There are three aspects to Taiji:
Taiji is seen as the practice of Daoist principles, e.g. the soft overcomes the hard. A Taiji ideal is to be both soft and strong. Over time, we learn to properly manage and apply the strength and energy of ourselves, as well as our practice partners. Regardless of the size, weight or strength of our opponent. However, the possibility of self-defence is only a positive side effect for us and is not the focus.
2. Promotion of physical health
3. inner refinement
Every Taiji class begins by pulling the mind back from the outer world and inwards. In the beginning, deep breathing helps us to do this. Then we begin to perceive the inner sensors and continue inward through the energy field of the body. (Close down the mind)
Only then does the actual inner work begin. The mind in its deepest aspect (deep mind) is central to the training process.
If we look at Taiji as energy training, this includes the training of intention, consciousness and intelligence within the Middle Dantien, the level of deep emotions. In the Middle Dantien, the main work for us takes place in inner refinement.