Ancient Fighting Arts


What is Tai Chi?

Tai chi chuan literally translates as "Supreme Ultimate Fist". It is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for self-defense as well as its health benefits. Forms are practiced with slow movements coordinating the body, breath and mind together.

Scientific studies worldwide show the benefits of Tai Chi:

  • Increase energy and agility
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Relieve chronic pain
  • Improve balance, flexibility and muscle strength
  • Improve overall feelings of well-being
  • Alleviate symptoms of asthma
  • Reduce falls in older adults
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve cardiovascular functions
  • Alleviate symptoms of arthritis, Parkinson's Diseases And Fibromyalgia

Learning the form is only a part of Tai Chi Chuan. The principles learned in the Tai Chi form can then be applied and tested with traditional Chinese weapons, push hands, and ultimately sparring if the student is interested in the martial aspects of Tai Chi.

The Influencing Masters

Hsu Fun Yuen

Grand Master Hsu was born into a traditional agricultural family in Tien Tai village on the East Side of Che Chiang Province in the People's Republic of China. Suffering from a feeble constitution while young, he was prone to illness. His parents encouraged study of Shaolin in order to obtain strength. This gradually replaced weakness with vigor and good health. Rarely ill from then on, Hsu developed a passion for Chinese Martial Arts. Following high school he continued study of Martial Arts with Li Yuanchih at a military school. Thereafter he furthered his instruction under the tutelage of Chen Man Ching in an intense study and analysis of the Martial Arts, particularly Tai Chi. Mr. Cheng was known as a connoisseur of the Tai Chi forms.

In 1951 he began a career as an instructor. In 1964 he traveled to such countries as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in hopes of popularizing the study of Tai Chi, successfully teaching over 2,000 students. In Taiwan he founded the Tai Chi Chuan Association of Taipei, Taiwan. Membership grew to 10,000. 

In 1977 Sifu Hsu came to the United States and taught Tai Chi in New York and Miami. During the winter of 1978, he was invited to teach in Chicago. The amount of students in Chicago interested in learning Tai Chi steadily increased. Hence, during the summer of 1981, the Hsu Fun Yuen Tai Chi Academy in North Chicago was founded. Within 10 years of its establishment the number of students accumulated to approximately 1,000.

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming

Dr. Yang started his Gong fu (or Kung Fu) training at the age of fifteen under the Shaolin White Crane (Bai He) Master Cheng Gin Gsao. In thirteen years of study (1961-1974 A..D.) under Master Cheng, Dr. Yang became an expert in the White Crane style of Chinese martial arts, which includes both the use of bare hands and of various weapons such as saber, staff, spear, trident, two short rods, and many others. With the same master he also studied White Crane Qin Na (or Chin Na), Tui Na and Dian Xue massages, and herbal treatment. At the age of sixteen, Dr. Yang began the study of Taijiquan (Yang Style) under Master Kao Tao. After learning from Master Kao, Dr. Yang continued his study and research of Taijiquan with several masters and senior practitioners such as Master Li, Mao-Ching and Mr. Wilson Chen in Taipei. Master Li learned his Taijiquan from the well-known Master Han, Ching-Tang, and Mr. Chen learned his Taijiquan from Master Chang, Xiang-San.

Dr. Yang has mastered the Taiji bare hand sequence, pushing hands, the two-man fighting sequence, Taiji sword, Taiji saber, and Taiji Qigong. 

At 18 he began the study of traditional Shaolin Long Fist (Changquan or Chang Chuan) with Master Li, Mao-Ching at the Tamkang College Guoshu Club (1964-1968 A.D.). From Master Li, Dr. Yang learned northern style Gong fu, which includes both bare hand (especially kicking) techniques and numerous weapons. In 1974, Dr. Yang came to the United States to study Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. At the request of a few students, Dr. Yang began to teach Gong fu (Kung Fu), which resulted in the foundation of the Purdue University Chinese Kung Fu Research Club in the spring of 1975. While at Purdue, Dr. Yang also taught college-credited courses in Taijiquan.