- Health: An unhealthy or otherwise uncomfortable person may find it difficult to meditate to a state of calmness or to use Tai Chi as a martial art. Tai Chi's health training, therefore, concentrates on relieving the physical effects of stress on the body and mind. For those focused on Tai Chi's martial application, good physical fitness is an important step towards effective self-defense.
- Meditation: The focus and calmness cultivated by the meditative aspect of Tai Chi is seen as necessary in maintaining optimum health (in the sense of relieving stress and maintaining homeostasis) and in application of the Tai Chi forms as a soft style martial art.
- Martial art: The ability to use Tai Chi as a form of self-defense in combat is the test of a student's understanding of the art. Tai Chi Chuan is the study of appropriate change in response to outside forces, the study of yielding and "sticking" to an incoming attack rather than attempting to meet it with opposing force. The use of Tai Chi as a martial art is quite challenging and requires a great deal of training.
compiled by Empire Tai Chi Inc.