"Did 'Tai Ji' originate at the Shaolin temple?"
No, it originated about three hundred years ago, in Hebei province, from what the monks tell me, with a family named Chen. Then again, millions of families in China are named Chen, so, it was a good guess. What does it have to do with Shaolin? Well, nothing. Shaolin did not originate Tai Ji. Shaolin teaches Tai Ji, and other martial arts that it had nothing to do with, at least, with their initial formations. I bring this up, because one needs to see the Shaolin temple not only as an originator of traditional gong fu, but also as a clearing house, so to speak, of other styles of martial arts, that had sprung up in different areas of China. As the monks traveled to different temples in different provinces, they brought with them with their skills, and with those skills, they taught and demonstrated. And, they also learned. Some of the monks learned this Tai Ji stuff from the Chen family in Hebei, and brought it back to Shaolin, where it was practiced and incorporated into their daily routines. At this time, there are many different styles of Tai Ji practiced at Shaolin.