Chinese Taiji Quan

Last Update: 2008-6-13; By nancy

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Taiji Quan is a Taoist martial art. One account of the history of Taiji Quan credits its development to the Taoist immortal Chang San-feng, who is said to have drawn the inspiration for the art by watching a fight between a snake and an aggressive eagle. Chang San-feng was reportedly a master of Shaolin Kung Fu who reached an extraordinary level of cultivation through Taoist meditation practices. Another account of the history of Taiji Quan is that many different Kung Fu masters developed it over a long period of time; as a synthesis of internal meditation and martial technique. Either way, the written history of Taiji Quan goes back about 300 years and it was not until the turn of the 20th century that it was introduced to the general public.

Taiji Quan is a very unique and powerful art, for both internal power and longevity. Taiji Quan is a martial art which embodies Taoist philosophy. When Taiji Quan was developed, the martial arts were very aggressive. One's proficiency was measured by the strength and aggression of attack, in terms of the Taoist principle of yin and yang this was a purely "yang" conception of martial arts. What was revolutionary about Taiji Quan was the incorporation of the yin element to fighting. In Taiji Quan one uses a balance of yin techniques with yang techniques, a balance between yielding and attacking. It is for this reason that Taiji Quan is described as "a needle hidden in cotton" or "hardness concealed in softness".

Presently Taiji Quan is rapidly growing in popularity for the tremendous health benefits which come through practice. Clinical studies have shown that T'ai Chi practice can lower blood pressure, reduce nervous tension, and benefit the immune, digestive, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. At this time, over one hundred million people practice Taiji Quan on a regular basis.

The heart of the Taiji Quan system is the practice of the single Taiji Quan form. The form practice of Taiji Quan is the foundation of the training. Though Taiji Quan is done slowly, the movements are very difficult and strenuous. Regular practice of Taiji Quan greatly improves the functioning of the bodily systems.

Chen style taiji quan

Chen-style Taiji Quan is an ancient traditional Chinese Kung Fu. It is the origin of all kinds of Taiji style. It falls into two categories - the old and new frames. The old frame was created by Chen Wangting. It had five routines which were also known as the 13-move boxing. Chen Wangting also developed a long-style boxing routine of 108 moves and also a cannon boxing routine. It was then handed down to Chen Changxing and Chen Youben, boxers in the Chenjia Valley who were all proficient at the old frame. The present-day Chen style boxing boasts of the old routine, the cannon routine and the new routine. The Chen style taiji boxing is the oldest form, all the other styles of taiji quan having derived from it either directly or indirectly.

Other styles of taiji quan include Yang style taiji quan, Wu style taiji quan, Wu Yuxiang style taiji quan, and Sun style taiji.

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