Taijiquan 太極拳 / 太极拳 or Taiji for short (also spelled T'ai Chi Chuan and T'ai Chi) is one of the main internal martial arts (neijiaquan 內家拳) of China. Taiji was first developed in the early 1600s by Chen Wangting, a member of the Chen family of Henan Province, China. As one of the internal martial arts it incorporates methods of fighting (both with and without weapons) and breathing or meditation techniques to create an art useful for both self-defense and health preservation. While Taiji was originally a secret method of the Chen family, starting in the 1800s it was taught to outsiders (the first being Yang Luchan) who helped spread Taiji first throughout China and then the world.
More recently, Taiji has been the object of modern research which has shown that regular practice has numerous health benefits. For example, some studies have shown that Taiji improves balance and diminishes risk of falls in elderly patients. Other research shows that Taiji practice can improve cardiovascular function, bone density and even mood.
Links for Taijiquan Schools
- Wushu Kung-Fu Fitness Center - Website of the Wushu Kung Fu Fitness center in East Hanover, NJ; teaches traditional Hunyuan Chen Style Taiji, Qigong, modern standardized competition forms of Yang and Chen style Taiji, Wing Chun and Praying Mantis Gongfu
- Website of Master Wang Feng Ming, lineage disciple of Chen Style and Hunyuan Chen Style Taiji
- Gin Soon Tai Chi Chuan Federation - Website of Yang Style master Chu Gin Soon, lineage disciple of Yang Style Taiji
Taijiquan Articles and Information
- Hunyuan Chen Style Taijiquan
- Different Types of Taiji - an essay on the different reasons we train Taijiquan
- Don Tow's Website - Numerous articles on the health, martial and other benefits of Taiji
- Yang's Ten Points for Taiji Practice
- Suggestions about Looking for a Taiji Teacher
- Why practice Taiji as a martial art slowly?
- Terms Related to Qigong and Internal Martial Arts
- A Short History of Yang Family Taijiquan
- Taiji Research - list of studies on the US National Library of Medicine
- Select list of research related to Taiji done by Dr. Peter Wayne (also contains links to some acupuncture research)