There are 6 internationally recognized styles of Tai Chi all with their own characteristics.
Dong Yue Taijiquan
On the first day of the New Millennium there was a special television programme showing the Best of a country's Culture and Traditions as January 1st arrived in that country. China Central Television (CCTV), using helicopters to film, then broadcasting through satellite to 4 billion people in 150 countries, brought the Shining Pearl of Chinese culture - Tai Chi to the world. Demonstrated by Professor Men on the top of the Tai Mountain - the greatest of the 5 famous mountains in China, at 1545m above sea level and with a 2.5 billion year history. His demonstration showed the harmony of Heaven, Earth and Man and was the highlight of the Chinese Programme.
This new style of Tai Chi is called Dong Yue Tai Chi and was created by Professors Men Hui Feng and Kan Gui Xiang in commemoration and welcome to the New Millennium. Dong Yue Style has many different forms such as Barehand forms (eg. Form 1 and 2), Weaponry forms (eg. Sword, Broadsword, Short Pole, Spear etc.) and Duel forms (eg. Sword to Sword). The Form One demonstrated by Professor Men on January 1st consists of 15 basic and typical movements taken from Chen, Yang, Sun, Wu and Woo styles. It takes about 3-4 minutes to complete practising the whole form.
Sun Style was created by Master Sun Lutang (1861-1932) from Wanxian County in Hebei Province.
He was a master of two internal Chinese Martial Arts styles Xingyi Quan (Hsing-I - free mind animal imitating boxing) and Bagua Zhang (Pa Kua - Eight diagram Palm). He later learnt the Woo style Tai Chi. Based on the Woo style Tai Chi Master Sun adopted the stepping methods of Xingyi Quan - (advancing mutually follows retreating; advancing must have a follow step, retreating must have a moving back motion) and the waist method of Bagua Zhang - nimble and agile, to create the Sun style.
Stances are upright and natural and foot work is nimble and agile. Movements are short and compact, and each hand technique is accompanied by a corresponding stepping action. Sun style is also characterized by its unique open-close hand movement. This movement helps to concentrate chi in the palms of the hands for delivery of short, deadly strikes.
Despite its martial roots, however, it is imminently appropriate for people in all walks of life. Its natural, simple stances make it an ideal exercise system for those who desire a low-impact exercise system, even the elderly. For younger, more athletic individuals, it provides a fascinating approach to self-defense.
This style of Taijiquan is suitable and practical for all types of people. No matter the physical condition, everyone can benefit and enjoy the practice of Sun style Taijiquan.
Quan You (1834-1902), a Manchurian member of the Imperial Guard in Beijing, was the founder of Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan. He learned Tai Chi Chuan from the founder of Yang Style, Master Yang Lu-Chan. The Wu name originated when his son, Jianquan (1870-1942), changed his name since he was brought up as an Han national. He developed the style into one that is compact and gentle, having a reach of medium range.
Originally created by Wu Yuxiang (1812-1880) who studied the Chen style in Henan. It is characterised by simplicity, clarity and compactness, with soft and slow movements. The movements are small, the hand never going farther than the foot, with an upright stance and strict footwork.
Chen style is the original Tai Chi style created by Chen Wang Ting.
Based on the Chen style and created by Yang Lu Chan the Yang style is now the most popular style worldwide.