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Tai Ji Quan a myth elucidated?

Tai Ji Quan a myth elucidated?

It is difficult to elucidate with authenticity the historical origins of TJQ in China. Each school downplays the roles of its rivals by appropriating the legitimate descent of a legendary figure from ancient China.

Tai Ji, QiGong or whatever is often categorized as a "health sport" (this is no longer vulgarization, but unhealthy hope) as well as an "old man's sport" or "you do that when you're older". Yes, I heard that from a pseudo-champion of France Kung-Fu back in the day ... I was shocked ...

Table of contents

Historical facts

A study by Tang Hao, Director of the Publication Office at the National Institute of Martial Arts, who visited the strategic sites of AMC (WuDang - ChenJiGaou - Shaolin) concluded that TaiJiQuan had not been created by Chang San Feng, but certainly by CHEN WanTing of ChengJiaGou.

General Qi JiGuang's name is often mentioned, and he is said to have composed a military song, the Boxing Canon (QUANJING), from his military treatise, the JI XIAO XIN SHU, which inspired CHEN WANTING to create the CHEN family's TaiJiQuan.


However, TaiJiQuan is the result of the alchemy and quintessence of certain martial techniques existing in China with the benefits and contributions of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Genius and enlightenment have elevated this art to the highest level, while preserving its deep philosophical meaning.

It is very likely that Shaolin boxing from Henan province also had a small influence and contributed to the development of certain Taiji techniques (if only for the purpose of retaliation). Shaolin techniques were quickly adopted by armies (TANG and SONG dynasties 618-1279), then under the MANDCHOUS the temple became a hotbed of resistance, destroyed and burned several times, the masters dispersed throughout the country and the monks revealed their art to numerous secret societies and villages. 

It is also possible that the notions of "internal" (NEI JIA) and "external" (WAI JIA) emerged during this period. Practitioners of this style wished to distance themselves from temple techniques in order to avoid mistrust with the powers that be.

Indeed, to defeat an opponent, you need to know his fighting style without revealing your own. This is certainly one of the motivations behind the birth and origin of internal martial techniques. To cope with the power of external techniques, the TAOÏSTES used the resources of the supple path of alternating YIN and YANG forces. Since the MING dynasty, the CHEN family could have developed the martial art from this ideology.

Long before that, Emperor YN XANG encouraged his soldiers to practice exercises to maintain their health. The TCHEOU LA YI frescoes (circa -700) reveal the existence of a specific martial form. TAOIST texts mention the practice of "DAOYIN" (-400), an energetic health science designed to awaken physical, mental and psychic vigilance in all aspects of life! Similarly, the MAWANGDUI frescoes testify to the value of physical exercises inspired by animal observation! 

This is an important and indisputable influence which will enable us to support our judgement on the prophylactic effects contained in the arts of TaiJi.

The famous TAOIST physicians HUATAO and GE HONG (HAN dynasty 25 - 220) created medical techniques with martial connotations and more pronounced respiratory techniques.

From this time onwards, doctors and Taoist masters paved the way for the internal arts by closely combining emergency resuscitation techniques, massage methods and dietetic therapy.

In this way, the health and martial arts would have merged through the Taoist way, and this, until the 13th century.

Although the existence of CHANG SAN FENG may be disputed, the ingredients were there for the birth of the internal martial arts: TAIJI QUAN, XING YI QUAN and BAGUA QUAN.

WangTing - ChenJiaGou

In Chinese WUSHU, the conflict over the origin of TaiJi and the various controversies may circumvent the historical facts from reliable documents about the CHEN family of CHENJIAGOU village.

chen bu

The first ancestor of the CHEN family. Originally from the village of Hong Tong in Shan Xi province, Chen Bu already had a veritable science of unarmed and armed combat. This tradition left its mark, the Hongtong Tongbei Quan "boxing of energy crossing the back of Hong Tong". The Chen clan preserved this boxing under the name of "long boxing in 108 movements". A study society was created to transmit the art of combat within the Chen clan. The teaching and research produced by this society were passed on widely and for a long time, as witnessed by the ancient saying: "All those who drink Chengjiagou water possess the rudiments of boxing".

chen wangting

Called himself Zouting. As passionate about martial arts as he was about literature. He was appointed Commander of the Wexiqn county garrison forces in 1641 and eliminated the Shandong bandits. On hearing Chen Wangting's name, the bandits fled. He lived through both the Ming and Qing dynasties, and the radical social turbulence destroyed his dreams of pursuing academic success or attaining official rank. However, this offered him the opportunity (along with the doctrine of Lao-tzu and Zhuanzi and the light of his own experience) to express the doctrine of Yin and Yang in the form of TaiJi Quan, which he knew very well.

Here are the main characteristics of TaiJi Quan created by Chen WangTing:

integrate tjq

In traditional Chinese breathing techniques, awareness, breathing and movement are closely linked, forming internal KungFu.

integrate wushu

In the main and collateral pathways theory of traditional Chinese medicine, to create series of winding, tightening, stretching and twisting movements.

create movements

From hand thrusts resembling seizures, capture, strike, grounding, blow, using wraps and squeezes by exercising the senses of touch and sensation.

create techniques

Simple, practical lance

creating the tjq theory

Based on his experience, absorbing the popular Wushu of the Ming Dynasty, Chen WangTing created the theory of TJQ. Explaining characteristics such as winding up and tightening firmly but gently, staying out of reach of the opponent's main strength and hitting his weak points, changing according to opportunity, knowing the enemy's intention and hiding one's own intention. 

other tai ji quan styles

In fact, there are other styles of TaiJi Quan, such as :

-Tai Ji Quan Yang style

-Tai Ji Quan Wu Style<br>
-Tai Ji Quan Sun style

And others, I could also talk about the theoretical bases of the Chen Style, YiJing, the integration of QiGong, the associations of the principles of DaoYin and Tuna of TCM, the meridians or the integration of the traditional boxing styles.

Also I did not list all the ancestors and disciples (Chen JiXia, ChangXing, Zhaopi etc...) 

It is a very vast subject and of constant learning of these arts as well as of ourselves!

Learning is infinite and it is when we think we know that we realize that we have not yet learned anything!

And you, what do you think? Would you be ready to learn, understand and apply to discover yourself and no longer live in constant doubt?

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