This is the book’s preface and list of contents

Over the last 100 years Tai Chi has become increasingly popular in many parts of the world and it is practiced by both young and old. Tai Chi was created as a fighting system, but its unique way of strengthening the body and mind also makes it popular with people who have no interest in fighting. Wisdom from Daoist philosophy was blended with the best fighting techniques to create an art form that was different from mere violence. Tai Chi became popular in broader circles and many people have benefited from practicing the art. An increasing number of scientific research shows that this centuries old art has a variety of benefits for the health.
A recent discovery of old texts, the Li Family Martial Arts Manual, has added important new evidence to the history of Tai Chi. This collection of texts include many of the so called Tai Chi Classics and are the earliest versions known to exist. They are clearly genuine and some are dated, the oldest 1590, the latest 1787. They were written by members of the Li Family from the Tang Village in Henan Province. The oldest written material we had previously was different copies of the Classics with a number of variations, they were believed by many to have been written by Wang Zongyue or the legendary daoist monk Zhang Sanfeng. As for the creation of the three oldest styles of Tai Chi, Chen, Yang and Wu, we knew that Chen Wangting’s great-great-grandson, Chen Changxing, taught Yang Luchan. Wu Yuxiang and his brothers probably learned from both the Yang- and Chen family. But, in fact, we knew nothing about who taught Chen Wangting in the first place, it has for a long time in general been assumed that he created Tai Chi.
The Li Family learned the art in the Thousand Year Monastery in the Tang
Village. This art may of course have been inspired from an even older tradition, but the texts of the Li Family Manual prove with great certainty that Tai Chi as we know it was transmitted from the Thousand Year Temple in the Henan Province.
The philosophical tradition of Taiji, and yin and yang is, of course, much older and has proven its worth through more than two millennia.
Although Tai Chi has branched out in many different styles today, the principles of yin and yang in circular movements that are embodied in the Tai Chi symbol ☯ are still intact after 400 years. The Li family texts provide us with the oldest known principles of Tai Chi, and they are an invaluable source to determine how the art was originally practiced.

I wish to thank Donald B. Wagner who has given much advice, and also Stella Sørensen for correcting the manuscript.
All Chinese words, except names, are transcribed with pinyin. T’ai Chi Ch’üan is the old Wade Giles transcription, while in Pinyin the name is written Taijiquan.
However, in daily use most people know the art simply as Tai Chi, and I have used this name throughout the book.
‘Taiji’ refers to the philosophical concept which the art is based on.
All translations are my own.
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Tai Chi Literature
The History of Tai Chi
Stele Biography of Li Dao Zi
Important Persons in Tai Chi History
Time line of Tai Chi History3
The Tai Chi Classics of the Li Family Manual
The Philosophy of Tai Chi
The Traditional Methods of Training Tai Chi
The Thirteen Movements from the Li Family manual
Names of Chen Style Tai Chi
Names of Yang Style Tai Chi
Names of Wu Yuxiang Style
Pages from the Li Family Genealogy and the Martial Arts Manual
Illustrations and Pictures
Overview of Old Tai Chi Texts