While it has roots that are thousands of years old, tai chi initially gained fame in the 18th and 19th centuries as a powerful internalmartial art. In the 20th century, it also became known as a healing exercise. Its praises have been sung by royalty, warriors, doctors, meditators and athletes. Today, most students only learn a simple tai chi routine and some basic exercises. But the traditional art still exists as a complete system for transforming mind and body.