Not knocking Tai Chi, any Martial Art or Martial Artist. As long as people are happy doing what they do then more power to them. Same can be said of the "Bunkai" (Sp?) of Karate, Kung-fu and some applications of Eskrima I've seen too. And those are just some arts I familar with. Whenever patterns are introduced to an art the end product is made more difficult to see (perhaps intentionally in a lot of cases). The favourite saying of a former training partner of mine was "Let application be your Sifu" and IMO that's a pretty good maxim to have.