Some Common Misunderstandings of the Tai Chi Martial Art
True Tai Chi has no speed limitations – slow, fast, steady, changing in any way freely and smoothly – but the training system is used in slow motion to catch every detail until the moves finally become natural and correct. Because of this, most people think Tai Chi is only a slow-motion exercise.
The reason Tai Chi moves softly is the idea of complete relaxation, which saves more strength for attack. Secondly, soft movement gives you a better chance to study many angles to evade attacks from others. Behind all these soft moves, a strong, flexible stance and a straight, powerful spine are required. When you learn slow-motion Tai Chi, it’s good for relaxing without using much strength, but totally useless for the martial art function.
Being against your opponent
There are systems like Pushing Hand for training yourself to “not be against” your opponent’s strength, but the true idea of “not being against” is that the whole body’s action is an unlimited array of movements, without any expectation. In the Pushing Hand system, a student learns specific movements with a limited range of releasing actions. The true, final Tai Chi is unlimited.