The Forms and Partner exercises are rich with techniques.
Through the study of Techniques, Partner work and Principles you learn to interpret the energy of the attacker.
Like any Martial Art, Tai Chi Chuan has its own methodology with the neurosensory at its core.
Even though my late teacher John Kells spouted all kinds of spiritual stuff it was all about finishing the attacker off. It was always about that one moment of truth for him but not for many of his students. When one student commented on John talking about Death he asked " What, you mean death of the Ego?" the response was swift"No, Death!!!"
Of course we all practise our Tai Chi for different reasons but we shouldn't lose sight of what it actually is. This recording of John Kells sums it up.