| Tai Chi Chuan represents a fusion of spiritual culture with
physical culture. Freely translated, TAI CHI is the Grand Ultimate, the
essential spiritual learning, timeless, eternal. The CHUAN is literally
"fist," in our context representing the total physical culture. So, use
Chuan as a vehicle, experiencing Tai Chi, the Grand Ultimate.
Historical perspective of Tai Chi Chuan is vague. Many people generally credit CHANG SHAN-FON with originating Tai Chi in a Shoalin Temple in the WU DAN Mountains in the thirteenth century during the Sung Dynasty. He combined martial techniques based on the movement of the Snake and White Crane with internal power developed by DAMO. In his time, Shaolin Kung Fu was already 800 years old.
In the mid eighteenth century, the history becomes more clear. CHEN CHANG SHEN was teaching his relatives. A man, YANG LU SHANN, wanted to learn Tai Chi from Chen Chang Shen. Not being a family member, he was accepted as a servant, and was taught Tai Chi, but not the essential aspects of martial application. He secretly observed the special midnight sessions and would then practice everything he had seen. Two of Yang Lu Shann's sons continued to develop Tai Chi.
First, YANG PAN HUO (1837-1890) taught the style to WU CHUN YU, who taught his son, WU CHIEN CHUN, who later modified the techniques. Today the basics styles, Chen, Wu, and Yang, have spread around the world. Many relatives of the original developers are still alive, giving their personality in their styles.
Practicing Tai Chi Chuan rebalances the energy circulation in the body,
revitalizing the body, and organ functions.
Tai Chi is a very effective treatment for insomnia, and improves the nervous system. This results in relieving stress, offering the practitioner mental and physical relaxation, giving freedom of thinking and feeling, giving a new way of life. Being relaxed, the expression of face and body of the practitioner is fully changed, so that internal beauty comes to the surface, expressing the beauty of tranquillity.
Because of repeated contraction and relaxation of the lower abdominal muscles during the special Taoist breathing, a greater amount of blood is pumped to the that area. This helps to prevent hemorrhoid problems and improves sexual sensitivity and response.
It is said that "He who practices Tai Chi CHUAN will develop the pliability of a child, the vitality of a lumberjack, and the wisdom of a sage."
Chi Kung and Tai Chi Chuan are not fitness methods or a dance. They are a way of getting to your own deep personality, to get friendly with yourself, and to discover your real self. It is a way of life giving you flexibility of bamboo, the power of the oak, and the wisdom and depth of a river.