RHW, none of the JWs I've every known realize that Tai Chi has anything to do with martial arts. I have had some argue with me about it back in my "active" days. If there is nothing in the publications, then it is okay according to JWs. I just avoid the words "martial arts." There is a world reknown teacher in this area and it is quite popular.
They made me stop Tai Chi Tao because they said it was spiritism.
This is bunk. There is no spiritism involved. They are afraid of it because Chi is the life force, but is your own force. Not some spirit. Bruce, my Tai Chi instructor in Chicago, also taught us organ massaging. Tai Chi looks easy, but you`ll be sweating within 20 minutes.
The way I was taught it, there was no martial arts involved, although I hear it is the basis for most of the Chinese ones due to the fact that it develops flexibility and balance.
On my trip to China a year ago, I could see all kinds of people, even old ones, practicing it outdoors even in freezing weather.
It is also the opposite of weight lifting. You stretch the muscles instead of contracting them.
My daughters are now taking Aikido lessons, which is a martial art that concentrates on defense rather than offense. It uses your opponent´s strength to beat him. My ex does not like it, but it is a right I won in our divorce settlement.