmaster Wang and her father were appointed to lead the New China Wushu Team, along with Premier Zhou En-Lai’s diplomatic delegation, to visit Burma. Wang Zi Ping was the head coach. Wang Ju Rong was the women’s coach. This was a historic event because it was the first time since New China that an official Chinese Wushu team had ever performed outside of China.

Grandmaster Wang Ju Rong was also an expert in archery. In the 1960’s she served as a judge in national archery competitions. It was very rare for any person to serve in a high level judging position in two national competitions. In 1979, Wang Ju Rong again became the first female Wushu coach to be invited to teach Taijiquan in Japan. She went to Japan on five separate occasions and taught Taijiquan and Qi Gong in over 20 cities and towns. Her accomplishments throughout Asia had earned her the sword of New China’s Pioneer in Sports and Wushu Contribution giving to her by China’s Department of Sports.

Grandmaster Wang served as the Director of the Chinese Wushu Association and the Archery Association. She was the Vice-Chairman of the Shanghai Wushu Association, head of the Judging Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Shanghai Archery Association. She was the President of the Chinese Wushu Research Institute and Advisor to the Wudang Research Association and the Shanghai Qigong Research Association. Additionally, she was instrumental in the development and promotion of the new standardized 24 Posture Taijiquan, 32 Posture Taiji Sword, 48 Posture Combined Taijiquan and the 88 Posture Yang Style Taijiquan. She was a member of the government appointed council to organize official judging rule books for Wushu competition routines and was personally involved in developing the Double Sword competition routine.

In 1989, after her retirement from the University, Wang Ju Rong was invited to the United States by the United States Chinese Marital Arts Council chairman, Jeff Bolt. At the time, the United States and China had recently normalized their relationship. Grandmaster Wang Ju Rong was one of the first Wushu professors to venture into the United States from mainland China to teach and promote Wushu. It was her wish to utilize Wushu as a means to strengthen the bridge between the Chinese people and the Americans. Her influence and contributions to the development of Wushu in the United States is next to none.

While in the U.S., Grandmaster Wang traveled extensively all over the States to conduct workshops and serve as Chief Judge, Arbitrator, and Honorary Advisor in major Chinese martial arts competitions. The Houston Sports Magazine declared “First Lady of Martial Arts brings Chinese wisdom to Houston”. She also served as an advisor to the USA Wushu-Kung Fu Federation and the U.S. Kuoshu Federation, the Honorary Advisor to the Chinese Wushu Historical Association among many others. Since Grandmaster Wang arrived in the United States, she actively engaged in the promotion and organization of Wushu competitions. She personally worked in the Chief Arbitrator and Chief Judge positions at U.S. National Competitions. All of these efforts by Grandmaster Wang have established the foundations for the United States to host its World Wushu Competition. In 1995 she was named Women of the Year by the Inside Kung Fu magazine and in 1997 she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the USA Wushu-Kung Fu Federation.

Throughout her life, she worked selflessly in the promotion of Wushu while teaching the younger generations the health aspects, the arts, the self-defense and the spirit of Wushu. She received tremendous well-deserved recognition from everywhere. She had numerous advisory and honorary titles from major universities as well as Wushu and Qi Gong organizations. For 15 or more years since leaving China, she worked selflessly in the promotion of Wushu in the United States. It was her wish that Wushu become an everyday word for people in all corners of the world and that the practice of Wushu would benefit people everywhere.

Grandmaster Wang’s life had been a devotion to her calling. She was an affectionate wife to her husband, a loving mother to her children and noble contributor to the development of Wushu around the globe. From her extraordinary beginning and her growing up in a time of national turmoil; to her remarkable academic career; to her continued involvement in all aspects of learning, training and teaching and judging all areas of traditional and modern Wushu; all had developed her into a walking encyclopedia of Wushu. Her wealth of knowledge in all area of Wushu was second to none. Her achievements will be hard, even for the most dedicated individual, to match.

Grandmaster Wang passed away on December 25, 2005 in her Houston, Texas home. She died with a smile on her face surrounded by her family and close friends after she gave her final farewell on this physical existence.

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