Today, the martial arts of Bagua Zhang, Taiji Quan, and Xing/Xin Yi Quan are the best known of the Neijia arts and are often practiced together. The origins of these so-called “Big Three Internal Martial Arts” are both mysterious and controversial. These convoluted origins are often interconnected and interrelated and span through many other Chinese martial arts. Often times some aspects of one style’s boxing routines served as a root to the development of another style, though their relationship may have become long forgotten today. During the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912), many famous Chinese martial artists arose who practiced not only all three arts of Bagua, Taiji, and Xingyi, but also some form of Long Fist Boxing as well, such as Shaolin Quan and Tongbei Quan. It is important to understand the roots of one's style, so that one can see how the movements developed over time and perhaps learn why there are done the way they are now done. It is an interesting, long winding road exploring who taught what to whom, when and why. This book was developed from over 30 years of research and it is a book about what my opinion is that the research reveals. Hopefully it will lead others to do more research and many new books will arise tracing the historical and stylistic and often mysterious evolution of the Chinese Martial Arts. It is very surprising to find out how the different styles are connected to each other in many different ways.
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