Tai chi is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for self-defense, health and spiritual development.
Known for its slow, intentional movements, tai chi has practitioners worldwide and is particularly popular as a form of gentle exercise and moving meditation, with benefits to mental and physical health.
Yang-style tai chi (楊氏太极拳; Yángshì tàijíquán) is one of the five primary families of tai chi. Including its variations, it is the most popular and widely practised style of tai chi in the world today. It is second in terms of seniority, after Chen-style tai chi.
History The Yang family first became involved in the study of tai chi in the early 19th century. The founder of the Yang-style was Yang Luchan, who studied under Chen Changxing starting in 1820.
Yang became a teacher in his own right, and his subsequent expression of tai chi became known as the Yang-style, and directly led to the development of other three major styles of tai chi.
Yang Luchan (and some would say the art of tai chi, in general) came to prominence as a result of his being hired by the Chinese Imperial family to teach tai chi to the elite Palace Battalion of the Imperial Guards in 1850, a position he held until his death.
Yang Luchan passed on his art to his second son, the oldest son to live to maturity, Yang Banhou, who was also retained as a martial arts instructor by the Chinese Imperial family.
This video contains standardized 10-form basic Tai Chi instruction by martial arts master Thai Hong Dong.