Taijiquan is well-known for its profound concordance with Taoist philosophy, sophisticated links with Chinese medical theory and practice, and status as one of Martial Art’s most enigmatic, demanding, and difficult offerings. But Taijiquan is equally distinguished by its capacity to offer something substantially useful to almost any category and level of effort and application, and its unique adaptability to any degree of skill or intensity of pursuit. Its now well-known and familiar solo form, featuring slow relaxed movements and lack of physical difficulty and strain, can be utilized by even the most elderly, infirm, or physically challenged individuals to great positive effect, while its advanced practices are key to some of the most elusive and legendary skills known to the martial arts.
Of the several styles historically extant, the Yang Family School has possibly the most complete curriculum, mapping a step-by-step course from solo practice through a succession of two-person cooperative exercises to elegant and sophisticated free-style sparring, combining a full release of energy with soft, impact-free exchanges. Truly, there is no study so effective in bringing the attention and focus of intelligent practitioners into a lifelong fascination and mental connection with the intricacies of the body and the dynamics of its movement. If there has ever been a physical exercise or pursuit uniquely designed to capture the interest and dedication of intelligent students, an interest and dedication that thrives upon its capacity to be practiced into an advanced age, it is Taijiquan.