Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese Art that is said to originate out of the Wudang mountains in the 12th century. Some hold that the Taoist sage Chang San Feng was there when he happened to observe a deadly fight between a snake and a crane. The crane attacked, stabbing and jabbing at the snake. Somehow, the snake managed to evade. The snake fought back with whip-like attacks of its own. But, the crane deflected these attacks by fiercely spreading its wings.
Inspired by this scene, Chang San Feng went on to create the soft internal martial art of tai chi. He included moves inspired directly from the crane and the snake. His new fighting style was very different from the external Shaolin Temple gung fu, emphasizing relaxed movements. Being a high level Taoist, he also infused it with the wisdom, military strategies, and longevity methods of Taoism.
So, as you can see the origin of Tai Chi is a martial art, based on fluid movements which relax and stimulate every part of your body. The continuous movements of Tai Chi are based on the principles that running water never stagnates. The gentle movements relax your muscles and joints while strengthening your body. Tai Chi uses calming structured movements to counter act the stress of living in today's fast paced way of life. This Tai Chi form I have been taught and that I teach is called Hun Yuan Tai Chi. Hun, means mixed and Yuan means circle.