Taijiquan is a form of Martial Art, practiced for both its defense training and health benefits. A Dao (Tao) priest started it around 1300 AD as Qi Quan. Its roots are Martial Arts but it is never aggressive. Tai Ji Quan, literally translated as “Supreme Ultimate Fist”, is one of three of the “internal” martial arts. (Baguazhang and Xing Yi are the other two.)
Tai Ji Quan is the Mandarin spelling and Tai Chi Chuan is the Cantonese spelling. Tai Ji is the philosophical term. Tai Ji Quan is the full correct name for Tai Ji.
Tai Ji Quan is meditation in motion. It is done slowly, smoothly, continuously, rhythmically, and evenly in definite sequence, flowing like running water. "Running water never stagnates, moving hinges never rust". Tai Ji Quan is a mental, physical, and spiritual exercise that develops the flow of Qi (life energy), improves yin-yang (soft - firm) balance, and promotes concentration and focus of the mind.
Benefits of Tai Ji Quan - Decreases stress - Lowers the blood pressure - Improves balance - Strengthens muscles, tendons, and ligaments - Improves body awareness - Improves breathing - Self Defense
There are five major styles of Tai Ji Quan - Yang, Sun, Chen, Wu, and Hao. There have been other styles created and most follow the same principles and philosophies of one or more of the five major styles. The styles taught in our school are Yang, Sun and Chen.
Baguazhang (or Bagua) is the youngest of the three major “internal” Chinese Martial Arts. Literally translated as “Eight Trigram Boxing”, is attributed to Dong Haichuan who combined Taoist circle walking (learned from Taoist masters in the mountains of China) and Chinese martial arts during the 19th Century. Baguazhang follows the same principles as Tai Ji Quan, and as such, can provide similar health benefits as those practicing Tai Ji Quan.
Baguazhang is easily recognized from the “circle walking” practice done by Baguazhang practitioners while holding a specific posture or while performing palm martial techniques. Circular movements within the Baguazhang forms are used to train the practitioner on how to generate power and to be in constant motion while fending off multiple opponents. While Baguazhang is known for the circle walking and the "palm" techniques, most do not realize there are approx 72 kicking techniques (most are hidden) within the style. As one becomes skilled in this art, one will realize how deceptive this style can be.
The are several styles of Baguazhang, such as Yin, Cheng, Liang, Gao, Emei, etc. The style taught in our school is the Cheng style, which Master Sun learned directly from Master Sun Zhijun, lineage holder of the Cheng style.
Xingyiquan is the oldest of the three major “internal” Chinese Martial Arts. Xingyiquan, literally translated as "Form/Intention Boxing”, is characterized by aggressive, linear movements and explosive power.
Also referred to as Xing Yi (or Hsing I), Xing Yi is an aggressive and powerful martial art style, intended to overwhelm the opponent, while attacking and defending. Forms are based upon the movements and fighting behavior of a variety of animals.