Tai Chi translates as ‘supreme ultimate fist’ and is essentially a martial art system that incorporates softness & looseness into functional exercise. As an internal martial art it seeks to utilise mindfulness & ‘internal energy’ rather than relying on strength &/or speed. Being a ‘softer’ Chinese martial arts, there is an emphasis on yielding & neutralising rather than attacking. This makes it accessible to a wider age & fitness range than harder styles.
Tai chi is a health, meditative and martial system all in one and it is this multifaceted nature that makes it unique. No one of these attributes could be taken out without affecting the other, they are all intrinsic to the system.
There are many styles of Tai chi of which they have their own particular unique characteristic but all of which follow in the principles adhered in the Tai Chi classics. The style I practice is in the Yang lineage tradition via Dr Chi Ching Tao to my late teacher.