Tai chi classics

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The Tai Chi Classics are classical texts used as guides for the practice of the Chinese martial art of tai chi chuan. These texts, which vary from school to school, are usually written in classical Chinese and are used by modern schools that trace their lineage from the Chen family or from them through the Yang family..

While great antiquity is usually claimed for texts by legendary authors, modern scholarship has not been able to date any of them earlier than the late 19th century.

Among the writings accorded the status of a Classic are:

  1. T'ai Chi Ch'uan Classic (T'ai Chi Ch'uan Ching 太極拳經) attributed to the legendary founder of tai chi chuan, Chang San-feng 張三豐 (Zhang Sanfeng), claimed to be ca. 12th-14th century.
  2. Salt Shop Manual 鹽店譜 containing the T'ai Chi Ch'uan Treatise (T'ai Chi Ch'uan Lun 太極拳論) attributed to the legendary Wang Tsung-yueh 王宗岳 (Wang Zongyue). The text was said to have been found stored in the back room of a Beijing salt shop by Wu Yu-hsiang's brother Wu Ch'eng-ch'ing 武澄清.
  3. Miscellaneous texts: Song of Thirteen Postures, Mental Elucidation of the Practise of T'ai Chi Ch'uan and the Song of Sparring handed down in the Yang and Wu families.
  4. Texts by Wu......
  5. ...

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