T’ai chi ch’uan or tàijíquán, often shortened to t’ai chi, taiji or tai chi in English usage, is an internal Chinese martial art practised for both its defense training and its health benefits. It is also typically practised for a variety of other personal reasons: its hard and soft martial art technique, demonstration competitions, and longevity. As a result, a multitude of training forms exist, both traditional and modern, which correspond to those aims. Some of tai chi chuan’s training forms are especially known for being practised with relatively slow movement.
Today, tai chi chuan has spread worldwide. Most modern styles of tai chi chuan trace their development to at least one of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang, Wu (Hao), Wu, and Sun.
Medical research has found evidence that tai chi is helpful for improving balance and for general psychological health, and that it is associated with general health benefits in older people.