Tai Chi Chuan, literally means Supreme Ultimate Fist and is a Chinese martial art. Taoism philosophy serves as the theoretical foundation of Tai Chi Chuan.
Martial art practitioners developed this slow, soft and internal style martial art with the purpose of living in harmony with nature. Through the dedication of multiple scholars over thousands of years, Taosim has evolved, and Ying and Yang change theory has been applied to Chinese Martial Arts.
The origins of Tai Chi Chuan is somewhat unclear. The most well-known story dates to the 13th century A.D. when a Taoist named Chang Sang-Feng from the Wu-Dan Mountain observed the interaction between animals. He created what has come to be known as soft and gentle martial art. Subsequently, this martial art passed through his descendents, but the practice was limited to private followers and family members.
Around the 16th century, the first Tai Chi Chuan document was written by Master Wang Tsung-Yueh titled, "The Treatise of Tai Chi Chuan." Since then many other scripts and documents were written by various martial art masters. Based on the same theoretical and practical experience these martial arts evolved and merged into its modern name, Tai Chi Chuan, commonly abbreviated to Tai Chi in the western world.
Today, Tai Chi Chuan is practiced primarily as an art experience, and for its many health benefits. It requires relaxed natural movements that integrate the whole body with the mind.