chinese for "Grand Ultimate Fist", is an ancient and distinctive Chinese form of exercise for attack and defense.
with the orgins almost lost in the mists of time, the basic concepts are attributed by some to ancient Chinese Confucian philosophy, and by others to Tao philosophy, T'ai Chi being the source and union of the two primary aspects of the cosmos, yang (active) and yin (passive), the eternal source and cause of all reality. Modern practioners reap the benefits from the practice of Tai Chi Ch'uan without needing to be concerned about the origins.
Today, T'ai Chi Ch'uan is popular as a health promoting exersize. It is an effective fighting form, and is a required form to learn on the path to becoming a master in the practice of Kung Fu (5 Animal, 5 Family Style).
as exercise, T 'ai Chi Ch'uan is designed to provide relaxation in the process of body-conditioning exercise. It is practiced with slow and deliberate precision. However, as implied above, when applied with speed and precision, the effects can be devistating.