Tai Chi Chuan, Chinese Kung Fu
Tai Chi Chuan is a typical Chinese martial art style and combines the concept of Taoism (Yin and Yang) with the spirit of Chinese Kung Fu as well as the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Unlike other swift and fierce Chinese Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan is famous for its slow-motion relaxation and the concept of conquering the unyielding with the yielding. Tai Chi Chuan is a kind of Kung Fu for defence rather than attack.
The three Chinese characters "Tai", "Chi", and "Chuan" refers to "supreme", "ultimate" and "boxing". "Supreme Ultimate" is a concept of Taoism, reflecting the core of Tai Chi Chuan, which is tolerance, connotation, and dialectic. The greatest phase of Tai Chi Chuan is when consciousness, breath, action and mind are integrated.
The attack method of Tai Chi Chuan is not forwardly hitting others, but tactfully taking and utilizing the opponent's attack to neutralize the force with particular Tai Chi Chuan movements or to retroact the force back. Therefore, part of the movements of Tai Chi Chuan could be basically understood as interplay of force.
Tai Chi Chuan has its own various styles, including Chen-style created by Chen Wangting, Yang-style by Yang Luchan, Wu (Hao)-style by Wu Yuhsiang, Wu-style by Wu Chuanyu and his son Wu Chienchuan, and Sun-style by Sun Lutang.
Fictionally in most novels, movies or stories of Tai Chi Chuan, Zhang Sanfeng is always credited as the founder of Tai Chi Chuan and he established a Taoist martial arts school on Wudang Mountain.
Although Tai Chi Chuan is mainly a style of boxing, there are some weapons that can be used when practicing Tai Chi Chuan. The most frequently used weapons are a Tai Chi Sword, a straight and double-edged sword; Tai Chi Fan, a folding fan made of silk with plastic, bamboo, or metal framework; and Dao, a broadsword with a single-edged blade, etc.
Tai Chi Chuan was approved to be a national Intangible Cultural Heritage and is practiced in many countries. In modern times, Tai Chi Chuan is regarded as a healthy sport exercise and is learnt and practiced by people of all ages.