Taijiquan Qigong - history & benefits
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In the mid-1600s, in the Chinese village of Chenjiagou, a boxing style emerged that is today known as Chen-style Taijiquan. According to the oral tradition of the Chen family, the style was developed by General Chen Wang Ting based on his knowledge of the martial arts.  

Since that time, the style was initially developed and handed down within the Chen family, and guarded as a family secret. It was first disclosed to an outsider in the first half of the 19th century. Chen Changxing accepted Yang Luchan (1799-1872) into the inner circle of the family as a student. Yang Luchan became the founder of the Yang style. A little later, Chen Qingping instructed another outsider, Wu Yuxiang, who went on to found the Wu/Hao style.  

And so in the second half of the 19th century, the foundation was laid for the “five family styles,” each of which was further developed and cultivated within a family. The five family styles are: Chen style, Yang style, Wu / Hao style, Wu style, and Sun style.   In

1956, the various Chinese martial arts were combined into modern “Wushu” in mainland China. For this purpose, the Beijing form based on the Yang style was introduced and declared the “official” Taijiquan, which could be used for competition. The traditional forms were suppressed and could only be disseminated in private circles.  

During the Cultural Revolution in particular, many Taijiquan masters fled China and began teaching their art outside China. This is how Taijiquan came to be known in the West.  




Tàijí: “The supreme ultimate” or "supreme polarity" is one of the most important concepts in Chinese philosophy and refers to the highest principle of the cosmos. A general definition is difficult, as the term is used for a wide range of meaning and is in itself fluid. The characters tai means very large, the character ji originally referred to the peak of a mountain; also the ridge beam of a gable roof, while as an adjective or adverb, it translates to “supreme” or “ultimate.” Its meaning as the main point, the axis, or center developed from this. In ancient Chinese the Pole Star, as the focal point of the sky, is also described as Taiji.

Quan means “fist.” In the context of martial techniques, it is used when referring to fighting empty-handed, i.e. without weapons. So one possible translation of “Taijiquan” would be “fighting in line with the supreme principle.”    




What is Taijiquan and what are its proven health-promoting aspects?

Like Qigong, Taijiquan is part of the active health-promoting exercises in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In Europe today, it is practiced especially as “meditation in motion” and to promote health, or as a “battle without opponent,” which in Asia in particular is also practiced competitively. 

How is Taijiquan performed?

Taijiquan is taught in “forms.” A form is a fixed sequence of techniques, a kind of choreography of a fight without an opponent. All movements are performed while standing or walking, slowly and evenly, as if in slow motion. At the beginning of the lesson, some Qigong exercises are carried out as a warm-up, after which a portion of the form is demonstrated in detail, explained and practiced together in the group.