Chen Taiji Quan
Taichi practice aims to develop inner strength and harmony, through full coordination of mind and body, bringing the two into complete balance. The benefits of Taichi come from supporting our body's natural tendency to return to balance. The magic combination that achieves this is: body and mind. The three essential principles for balancing the mind and body are: fluidity in movement, control of breathing and mental concentration. Our main goal is to allow Chi, in the energy of life (vital energy) to flow smoothly and dynamically throughout our body. The overall harmony of inner and outer self is achieved through this process.
Many people are fascinated by the mystical myth of the Taoist monk, Zhang Sanfeng, who seems to have invented Tai Chi Chuan through dreams or watching a battle between a snake and a crane on Mount Wu-Dang. Although there have been historical implications and various conjunctural factors involved in the popularity of the Zhang Sanfeng legend, it is, for the most part, human nature to enjoy and believe in legendary stories. As filmmakers continue to make films with this semi-legendary and semi-fictional character, Zhang Sanfeng, based on stories written by famous Chinese martial arts novelists such as Jing Yong, the legend will live on for centuries. People always enjoy passing on this kind of legendary story to future generations, such as the legends of King Arthur and the Robin Hood.
Many practitioners were unaware of the fact that Tai Chi Chuan is an effective exercise for health as well as an in-depth martial art and can be explained in the context of the development and practice of Tai Chi Chuan. After years of research and study of historical documents by professionals and scholars, it is now believed that most of the great forms of Tai Chi Chuan practiced today (e.g., Chen, Yang, Wu as in Wu Yuxiang, Wu as in Wu Jianquan, Sun) all originated, directly or indirectly, from the Tai Chi Chuan of the Chen family. Their origin can be traced back to a small village in Henan Province, China, called Chenjiagou, literally the village of the Chen family.
Chen Wangting (1600-1680), a warrior, scholar, and ninth-generation ancestor of the Chen family, invented Tai Chi Chuan after a lifetime of research, development, and martial arts. Born a warrior and martial arts teacher, Wangting served the Ming Dynasty in the war against the rising Qing Dynasty. Due to the political turmoil, natural disasters and human calamities during his time, Chen Wangting's ambition was not fulfilled. In his old age, Chen Wangting retired from public life to create a martial arts system based on hereditary family martial arts, his war experiences, and his knowledge of various contemporary forms of martial arts. In creating Tai Chi Chuan, Chen Wangting combined the study of Yi Jing, (i.e., "Scriptures of Change"), Chinese medicine, theories of yin yang (i.e., the two opposing but reciprocal energies produced by Taiji, and expressed in Tai Chi Chuan, such as hardness versus softness, the essential versus the insignificant, etc.), the five elements (i.e., metal, wood, water, fire, earth), the study and theory of the Jingluo (i.e. , meridional circulation channels along which the pressure therapy points are located), Daoyin methods (i.e., channeling and guiding the inner energy) and deep breathing exercises.
Chen Wangting was the one who created and developed a whole new and different kind of boxing and armed movement set, with stops and applications in his own martial arts system, possibly inspired by Qi's book, which records names, forms and attitudes from many martial arts schools.
Chen Changxing (1771-1853), the 14th Patriarch of the Chen dynasty, was the first to teach Chen Tai Chi Chuan to a foreigner, Yang Lu Chan (1799-1872). Promising his teacher not to teach Tai Chi Chuan to an audience or to use his name, Yang eventually learned the Chen family martial art. He later traveled to Beijing and became known as "Yang the Invincible". True to his oath, Yang formulated his own form of Tai Chi Chuan based on the first form of the Tai Chi Chuan of the Chen family (Lao Tzia Yi Lu) and became the founder of Yang Tai Chi Chuan.
Little did Chen Wangting know that the martial arts system he created one day would become one of the most popular health exercises in the world. The name Tai Chi Chuan was later given probably because this unique martial arts system was created based on the principles and theory of Taiji, yin and yang, achieving the ultimate balance and rebirth of one another.
On Saturday, April 7, 2018, in the village of Chen, Master Xi Yang Xiang officially becomes a student of Master Wang Zhan Guo with the traditional Chinese ceremony and thus becomes the first Greek official student of Master Wang Zhang Guo and official representative of Aqas Tkasu Akad Jan Guo in Greece.