We were discussing this recently in one of my beginners classes – not that there was any doubt of the benefits of Tai Chi – but the class was looking for a way to encapsulate their thoughts.
It was of course different for everybody – but may I sugest that for most of us the main value is in what we learn about ourselves and how we work in all our facets. That in fact each person re-discovers for themselves the internal aspects using practice of the exercises and forms to experience, learn and develop ourselves. And that this is quite different for each of us, although seen externally as quite similar – each fish experiences the river differently but the water still flows downhill. Whether you are concerned about falls prevention or martial arts application this thread is common and crucial.