Li Ho-Hsieh created the Lee Style Tai Chi Chuan in a small fishing village outside Beijing. The style was handed down through generations until it reached the last of the Lee family, Chan Kam Lee who was an unmarried businessman dealing in precious stones. Travelling the world, in 1933 Chan Kam Lee opened a class and began teaching the Lee Style Tai Chi Chuan in London’s Red Lion Square. It was during this time in London where Chan Kam Lee met Chee Soo who is known for popularising Lee Style Tai Chi Chuan in the West.
The original form consisted of only eight movements; around those eight movements was built the form as it is today, which comprises of 140 single movements in 42 sets. It is a Yin / Yang system, as everything within is in complete harmony and in perfect balance with each other. Lee Style Tai Chi Chuan is also known as Square Yard Tai Chi Chuan as it can be performed in a small area. The set forms and styles within Lee Style Tai Chi Chuan are many some of these are the Tai Chi hand form, Tai Chi Dance, Tai Chi Staff, Sword, Silk, Feng Shou, Chi Shu, I Fu Shou, Chiao Li, Lun Pei, Lun Shou, Kai Men, Tao Yin as well as, meditation and the Taoist healing arts.
The form consists of a long sequence of flowing movements, which are performed at a slow and rhythmic pace with deep co-ordinated breathing and full concentration.These movements contain the essence of good health and longevity and help the practitioner develop strong Chi (internal energy). Because each movement works on the whole body, from muscles to the organs the practitioner can develop a strong body and because of the concentration a strong and agile mind, this can lead to inner peace and tranquillity.
Tai Chi translates as Supreme Ultimate; Tai Chi Chuan is the practise toward that goal. A related discipline is Kai Men, which is a collection of Taoist Yoga exercises, and Tao Yin, a selection of therapeutic breathing exercises.