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History of Wudang Tai Chi

Tai Chi History

Tai Chi Quan comes from Wudang

Since Chinese Wushu has a long history, no one can tell exactly the sources of so many kinds of boxing styles and there is no available way to find them. For example, eight- diagram palm was created by Dong Hai chuan, and then he passed it to Bi Cheng qie (Red Lotus Taoist) and his master's brother Guo Yuanji (Iron Cap Taoist), but nobody knows to whom Bi and Guo passed on the boxing? Another example, Nature Gate of Wan lai Voice (sound of nature) was passed on to Dwarf Xu. But then to whom? Form and Will Boxing is said to come from the Boxing script of Yue Fei (a patriot of the Southern Song Dynasty), and Yue Fei imparted it to Zhou Tong, but to whom Zhou tong passed on it? And what about Gongsun aunt's graceful sword arts? Many unknown things exist among famous generals. It is known to all that Tai Chi Quan was from Zhang Sanfeng of Wudang, but in the 30s of 20th century, it was suspected after Tang Hao and Gu Liuxin's research. They insisted that Chen Pu and Chen Wangting of Chen Village created Tai Chi Quan. Therefore they declined the fact that the real creator was Zhang San -feng.

Who created Tai Chi Quan and where is its source? This article will research it according to the relative historical materials.

1.It is a mistake that Chen Clan created Tai Chi Quan. Preface of Tai Chi Quan illustration by Chen Xin says that the first ancestor Wei Pu taught his son and grandson in his spare time to move Yin and Yang to help digest. And his movement was based on Tai Chi, thus it was called Taiji Quan. If it was true, then Eight-diagram and twelve-diagram were called Tai Chi Quan, too. Later in the Chen clan's family tree, no one was mentioned to have practiced Wushu. Is this a mistake? There was no written materials about this.

2.The view that Tai Chi Quan was created by Chen Wangting is the subjective view of Tang Hao and Gu Liuxin. The view began from Tang Hao and Gu Liuxin. After 3 times visit to Chen Village, Tang Hao found the family tree of Chen Clan, and there were relative articles about it. Words like this: Create boxing when one feel boring and Chen Wangting was the creator of Chen Clan sword and spear. Thus Gu Liuxin compiled it to the Encyclopedia Physical Section. The second note of Tai Chi Quan says that in the early times, Tai Chi Quan spread among Chen clan in Chen Village of Wen County in Henan Province, and the creator was Chen Wangting who was an outstanding expert of Wushu. The introduction of the Art of Tai Chi Quan says that Chen clan's Tai Chi Quan was a kind of antique boxing, and other schools of Tai Chi Quan (Yang, Wu, Sun, Wu) developed based on it. From then on, the whole situation had been changed. The Chen clan follows this point of view and people saw the same opinion from both the books and TV. What about the true story of it on earth? First, let us see the fact of Encyclopedia.

Wushu senior Li Tianji in an interview which was organized by Mr. Yu Zhijin, said:" Gu Liuxin took Chen Wangting in Lulong County, Hebei Province for the Chen Wangting in Chen Village. The one in Hebei was a successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations in the Ming Dynasty. He was not the same person who was born at the end of Ming Dynasty. Gu corrected his error on Physical Newspaper in 1984." Later, Li Tianji said:" I was not willing to write the knack of Tai Chi Quan with Gu, thus he cooperated with Li Deyin. At last, Gu wrote all the knacks by himself and wrote what he liked. Now I am 80 years old and have no energy to correct it. Therefore, I hope you the young generation write the correct and true one through thorough research." From the words above, you can see that the concept that the Chen clan created Tai Chi Quan is unavaila-ble.

Look at the sentence: The creation of spear and sword of Chen clan, Chinese Wushu had few thousands years' history and Chen was the creator is obviously not conformable to the fact, but why did people say like this? In a sense it is partly true, because:

1. The family handed down double three boxing knacks saying: "I learned it from Ji Clan though I don't master it perfectly, so I dare not say that I can impart it to the younger generation." The author learned it from the Zhen Clan, disciple of Mr. Jin Longfeng. It was the compile during Yongzhen Period, the same time when Wangting lived.

2. Chang Quan of Chen Clan is the combination of Tongbi Quan and Hong tong Tongbi Quan in Shanxi Province; Hong tong quan (Zhong Yiquan) was passed on by Guo Yongfu in Henan. He imparted it to He Huaibi of He Village when he visited Hong tong during Qian long (a emperor in the Qing dynasty). The order of passage is like this: Shaolin temple---Guo Yongfu (a person good at darting) ---He Huaibi (He Jiazhuang in Hong tong)---Shi Jiwen (Wan an Town) ---Shi Genlin (Shi tong wenzi) ---Yang Rumei, Qiao Bai (Wan An Town) ---Pan Yi qui (Gao gong Village)

3. Chen Wangting copied knacks of boxing scripts from Quan jing song Ji xin New book from Qi Jiguang. The basic theory belongs to Shaolin boxing family

4. The annotation of the old boxing knack of the Chen Clan says, the diagram of the spear style was derived from Yu Clan in Si Xian County. And another article of Wen Xiutang record: the knacks above come from Northern Wang bao Village. Zhang Kaizhou copied and rewrote it in the 23rd year of Daoguang.

These 4 points above illustrated that in Chen Village, Chen Wangting was the first one to learn Wushu, which was the combination of Tongbi Quan and Pao Quan, falling into shaolin style. What's more, some were the duplicate copies. The so-called "creator" was the one who learnt from the earliest one, so how Chen Wangting created the boxing in his spare time?

Tai Chi Quan is a kind of complicated Wushu, "creating" can be counted on only if one has thorough understanding of Yi (change) Theory and boxing theory, then add the concentration, inspiration and aesthetic mood. Under the state of being terribly upsetting, people cannot create common Wushu and gymnastics let alone Tai Chi Quan. So creating Tai Chi Quan needs rigid conditions (Chang duan ju did not conform to the mental state of Wangting). maybe this has something to do with Jiang Fa.

After failure of Li Ji's troop, Jiang Fa lived in seclusion, who was a competent disciple of Wang Zongyue, a Tai Chi master of great learning and integrity. Jiang could rush like a galloping horse and chase rabbits within 100 steps. Since Wangting knew his competence and treated him warmly, which made Jiang so grateful that he taught Wangting according to his aptitude. Then he combined the essentials of Tai Chi Quan with Pao Quan in the way of twisting and turning and removed the sharp angles of Pao Quan. Thus the Chen Clan created Tai Chi Wushu skill. In federal society, how can one have his servant as his disciple? Moreover, the original native place of Jiang Fa was Liu cun Village of Dong Town in Wen Xian County, and he moved to Shui yun Village later. Jiang learnt boxing for 10 years from Wang Zongyue in Shanxi, then became a servant in Chen gou Village and concealed his identity after the failure. At last he imparted the boxing skill to his disciple Chen Wangting and then Xing Xihuai. After his death, he was buried at a place called Yang haiwa, Northwest of Yangji gou.

Chen Zhengshu, the 17th generation of Chen Wangting, often holds honorable ceremony for Jiang Fa in honor of their senior and showed respect for their master. Jiang Fa had outstanding Wushu skills and was respected by the villagers of Chen gou Village.

The sure purpose of the above fact is to illustrate that all schools of Tai Chi Quan were derived from Zhang Sanfeng, though it has a long story. All the people regarded Zhang Sanfeng as " the original master" ,but there are still people who still turn deaf ear to it and held view that it is only a legend and could not be worthy of believing but only brought about chaos to Tai Chi boxing. Even now, no one exactly knew from which generation and how it was passed on from the Chen Clan.

There was a lyric from the 51st Division Headquarter of Kuomin tang: Tai Chi derives really from Wudang, if one gets the essence of it, it benefits both the nation and its citizens, and also it helps to make oneself stronger.


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