T’ai Chi Chuan (meaning “Supreme Ultimate Fist”) is a Chinese martial art traditionally practiced for its defense and health benefits. The five styles are Chen, Yang, Wu/Hao, Wu, and Sun. Our school’s lineage passed from the Ch’en family to the Yang family where Master Yang Cheng-fu (1883-1936) passed the work to his disciple Grand Master Cheng Man-Ch’ing (1901-1975).
Professor Cheng was known as “master of the five excellencies”: painting, poetry, calligraphy, medicine and Tai Chi Chuan. In the 30’s he saw that his nation needed the health benefits of Tai Chi Chuan. To make it accessible to everyone, he shortened the Yang Style form to 37 postures taking approximately eight minutes to complete. He brought this Yang Style Short Form to the West in the 1960s, where it has become the most popular form.
Patrick Watson (1935-1992) studied with Professor Cheng and became one of his eight most senior disciples. In 1975 Patrick founded our School of Tai Chi Chuan (STCC) and later incorporated the Tai Chi Foundation. His goal as requested by Professor Cheng was to train teachers. During the next decade the school expanded with many branches and into seven countries. As a result our school has trained well over 200 instructors.
Oscar Ichazo, a philosopher and founder of the Arica School, was also one of Patrick’s teachers. These two teachers became friends and the spirit of both are in our school. Our team teaching method is one of the the results.
Following Patrick’s death in 1992, the leadership of our school was passed on to his eight chosen “legacy holders” and other senior teachers. It has been said that from here the legacy continues as a “social transmission” through the whole body of our school. Here is a link to people in our school including its board and legacy holders.