Nei Kung is the foundation of Tai Chi Chuan, its core principles constitute the essence of that great martial art. The seemingly effortless, slow moving solo exercise known as the tai chi form is composed of sequences of individual postures which are actually fighting techniques (strikes and blocks). These individual postures are composed of specific body alignments linked to relaxed, regulated breathing. It is here at this most basic level of alignment and breath that Nei Kung represents the fundamentals, the ABC’s, as it were, of Tai Chi Chuan as taught by revered teachers such as Grand Master C. K. Chu.
The tai chi form alone in and of itself is very complicated. The Yang Style short form is approximately sixty-five moving postures. It can take several months to learn properly and even more time to experience any appreciable amount of chi without a foundation in Nei Kung. Nei Kung, by contrast, is an immediate immersion in chi. Though a martial artist may spend years reaching "iron vest" level, where one is impervious to the most devastating blows – the profound simplicity and effectiveness of Nei Kung’s ten primary forms make it teachable to virtually anyone in a short period of time. Nei Kung is easier to learn than tai chi because it is the basics, it is the beginning of tai chi.