The origin of Tai Chi Chuan is unknown. Some say Taiji is
mentioned to in the I-Ching (Book of Changes) written around 1100- 1200 BC.
Most practitioners believe that Zhang San-feng was the founder of Taijiquan. Zhang San-feng was believed to have created
Taijiquan after witnessing a fight between a crane and a snake. He created the thirteen postures.
Chen Style Taijiquan: Founded by Chen Wang-ting (1600- 1680), created the "First Method".
Chen Style is known for its explosive movements, slow to fast tempo changes (yin / yang), stamping of the feet, jumping
sequences and low postures.
Yang Style Taijiquan : Founded by Yang Lu-chan (1799-1872). Yang Lu-chan was born in Yung-nien in Ho-Pei province.
Yang Style known for its slow tempo, gentle circular movements is the most popular form of Tai Chi Chuan practiced by people all over the world today.
Wu Style Taijiquan : There are two Wu Taijiquan styles.
The first Wu Style was founded by Chuan Yuo (1832- 1902).
His son Wu Chian-chuan (1870 - 1942) popularized the Wu style know today named after him; Wu Jianquan style.
This Wu Style is know by its compact form, slow tempo, omitting the jumping and stamping postures of the traditional slow forms and the back is held with a slight incline forward with a straight line from the head top through the spine to the back foot.
The second Wu Style known as Wu (Hao) was founded by
Wu Yuxiang (1812 - 1880). The characteristics of the Wu Hao style are compact movements, high stances, body is held straight, hands do not cross and are not stretched out past the toes.
Sun Style Taijiquan : Founded by Sun Lutang (1861-1932). Sun Lutang was proficient in two other internal martial arts.
Xingyi Quan and Baqua Zhang. Sun style incorporates key
elements from both of these two internal styles.
Sun Style Taijiquan is known for its high stances, even tempo, minimal number of kicking and punching movements and more emphasis on the small agile stepping movements.