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The History of Tai Chi

changsangfengThe majority of researchers agree that Tai Chi was created by Chang San Feng. He was born in 1270 AD and spent his whole life studying Chinese martial arts and healing arts. Apparently, his inspiration for Tai Chi came when he watched a fight between a snake and a crane – noting not only the graceful movement of each creature, but also the way in which each one held its own. Chang San Feng was also a skilled acupuncturist and incorporated this knowledge into the Tai Chi style he created.

Deciphering Tai Chi history is far from easy, and almost every source of information on the subject differs. However, Tai Chi does have a common ancestry and connections with Chang San Feng (real or imaginary) and, more verifiably, with the Chen family and their village in the Hebei province.

It was in the Chen village that the term “Tai Chi Chuan” was first used and where martial arts fused with Taoist alchemy and military strategy to produce this unique art.

From the 1800s, Tai Chi developed into many versions and several distinct styles, all of which connects back to the Chen style. The Chen style contains different versions, as does the Yang style. Each generation added their own influence and this process of development has given us a rich and diverse art form. From the Yang and Chen styles, the Wu (Hao) style emerged. From the Yang style, the Wu (Woo) style was created. From a fusion of the Wu (Hao) style and two other internal martial arts, came the Sun and Li styles. Each Tai Chi style has its own sub-styles and there are styles with different lineages in the same family.

At the CenterPoint Tai Chi studio we practice theTraditional Wu (Woo) Style.