The varied types are for the varied tastes of the people practicing the art.
Long considered the foundation of all martial arts has been Tai Chi Chuan.
There are many benefits to practicing Tai Chi: patience, perseverance, better posture, development of ch'i and its flow up the spine, emptying the mind, single weight and breathing into the Tan T'ien which develops ch'i.
It is a slow moving exercise that promotes health, a sense of well being and can be used for self-defense.
Written as T'ai Chi, Taiji, Tai Chi Chuan, and the like, it has long been considered for its health benefits including lower blood pressure and comes in different styles including major styles (Yang, Chen, Wu and Sun).
It helps with mental clarity, balance and circulation, blood and of ch'i.
As a student learns the form, it becomes committed to "body memory", and it becomes second nature or a part of the person as a whole.
As with traditional meditation one should empty their mind of any thoughts - no words or pictures, and just go through the movements feeling instead of thinking about what is going on.
Heightened sensitivity to breathing, single-weightedness, the world around the practitioner and the internal world all come into sharp focus.
Tai Chi is considered to be superior to other types of exercises, because it gives you the strength of weight lifting and allows the expansion of endurance while keeping to quietness like meditation.
Practicing can inspire a deepness of spirit and it has been called meditation in motion.
For those who practice, it is at first a learning experience where, depending on which form you study, takes time to learn the different number of moves.
There is the Yang-style 108 long form, Chen style and more.
The results of practice can vary.
It is said that Tai Chi will give you the strength of a lion, extreme peace of mind and flexibility like when you were young.
Tai Chi can do all of these things and more as you practice.
In the beginning it might be considered a ritual that is performed on a set schedule.
However, as the student learns more moves, the development of ch'i and its movement through the body begins to take precedent.
Nuance and small tweaks can make a world of difference in the way the form is done.
There is also the benefits of practicing the art, one of the most obvious being better posture and a straighter spine.
As well, Tai Chi improves sensitivity, increases reaction time and heightens the ability to concentrate, control breathing, improving balance and movement of ch'i.
Developing a stronger root is also one of the results where many men can push on a veteran practitioner and be unable to move them.
Tai Chi is many things: a vehicle to deeper feeling and thought, a health benefit and stress reducer, meditation in motion, one of the best systems of self-defense ever created and a realization of form and beauty.
Some consider it body poetry, with the postures being hieroglyphics strung together to create a complete story.