Below is some very interesting information about Tai Chi in the earlier days. It’s not well known to general Tai Chi public. It gives us a different perspective to the history as well as the diversity of Tai Chi even in such an early days.
- “Three Seven” style (三世七) founded by Xu Xuan Ping (许宣平) in Tang dynasty (750AD)
- “Innate Nature Boxing” style (先天拳) founded by Li Dao Zi (李道子) in Tang dynasty (700AD)
- “Thirteen Posture” style (十三势) founded by Zhang San Feng (张三丰) in Song dynasty (1120AD)
- “Little Nine Heaven” style (小九天) founded by Han Gong Yue (韓拱月) in South and North dynasty (500 AD)
- “Acquired Nature Method” style (后天法) founded by Hu Jing Zi (胡镜子) in Tang dynasty (700 AD)
Most of today’s traditional Tai Chi styles such as Chen, Zhao Bao, Yang, Wu/Hao, Wu, Sun and etc are all from Zhang San Feng’s (张三丰) line of Tai Chi. There are still people practicing “Three Seven” style (三世七). But the other three styles are no long seen to be practiced these days.
The above information is from Master Song Su Ming’s book “Taiji Art” (宋书铭《太极功》). Song is highly respected Tai Chi master at the early 20’s century (1912 – 1917). He did not teach Tai Chi for living. He practiced “Three Seven” style of Tai Chi which he claimed to be passed down from his ancestor Song Yuan Qiao (宋远桥).