Can Tai Chi Chuan be used for self defense?

"Nothing under heaven is softer or more yielding than water; but when it attacks things that are hard and resistant there is not one of them that can prevail. That the yielding conquers the resistant and the soft conquers the hard is a fact known by all me, yet utilized  by none."

--Lao Tzu, 4th Century B.C.

Tai Chi Chuan develops the ability to know when the opponent is going to attack. Speed, sensitivity and flexibility are built up rather than brute force. If you learn to see the danger before it reach you, it can be neutralized. As the old Tai Chi saying goes "four ounces can move a thousand pounds."

This is not a system for building up muscles. By perfecting the movements, one learns both coordination and relaxation of the entire body. The resulting control leads to a very high degree of physical proficiency. The general level of performance of everything you do is improved. With better breathing and circulation comes improved health.