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The Taiji Quan

A definition of Taiji Quan (Tai Chi Chuan)

Taiji (Tai Chi): This term means «supreme ultimate». It is also an old Chinese concept of the universe, seen in its dynamic. Thus, according to the Chinese conception, the cosmos is based on a binary system symbolized by the two active complementary principles,Yin and Yang. This duality gives rise to the creation.

Quan (Chuan) : this term means fist, boxing.

Taiji quan (Tai Chi Chuan) thus means : the art of combat, that applies the principles of taiji, that is : dynamic, circular, alternating, transformation, duality.

The invention of Taiji quan is attributed traditionally to Zhang Sanfeng (XII-XIII century), a Daoist monk of the monastery of the Wudang Mountains (Hubei), in the northwest of China. It is said that he developed this technique after observing a fight between a bird and a snake, during which he observed the superiority of flexibility on rigidity, the importance of the alternation of Yin and Yang, the effectiveness of circular movements.

Taijiquan is more likely the result of a long maturation that brought together over the centuries the effectiveness of Daoist longevity and martial techniques.

Yang Luchan (19th century), founder of the Yang school, developed his style by combining his original training in various martial arts, his knowledge and experiences gained during his meetings and confrontations with numerous experts, and the studies of the classics of Taiji quan. Yang Luchan was nicknamed Yang Wudi : Yang the invincible.

The Yangjia Michuan Taiji Quan is the secrec transmission of the Yang family Taiji quan. This school remained long restricted to members of the Yang clan only. But one day, Yang Luchan was forced against his will to teach Taiji quan to the imperial guards of the Qing, the Mandchu dynasty, which the Yang clan was hoping to see overthrown. Therefore, in order not to reveal the quintessence of his art, he deliberately simplified his technique. Subsequently, this simplified form spread throughout China and the traditional Yang Jia Michuan form was revealed only much later.

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