Liu Yu has over 50 years of experience in Chinese martial arts, including Wushu (a performance-based external martial arts) and Taichi. She holds a triple Chinese martial arts background as a professional athlete, a sports educator, and a traditional martial arts practitioner under the tutelage of principal traditional masters, including Grandmaster Chen XiaoWang.
Liu Yu was born in China’s Jiangsu province. As a child, she was recruited by the Nanjing-based Jiangsu professional Wushu Team, leaving her family to train full-time at just eleven years of age. On the Professional Team, she focused on the basic forms for 6-8 hours a day, plus conditioning training. After mastering the basic forms, she progressed to individual competition forms, including Longfist, Taichi, Strait Sword, Double Hooks, Bagua, Staff, and team forms. During this time, Liu Yu also participated in Chinese martial art films as a stunt performer in the 1980s. She worked on television shows and films, including the Chinese movie Yao Family Kid (1982).
After ten years of training and competing with the Nanjing-based Jiangsu Wushu Team as a professional athlete Liu Yu was accepted to China’s premier sports university in Beijing—where she also taught classes. Liu Yu remained active as a martial arts competitor during her studies and became the National Collegiate Taichi Champion in 1987. In 1989, Liu Yu graduated from the Beijing University of Physical Education with a B.A. in Physical Education, majoring in Chinese Martial Arts.
Liu Yu emigrated to the U.S. in 1990 and was recruited to teach at the University of Wisconsin. Since moving to the US, Liu Yu served on the board of the U.S. Wushu Kungfu Federation and served as a head coach of the U.S. Wushu Team, taking her team to the World Wushu Championships in Rome in 1997, Toronto in 1998, and Hong Kong in 1999. Liu Yu is also an internationally qualified judge certified in the International Wushu Federation and Seventh Degree Dan of Wushu.
Currently, Liu Yu is the owner of the Wushu Taichi Center in San Luis Obispo, California. Every few years, she takes a group of her students to China to visit her hometown, former university, and to practice Taichi in the Chen Village (the birthplace of TaiChi). She continues to study under Grandmaster Chen XiaoWang, the 19th generation of Chen Family TaiChi Masters. Liu Yu says that Taichi is like a journey, and when you are learning Taichi, you must learn to have patience with yourself, your teacher, your classmates, and the slow learning process. Taichi only requires two things: patience and constant practice. That is why her favorite phrase in class is, “One more time!”
Website for the Wushu Tai Chi Center: https://wushutaichicenter.com