Yes, but Velez only needs Advanced Tai-Chi. Which has absolutely no requirement in terms of Attack or Defence score. Just enough MK to have bought Use of Ki (which you will have by the time you've bought Base-level Tai-Chi).
As an exercise, I created a Tao that at Level 1 has Advanced Kempo, Advanced Tai Chi, Base Lama, Base Velez and Base Dumah; giving +20 Attack and +30 Defence as bonuses. Can Attack off 140 (or twice at 130), Defend twice at 90, can attack as energy, with +10 to breakage and -2AT off his opponent.
That is WAY more than any other class at that level, even assuming a ludicrous +15 weapon.
Low levels are the time when Tao are definitely NOT underpowered. When you're in that lull period between Base Level Advanced MAs and having the 300 needed for Arcane level, that's when it might be worth class-switching to a Techie for a while. But up to Level 8 or 9? They're pretty cool.