The name of our college is primarily a way to honor Master Ma Jiangbao (1941-2016). We are forever in his debt, not only for his incessant willingness to share his tremendous insight, but also for personal support to found our college and his explicit permission to connect his name to it.
Master Ma, born and raised in Shanghai, was a fourth generation descendant of the Wu family, and a widely renowned Taijiquan teacher. Since 1986 he worked and lived in Europa, which gave us the opportunity to study with him. Blown away by his knowledge and capabilities, he became the great inspiration for our college.
The Wu style originated with Wu Quanyou (1834-1902). He was a military officer and a disciple of Yang Luchan (1799-1872, patriarch of the Yang style), and his eldest son Yang Banhou (1837- 1890) at the end of the Qing dynasty. Wu Quanyou passed on his knowledge to his son Wu Jianquan (1870-1942), who also held a position in the army. Influenced by China’s state of affairs, the focus of Taijiquan shifted from a strict military and family affair to a discipline for the general public. In response to this China’s state of affairs and his willingness to contribute, Wu Jianquan decided to modify the style by eliminating physically demanding routines, making it more accessible to the general public. It is for this reason that Wu Jianquan is often designated as the founder of the current Wu style. In 1928 Wu Jianquan moved from Beijing to Shanghai, where he founded the Jianquan Taijiquan Association in 1935.
This brings us to the second reason. With our choice for Jiangbao, we mimic Wu Jianquan in the use of his first name for his association, concurrently meeting up with the demands of traditional ancestor worship.
Our choice to establish a college is largely based on our wish to meet up with present-day criteria. First of all, a college is a good substitute for the nowadays outdated master-disciple relationship (Dutch standard). Secondly, we are convinced that an educational institute provides the best ground to preserve, promote, and develop the wealth of knowledge in present day society. Finally, we believe that an educational institute provides the best setting for cultural exchange and the elucidation of the Chinese culture.