Northern Wu Style Taiji Quan

The origin of Taiji are surrounded by myth and legend, in truth no one knows for sure how it came about because none now live who remember it, but what is known and widely accepted is that Taiji is the builder, architect and root of all organised systems of Gung Fu.

As Taiji is closely bound to the principles of Taoism and Chinese medical theories, many story's of its origin are linked to famous people of more than a little historical note, perhaps the most widely proliferated legend of this type belongs to the noted Taoist sage Chang San Feng of the Sung Dynasty (960–1278) the details of which surround Chang San Feng disturbed meditation and the vision of a battle between a crane and a snake, the crane strikes first at the snakes agitated form, but rather than attempt to avoid the cranes beak, the snake merely motioned in a circle and in doing so redirect the strike toward the ground, the cranes neck was exposed, as the snake attempts to utilize this opportunity and lunges toward the cranes exposed neck the crane raises its wing, thus protecting its vulnerable neck and forcing the snake to seek an alternative means of attack. The snake slid underneath the cranes body to attack from below, but the crane seeing this attempted to kick the crane away, the snake anticipating this relaxed its body and coiled itself around the cranes leg, Chang San Feng watched the battle and was awed by the beauty and precision of it all, and watched the stream of strikes and counters each expertly avoided and exploited, until the creatures exhausted took flight and slithered away. Chang San Feng was so awed by the spectacle that he began to develop a style around those circular movements and Taiji Quan was born.

It is more likely however that the style is far older than this legend, but due to the nature of its teaching and the fact that its history in the beginning was not recorded, but was retold by word of mouth to its few practitioners, we are left with a historical black hole, however the nature of this art gives us some clues to its more salient derivation. It is well documented that the concept of universal harmonies or more precisely the relation of opposites within that harmony; yin and yang, light and dark, fast and slow, now while within the confines of Daoism these things are either existential philosophy or poetic sentiment, within Taiji these principles have form, weight and substance, indeed Taiji could be perceived as a physical manifestation of the Dao and the Dao the spiritual manifestation of Taiji. This relationship is reciprocal as it is in yin yang theory though observing the same object from two contrary points of view; this intern explains the apparent paradox of Taiji which is expounded upon in our philosophy section.