According to legend, Taiji was developed by Zhang Sanfeng. There are various statements about his year of birth: 960, 1247 or 1279 A.D. There is also no written evidence of his existence. Some see him as a legendary figure, others believe that he really lived and even lived to be over 200 years old. While meditating one day, he observed a fight between a snake and a crane. He was fascinated how the snake dodged the beak strokes of the crane, lithely and with lightning speed, and learned from this that one can fight "softly" and with "inner strength".
The first real evidence of the two styles, which are still the most widespread today, goes back to the 17th century. During that time, Chen Wangting (1597-1664), a respected officer in the Ming Dynasty, developed the "Chen style". He passed on his knowledge and skills to his three sons Youheng, Changxing and Youben.
One of many stories about Yang Luchan is that he worked for the family of Chen Changxing (1777-1853) and secretly watched Chen train. Yang Luchan (1799-1872) trained very hard. One day, when Chen saw how well Yang had mastered Taiji, he took him into his family.
Xiong Yanghe (29.09.1888 - 29.10.1981) initially learned martial arts from his father. At the age of 12 he was trained by Master Liu He and his student Liu Zhong Fang. When he was 15 years old, Master Yin Wan Bang taught him the eight-harmony fist fighting system "Jangnan". Later he was also trained by Master Tang Dian Qing and thus acquired a solid basis in Shaolin fist fighting.
At the age of 19, Xiong Yanghe was the local boxing champion of Funing District and was known for his very fast and powerful kicks, which is why he was also called "The Legs of Funing".
During his military career, Xiong Yanghe met Master Hu Pan (Yang style Taiji Quan) who became his most influential teacher.
In 1949, during the founding of the People's Republic of China, Xiong Yanghe retired to Taiwan, where he taught the Yang style (with elements of the Chen style), from which the Xiong style developed. Xiong attached great importance to practical training in Push Hands and San Shou.
Until his death at the age of 94, Xiong Yanghe taught well over 10,000 students. In the meantime, the Xiong style (Yang style Xiong Men) has also reached Europe. Lars Krenzler, who was taught by Master Wang Jifu in the Yang style Xiong Men and was accepted as a master student in the 80th generation of the Huatuomen lineage in 2007, passed on his knowledge to our current teacher Urs von Osch.
The most important thing in Taiji is certainly the preservation of health and the promotion of inner peace. From our teacher we are now learning how to apply the individual figures in practice. This seems to us to be a very interesting and important aspect. Nowadays, many people only teach or learn how to "walk" Taiji, but not how to apply it - which is a pity.
From the Chen and Yang styles, styles such as Wu, Hao, Sun and others developed later: Wu-, Hao-, Sun- and Xiong-.
The forms we teach:
The 8-form (also called: 10-form)
The shortest Yang form was published by the Chinese Wushu Federation in Beijing towards the end of 1999. Why is the form also called the 10-form? In the 8-form the "beginning" and the "end" of the form are not counted.
This form is very suitable for beginners and takes up little space. It can be practised in a room and takes only about 5 minutes.
The 24-form (also called: Beijing-form).
This form was developed in the 1950s from the traditional Yang style and is practised all over the world. The main focus is on the health aspect.
The 37 Form
Zheng Manqing (1901-1975), a TCM doctor, was a student of Yang Chengfu (1883-1935), a grandson of Yang Luchan. From the long form of the Yang style, Zheng Manqing developed the simplified 37 form. In 1949 he fled to Taiwan where he taught. Later he went to New York and found many followers there.
The 32-sword form
of Yang-style Tai Chi was developed by Master Li Tianji (李天骥), a well known Chinese martial artist. He created this form in the 1970s as a simplified version of the traditional Yang-style Tai Chi sword form to make it accessible to a wider audience, including beginners and people with little time to practice.
The 32-sword form was developed to retain the essential principles and movements of the traditional Tai Chi sword form, while reducing the number of movements to 32 key techniques. This form is often taught in martial arts schools and Tai Chi courses around the world as an introductory or intermediate sword form.
The names of the figures or movements in the 32-sword form may vary depending on the lineage or teacher, but they usually cover basic sword techniques, including cuts, thrusts and defensive manoeuvres, in accordance with the principles of Tai Chi.