1. How did Tai Chi begin?
There are two theories
- Theory #1
- Around the Yuan and Ming Dynasty – Chang Sanfeng – about 600-700 years ago lived in Shaolin Temple and went to WuDang Mountain and created Tai Chi. He saw a crane fighting with a snake. The crane was always hard. The snake would yield and follow the crane and did not resist and so he didn’t lose his life to the crane. Hard was controlled by soft.
- Theory #2
- Created by Chen Family about 300 years ago by Chen Wangting.
2. What are the 13 Postures (original name of Tai Chi Chuan)?
The 13 Postures are comprised of 8 energies and 5 steps:
8 energies are: ward off, roll back, press, push, pull, elbow strike, shoulder strike, and split
5 steps are: forward, back, look left, gaze right, and center
3. How many styles of Tai Chi are there and what are their differences?
There are 5 different styles of Tai Chi that are connected with each other. Chen, Yang, Wu, Wu and Sun styles. All 5 styles are connected together; their outside movements are a little different but inside the energies are the same.
Chen Style – is fast and slow combined together with some jumping and stomping movements. Old form and cannon fist was created from the 17th generation.
Yang Style – Yang Luchan learned the old form/frame from the Chen family. Yang movements are slow, even, gentle, big and large. Yang Luchan learned from the 14th generation Chen family member.
Wu/Hao Style – The 1st Wu style came from Yang and Chen styles and is slow, smooth, and small and the posture is high. Wu Yuxiang learned from Yang Banhou, 2nd generation Yang family member, and then learned from Chen Qingping, 14th generation. Wu/Hao is a smaller frame.
Wu Style – 2nd Wu style comes from Quanyu who learned from Yang Banhou. They lean their body to the side but when they lean they think about being straight. Wu learned from Yang Banhou. Later in age Banhou’s frame became smaller.
Sun Style – learned from Hao Weijian. Their movements combine 3 styles of Tai Chi together, Wu, Hsing-I and Bagua.
4. Who created each of the 5 styles?
Chen was created by Chen Wangting
Yang was created by Yang Luchan
Wu/Hao was created by Wu Yuxiang
Wu was created by Wu Jian Quan or Wu Quanyu
Sun was created by Sun Lutang
5. Who did the creators learn from?
6. The most practised form now.
The Beijing 24 Form was the result of an effort by the Chinese Sports Committee, which, in 1956, brought together four Taiji teachers – Chu Guiting, Cai Longyun, Fu Zhongwen, and Zhang Yu – to create a simplified form of Taiji as exercise for the masses. The creators truncated the traditional family style Taiji forms to 24 postures; taking about six minutes to perform and to give the beginner an introduction to the essential elements of Taijiquan, yet retain the traditional flavor of traditional longer hand forms (in general, 88-108 postures). Henceforth, this form was avidly promoted by the People’s Republic of China for general exercise, and was also taught to internees in Communist “re-education” camps. Due to this official promotion, the 24-form is most likely the Taiji form with the most practitioners in China and the world over.