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Tai Chi Chuan
A Brief History on the forms

The origins of Tai Chi are either shrouded in mystery or lost in time. In some early writings, the art of Tai Chi Chuan has been recorded under other names as far back as the Liang Dynasty (502-557 A.D.) when a general of the Chinese army called Chen Lin Si demanded that all his soldiers practice movements resembling Tai Chi Chuan. In the latter part of the 13th century, a Taoist monk by the name of Chang San Feng is believed to have incorporated elements of Taoism to give rise to Tai Chi as seen today. The arts were passed on to several Taoists and then on to the Chen family by the 17th century.

The Chen style is considered the oldest from which all other forms of Tai Chi were derived.
These are the Yang style developed by Yang Lu Chan, the Woo (Hao) style developed by Woo Ye Siang and the Wu style introduced by Wu Chean Yu. In addition there is the Sun style developed by Sun Lu Tang and lastly the Chen style that was originally developed by Chen Yan Xi was further modified and is sometimes called the New Frame.

It was Tu Ye Chai (Du Yu Ze), a student of Chen Yan Xi, (head teacher of  Chen Tai Chi), who taught Grandmaster Liu's students the older Chen style. Chen Yan Xi was also the teacher (and father) of the famous Chen master, Chen Fa Ke who made Chen style more public in Beijing. As well as this older style, our teacher, sifu They, spent a considerable time studying the other styles. From his experience of the different styles, over a period of many years, he recommends that people start off with the Yang style. Once people have understood the basic principles, one can then move to the Sun style, Wu and finally the Chen styles.

A more thorough account on the history and practise of Tai Chi and Masters may be found in Master They Soon Tuanís book, The Treasure of Mankind