in the beginning
Although the theory of yin and yang (Tai chi ) is a few thousand years old and as a concept has been applied to everything from traditional Chinese medicine,Taoism,Feng Shui ,etc, the actual martial art we know as Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan) was formulated a few hundred years ago by the Chen family in Henan Province which is today famous for its martial arts schools and is also the birthplace of Shaolin Gongfu.
There are said to be up to 10,000 martial arts schools in Henan alone making it the mecca of Chinese martial arts.Here is the story of how Tai Chi Chuan began with a family called Chen.
Chen Bu (陳仆; 陈卜) was a skilled martial artist who started the martial arts tradition within Chen Village. The Chen family were originally from Shanxi, Hong Dong (山西洪洞). Chen Bu, considered to be the founder of the village, moved from Shanxi to Wen County, Henan Province (河南溫县) in 1374.
The new area was originally known as Chang Yang Cun (常陽村) or Sunshine village and grew to include a large number of Chen descendants. Because of the three deep ravines (Gou) beside the village it came to be known as Chen Jia Gou (陳家溝) or Chen Family creek/brook.
For generations on wards, the Chen Village was known for their martial arts. The special nature of Tai Chi Chuan practice was attributed to the ninth generation Chen Village leader, Chen Wang ting (陳王廷; 陈王庭; 1580–1660).
Find out more about our classes or exactly where your nearest Chen Tai Chi class is located.
Outside of China it was only in the 1980`s when China started to open up, that genuine Chen Tai Chi masters were selected in Chen village to spread the real original art to the rest of the world.
The first high level master, Chen Style Tai Chi Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang, visited Ireland in the early 1990’s hosted by Gill Keogh in Donegal.
Shifu Niall O’Floinn invited Grandmaster Chen to visit Galway and this inspired Shifu to eventually arrange to have a high level teacher visit regularly so the Galway Tai Chi Academy hosted the first visit to Ireland of Grandmaster Wang Hai Jun in 2002 and he is still coming here to teach us the original Taijiquan of the Chen family.
Grandmaster Wang has trained the most national champions of China, so we are extremely fortunate to have the best level of coaching possible for our students and all those who come from other clubs for seminars in Galway with Grandmaster Wang.
In 2010, Shifu Niall O’Floinn hosted renowned 11th generation lineage holder of Chen style Tai Chi, Grandmaster Chen Zheng Lei, who commented that the level of skill on the west coast of Ireland was the highest he had seen in all of Europe!