Wudang Taichi (Tai Ji Quan)
The original branch of wudang daoist and founder of taijiquan Zhang Sanfeng
Wudang Taichi or Wudang Taijiquan is one of the most important heritages of wudang martials arts culture. Together with wudang sword and the cultivation practice of the inner elixir it is known to be one of the three essential parts of wudang kungfu. While the origins of this art are found in the long martial arts history of wudang, its later branches are now spread around the whole world.
Taijiquan is thought to be found by one of wudang‘s former daoist sages Zhang Sanfeng. After the cultural revolution it is very difficult to proof this legend right. Documents were lost and destroyed. Also the way things were handed down, only internaly and secretely, often without being too precise on naming the founders and developers of the various arts of wudang, made the efforts more difficult. Even it is unknown how much of the taijiquan was his very own invention, he at least seemed to be the one who first named and teached the 13 steps of taijiquan. Composed by the 8 applications (Peng, Lü, Ji, An, Cai, Lie, Zhou and Kao) and the five element steps (forward, backward, left, right and centering) the 13 steps form the foundation of this art until today. Only a few people know that his, passed on, knowledge of internal elixir is of much bigger importance to wudang‘s essential daoist cultivation practice than taijiquan. In terms of studying taijiquan today‘s wudang is more than evident a place with a deep and profound wisdom and knowledge, not only about all aspects of taiji, but also about all its roots, backgrounds, theories and didactics.
Wudang taijiquan is in fact only a small part of the entire wudang kungfu heritage and also can be considered as a late wudang style. Wudang‘s history of martial arts is much older. Without a doubt it was the old tradition of profound wudang daoist martial arts which opened the way for the later development of taijiquan. Now taijiquan has many fans all around the world. It is practiced as a holistic martial art, as a qi gong practice, as gymnastic workout or even for medical or professional therapeutic reasons in different therapeutic fields. Even governments have officially acknowledged its great value for the cultivation and preservation of psychophysical health of mankind.