Traditional Yang Tai Chi Yang began in the early part of the nineteenth century by its founder Yang Lu-ch’an (1799-1872); his teacher was the great Master Ch’en Chang-hsing.
The style that Tai Chi Yang developed has become known as the popular Yang style of Tai Chi that is practiced throughout the world today.
Taditiona Yang syle Tai Chi gained great prominence when Yang Lu-ch’an was hired by the Chinese Imperial family to teach the art to the elite Palace Battalion of the Imperial Guards. Yang held this eminent position until he passed away some years later.
As is customary in China, Yang passed his art onto his second son Yang Pan-hou (1837-1890) as the eldest son died in his youth. Yang Pan–hou also held the distinction of being hired by the Chinese Imperial family to teach Tai Chi Chuan.
Yang Pan-hou took over the official teaching of Wu Ch’uan from his father, who later became the co-founder (with his father) of the Wu-style of Tai Chi. He, had the honour of becoming the first disciple of Yang Pan-hou.
Yang Lu-ch’an’s third son Yang Chien-hou (1839-1917), handed down the art to his sons Yang Shao-hou (1862-1930) and Yang Ch’eng-fu) 1883-1936.
Yang Ch’eng-fu developed the soft gentle flowing form of traditional yang Style tai Chi that we know today. He removed much of the harder elements of the form like the Fa-jing (release of power), stamping and jumping movements. This set of movements that he encouraged has become known as the long form, medium or large frame.
The movements in the long form are very expressive, smooth, steady and soft suitable for teaching to all age groups. Yang Ch’eng-fu formalised the Yang style which has made it easier to be taught and studied; he is mainly responsible for the popularity of the Yang style Tai Chi Chuan. During the 1920’s Yang Ch’eng-fu taught in Shanghai until he died. There are still family links in existence today that have affiliate links with the family throughout the world.
The traditional Yang style Tai Chi Chuan is considered to be one of the jewels of the martial arts that are practised in China. The Yang style has still retained many of the martial components of the fighting art within it. These martial components make this style of Tai Chi Chuan truly unique. One of the best qualities of the Yang form is the fantastic health promoting qualities for all. This helps to make the Yang legacy legendary, suitable for teaching to future generations of eager students of the art.
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