Tai Chi (Taichi, Tai Chi Chuan, Taichichuan, Taiji, Taijiquan) is an ancient Chinese martial art that has been handed down from generation to generation. It is both a powerful method of self defense, as well as an optimal way to stay in shape and maintain good health.
It is commonly thought that the practice of Tai Chi is widespread throughout China. However, it contains a vast range of expressions and modalities. One of these being the “form” (or Daolu) which forms only part of the much larger body of the traditional Tai Chi curriculum.
Tai Chi was originally practiced only by small clans who understood its secrets. This is how it developed into the various different approaches that today we know as Chen, Yang (the method practiced at our school), Wu/Hao, Wu, Sun as well as other sub-styles.
Within each clan there were (and still are) clearly delineated hierarchies which defined the purity of the lineage. These were based mainly on how much time one had spent studying in close contact with the Master. As anyone who practices Tai Chi will know, this is where the important concept of lineage comes from. Lineage sets out who you are with respect to your teacher, your teacher with respect to their teacher, and so on, all the way back to the founder of the style or current inheritor (Gate Keeper). One’s own personal dedication to the practice can account for 50% of the outcome, but the remaining 50% comes from the lineage.