Moy Lin-shin is best known in the West as the founder of The International Taoist T’ai Chi Society in Montreal, Canada.
He established this thriving organisation after many years teaching and spreading the concepts of Taoism and its practices.
Legend has it things didn’t start out too well for the young Lin-shin, as he suffered bouts of ill-health as a child growing up in China.
In fact, things got so bad; he was sent off to a monastery to recover. While there, he was educated in the beliefs of the Earlier Heaven Wu-chi sect of the Hua Shan School of Taoism. During this period, he also studied the Yang Style T’ai Chi and other martial arts.
Then, before the Communist Revolution of 1949, he decided to relocate to Hong Kong, where he joined the Yuen Yuen Institute and became a Taoist monk.
The Yuen Yuen Institute was established in 1950 and is devoted to the study of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism.
Living in Hong Kong had a great influence on Moy Lin-Shin, because here he became friends with Sun Dit, another student of Liang Zhi Peng, who was very skilful in Hsing I Chuan and Push Hands.
After many years in Hong Kong, Moy moved on once again. This time he set up home in Canada, where in 1970 he started teaching a group of students about the health and martial benefits of T’ai Chi.
However, in time he concentrated on only teaching the health side of T’ai Chi.
Moy Lin-shin effectively taught a modified Yang style T’ai Chi Chuan form. This was in fact a combination of different elements which he named; Taoist T’ai Chi.
He developed a set of ‘virtues’ that he thought his Taoist T’ai Chi teachers and students should live by. These qualities were called the “Eight Heavenly Virtues”:
Around 1981, Moy Lin-shin set up a Canadian arm of the Hong Kong-based Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism. This became the spiritual aspect of the Taoist T’ai Chi Society.
Nearly a decade later in 1990, The International Taoist T’ai Chi Society was created to showcase his knowledge of the Taoist roots of T’ai Chi and promote greater appreciation of Eastern and Western traditions.
Although he had his critics, there’s no doubting Moy Lin-shin has a genuine claim to being a true T’ai Chi innovator, teacher and visionary for introducing thousands of people worldwide to T’ai Chi.