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With this, there are some believed that Tai Chi Chuan was created by 1st generation of Chen clan - Chen Bo who was an expert in martial arts, and Chen Bo was influenced by Zhang Sanfeng’s concept. However, there are no clear records to prove this theory.
It was argued that Tai Chi Chuan had been passed down from generation to generation in Chen family. Only until time of Chen Wangting (approx. 1600-1680 AD), art was systemized during his old age.
He researched on Huangting Jin which provided him with guidance on breathing techniques, combining ideas found in The Book of 12 Fist Motions by Qi Jiguang, and ideas of yin and yang. And he injected these ideas into his family's Tai Chi Chuan to systemize it into 5 sets of Tai Chi Chuan forms and 1 set of Cannon Fist.
He had also arranged Tai Chi Sabre, Tai Chi Spear and various sets of weapons yielding forms. In same time, he created Tai Chi Push Hand and Tai Chi Sticking Spear. This was an incredible work which allowed Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan to further develop into a complete martial art system. It was even more complete than its original Tai Chi exercise.
This can be said to be origin of Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan, which also means that, origin of all forms of Tai Chi Chuan!
Through generations, Tai Chi Chuan had been passed on and been modified. This resulted in various styles and sects. For example, through teaching and guidance from Chen Changxin, Yang Luchan, nicknamed “The Invincible Yang”, created Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan. Then, when Yang Luchan passed his skills to Wu Quanyou, Wu created Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan. Chen Qingping who learned from Chen Youben created Zhao Style Tai Chi Chuan. Wu Yuxiang who learned from Yang Luchan and Chen Qingping created Wu (different Chinese character from earlier Wu) Style Tai Chi Chuan.
Following that, Li Yishe created Li Style; from Li, Hao Weizhen created Hao Style; and from Hao, Sun Lutang created Sun Style. There are possibly more than what I can list!
Sorry if I sound rude, but I need to put those researched information to public so that we can appreciate art better when we understand its historical development and core principles behind Tai Chi Chuan.
I don't mean doubt existence of Zhang Sanfeng. I started learning meditation at age of 10 and in scriptures that I based my meditation on, Zhang Sanfeng's name had been mentioned many, many times. His techniques and ideology influenced my initial meditation practices. I actually respect this great master of past and had once believe in legend, though historical evidents of his existence were not very clear!
What I want to share here is solid sources of historical records that can be proven to be reliable, until present dates. Researches have still been carried out, though many agreed that Chen Wangting should get credit in putting Tai Chi Chuan into a systematic sets of martial and healing arts, which in another word, Chen Wangting is known to have created Tai Chi Chuan system we had at present days! Who knows if any further researches may uncover other records or sources that may prove whatever current theories otherwise!
May Energy of Tai Chi be with you!
Written by, C. Guan Soo http://www.TaichiForYourHealth.com
C. Guan Soo is a Tai Chi Practitioner who has 23 years of experience in meditation, martial arts, Tai Chi Chuan, healing arts, eastern philosophies and Buddhism. He has a website at: http://www.TaichiForYourHealth.com to discuss how Tai Chi Chuan can help to improve you health, physically and mentally.