Brief Overview of Tai Chi History

I have researched in depth various versions of Tai Chi history passed on to us by Tai Chi practitioners and historians.
The most recognized knowledge is that Zhang San Feng has created 13 postures of Tai Chi Chuan which are
eight methods (ward off, roll back, press, push, pluck, split, elbow, and lean forward) and five positions
(front, back, left, right, and center). Wang Zhong Yue, who developed the 108 long forms, carried on the tradition.
Then it was passed on to Jiang Fa, Chen Zhang Xing, and to Yang Lou Chan. Those who practiced Yang style have
been paying homage to Zhang San Feng as the founder for Tai Chi for more than 170 years. Historically, people
respected the founder and focused less on who your teachers were.

Yang Lu Chan taught Wu Jian Quan, Wu Yu Xiang, Sun Lu Tang, Zhao Bao, and many more. About hundred years
up to 1926, Yang style was more popular and widespread within the Chinese society. Regarding Chen Style, it was
popularized by Li Yi Yu and his teacher Wu Yu Xiang. Wu Yu Xing first learned Tai Chi from Yang Lou Chan and then
went to Chen village in Ho-Nan to follow Cheng Qing Ping. Chen style Tai Chi Chuan has also been passed on and
practiced for more than hundreds of years but is not closely related to Yang style. Due to the civil war in China, many
of the historical reference to Tai Chi Chuan have been lost. The above is a summary of what is commonly recognized
for your reference.

This article was written by Master Cheng Hsiang Yu. For the Chinese names other than Master Yu, they are written
in the order of family name and then given name.


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