I have been practising Tai Chi since 1991. Before Tai Chi I had practised the Art of Self-Defence for many years. The practice in Self-Defence were physical hard and contributed with a lot of bruises. The real reason why I began my Tai Chi training, was to avoid these bruises.
The only thing I knew about Tai Chi, was from television, where You was told it originated from China. What impressed me, was the peaceful movements.
What I have experienced, is that You get stronger without getting big muscles. You get sinewy and the longer You practise, the more You will be dependent on Tai Chi.