Chinese conventional kung fu has very abundant content, and Tai Chi Chuan is one of the most important branches, and it is famous all over the world for its efficiency for health.
Tai Chi Chuan is called Chang Chuan at early time, for its uninterrupted movements while practicing.
As to its provenance, someone says it was created by Zhang SanFeng, who is a Wu Dang Mountain Taoist in early Ming and late Yuan dynasty. But it is widely recongnized by current Wushu circle that it is created by Chen Wang Ting, a kung fu master of Chenjiagou, Henan province in late Ming and early Qing Dynasty.
Tracing the origin of TaiChiQuan, we must mention Qi Ji Guang, who was a general of Ming Dynasty. He absorbed 16 kinds of famous folk kung fu actions and created 32 Form Fist Techniques for training his soldier.
Half century Later, Chen Wang Ting, the 9th offspring of Chen Family, created Tai Chi Chuan which combined 29 forms of 32 Form Fist Techniques by Qi Ji Guang and the 108 form TongBi Chang Chuan handed down from his ancestors, also absorbed the soul of Chinese Qi Gong and Chinese Medicine Theory. And then Tai Chi Chuan came to its being and has been providing very wonderful function and efficiency for fight and health or self-protection.
Chen Wang Ting not only created Tai Chi Chuan, a combination of Kung Fu and Qi Gong and Chinese Medicine Theory, but also created the ‘Tui Shou” which is a fighting sport. ‘Tui Shou ‘ contains seizing, control, tumbling, throwing and striking etc. and it is very powerful in attack and fight.
Master Chen Chang Xing, the XIV offspring of Chen Family, was also very unique and innovative in the reforming of TaiChi Chuan. He inherited and developed the TaiChi Chuan of his family. It was Chen Chang Xing who created Tai Chi Chuan of what it is like today. Now, it is called Chen Form Da-Jia Tai Chi Chuan that contains two routines .Routine one of Chen Tai Chi Chuan focuses on softness, hardness in softness. Its movements are spreading, powerful, continuous and steady. Routine two focuses on hardness. Its movements are complicated, quick, compact and very powerful.
Another important master to be mentioned is Chen You Ben who is Chen Chang Xing's brother. He created another Chen Form Tai Chi Chuan(now, it is called Chen Form Xiao-Jia Tai Chi Chuan). He abandoned some very difficult and powerful movements of his family Tai Chi Chuan. He changed his movements from power launching to storing power for attacking. Chen You Ben kept practicing Tai Chi Chuan for lifetime, and he could fight against a mad bull to save a man from danger when he was 80 years old. His secrets for keeping health are “keeping exercising Tai Chi Chuan for 30 years, no eating enough for 30 years, self-amusing for 30 years, sleeping alone for 30 years.”