Do You Know the Most Famous Styles of Tai Chi Chuan in China?

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Being famous at both home and abroad, Tai Chi Chuan has attracted more and more overseas learners in China. Facts have shown that it is becoming popular; however, if you want to learn Tai Chi Chuan well, you may need to know more about it, including the various styles it contains.
  • The Chen-style Tai Chi Chuan falls into two categories - the old and new frames. The old frame was created by Chen Wangling. It had five routines which were also known as the 13 move Chuan. Chen Wangling also developed a long-style Chuan routine of 108 moves and a cannon Chuan routine. It was then handed down to Chen Changxing and Chen Youben, boxers in the Chenjia Valley who were all proficient at the old frame.
  • The originator of the Yang-style Tai Chi Chuan was Yang Luchan (1800-1873) from Yongnian in Hebei Province. The Yang-style Tai Chi Chuan features agreeable movements and actions combining hardness, softness and naturalness. When practicing, practitioners should relax to form softness which transforms into hardness thus combining the hard and the soft. The Yang-styk Tai Chi Chuan is divided into three sub routines, namely high-posture, middle-posture and low-posture routines, all with comfortable and agreeable movements and actions. The Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan was known by the name "Da Jia" ("big frame").
  • Wu-style Tai Chi Chuan was created by Quan You (1834-1902) who lived at Daxing in Hebei Province (now under Beijing Municipality). Quan You was of the Manchu nationality of China. He learned Tai Chi Quan from Yang Luchan and later followed Yang's second son Yang Banhou to study the short program. His style is continuous and ingenious and because his routine does not require jumps and leaps, it spread far and wide among common people. Since this style of Tai Chi Chuan was disseminated by the Wu family, it became known as the Wu-style Tai Chi Chuan. The Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan was known by the name "Zhong Jia" ("medium frame").
  • Wu Yuxiang (1812-1880) was the creator of another Style of Tai Chi Chuan. The Wu Yuxiang style of Tai Chi features compactness, slow movement, strict footwork and distinguishes between substantiation and the opposite. The chest and abdomen are kept upright while the body is moving around. The outside movement of the body is initiated by the circulation of air flows inside the body and by inner adjustments of substantiation. The two hands are in charge of their respective halves of the body-one does not infringe upon the other. Li Yishe (1832-1892), son of Wu Yuxiang's sister, inherited the Wu Yuxiang style of Tai Chi. The Wu Yuxiang Style Tai Chi Chuan was known by the name "Xiao Jia" ("small frame").
  • The initiator of the Sun-style Tai Chi Chuan was Sun Lutang (1861-1932) from Dingxian County in Hebei Province. Sun was a master of Xingyi Quan (free-mind animal-imitating Chuan) and Bagua Zhang (Eight-diagram Palm). In 1911, he followed Hao Weizhen to learn the Wu Yuxiang style of Tai Chi. He later created the Sun style of Tai Chi Chuan by blending the cream of the Wu Yuxiang style of Tai Chi, Xingyi Quan and Bagua Zhang. The feature of the Sun-style Tai Chi is that practitioners advance or retreat freely with quick and dexterous movements, which are connected with each other either in closing or opening stances when the direction is changed. The Sun Style Tai Chi Chuan was known by the name "Huobao Jia" ("lively pace frame").

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