Jiang Yukun (Chinese: 蒋玉堃; pinyin: Jiǎng Yùkūn; 1913–1981) was a t'ai chi ch'uan master. He was a student of grandmaster Yang Chengfu (who is the grandson of creator of Yang-syle t'ai chi ch'uan, Yang Luchan). Although he studied different t'ai chi ch'uan styles like Chen, Wu, Sun and Li, his specialism was Yang-syle.
Born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, Jiang Yukun began martial arts training at the age of 7 with his uncle.(source 1) Then his t'ai chi ch'uan training began with Han Ch'ing-t'ang. In Zhejiang provincial Wushu Academy he became the student of Yang Chengfu at his age of 30's. After passing the entrance exam of Nanjing China Central Wushu Institute, he studied Xingyiquan, Pa Kua, Chin Na and Sanshou, Wudang Sword respectively with masters Chiang Jung-Ch'iao, Huang Pai-nien, Wu Chun-shan, Liu Pai-ch'uan and Huang Yuan-hsiu.
In 1930 he became the champion in Zhejiang, in 1933 he scored the highest point in graduate exam of Nanjing China Central Wushu Institute, in 1948 he became the national champion of wrestling, in 1956 he got 2 titles in national Wushu Championship, in 1975 he was invited to be the national Wushu trainer.
Jiang Yukun studied Da Jia (the original Big Frame) in Yang-style t'ai chi system from a martial arts approach. He learned and Xiao Jia (the Small Frame) Small Frame Yang Style from Gong Rongtian, who was a disciple of Yang Ban-Hou (the 2nd generation successor of the Yang Family). Jiang also learned Chen-style t'ai chi ch'uan from Master Chen Ziming, the 17th generation successor of the Chen Family.
One of the heritages of Yang Chengfu, the traditional 43 form Yang style, could come to the present day thanks to master Jiang Yukun. Fortunately this rarely practised form was passed on to his students. Yang style 43 form has high and low stands, beautiful circular moves and powerful yet relaxed actions with much details. 43 form has been created by Yang Chengfu just a few years before his death and undergone small edit by Master Jiang Yukun.
From source 2.
Master Jiang Yu Kun, was born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, in 1913, and died in 1981. At the age of seven, he began training with his Wushu under supervision of his uncle.
In the thirties he learned Yang style of Yang Cheng-Fu, who at that time was teaching at the Wushu Institute of Zhejiang Province.
Jiang Yu Kun passed the entrance exam of the Nanjing China Central Wushu Institute where he learned besides Tàijíquán Baqua and Xingyi Quan from Jiang Rong Qiao and Huang Bo Nian.
In this time he learned many aspects of Wushu, including the Art of the Wudang sword of Huang Yuan Xia.
Because Jiang Yu Kun very hard and practiced many he won: in 1930 he became champion of Zhejiang, in 1933 he scored highest at the final exam of the Nanjing China Central Wushu institute, in 1948 he won the national sport prize, in 1956 he received two first prizes during the national Wushu competition and in 1975 he was invited to take over the role of national Wushu trainer.
Jiang Yu Kun controlled many aspects of internal art, but especially Da Jia (Large Frame) and Xiao Jia (Small Frame) of the Yang style, Taiji Jian (sword) and the famous Wudang sword art.
Jiang Yu Kun was very selective in terms of his students. If you did not have the right physique in your eye or not the required effort, then you were not admitted as a student. He also made high demands on himself, which you see again in the Yang style 43 forms.
The traditional Yang style 43 forms is one of the heirs of grand master Yang Cheng Fu. Master Jiang Yu Kun happily passed this style on to his students. The Yang style 43 forms has high and deep positions, nice round and powerful movements with a lot of detail. Master Jiang Yu Kun often said that he has more or less composed this style. However, master Tang Wei said that grandmaster Yang Cheng Fu actually made it a few years before his death. Much of his knowledge and skills are reflected in the style. This also applies to the sword shape, the saber shape and the spear shape.
Once, Jiang Yu Kun described everything and made pictures of his stands. That is what the photographer took away and master Jiang has never heard of it again (In Hong Kong, the saber form has turned up much later in a small book). Master Jiang was so disappointed by that, that afterwards he released only sporadically written information.
Still some of his students teach in his style. Master Tang Wei in the Netherlands and the son of master Jiang in Australia.
Our teachers have learned the traditional Yang style 43 shapes, including push hands, da lu, weapons sets, etc. from master Tang Wei (photo right).
Master Tang Wei studied long and intensively with master Jiang Yu Kun and mastered several styles Tàijíquán including all weapons sets and push hands.