The principle that Tai Chi uses for fighting is different to ‘hard’ style martial arts which rely on muscular force. Tai Chi uses the principles of ‘soft against hard’ and ‘weakness to defeat strength’. The more one person practices, the better one will become and the defence capability grows, not weakens, with age.
However because martial theory of Tai Chi is complex, it is more difficult to comprehend and will take a longer period of time to reach martial capability. Complementing Tai Chi with ‘hard styles’ (and vice versa) will often give the practitioner a better understanding towards martial arts.
Within the art of Tai Chi there are several styles or branches which vary in focus and movement – the underlying theory is the same throughout all the styles of Tai Chi, but their application and practice differ. These popular styles are all named after the families that developed them: Yang Style, Chen Style, Hao Style, Sun Style and Wu Style and are the most commonly practised in the world today.