Taijiquan is generally classified as a form of traditional Chinese martial arts of the Neijia (soft or internal) branch. It is considered a soft style martial art's an art applied with internal power's to distinguish its theory and application from that of the hard martial art styles.
Since the first widespread promotion of taiji's health benefits by Yang Shaohou, Yang Chengfu, Wu Chien-ch'uan and Sun Lutang in the early twentieth century, it has developed a worldwide following among people with little or no interest in martial training, for its benefit to health and health maintenance. Medical studies of taiji support its effectiveness as an alternative exercise and a form of martial arts therapy.
Some call it a form of moving meditation, as focusing the mind solely on the movements of the form purportedly helps to bring about a state of mental calm and clarity. Besides general health benefits and stress management attributed to taiji training, aspects of traditional Chinese medicine are taught to advanced tai chi students in some traditional schools.
The study of taijiquan primarily involves three subjects. Traditional schools cover these aspects of taiji practice simultaneously, while many modern schools focus on a single aspect, depending on their goal in practising the art. These subjects are: