So what is Tai Chi?
Unless specified, all references to Taiji or Tai Chi infer the art of Taijiquan, not the philosophy behind the state of taiji.
For many years that dreadful moment has reared its ugly little head again and again. There you are relaxing with some acquaintances and they say "So what do you do, then?". I say I'm a Taiji teacher, and then, here it comes.. "Ah! I've always wondered about that. So what is Tie Chee then?" as they wave their arms listlessly in front of them.
Immediately the brain begins to spasm, and a mild panic sets in as I mentally start stringing together all the material required for a three hour lecture. Then I just sit there with my mouth open - "Well, it's.... um... a... errr... it's a kind of exercise. From China. Very good for you and quite good fun too." I watch carefully. Did I get away with it? Can I get back to my favourite tasty beverage and finish it in peace?
Now after many years of practice and teaching, it comes to mind that I really should do better than that. But the question is a difficult one, because Taijiquan a.k.a. Tai Chi can be so many things to so many people. Let's see if we can come to some kind of understanding of it.