T’ai Chi and Chi kung.
Tai Chi is the commonly used transliteration (using the Wade Giles system of Romanization) of the Chinese characters 太 极 it may also be written as taiji using the Chinese government Pinyin system and it means "grand ultimate".
Its full title t'ai chi chu'an (taijiquan) as it is known in China would translate as "ultimate fist". However it is perhaps not so simple a translation as taiji is actually a Chinese philosophical term meaning "the great ultimate" (see wikipedia).
Certainly this fighting art is more inextricably linked with Chinese philosophy and Taoism than may be first apparent. "All movements conform to the theory of the mutual promotion of yin and yang." ¹
Taiji is a number of things to its various practitioners; it is a meditation system, a gentle exercise, a fighting / self defence system.
Taiji has been proved to have many health benefits such as improving heart conditions and reducing the incidence of falling in the elderly. However for most of its practitioners it is believed to promote all round good health.
The "Taiji classics" become an important part of the study of taiji for the advanced student, but the translation of classical Chinese can be difficult for Chinese let alone a westerner with neither the language nor the cultural background.
¹Wu style taichichuan - forms concepts and application of the original style. Wu Ying-hua & Ma Yueh-liang.
太极单扇(tai chi single fan)
Chinese English Pin Yin
1预备式 preparation form yu bai shi
2 起式 beginning form qi shi
3 揽雀尾 grasping birds tail lan qui wei
4 楼膝拗步 brush knee twist step lou xi ao bu
5 分扇七星 parting seven star fen jian qi xing
6 斜弓步合扇 oblique bow step and close fan xie gong bu he shan
7 云扇 move the fan like cloud yun shan
8 独立平开扇 stand on right leg, open fan at chest level du li pin kai shan
9 虚步架扇 empty step, lift up fan xu bu jia shan
10 虚步平刺 empty step, stab the chest xu bu ping si
11 转身平开扇 turn and open fan at chest level zhuan sheng ping kai shang
12 转身虚步平压扇 turn, empty step and press fan down zhuan shen xu bu ping ya shan
13倒撵猴 step back, repulse monkey dao nian hou
14 左斜飞式 left flying oblique posture zhu xie fei shi
15右斜飞式开扇 right flying oblique posture and open fan you xie fei shi kai shan
16 下势 downward posture xia shi
17弓步平刺 bow step and stab chest gong bu ping ci
18开扇弹腿 open fan and kick kai shan tan tui
19歇步压扇 lower body step and press the fan down xie bu ya shan
20丁步亮扇 T- step and raise the fan ding bu lian shan
21上步开扇 step up and open the fan shang bu kai shan
22弓步截扇 bow step, blocking form with fan gong bu jie shan
23转身劈扇 turn and split zhuan shen pi shan
24提膝上刺 lift up the knee and stab upwards ti xi shang ci
25连环扇 move the fan like linked chain and ring lian huan fan
26大鹏展翅 big bird stretches its wings da peng zhan chi
27夜叉探海 Ye Cha* explores the sea ye cha tan hai
28左云斜开扇 left step and cloud hands with open fan chuo yun xie kai shan
29转身歇步抱扇 turn, lower body step and hold fan zhuan shen xie bu bao shan
30 天王托塔 Tian Wang* holds the pagoda tian wang tuo ta
31上步反开扇 step up, open fan backwards shang bu fan kai shan
32右平推扇 push the fan at the chest level you ping tui shan
33左弓步撩扇 left bow step and draw fan up in circle zhuo gong bu liao shan
34盘根指雁 twisted root, point to the wild goose pan gen zhi yan
35转身摇旗 turn around, wave banner zhuan shen yao qi
36一指朝阳 point at the rising sun yi zhi zhao yang
37金鸡独立 golden cockerel stands on one leg jin ji du li
38马步推扇 horse riding step and push the fan ma bu tui shan
39钩挂链环 hook and hand chain of rings gou gua lian huan
40收式 closing form shou shi
*Ye Cha – transliteration of the sanshrit yaksa or a budhist guard. *Tian Wang – one of name from the legend.