History of Tai Chi also know as T’ai chi ch’uan

The term “Tai Chi” is first found in the Chinese book of changes “I Ching”. It states; in the beginning of time, there was “Wu Chi” (the great void), and from this “Wu Chi”, comes the birth of two powers, the power of Yin and the power of Yang.
Yang is the representative of being positive, it is the male image, it is the light, it is the sunny side of the mountain. Yin is the opposite of Yang, it is negative, it is the female image, it is the shady side of the mountain. They compliment each other, they are not total opposites, they each have a minor part of each other, creating the feeling of being complete and harmonizing each other. This is “Tai Chi” the Chinese philosophy of duality of this world.

The Chinese word “Chu’an” means the clinched fist or a form or set made up of defensive and offensive movements. The term “Tai Chi Chu’an” is used to describe the form or set of movements using the principles of “Tai Chi” link together as a system of the Chinese martial arts, the principles of Yang and Yin, using the changes of the dualities to union and harmonize the body and the mind.



It is important to learn how to keep the energy flowing in the body and its limbs, the first thing one would have to feel is to feel the bottoms of the feet, the bottoms of the feet has to be activated to keep the balance of the body, and to mote the weight of the body, and it is the controller of moving the arms of the body.

How does one learn to use the bottoms of the feet to shift the weight of the body in the practice of the form “Tai Chi Chu’an”? The most important feel of the bottoms of the feet should be that one must learn how to use the bottoms of the feet to push and pull on keeping the trunk of the body and its head upright, so that the bottoms of the feet has the power to shift the weight in the body.

Since the emphasis of “Tai Chi Chu’an” is to keep the legs away from double weighting, it is important to keep one leg weighted and the opposite leg has no weight on it, but the weighted leg will have its leg muscles activated and the bottom of the foot of this leg is press down on the floor to keep the weight there, whereas the opposite leg’s bottom of the foot is lightly held, and the concentration is place on top of the foot Until such time that the weight is transfer over to it, by the other leg. And by shifting the weight of the body, the legs are doing the job,  but the hip is the one that controls the shifting and moving.

The first five words of practice of “Tai Chi Chu’an” are one, light and loose, two, firm and solid, three, balance and control and flowing at all times, four, center In all parts, and five, concentration with the body and mind together.


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The characteristics of “Tai Chi Chu’an”, is to move slowly and keep it flowing with no stops or gaps in its movements. And the movements are all in extension of the parts of the legs and the arms and the body. All of the bone joints of the body and its limbs are being used. But not to the point of locking them in hyper extension, the joints has to be able to make the movement Without locking out. If the body was an automobile, one would say, the joints must keep lubricated at all times.

In order to learn the system of “Tai Chi Chu’an”, one could read of the books In order to learn the system of “Tai Chi Chu’an”, one could read of the books written by experts in the field. To learn what “Tai Chi Chu’an” is. There are a lot of books written on the subject of “Tai Chi Chu’an”, and a lot of them are good. One could read about its history, its principles, and its system, but it is hard to try to learn from a book. So, one must go out and seek a good instructor, in able to learn the system of “Tai Chi Chu’an”.

How does a beginner go about looking for a good instructor in the system of “Tai Chi Chu’an”? the simple rule of eating the pudding will help One decide. Remember, “Tai Chi Chu’an” is an Chinese gentle art moving, there should be no force of any type use in the practice of it, and it should be gentle and flowing correctly with the weight of the center of the body control by one side of the body. The three planes of the body is used at all times, the plane of the left and the right sides of the body, the plane of the front and the back of the body, the plane of the bottom and the top of the body.


IKF 1990-11 Cov