About Chang San-Feng...

Chang San-Feng

Chang San-Feng is credited with developing the Chinese internal system known as Tai Chi Chuan. He was born in 1247 A.D.

There are many stories of exactly Tai Chi Chuan was developed by Chang San-Feng and no one today knows the accurate story. Some of the accepted facts, however, are that he was a very intelligent man, he studied Shao-Lin Chuan for about ten years and mastered it, and with the foundation in Shao-Lin Chuan he developed the original thirteen postures of Tai Chi Chuan.

For many centuries, the secrets of Tai Chi Chuan were passed down to a selected few students, who then passed the secrets down to their students. Only in the last few hundred years did Tai Chi Chuan become available to many people in China and not just a select group. Only recently did Tai Chi Chuan become available to the West. Great Grandmaster Cheng Man-Ching was one of the unique individuals that made Tai Chi Chuan available to Western students.

Chang San-feng's Treatise on Tai Chi
from Tai Chi Chuan According to the I Ching
Credit: Stuart Alve Olsen
With every movement string all the parts together,
keeping the entire body light and nimble.
Calmly stimulate the chi, with the Spirit of Vitality concentrated
Avoid deficiency and excess; avoid projections and hollows;
avoid severance and splice.
The energy is rooted in the feet, transmitted through the legs,
directed by the waist, and expressed in the hands and fingers.
The feet, legs, and waist must act as one unit,
so that whether Advancing or Withdrawing, you will be able to obtain a
superior position and create a good opportunity.
Failure to obtain a superior position and create a good opportunity results
from the body being in a state of disorder and confusion.  To correct this
disorder, adjust the waist and legs.
Likewise, upward and downward, forward and backward,
Leftward and rightward--these are to be directed by the
Mind-Intent and are not to be expressed externally.
If there is above, there must be below.  If there is Advancing, there must be
Withdrawing.  If there is left, there must be right.
If the initial intent is upward, you must first have a downward intent.
If you want to lift something upward, you must first have
the intent of pushing downward.
Then the root will be severed, and it will be immediately and certainly toppled.
Clearly discriminate the Substantial and Insubstantial.  There is an aspect of
Substantial and Insubstantial in every part of the body.  Considered in their
entirety, all things have this nature.

If you didn't notice, the picture on the home page is that of Chang San-Feng, the original founder of Tai Chi Chuan.