Tai Chi Home

Hello! Welcome to the online home of Absolute Tai Chi. A Chen style tai chi chuan school based in London.

Tai chi chuan (Mandarin/Traditional Chinese: 太極拳; pinyin: taijiquan; Wade–Giles: tai chi chuan) literally translates as ‘Supreme Ultimate Fist’.  Tai chi chuan is an internal martial art (neijia) originating in the Henan region of China, developed by the Chen family in the sixteenth century. Although it can still be practiced as a martial art, many people nowadays practise it for its health benefits.

Tai chi training involves five elements: nei gong (internal energy exercises such as chan si gong – silk reeling, qigong and meditation), taolu (forms or movement routines), tui shou (push hands), sanshou (free fighting), and weapons (dao – broadsword, jian – straightsword, qiang – spear, da dao – big broadsword).

Tai chi chuan is often characterised by slow movements. This is the way that the forms are usually learned and trained, but there are faster forms in the system and all of the movements can be applied at speed once they have been learnt. Slow movements are emphasised to encourage good posture, relaxation, and balance.

There are 5 major styles of tai chi chuan:

  • Chen style founded by Chen Wangting (1580–1660)
  • Yang style founded by Yang Lu-chan (1799–1872)
  • Wu style (1) founded by Wu Yuxiang (1812–1880)
  • Wu style (2) founded by Wu Quan-yu (1834–1902)
  • Sun style founded by Sun Lu Tang (1861–1932)

In addition to these there is also the Wudang school of tai chi chuan, which is a separate martial art, but based on the same tai chi principles of yin and yang.

Tai Chi founder Chen Wangting


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