Taijiquan (old spelling T’ai Chi Ch’uan) is an ancient Chinese health and martial art created by Chen Wangting (1580 – 1660). At its inception it did not look like the art we know today.
The unique attributes of Taiji came about when the creators combined existing martial art with Meridian Theory, Chinese Traditional Medicine, Meditation, Qi Gong and Taoist principles. The result was a very powerful martial art that also had profound health benefits. It was the first known Internal Martial Art (Neijia). As this art was created by Chen family members in Chen Village it became known as Chen Taijiquan.
At West Coast Taiji and Qi Gong we teach two styles of Taiji: Yang and Chen. Yang is the most popular and derived from Chen.
Yang Lu Chan, the founder of Yang Taijiquan learned his art in Chen Village but subsequently altered it and began to call his art Yang Taijiquan (T’ai Chi Ch’uan).
Yang Taijiquan is typified by its softness and meditative quality. For many reasons Yang Lu Chan removed much of the martial training and his art evolved as more of a health method.
The original Chen Taijiquan was typified by its power and sudden releases of explosive energy (Fa Jin).
Both arts are excellent for health restoration with Chen being a more robust version.