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GOH ch09 p20

An example of Tai Chi Technique

Tai Chi or Tai Chi Chuan (태극권) is a chinese martial art practiced both for self defense and health benefits. Although known worldwide for its slow, fluid, and circular movement, it has second form that is fast paced and much more fierce while retaining the circular and fluid movement.

Origins

From a modern historical perspective, when tracing tai chi formative influences to Taoist and Buddhist monasteries, there seems little more to go on than legendary tales. Nevertheless, some traditional schools claim that tai chi has a practical connection to and dependence upon the theories of Song dynasty Neo-Confucianism (a conscious synthesis of Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian traditions, especially the teachings of Mencius). These schools believe that tai chi chuan theories and practice were 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. However, modern research casts serious doubts on the validity of those claims, pointing out that a 17th-century piece called "Epitaph for Wang Zhengnan" (1669), composed by Huang Zongxi (1610–1695 A.D.), is the earliest reference indicating any connection between Zhang Sanfeng and martial arts whatsoever, and must not be taken literally but must be understood as a political metaphor instead. Claims of connections between tai chi chuan and Zhang Sanfeng appeared no earlier than the 19th century.

History records that Yang Luchan trained with the Chen family for 18 years before he started to teach the art in Beijing, which strongly suggests that his art was based on, or heavily influenced by, the Chen family art. The Chen family are able to trace the development of their art back to Chen Wangting in the 17th century. Martial arts historian Xu Zhen believed that the Taiji of Chen Village had been influenced by the Taizu changquan style practiced at the nearby Shaolin Monastery, while Tang Hao thought it was derived from a treatise by the Ming dynasty general Qi Jiguang, Jixiao Xinshu (New Treatise on Military Efficiency), which discussed several martial arts styles including Taizu changquan.

What is now known as "tai chi chuan" appears to have received this appellation from only around the mid-1800s. A scholar in the Imperial Court by the name of Ong Tong He witnessed a demonstration by Yang Luchan at a time before Yang had established his reputation as a teacher. Afterwards Ong wrote: "Hands holding Taiji shakes the whole world, a chest containing ultimate skill defeats a gathering of heroes." Before this time the art may have had a number of different names, and appears to have been generically described by outsiders as zhan quan (沾拳, "touch boxing"), Mian Quan ("soft boxing") or shisan shi (十三式, "the thirteen techniques").

History

There are three known user of Tai Chi. First is Go Gam-Do, a failed GOH participant, Go Gam-Do's master who teach him his style and an unnamed priest who use southern style Tai Chi.

Go Gam-Do used it in his fight against Gang Man-Suk and during his battle with Han Dae-Wi against priest Axley Ivanovic.

Unnamed priest also used a southern style Tai Chi during his fight with his fellow priests against Han Dae-Wi.

Known Techniques

Southern Style

Southern Style (Hangul:납가 Hanja: 南家) is a style practiced by the unnamed Priest.

Trivia

Although Go Gam-Do's style isn't clear, it is funny how Go Gam-Do fight using short-sleeved clothes, while the unnamed priest who used Southern style used a long-sleeved, as Southern style is characterized with short-sleeved uniform while the northern style used long-sleeved one.

Users

  • Go Gam-Do's Master
  • Go Gam-Do
  • Unnamed Priest (Southern Style)

References

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