1. How did Tai Chi begin?

There are two theories

The first theory:
Around the Yuan and Ming Dynasty – Chang Sanfeng – about 600-700 years ago lived in Shaolin Temple and went to WuDang Mountain and created Tai Chi. He saw a crane fighting with a snake. The crane was always hard. The snake would yield and follow the crane and did not resist and so he didn’t lose his life to the crane. Hard was controlled by soft.
The second theory:
Created by Chen Family about 300 years ago by Chen Wangting.

2. What are the 13 Postures (original name of Tai Chi Chuan)?

The 13 Postures are comprised of 8 energies and 5 steps:

8 energies are: ward off, roll back, press, push, pull, elbow strike, shoulder strike, and split

5 steps are: forward, back, look left, gaze right, and center

3. How many styles of Tai Chi are there and what are their differences?

There are 5 different styles of Tai Chi that are connected with each other. Chen, Yang, Wu, Wu and Sun styles. All 5 styles are connected together; their outside movements are a little different but inside the energies are the same.

Chen Style – is fast and slow combined together with some jumping and stomping movements. Old form and cannon fist was created from the 17th generation.

Yang Style – Yang Luchan learned the old form/frame from the Chen family. Yang movements are slow, even, gentle, big and large. Yang Luchan learned from the 14th generation Chen family member.

Wu/Hao Style – The 1st Wu style came from Yang and Chen styles and is slow, smooth, and small and the posture is high. Wu Yuxiang learned from Yang Banhou, 2nd generation Yang family member, and then learned from Chen Qingping, 14th generation. Wu/Hao is a smaller frame.

Wu Style – 2nd Wu style comes from Quanyu who learned from Yang Banhou. They lean their body to the side but when they lean they think about being straight. Wu learned from Yang Banhou. Later in age Banhou’s frame became smaller.

Sun Style – learned from Hao Weijian. Their movements combine 3 styles of Tai Chi together, Wu, Hsing-I and Bagua.

4. Who created each of the 5 styles?

Chen was created by Chen Wangting
Yang was created by Yang Luchan
Wu/Hao was created by Wu Yuxiang
Wu was created by Wu Jian Quan or Wu Quanyu
Sun was created by Sun Lutang

5. Who did the creators learn from?

Yang Luchan learned from Chen Changxin
Wu Yuxiang learned from Yang Luchan, Yang Banhou and Chen Qingping
Wu Jianquan learned from his father, Quanyu
Sun Lutang learned from Hao Weijian

6. What are the original names of the birthplaces for the 5 major styles of Tai Chi Chuan?

The original name of the birthplace of Yang Style is Guangfuzhen town in Guangpingfu area (bigger than county, smaller than province).

The original name of the birthplace of Chen Style is Chenjiagou village, Wen county, Hunan province.

The original name of the birthplace of Wu/Hao Style is Guangfu town, Yongnian county, Heibei province.

The original name of the birthplace for Sun or Wu Styles is not officially known.

7. What is the History of Yang Style?

The birthplace of Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan is Hebei Province, Yongnian County. About 200 years ago, Yang LuChan went to Beijing to teach the Emperor’s Family. People would watch and wanted to learn from him. His movements were smooth, slow and even. As it evolved, Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan has had different frames. The original frame style is called the Old Frame. Then came the Small, Middle or Medium Frame and last the Large Frame. The Frame that is practiced now is the Large Frame which we call the “Traditional, 85, 103, and 108 Form.” Even though the counting is different, the movements are the same.

8. How has Yang Style changed from old, medium and small frame and who did which?

Yang Luchan is old frame
Yang Banhou & Yang Shaohou – small frame
Yang Jianhou is medium frame
Yang Chengfu – large frame

9. What is the current Yang Family lineage?

Yang Luchan, 1st generation (old frame)
Yang Jianhou is 2nd generation (middle frame)
Yang Chengfu is 3rd generation (large form) He standardized the form that is practiced throughout the world today.
Yang Zhenduo is 4th generation
Yang Jun is 6th generation

10. What is the most popular style of Tai Chi today?

Yang Style is the most popular style of Tai Chi practiced around the world today. This is largely due to the Yang family teaching to the public and not keeping it private.