Introduction – Tai Chi History Inspires Practice

Published by Walker on


Little has been written about the actual history of the Chinese martial arts or of Wushu in general. Many books about Tai Chi Chuan and about other Chinese martial arts have been published recently, but they recount stories, legends and hearsay.

A history is a subjective description of certain objective facts, combined with reasonable imagination and interpretation. A full and complete history of Chinese Wushu lies beyond the scope of this book.  In the following pages I have presented some historical  events in the development of Chinese Wushu and Tai Chi Chuan. Inevitably, I have had to use a certain imagination and interpretation to select subjectively among many objective facts. I hope the historical events described will rectify many misunderstandings about the origin and development of Chinese Wushu  and of Tai Chi Chuan.

A legend is a wish, a little fact combined with imagination and interpretation. Interesting though they may be, legends are not history. But even though legends are not fact, if you read them perceptively, the legends give you some idea of how Tai Chi Chuan was developed.

If the reader can see how misunderstanding has spread, and what is false, then the real history of Tai Chi chuan will emerge.

The biographies of some of the masters form part of the history of Tai Chi Chuan. Reading the biographies might help to inspire a student of Tai Chi Chuan  to more serious practice and study.

Close Reading

Level 1: Paraphrasing

  1. State in your own words the meaning of each sentence. 

Not much has been much written about the history of Chinese martial arts and Wushu. Even recently books were published on the stories, myths and rumors about Chinese martial arts.

A  history is subjective based on how we describe and judge facts in combination with our imagination, and point of view. Chinese Wushu is  beyond what can be described in this book. This book focuses on the growth of Chinese Wushu and Tai Chi Chuan. T.Y Pang used reasonable imagination of what he understand to be true, to select unbiased facts. His purpose was correct the many disputes about how Chinese Wushu  and of Tai Chi Chuan began and grew.

A legend is a hope for something combined with a touch of truth, imagination and point of view. Legends get our attention but they are not true. Yet if you read them looking for insight you will begin to see how Tai Chi Chuan grew.

When you read the book look for what is false, and what grew and expanded, to begin to see the real history of Tai Chi Chuan.

The history of Tai Chi Chuan includes the life stories of a few masters to inspire a student of Tai Chi Chuan to practice, practice practice.

Level 2: Explicating

  1. State the main point.
    1. The history of Chinese Wushu  and of Tai Chi Chuan is subjective   with legends, stories, and rumors.  However T.Y. Pang chose unbiased fact to better understand how Tai Chi Chuan became popular.
  2. In other words….
    1. You can learn about the history of Tai Chi Chuan by what was false, and what caught on to begin to see the real history of Tai Chi Chuan.
  3. For example…
    1. Read this book to learn about the history of Tai Chi Chuan.


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