Our Lineage and History
Our traceable lineage begins with the Chen family where Ch’en Ch’ang-hsien passed tai chi to his disciple Yang Lu-shan (1799-1872). Yang-style tai chi was born and passed within the family to Yang Lu-shan’s sons Pan-hou (1837-1892) and Chien-hou (1839-1917). Master Yang Cheng-fu (1883-1936) was the son of Chien-hou.
Grand Master Cheng Man-Ch’ing (1901-1975) is known as master of the “Five Excellences”: painting, poetry, calligraphy, medicine and tai chi chuan. As a physician, Cheng Man-Ch’ing had the opportunity to cure Yang Cheng-fu’s wife of a serious illness, and as a result Yang Cheng-fu accepted Professor Cheng into his inner circle. For several years Professor Cheng studied tai chi daily with Yang Cheng-fu, putting in long hours. He emerged a master.
In the 1930s, Professor Cheng saw that his nation needed the health benefits of tai chi chuan so, to make it accessible to everyone, he shortened the tai chi form and, breaking a long tradition of secrecy, published a book describing the movements and principles. In the 1960s, he brought tai chi chuan to the West. The Professor’s form has become the most popular tai chi form in the West.