- Tai chi chuan
Yang Chengfuin a posture from the Yang style tai chi chuansolo form known as " Single Whip" c. 1931
name = Tai chi chuan
aka = t'ai chi ch'üan; tai ji quan
focus = Hybrid
hardness = Forms competition, light-contact (no strikes), full contact (striking, kicking, etc.)
country = Flagicon|China China
creator = Disputed
olympic = No
Tai chi chuan (zh-tspw|t=太極拳|s=太极拳|p=tài jí quán|w=t'ai4 chi2 ch'üan2)is an internal Chinese martial art often practiced for
healthreasons. Tai chi is typically practiced for a variety of reasons: its soft martial techniques, demonstration competitions, healthand longevity. Consequently, a multitude of training forms exist, both traditional and modern, which correspond to those aims. Some of tai chi chuan's training forms are well known to Westerners as the slow motion routines that groups of people practice together every morning in parks around the world, particularly in China.
Today, tai chi has spread worldwide. Most modern styles of tai chi trace their development to at least one of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang, Wu/Hao, Wu and Sun. The origins and creation of tai chi are a subject of much argument and speculation. However, the oldest documented tradition is that of the Chen family from the 1820s. [harvnb|Wile|1995] [harvnb|Wile|1983]
The Mandarin term "t'ai chi ch'uan" literally translates as "supreme ultimate fist", "boundless fist," or "great extremes boxing" (note that 'chi' in this instance is an earlier romanization of modern 'ji', not to be confused with the use of 'chi' in the sense of 'life-force' or 'energy', which is an earlier romanization of modern 'qi'). The concept of the "supreme ultimate" appears in both Taoist and Confucian Chinese philosophy where it represents the fusion or mother [Cheng 1993, pg. 21] of Yin and Yang into a single ultimate represented by the
Taijitusymbol. Thus, tai chi theory and practice evolved in agreement with many of the principles of Chinese philosophyincluding both Taoismand Confucianism. Tai chi training first and foremost involves learning solo routines, known as "forms" (套路 taolu). While the image of tai chi chuan in popular culture is typified by exceedingly slow movement, many tai chi styles (including the three most popular, Yang, Wu and Chen) have secondary forms of a faster pace. Some traditional schools of tai chi teach partner exercises known as " pushing hands", and martial applications of the postures of the form.
Tai chi chuan is generally classified as a form of traditional
Chinese martial artsof the Neijia(soft or internal) branch. It is considered a "soft" style martial art — an art applied with internal power — to distinguish its theory and application from that of the "hard" martial art styles.
Since the first widespread promotion of tai chi's health benefits by
Yang Shaohou, Yang Chengfu, Wu Chien-ch'uanand Sun Lutangin the early twentieth century, [harvnb|Wile|1995] it has developed a worldwide following among people with little or no interest in martial training, for its benefit to health and health maintenance. [cite web|url=http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673605750121/fulltext|title=T'ai Chi gently reduces blood pressure in elderly|publisher=The Lancet|format=required registration|accessdate=2007-07-02] Medical studies of tai chi support its effectiveness as an alternative exerciseand a form of martial arts therapy.
Focusing the mind solely on the movements of the form purportedly helps to bring about a state of mental calm and clarity.Fact|date=September 2008 Besides general health benefits and
stress managementattributed to tai chi training, aspects of traditional Chinese medicineare taught to advanced tai chi students in some traditional schools. [harvnb|Wu|2006] Some martial arts, especially the Japanese martial arts, use a uniform for students during practice. Tai chi chuan schools do not generally require a uniform, but both traditional and modern teachers often advocate loose, comfortable clothing and flat-soled shoes. [cite web|accessdate=2008-07-14|url=http://taichiproductions.com/articles/display.php?articleid=50|title=What should I wear to practice Tai Chi?|publisher=Tai Chi Productions|author=Lam, Dr. Paul] [harvnb|Fu|2006]
The physical techniques of tai chi chuan are described in the
tai chi classics(a set of writings by traditional masters) as being characterized by the use of leverage through the joints based on coordination in relaxation, rather than muscular tension, in order to neutralize or initiate attacks. The slow, repetitive work involved in the process of learning how that leverage is generated gently and measurably increases, opens the internal circulation ( breath, body heat, blood, lymph, peristalsis, etc.)
The study of tai chi chuan primarily involves three aspectsFact|date=September 2008:
* Health: An unhealthy or otherwise uncomfortable person may find it difficult to meditate to a state of calmness or to use tai chi as a martial art. Tai chi's health training therefore concentrates on relieving the physical effects of stress on the body and mind. For those focused on tai chi's martial application, good physical fitness is an important step towards effective
* Meditation: The focus and calmness cultivated by the meditative aspect of tai chi is seen as necessary in maintaining optimum health (in the sense of relieving stress and maintaining
homeostasis) and in application of the form as a soft stylemartial art.
* Martial art: The ability to use tai chi as a form of
self-defensein combatis the test of a student's understanding of the art. Tai chi chuan martially is the study of appropriate change in response to outside forces; the study of yielding and "sticking" to an incoming attack rather than attempting to meet it with opposing force.
History and styles
There are five major styles of tai chi chuan, each named after the Chinese family from which it originated:
*Chen style (陳氏)
*Yang style (楊氏)
*Wu or Wu/Hao style of Wu Yu-hsiang (Wu Yuxiang) (武氏)
*Wu style of Wu Ch'uan-yü (Wu Quanyuo) and Wu Chien-ch'uan (Wu Jianquan) (吳氏)
*Sun style (孫氏)
The order of verifiable age is as listed above. The order of popularity (in terms of number of practitioners) is Yang, Wu, Chen, Sun, and Wu/Hao. The first five major family styles share much underlying theory, but differ in their approaches to training.
There are now dozens of new styles, hybrid styles and offshoots of the main styles, but the five family schools are the groups recognised by the international community as being orthodox.
Zhaobao Tai Chi, a close cousin of Chen style, has been newly recognised by Western practitioners as a distinct style. The designation "internal" or "nei chia" martial arts is also used to broadly distinguish what are known as the "external" or "wai chia" styles based on the " Shaolinquan" styles, although that distinction is sometimes disputed by modern schools. In this broad sense, "all" styles of tai chi (as well as related arts such as Pa Kua Chang and Hsing-i Ch'üan) are therefore considered to be "soft" or "internal" martial arts. Many styles list in their history that tai chi was originally formulated by a Taoist monk called Zhang Sanfengand taught by him in the Taoist monasteries at Wu Tang Shan. [harvnb|Wile|1995]
When tracing tai chi chuan's formative influences to
Taoistand Buddhistmonasteries, there seems little more to go on than legendary tales from a modern historical perspective, but tai chi chuan's practical connection to and dependence upon the theories of Sung dynasty Neo-Confucianism(a conscious synthesis of Taoist, Buddhist and Confuciantraditions, especially the teachings of Mencius) is claimed by some traditional schools. The philosophical and political landscape of that time in Chinese history is fairly well documented. Tai chi's theories and practice are therefore believed by these schools to have been formulated by the Taoist monk Zhang Sanfeng in the 12th century, at about the same time that the principles of the Neo-Confucian school were making themselves felt in Chinese intellectual life.cite journal|last=Wile|first=Douglas|title=Taijiquan and Taoism from Religion to Martial Art and Martial Art to Religion|journal=Journal of Asian Martial Arts |volume=16|issue=4|publisher= Via Media Publishing |date=2007|issn=1057-8358] In these legends, Zhang Sanfeng as a young man studied Tao Yin(導引, Pinyindǎoyǐn) breathing exercises from his Taoist teachers [cite journal|last=Lao|first=Cen|title=The Evolution of T'ai Chi Ch'uan|journal=T’AI CHI The International Magazine of T’ai Chi Ch’uan|volume=21|issue=2|publisher=Wayfarer Publications|date=April 1997|issn=0730-1049] and martial arts at the Buddhist Shaolin monastery, [harvnb|Eberhard|1986] eventually combining the martial forms and breathing exercises to formulate the soft or internal principles we associate with tai chi chuan and related martial arts. Zhang Sanfeng is also sometimes attributed with the creation of the original 13 Movements of Tai Chi Chuan. These 13 movements are in all forms of tai chi chuan. Its subsequent fame attributed to his teaching, Wu Tang monastery was known thereafter as an important martial center for many centuries, its many styles of internal kung fupreserved and refined at various Taoist temples.
These family trees are not comprehensive. Names denoted by an asterisk are legendary or semi-
legendaryfigures in the lineage; while their involvement in the lineage is accepted by most of the major schools, it is not independently verifiable from known historical records. The Cheng Man-ch'ing and Chinese Sports Commission short forms are derived from Yang family forms, but neither are recognized as Yang family tai chi chuan by standard-bearing Yang family teachers. The Chen, Yang and Wu families are now promoting their own shortened demonstration forms for competitive purposes.
Five major classical family styles
Training and techniques
As the name "tai chi chuan" is held to be derived from the Taiji symbol ("taijitu" or "t'ai chi t'u", 太極圖), commonly known in the West as the "
yin-yang" diagram, tai chi chuan is therefore said in literature preserved in its oldest schools to be a study of "yin" (receptive) and "yang" (active) principles, using terminology found in the Chinese classics, especially the Book of Changesand the Tao Te Ching.cite journal|last=Wile|first=Douglas|title=Taijiquan and Taoism from Religion to Martial Art and Martial Art to Religion|journal=Journal of Asian Martial Arts|volume=16|issue=4|publisher= Via Media Publishing |date=2007|issn=1057-8358]
The core training involves two primary features: the first being the solo form ("ch'üan" or "quán", 拳), a slow sequence of movements which emphasize a straight spine,
abdominal breathingand a natural range of motion; the second being different styles of pushing hands("tui shou", 推手) for training movement principles of the form in a more practical way.
The solo form should take the students through a complete, natural range of motion over their center of gravity. Accurate, repeated practice of the solo routine is said to retrain posture, encourage circulation throughout the students' bodies, maintain flexibility through their joints and further familiarize students with the martial application sequences implied by the forms. The major traditional styles of tai chi have forms which differ somewhat cosmetically, but there are also many obvious similarities which point to their common origin. The solo forms, empty-hand and
weapon, are catalogs of movements that are practiced individually in pushing hands and martial application scenarios to prepare students for self-defense training. In most traditional schools, different variations of the solo forms can be practiced: fast–slow, small circle–large circle, square–round (which are different expressions of leverage through the joints), low sitting/high sitting (the degree to which weight-bearing knees are kept bent throughout the form), for example. The philosophy of the style is that if one uses hardness to resist violent force, then both sides are certain to be injured at least to some degree. Such injury, according to tai chi theory, is a natural consequence of meeting brute force with brute force. Instead, students are taught not to directly fight or resist an incoming force, but to meet it in softness and follow its motion while remaining in physical contact until the incoming force of attack exhausts itself or can be safely redirected, meeting yang with yin. Done correctly, this yin/yang or yang/yin balance in combat, or in a broader philosophical sense, is a primary goal of tai chi chuan training. Lao Tzuprovided the archetypefor this in the Tao Te Chingwhen he wrote, "The soft and the pliable will defeat the hard and strong."
Tai chi's martial aspect relies on sensitivity to the opponent's movements and center of gravity dictating appropriate responses. Effectively affecting or "capturing" the opponent's center of gravity immediately upon contact is trained as the primary goal of the martial tai chi student. [harvnb|Wu|2006] The sensitivity needed to capture the center is acquired over thousands of hours of first "yin" (slow, repetitive, meditative, low impact) and then later adding "yang" ("realistic," active, fast, high impact) martial training; forms, pushing hands and sparring. Tai chi trains in three basic ranges, close, medium and long, and then everything in between. Pushes and open hand strikes are more common than punches, and kicks are usually to the legs and lower torso, never higher than the hip depending on style. The fingers, fists, palms, sides of the hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders, back, hips, knees and feet are commonly used to strike, with strikes to the eyes, throat, heart, groin and other acupressure points trained by advanced students. Joint traps, locks and breaks (
chin na) are also used. Most tai chi teachers expect their students to thoroughly learn defensive or neutralizing skills first, and a student will have to demonstrate proficiency with them before offensive skills will be extensively trained. There is also an emphasis in the traditional schools that one is expected to show wu te (武德), martial virtue or heroism, to protect the defenseless and show mercy to one's opponents. [harvnb|Wile|1995]
In addition to the physical form, martial tai chi chuan schools also focus on how the energy of a strike effects the other person. Palm strikes that physically look the same may be performed in such a way that it has a completely different effect on the target's body. A palm strike could simply push the person forward, be focused in such a way as lift them vertically off the ground breaking their center of gravity, or terminate the force of the strike within the other person's body with the intent of causing internal damage.
Other training exercises include:
*Weapons training and
fencingapplications employing the straight " sword" known as the "jian" or "chien" or "gim" (jiàn 劍), a heavier curved "sabre", sometimes called a "broadsword" or "tao" (dāo 刀, which is actually considered a big " knife"), folding "fan" also called "san", wooden staff (2 m) known as "kun" (棍), 7 foot (2 m) "spear" and 13 foot (4 m) " lance" (both called qiāng 槍). More exotic weapons still used by some traditional styles are the large " Dadao" or "Ta Tao" (大刀) and " Pudao" or "P'u Tao" (撲刀) sabres, "halberd" (jǐ 戟), "cane", "rope-dart", " three sectional staff", " Wind and fire wheels", " lasso", " whip", " chain whip" and "steel whip".
*Two-person tournament sparring (as part of push hands competitions and/or "
*Breathing exercises; "
nei kung" (內功 nèigōng) or, more commonly, " ch'i kung" (氣功 qìgōng) to develop ch'i(氣 qì) or "breath energy" in coordination with physical movement and post standing or combinations of the two. These were formerly taught only to disciples as a separate, complementary training system. In the last 50 years they have become better known to the general public.
Modern tai chi
Tai chi classes have become popular in hospitals, clinics, community and senior centers in the last twenty years or so, as
baby boomersage and the art's reputation as a low stress training for seniors became more well-known. [cite journal|last=Yip|first=Y. L.|title=Pivot – Qi|journal=The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health and Fitness|volume=12|issue=3|publisher= Insight Graphics Publishers |date=Autumn 2002|issn=1056-4004] cite web|url=http://www.sgma.com/associations/5119/files/topline07.pdf|title=SGMA 2007 Sports & Fitness Participation Report From the USA Sports Participation Study|publisher=SGMA|accessdate=2007-08-18|page=2] As a result of this popularity, there has been some divergence between those who say they practice tai chi primarily for self-defense, those who practice it for its aestheticappeal (see wushu below), and those who are more interested in its benefits to physical and mental health. The wushu aspect is primarily for show; the forms taught for those purposes are designed to earn points in competition and are mostly unconcerned with either health maintenance or martial ability. More traditional stylists believe the two aspects of health and martial arts are equally necessary: the "yin" and "yang" of tai chi chuan. The tai chi "family" schools therefore still present their teachings in a martial art context, whatever the intention of their students in studying the art. [cite journal|last=Woolidge|first=Doug|title=T’AI CHI |journal=The International Magazine of T’ai Chi Ch’uan|volume=21|issue=3|publisher=Wayfarer Publications|date=June 1997|issn=0730-1049]
Tai chi as sport
In order to standardize tai chi chuan for wushu tournament judging, and because many of the family tai chi chuan teachers had either moved out of China or had been forced to stop teaching after the Communist regime was established in 1949, the government sponsored the Chinese Sports Committee, who brought together four of their wushu teachers to truncate the Yang family hand form to 24 postures in 1956. They wanted to retain the look of tai chi chuan but create a routine that was less difficult to teach and much less difficult to learn than longer (generally 88 to 108 posture), classical, solo hand forms. In 1976, they developed a slightly longer form also for the purposes of demonstration that still didn't involve the complete memory, balance and coordination requirements of the traditional forms. This was the "Combined 48 Forms" that were created by three wushu coaches, headed by Professor Men Hui Feng. The combined forms were created based on simplifying and combining some features of the classical forms from four of the original styles; Chen, Yang, Wu, and Sun. As tai chi again became popular on the mainland, more competitive forms were developed to be completed within a six-minute time limit. In the late-1980s, the Chinese Sports Committee standardized many different competition forms. They developed sets to represent the four major styles as well as combined forms. These five sets of forms were created by different teams, and later approved by a committee of wushu coaches in China. All sets of forms thus created were named after their style, e.g., the Chen Style National Competition Form is the "56 Forms", and so on. The combined forms are "The 42 Form" or simply the "Competition Form". Another modern form is the
67 movements Combined Tai-Chi Chuan form, created in the 1950s, it contains characteristics of the Yang, Wu, Sun, Chen and Fu styles blended into a combined form. The wushu coach, Bow Sim Markis a notable exponent of the 67 Combined.
These modern versions of tai chi chuan (sometimes listed using the
pinyin romanization"Tai ji quan") have since become an integral part of international wushu tournament competition, and have been featured in several popular Chinese movies starring or choreographed by well known wushu competitors, such as Jet Liand Donnie Yen.
In the 11th
Asian Gamesof 1990, wushu was included as an item for competition for the first time with the 42 Form being chosen to represent tai chi. The International Wushu Federation(IWUF) applied for wushu to be part of the Olympic games, but will not count medals. [cite web|url=http://en.olympic.cn/08beijing/bocog/2006-10-17/945504.html|title=Wushu likely to be a "specially-set" sport at Olympics|date=2006|publisher=Chinese Olympic Committee|accessdate=2007-04-13]
Before tai chi's introduction to Western students, the health benefits of tai chi chuan were largely explained through the lens of
traditional Chinese medicine, which is based on a view of the body and healing mechanisms not always studied or supported by modern science. Today, some prominent tai chi teachers have advocated subjecting tai chi to rigorous scientific studies to gain acceptance in the West. Researchers have found that long-term tai chi practice shows some favorable but statistically insignificant effects on the promotion of balance control, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness and reduced the risk of falls in elderly patients. [cite journal|last=Wolf|first=SL|coauthors=Sattin RW & Kutner M|title=Intense tai chi exercise training and fall occurrences in older, transitionally frail adults: a randomized, controlled trial|url=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14687346|journal=Journal of the American Geriatric Society|date=2003|volume=51|issue=12|pages=1693–701|accessdate=2007-04-13|doi=10.1046/j.1532-5415.2003.51552.x] The studies also show some reduced pain, stress and anxiety in healthy subjects. Other studies have indicated improved cardiovascularand respiratory function in healthy subjects as well as those who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery. Patients that suffer from heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer'smay also benefit from tai chi. Tai chi, along with yoga, has reduced levels of LDLs 20–26 milligrams when practised for 12–14 weeks. [cite web|accessdate=2008-07-14|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/21/health/21brod.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1190862080-FWYKVQhkU70Kz/P+y3V9pw|title=Cutting Cholesterol, an Uphill Battle |work=The New York Times|date=2007-08-21|author=Brody, Jane E.] However, a thorough review of most of these studies showed limitations or biases that made it difficult to draw firm conclusions on the benefits of tai chi.cite journal|last=Wang|first=C|coauthors=Collet JP & Lau J|title=The effect of Tai Chi on health outcomes in patients with chronic conditions: a systematic review|url=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15006825|journal=Archives of Internal Medicine|date=2004|volume=164|issue=5|pages=493–501|accessdate=2007-04-13|doi=10.1001/archinte.164.5.493|pmid=15006825] There have also been indications that tai chi might have some effect on noradrenalineand cortisolproduction with an effect on mood and heart rate. However, as with many of these studies, the effect may be no different than those derived from other types of physical exercise. [cite journal|title=Changes in Heart Rate, Noradrenaline, Cortisol and Mood During Tai Chi|last=Jin|first=P|date=1989|journal=Journal of Psychosomatic Research|volume=33|issue=2|pages=197–206|url=http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T8V-46042FC-63&_user=10&_coverDate=12%2F31%2F1989&_rdoc=9&_fmt=summary&_orig=browse&_srch=doc-info(%23toc%235096%231989%23999669997%23320242%23FLP%23display%23Volume)&_cdi=5096&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_ct=21&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=62495c42abfefc92d2e998a153f93ff6|accessdate=2007-04-13|doi=10.1016/0022-3999(89)90047-0]
In one study, tai chi has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (
ADHD) in 13 adolescents. The improvement in symptoms seem to persist after the tai chi sessions were terminated. [cite journal|last=Hernandez-Reif|first=M|coauthors=Field, TM & Thimas, E|date=2001|title=Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: benefits from Tai Chi|url=http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WHF-45BCC1C-15&_user=10&_coverDate=04%2F30%2F2001&_rdoc=7&_fmt=summary&_orig=browse&_srch=doc-info(%23toc%236849%232001%23999949997%23289835%23FLP%23display%23Volume)&_cdi=6849&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=f&_ct=10&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=4548a46f902e7d61309ba794e3a8857b|journal=Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies|volume=5|issue=2|pages=120–123|accessdate=2007-04-13|doi=10.1054/jbmt.2000.0219] Tai chi's gentle, low impact movements burn more calories than surfing and nearly as many as downhill skiing. [cite web|url=http://www.nutristrategy.com/activitylist3.htm|publisher=NutriStrategy|title=Calories burned during exercise|accessdate=2007-04-13] In addition, a pilot study, which has not been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, has found preliminary evidence that tai chi and related qigongmay reduce the severity of diabetes. [cite web|last=Pennington|first=LD|date=2006|title=Tai chi: an effective alternative exercise|url=http://www.diabeteshealth.com/read/2006/07/01/4788.html|publisher=DiabetesHealth|accessdate=2007-04-13]
A recent study evaluated the effects of two types of behavioral intervention, tai chi and health education, on healthy adults, who after 16 weeks of the intervention, were vaccinated with VARIVAX, a live attenuated Oka/Merck
Varicella zostervirus vaccine. The tai chi group showed higher and more significant levels of cell-mediated immunity to varicella zoster virus than the control group which received only health education. It appears that tai chi augments resting levels of varicella zoster virus-specific cell-mediated immunity and boosts the efficacy of the varicella vaccine. Tai chi alone does not lessen the effects or probability of a shinglesattack, but it does improve the effects of the varicella zoster virus vaccine. [cite journal|last=Irwin|first=MR|coauthors=Olmstead, R & Oxman, MN|title=Augmenting Immune Responses to Varicella Zoster Virus in Older Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Tai Chi|date=2007|journal=Journal of the American Geriatrics Society|volume=55|issue=4|pages=511–517|url=http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2007.01109.x|doi=10.1111/j.1532-5415.2007.01109.x|accessdate=2007-04-08]
Now that the majority of health studies have displayed a tangible benefit to the practice of tai chi, some health professionals have called for more in-depth studies to determine mitigating factors such as the most beneficial style, suggested duration of practice to show the best results, and whether tai chi is as effective as other forms of exercise.
Tai chi chuan in fiction
Tai chi and
neijiain general play a large role in many wuxianovels, films, and television series; among which are Yuen Wo Ping's " Tai Chi Master" starring Jet Li, and the popular " Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". A movie that features a traditional tai chi chuan teacher as the lead character is "Pushing Hands", Ang Lee's first western film. It is also used as the basis for fictional " Waterbending" in " Avatar the Last Airbender".In the video game Dead or Alive, Lei Fang uses Tai chi chuan. Internal concepts may even be the subject of parody, such as in " Shaolin Soccer" and " Kung Fu Hustle". Fictional portrayals often refer to Zhang Sanfengand the Taoistmonasteries on Wudangshan.
Lee style Tai Chi Chuan
List of Tai Chi Chuan forms
T'ai chi ch'uan philosophy
Taoist Tai Chi
World Tai Chi and Qigong Day
Wudang Tai Chi Chuan
*Cheng Man-ch'ing. "Cheng-Tzu's Thirteen Treatises on T'ai Chi Ch'uan" (1993) North Atlantic Books. ISBN 978-0938190455
*cite web|url=http://www.worldtaichiday.org/WTCQDHlthBenft.html|title=Medical Research on T'ai Chi & Qigong (Chi Kung)|accessdate=2007-04-13|publisher=World Tai Chi Day
*cite journal|url=http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/archives2003/nov/11taichi.html|title=Tai Chi Boosts Immunity, Improves Physical Health in Seniors|journal=Acupuncture Today|date=2003|volume=04|issue=11|accessdate=2007-04-13
*cite journal|url=http://ww2.arthritis.org/resources/arthritistoday/2000_archives/2000_07_08_taichi.asp|title=Tai Chi: With slow movements as fluid as silk, the gentle Chinese practice of Tai Chi seems tailor-made for easing sore joints and muscles.|journal=Arthritis Today|accessdate=2007-07-09
*cite web|url=http://www.worldtaichiday.org/HeadlineNews.html|title=World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day's Headline News|accessdate=2007-04-13|publisher=World Tai Chi Day
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/13/world/asia/13japan.html?ex=1334116800&en=adf253f3e7f3e197&ei=5088& Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of the PRC practices tai chi during a diplomatic visit to Japan] at "The New York Times"
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE3D6163CF932A15752C0A961948260 "Tai Chi Exercises: Fad Unsettles Indonesia"]
* [http://www.scheele.org/lee/tcclinks.html Lee Scheele's links to T'ai Chi Ch'uan websites] at Scheele
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3543907.stm Tai Chi 'improves body and mind'] at BBC
;Videos of the major family styles
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_hCCTTG3UY Yang Zhenduo's Yang style] at YouTube
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y18sTuexaTo Wu Yinghua's Wu Jianquan style]
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8643034864900307444&q=taijiquan+tai+chi+chuan Chen Shitong's Chen style] at Google Video
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8979140577195962386&q=taijiquan+tai+chi+chuan Sun Jianyun's Sun style]
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4799565770272737492&q=taijiquan+tai+chi+chuan Hao Shaoru's Wu/Hao style]
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