There are different styles of Taiji Quan, each with its own features. They differ not only in the set pattern routines, but also in the push hand and free hand exercises between partners.
In this respect Chen Style, which originated in Chenjiagou (Chen family gully) in Henan province and from which many other styles were derived, has aroused particular attention among Taiji Quan followers.
Chinese philosophy explains all forces in the universe as an interplay of Yin and Yang, literally meaning dark and sunny side of a hill and figuratively meaning two opposing principles.
A hand push bout is made up of many pairs of Yin and Yang movements; bending and stretching, closing and opening, soft and hard, void and solid, light and heavy, slow and fast, short and long, internal and external.
Chen style Taiji Quan stresses internal work rather than external work. Training this way fills your body with an inner strength like a ball inflated with air which is outwardly soft but inwardly hard.
The fighting skills in Chen style are characterized by a surprise element of crisp snappy forces released in leaning and sticking.