80% of Taichi is Wrestling
Said by Tim Cartmell, Internal Martial Arts instructor, Author of passing the guard, BJJ blackbelt, s ilver medalist in the World Championships of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at black belt level, won Pan-American Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament twice as well as winning the prestigious Copa Pacifica de Jiu Jitsu seven times.
From a seminar review of his:
"Taijiquan is a grappling art. Tim's research has shown him that 80% of Taiji is wrestling. Push hands was a sort of kumi kata in Taiji's practice, from which a wide variety of throwing techniques would flow. Over time, he believes that as skilled practitioners understood the application of throwing techniques amongst one another, that push hands essentially evolved into the somewhat benign pushing that we see today. It was a kind of "I know you got me on that one" type understanding, that avoided constantly being spiralled into the ground by your training partner. He believes that style of training eventually became par for the course, and over time the majority of practitioners simply stopped practicing real grappling and throwing, leading to what we see the bulk of Taiji practice is today. "
I really want to check this guy out sometime. Everyone says he is the real deal, even here on bullshido. Of course most people don't do taichi in this way, but it does make sense that the root of tai chi was alog those lines.