TAI CHI CHUAN HISTORY

The history of tai chi  has been handed down from generation to generation for thousands of years and also through traditional writings of tai chi which are collectively referred to as the “classics” according to legend tai chi was created at the end of the Sung  Dynasty by a Shaolin  monk  named Chang Sen Feng, a shaolin disciple. Chang left the temple because he felt the fighting techniques became to harsh and strength oriented, in order to find a suitable Martial art for himself and other monks he journeyed to the Wu tang mountain and spent many years there as a hermit .He observed the habits of Long lived animals such as turtles and cranes, learning and adapting these natural movements to the mechanics of the human body  and connecting them with the principles of Taoism Chen Sen Feng he developed this grand ultimate system called Tai Chi Chuan. Eventually Chen returned to the shaolin temple were his new Martial art that was often called (wu tang boxing ) was taught to Chang Sun Chi. At this point the art consisted of only three techniques with many fighting applications and was called Lao San Dao(old three cuts)Chen then taught Wang Tsung Yueh who eventually change the art by developing into 13 posture’s, The modified forms were taught to Jiang fa, who lived in the nearby Chen Village. He then taught Chen Wang Ting who lived In the Shan Dung province and became an accomplished martial artist. He returned  to the Chen Village in1644 and began to take the Wu Tang boxing methods learned from Jiang fa and refine & perfect them, he added postures from Sung Tai Tzu Chuan and various Shaolin forms. Then combined the internal health theories of passages of blood, air flow and energy, and this new art  became Chen Chia Chuan , now called Chen Tai Chi Chuan.

For generations the art of Chen Tai Chi was a secret heritage of just a small number of family members. Almost exclusively parent passed the knowledge onto the children. During the 1700’s Chen Wang Ting’s stlye had developed into the five routines of Paoi Chuoi , a 32 and a 108 posture Tai Chi form, also Duan Da ( short strike) form. By the end of the century the art had been passed down to Chen Chang Shing who untied and simplified the various routines. Word began to spread of about Chen’s martial art and in the early 1800’S reached Yang Lu Tsan (1799 to 1872)Yang was a master of Hung Quan Shaolin style, and became fascinated with stories of a new internal art and its health benefits.

 Eager to learn Yang travel to the Chen Village to seek instruction from Chen . Officially no one other than family members were taught so he was forced to learn in secret. He became the janitor of the Chen Village, and secretly observed as they practiced in the middle of the night. Yang practiced continuously repeating one movement 1000 times a night. 20 years later Yang moved to Beijing were he began teaching tai chi ,he noticed that the Chen style was very difficult to learn for the average practitioner So he modified it for health, and ease of flow, this new style he  called “Yang style” it is still the most common of Styles  practiced today. Yang's top student was a man named Wu Ching Chan (1831-1902) an accomplished master of the shai chiao  style, Wu began to build on the foundation of Chen Tai Chi. He added throwing & grappling techniques and focused on protecting ones body, while retaining its soft natural characteristics. This resulted in a new and improved style, thus named Wu style. He  passed this art onto his son Wu Ching To (1872 to 1972) and in 1928 moved  to Shanghai. There he met Wei Shao Tung (1896 to 1982) Grand Master and third   generation of Ba Bu Tang Lang (8 step praying mantis) Grand Master Wei and Wu, both being leaders of their arts, taught each fully holding nothing back.

Master Wei moved to Taiwan, and passed the knowledge of both systems onto his disciple Shuyn Kwan Long (james sun), who is now the forth generation Grand master. Master Sun openly taught Wu style to non chinese students, the Wu family, upon hearing this did not approve. Out of respect for the Wu family, Master Sun stopped teaching Wu style. However realizing the tremendous  health benefits of Tai Chi, Master Sun felt he must continue to teach Tai Chi. Using his background as a medical doctor, and his expertise in the martial arts ,along with research of ancient manuscripts he developed a new style of Tai Chi Named Shyun Style Tai Chi.Shuyn style identifies itself in that it is very open to allow for maximum flow of chi. Shuyn style consists of three sets of forms: The high set, the low set, and the fighting set. The high set is mainly used for relaxation and general health. The low set emphasizes strength and conditioning. The fighting set combines principles from all three, to develop defensive skills. The high set is taught openly and without any restraints. The other two sets are kept as secrets of the system and are only taught to the most trusted students.

One of those students is sifu Michael Haley. His training in the martial arts began at age 14, studying only Japanese styles he earned his way to the rank black belt in gojuryu karate. He was invited to attend one of shyun kwan long (james sun) seminars in eight step praying mantis kung fu and Shuyn style Tai Chi Chuan. He was so impressed with the system that he immediately began traning. Six years later Michael Haley moved to San Francisco California to live with Master James Sun and received his teaching degree and title of shifu  and was later adopted as  3th generation lineage holder of  of Shyun style Taiji quan. In 1997 Shifu Michael Haley moved back to his home town of Buffalo New York and opened Kung Fu U.S.A where he teaches this rare system. He also holds seminars and demonstrations across the united states.. 





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