Taoist philosophy developed in ancient China. Taoist practices were designed to help individuals find their own connection with the Tao (or way). As part of this, the Taoists developed practices to promote health and longevity.
Within that ancient Chinese culture, a significant step in achieving longevity was to survive attacks and battles. The Taoists evolved various defensive martial arts, which are powerful and highly effective although the practitioner remains relatively soft and flexible, moving like water or wind. Arts of this type are described as internal martial arts. Internal martial arts benefit the health of the practitioner being less likely to lead to injury than external systems, which are aggressive and more physically stressful for the body. The practice of internal martial arts can improve fitness, strength and promotes good health.
The Li system of Taoist Arts was developed in China and remained an exclusive practice within the Li family until brought to this country by Professor Li Kam Chan in the early part of the last century. He taught it in London but only to other Chinese émigrés. After his death Professor Chee Soo continued to teach Li style until his death in 1994. It was Chee Soo who first introduced the system to westerners.