benefits of taijiquan
Taijiquan is a holistic methodology that recognises the fundamental unity of mind, body, emotions, and spirit. As such there are a multitude of interrelated benefits that are very difficult to separate.
However, in my view, and for simplicity, there are three main areas of benefit derived from the practice of Taijiquan: mindfulness/personal development; health, fitness and longevity; and self defense. I have put them in this order because I feel this is the chronology in which they are acquired through practice. Click on the images for details.
correcting a misconception
Often people talk about 'health Taijiquan' and 'martial Taijiquan' as if they are two separate things. In my view this is a misunderstanding. There is only one single path of Taijiquan, and as indicated, health benefits will be achieved first and martial skill much later on. But it is the same journey: the same changes in the body that give rise to the health benefits are those that give martial skill as they become more and more refined.
So the question of whether someone is interested in achieving martial skill is largely irrelevant, as the path is the same either way. And if someone is not on this path, then the health benefits will also stagnate and remain limited.