History of taijiquan

Chen style taijiquan (太極拳 tài jí quán, or tai chi chuan) has an almost 400 year long history, centred on the Chen family home Chenjiagou (Chen village). Historical evidence suggests that Chen Wangting, a commander in the imperial army under the last of the Ming dynasty rulers, combined existing martial practices from the army and his own family with traditional Chinese medical theories of how the mind and body work together. The result was what is now known as Chen style taijiquan.

Several generations after Chen Wangting, his descendent Chen Changxing taught the family art to Yang Luchan, the creator of Yang style taijiquan. The other three major styles of taijiquan — the Wu (Hao), Wu, and Sun styles — are derived from Yang style.

Chen taijiquan retains the mix of yin and yang movements — slow, fast; soft, hard; empty, full — that truly exemplifies the Taoist underpinnings of this martial art.