The “style” of Taijiquan I do is called, in English, He-Style Taijiquan. In Chinese, this is known as He Shi Taijiquan. The “shi” means family, so a closer translation would be He Family Taijiquan.
The extended name of this system is Wudang Zhao Bao He Shi Taijiquan. Wudang is used in the name as the origin of this style is from Zhang San Feng and Wudang (it is believed to be the origin style that Wang Zhong Yue taught Chen Wanting-creator of Chen Style, and Jiang Fa, who kept with the traditional lessons. See the Forum about the Origin of Taijiquan for more on this but please remember this is our version and there are others).
These lessons would come to be called Zhao Bao Taijiquan after the Zhao Bao Town which served as home for many of the earlier practitioners. Therefore, the extended name (that is not often used at all) of Wudang Zhao Bao He Shi Taijiquan would mean the “He Family’s way of doing the Taijiquan that came from Wudang to Zhao Bao Town”.
The majority of Taijiquan styles are named after those that practiced/created them, sometimes by their descendants (Chen-Chen Wanting, Yang-Yang Luchan, Wu/Hao-Wu Yuxiang and Hao Weizhen, Wu-Wu Quanyou, Sun-Sun Lutang, Li-Li Ruidong etc). Each style has its own way of expressing the concepts and Principles of Taijiquan. Even the name “Taijiquan” is one worth looking into. It is usually translated into English as the Grand Ultimate Fist. This is not to say it is the “Ultimate” Martial Art but rather the Martial Art of the Grand Ultimate (that will have to wait for a later blog).
About the author:
Steve Gilshenen is an Australian teaching English language and Chinese martial arts in Japan.
He is the author of the novel, “Mark of the Shaolin,” the first in the “Tigers of Wulin” series, due for release in 2014.
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