Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi Chuan) is the root of the internal martial arts. It’s practice is designed to help the practitioner develop a strong root and “peng,” the internal power. Tai Ji Quan is commonly overlooked as a fighting art because of the recent expansion in its popularity as a healing movement therapy. Although it’s true that Tai Ji will heal the practitioner when practiced regularly, it also is a devastating form of Kung Fu. Tai Ji Quan literally means, the “Grand Ultimate Fist.” It first became famous through China as the most deadly fighting art by many talented practitioners. Yang Lu Chan is the founder of our lineage, he was known as Yang the Great for his champion boxing skills. Tai Ji applications can be applied gently by simply pushing the opponent to the ground using advantageous angles to defeat them, these same advantageous angles also then allow the practitioner to devastate the opponent when they add force, striking and chin na techniques.
Tai Ji Quan theory is based on the theory of the Tai Ji symbol also known as the Yin Yang. It also has roots in the i-ching and the the Ba Gua which make up the the eight divisions of yin and yang forces in nature and the 64 hexagrams made up from one of the Ba Gua following another. Tai Ji Quan practiced is the slowest of all the martial arts, in order for the practitioner to cultivate perfection in timing that will allow the techniques to be performed the fastest with most accuracy.
Zhang San Feng is known as the originator of the Tai Ji Quan martial art. He created this art by predicating it’s power from internal energy alchemy. He brought Tai Ji Quan to the public attention but the true origins of Tai Ji Quan may never be known. Not much is known about Zhang’s life and how he came to begin promoting his art, but there is historical evidence that the meditations of Nei Gong or Qi Gong predate the origin of his Kung Fu.
It is a historical fact that the tyrannical Manchu’s who were taking over China forced Yang Lu Chan to teach his art to their troops. It was Yang’s decision to teach two types of forms at this time, one to his family and one to the troops. The difference are so subtle, only those who know the Tai Ji Quan secrets can see the truth. Yang did not respect the brutal actions of the tyrannical Manchus so he taught them the forms but not the true method of Peng development he learned and reformulated from the Chen family. He denied the Manchu’s the truth about cultivating internal power or the deeper applications of his forms. The forms he taught the troops became popularized by the Chinese government as a system of health and became the Yang 108 form and the Beijing Yang Style. Yang’s new teachings prevented the tyrants from using his deadly art to attack his people he was so patriotic for. Today much of the art has been “watered down” or lost due to lack of true disciplic succession and people not learning how to develop Peng, teaching the system before mastering it’s fundamentals themselves, but not in the Kwok family orthodox system. Peng can be developed faster with our family Guang Ping Yang style than any other martial art, because of how it focuses on sturdy stance work and postures and transitions the most. Once peng is cultivated, it can be applied to any martial art, yet it remains, steadily focused and refined more in the Guang Ping Yang than any other. Our Jian Hua Tai Ji Quan is a variation of the Bejing style 24 Frame Short Form. Kwok added Peng emphasis and gave it details that make it most difficult to perform correctly, there for challenging the practitioner and increasing their skill tremendously.
Our Guang Ping Yang Style Tai Ji Quan was a clandestine form from the Yang family village known as Guang Ping. It has 64 sections and is formulated to synchronize with the i-ching, the book of changes. The popularized 24 frame and 108 frame Yang Style is a form that bridges the gap from external to internal and internal to external, but the Guang Ping form harnesses positions of peng or “internal power” the most. This style was made popular in the U.S. by the famous Kuo Lien Ying but also by Kuo’s top student in China Kwok Wo Ngai. Kuo certified Kwok in China with mastery of his system. Kwok may have been the only one to inherit the true teaching of the Guang Ping system and pass it on to Dr. Torres. I arrive at this conclusion because of Dr. Torres’s in depth knowledge of the art and his ability to “go into peng” and to teach others how to develop and test it correctly. I have learned all of the the Tai Ji system required for certification as a 3rd degree black sash in the art, including advanced peng development. I currently know the system at an expert level and can teach the courses described in this section of the website to a degree that will allow others to achieve expert levels at an international standard as well.
Anyone who completes the Kwok Tai Ji curriculum learns how to demonstrate Peng, how to teach it to others, and how to implement it’s power in any other forms they practice. Our family Tai Ji curriculum can teach someone to add internal power development, even to external forms in our Shao Lin Quan system. Kwok synthesized the knowledge of the Guang Ping Yang with his Shao Lin Quan, Xing Yi Quan and Ba Gua Zhang to maximize the ability for practitioners to develop and use internal power.
For more info on our lineage and references to the claims about Yang’s hidden teachings I recommend the following book: The T’ai Chi Boxing Chronicle – Kuo Lien Ying