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For a martial art obsessed with circles there is remarkably little rolling either in a gymnastic sense or with weapons. Two exceptions are the tai chi ball and the tai chi bang. I would suspect some early practitioner decided to handle a large rock as some sort of weightlifting and that’s is how the tai chi ball might have started. There are two legends about the tai chi bang: (1) the great Chen Fake (陳發科; 1887–1957) noticed his wife’s rolling pin and extended her motions into exercises. (2) she taught him. I have written to Jack Yan (translator for and disciple of Chen Zhenglei), Chen Juan, and others. In the meantime here are some photos (with bang, with ruler, two views of rolling pin)