Tai Chi or Taiji is short for Tai Chi Ch’uan a Chinese martial art.
It all started in the house of Chen and all Tai Chi can find its roots in the Chen Style. But Chen style itself didn’t suddenly appear from nowhere. The art is closely linked with the Chinese conception of health and body function which has a very long history going back several thousand years.
I have enjoyed my Chen style journey so far. We study the Chen 56 at the Seven Stars club, and I think it is a good introduction to Chen style given that it draws elements from both lao jia (old frame) routines.
It was fashioned into 56 movements by politics rather than by rooted knowledge of the art, but still provides an excellent starting point for understanding the underlying principles of the style and tai chi in general.
We study several yang style forms, Cheng Man Ching’s short form, Yang 108 long form, sword form and the “Dance of Equality” or sanshou.
Like many other disciplines, Tai Chi has developed in many different ways. Within the various stlyes, there are many approaches, some differences in the preferred form and technique, but all are joined by fundamental principles underpinning the art.
My teaching is based on the view that the best energetic flow through the body is achieved with postures and movement that reflect the martial application. The application is part of the way, but it’s how you achieve it, through internal development, that allows the forms to be used for health and meditation so successfully.