Tai Chi History: VI. Development Stage

Beginning at about 1980, Tai Chi began to become heavily promoted and it was widely spread in China as well as all over the world. Of course, in terms of popularity Yang style took the lead in the wide spread of tai Chi boxing. There is a saying goes like this the Chen style Tai Chi boxing got full development in the Yang family. The Yang style Tai Chi Boxing started it’s spreading since 1920s. Probably 1927 or 1928. Then, Yang Cheng-Fu had started to teach Tai Chi boxing in different parts of China. In Beijing, in Shanghai, Nanjing and other places. Many people became interested in Tai Chi boxing and starting to practice it while the spreading of Chen style boxing was strictly confined in Chenjiagou area. But in 1928, Chen Fake and Chen Zhaokui (his son) went to Beijing to teach tai Chi boxing. Later, after 1928, Chen Zhaopi went to Nanjing to teach tai Chi boxing.

A few years later Japan started war invading China and China was involved in the all-round anti-Japanese war. So before the war only Yang style was able to spread far and wide and get a full development. The Yang style was very popular among people.

As we all know, China from 1920s to 1930s — even from 1940s to 50s, was in chaos. In the 1920s and 1930s China involved itself in the eight-year anti-Japanese war. After the eight years of war, China was involved once more in the three-year civil war with the KMT (led by Chiang Kai-Shek). The Communist Party won the civil war, but in 1950 after liberation, China was in great poverty and blankness. People all over China were devoted themselves to the construction of a new home. They were so loaded with work, that they got no time practicing tai Chi Boxing.

But in the 1980s, China started to carry out the reform and opening the tai Chi Boxing, after ceasing for so long a time. During this time period Chen Style Tai Chi boxing achieved specific success. So nowadays, especially in the last few decacdes, namely the 1980s, 1990s, and after 2000, tai chi boxing has spread all over the world and now has global recognition and acceptance.

Besides self-protection, Tai Chi boxing has the function of improving health. It is very helpful for keeping healthy. Therefore, this is the developing stage of Tai Chi boxing, and it’s brief history, which I have introduced briefly.

No matter which sect of Tai Chi boxing, I always think it both extensive and profoud. It belongs to no particular person. It is a product of common effort by many people. It is now, and right through all time, the brilliant ancient historical and cultural relic, and the wide spreading of Tai Chi boxing caters to the needs of people all over the world. Tai Chi boxing plays an important role in keeping people healthy. This drives us to inherit and make further development of tai chi boxing, which is an invaluable cultural relics of Chinese people

from “Lecture on Chen Style Tai Chi” by Zhu Tiancai.