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A Brief History of Tai Chi Chuan and Styles

Zen Buddhism and Taoism are intertwined in Tai Chi Chuan legends and history. The Buddhist monk Bodhi Dharma (450-543) from Madras, India is also known as the founder of the legendary Shaolin temple in Honan province and Zen Buddhism in China. Bodhi Dharma not only carried his teaching to China, but was influenced by the Yoga of India, which has a strong "path" tradition on soul-body integrity, and created a series of movements to remedy the ailments of the monks in the temple as a result of long meditation sittings. These later became the ancestors of the martial arts.

Another legendary identity; but this time from the Taoist wing: Chang San-Feng (1391-1459 AD). Taoist Chang San-Feng, who was trained in the Buddhist Shaolin temple, is said to have dreamed of a white crane fighting with a snake. The animals were circling each other carefully, with sharp awareness, with very aesthetic and soft movements. When he awoke from his slumber, he thought that it was necessary to apply the message he received from the struggle of animals to the techniques he learned in the monastery. He became the ancestor of the emerging Tai Chi Chuan. If we talk about a family tree in the history of Tai Chi, we come to the name Chen Wang-Ting after a series of masters. With this name, the Chen family period of hundreds of years begins in the history of Tai Chi. During this period, the Chen family tried not to take the Tai Chi knowledge out of the family. However, Yang Lu Chan (1799-1872 AD), a proficient martial arts master, entered the family as a servant and learned the art. The information went out with him. Each master contributed to the art in his own way, and styles named after him emerged: Beijing style (after 1950) compiled from Chen, Yang, Wu, Sun, Yang style etc...

Our style is Yang style. We follow the tradition of Prof. Cheng Man Ching (1901-1975), who was also a poet and painter, who made a great contribution to transmitting Tai Chi to the West (after 1960). prof. Cheng was a student of the legendary master Yang Cheng-Fu (1883-1936).


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