This is a fun question!
If you know nothing much about either of the arts, no problem! Just keep reading, I think you'll find this fascinating.
If you know a little something about both arts, you might reason that they both go with what ever energy is given. And more advanced, they use joint locks and leverage mechanics as a way to neutralize, redirect, misdirect, and submit the attacker.
Those are all not false at all! But that's not where I'm going with this. My idea is a little broader.
Gracie or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu uses the ground as a leverage principle. They connect their body to to the ground and use that to gain an advantage. So, a big part of the strategy is to clinch the opponent, take them to the ground, control them with strategic, leverage based principles, and ultimately submit the opponent.
While Tai Chi doesn't generally take the fight to the ground, it uses the ground as a leverage base point, as well. You see, in order to generate more energy/power, you push your foot into the ground to transfer weight to the other leg. There is an isometric tension going on that increases the more you do it.
So the more you push off your foot (not unlike a track athlete who pushes off of support for the sprint), the stronger your legs get, and more grounded you become in your executions.
There is a whole-body effect that happens when you start all of your motions from the push of your foot on the ground.
So the ground is an incredible place to build your skills from!
If you'd like to understand more about how we do this, contact us to try a Tai Chi class!