Tai Chi Chuan (taijiquan) Historical Development as an Internal Martial Art Form written and compiled by Mike Patterson
Tai Chi (TaiJi) HISTORY
CHEN STYLE TAI CHI CHUAN - was founded by Chen Wan Ting in the mid 16th century and kept secret, for the most part, within the Chen family in Chen Village until the 1900's. It is considered the original and most martial of the Tai Chi families.
Since that time both the Yang Style, Two Wu Styles and Sun Style Tai Chi have been created drawing on the Chen Style as the source authority.
Chen Style Tai Chi is widely sought after today by those who are looking for the original Tai Chi Chuan so that they may use it both for health regeneration and self defense. Most contemporary Tai Chi systems do not teach the martial side at all. This is unfortunate, and no fault of the art. Too many decades of practitioners who have not emphasized martial expression and application has yielded for the most part a much watered down variant of what Tai Chi Chuan was originally meant to be.
For a complete historical accounting of the evolution of Tai Chi Chuan, please browse
the following two links:
An Abbreviated History of Tai Chi (TaiJi) by Jou Tsung Hwa
(Mr. Jou was a scholar and long time practitioner of Tai Chi and Taoist Meditation)
An Utterly Exhaustive History of Tai Chi (TaiJi) by Gu Liuxin
(Mr. Gu was the Deputy Director and researcher of the Shanghai Institute of Physical Culture)