Young Wabu and Master Wu Chien Chuan
"When you have something that works well, why complicate it?"
The study of Kata cuts across all martial arts and Classical Tai Chi is no exception. In Tai Chi of course, the term Form is most often used instead of Kata. Prof. Geoff Lane of the Danzan Ryu JuJitsu system has written an article entitled "Back to Basics" which can be found here: Back to Basics.
In the article Lane pays tribute to Grandmaster Young Wabu's devotion and adherence to fundamental principles. I include the excerpt here:
"Another martial artist I was very fortunate to meet with a similar quality was Linyi Maslin's father: Master Wabu Young, a Tai Chi master. He studied in Hong Kong under Master Wu Chien Chuan in the 30's after he came to Hong Kong from Shanghai to escape the Japanese. He spent his whole life perfecting one kata. Doing it square, round, regular and mirror image, fast and slow, large and small...the basics...doing the same Tai Chi form for 70 years. He passed away in 2004 (correction: note that Grand Master Young Wabu passed away on April 18, 2005 at the age of 101 in Rochester, NY), dying a "typical Zen Master's death (but that's another story), exuding power and grace to the end. The basics served him well. When you have something that works well, why complicate it?"
Professor Geoff Lane teaches jujitsu at the Nibukikan in Chico, California. Grand Master Young Wabu's daughter Lin-Yi Maslin also teaches Wu Style Tai Chi at the Nibukikan.