Critique on Robert Boyd's Book: Snake Style Tai Chi Chuan
Hypnotic induction? Is this the best Boyd can
Boyd wouldn't allow himself to get hypnotized and get moved
around like a puppet if he can help it, because he consider himself to
be very intelligent and sensible, and consider himself better than
others because of his status with Ip SIBAK, then what makes him think that others are
any worse off than he is, and allow this 'hypnotic induction' to happen and
As I understand it, the very concept of hypnotism is
voluntary, is it not? Thus, if I choose not to be hypnotized, then
how is 'hypnotic induction' valid? Then, does Boyd think that all
of us, who have trained under our teacher, are stupid and
gullible? Perhaps, according to Boyd, some of us are truly stupid and gullible
so that we are
easily persuaded to act like an idiots, but what about those who are
smart and sensible enough to realize this 'alleged' farce? There's
got be some who are intelligent enough to perceive what Boyd has
discerned, don't you think? If some of us who are smart enough to
realize this 'hypnotic induction', would we stay and continue to
emerge ourselves in this environment or pack our bags and go? Most
of us would rather save our resources and go. An obvious thing to do, is it
With the presence of well over thousands of students in
the course of nearly 30 years of teaching Tai Chi Chuan, there must be
some people who have participated in this alleged 'hypnotic induction'
process, according to Boyd. But then again, contrary to Boyd's
allegation and his disappointment, not a single individual who has
in this process has come forth and expose it. Why no one? It
is because there isn't anyone. As for Boyd, he has
never done anything remotely close to this alleged 'hypnotic induction'
process, and in fact, he was never asked to do such thing. The
others will concur that they were never asked to do so as well. As
for volunteering to do these physical manifestations of the 'hypnotic
induction', why would you want to? What can you possibly gain by
it? Well...then, does Boyd actually know anyone, in person, who was asked specifically to participate in
this alleged 'hypnotic induction'? He does not know of any. So, then why is Boyd falsely
making this allegation of 'hypnotic induction', a process that has
occurred? What is then Boyd's motives, by making these false
Here is a hypnotic incantation for you: '...center the weight over the front foot and completely empty the back foot...relax the entire body without collapsing the joints...stand there with the power of a small (or a big) mountain...and don't let anyone move you!'
"The true power of tai chi is power developed...of
biomechanics and energetics..." I wonder if Boyd and any of his snake stylists
truly understand the bio-mechanics (the specifics of external movements)
and the internal power energy 'Peng Kieng'? Instead of Boyd
indicating the specifics of the internal principles and how they are
applied in developing the internal power, Boyd mumbles something about 'energetics'.
As it often happens when an individual doesn't understand the internal
principles, Boyd too resorts to explain the formidable power of Tai
Chi Chuan with the bio-mechanics.
Then, what is so special about the snake style's
bio-mechanics that it is now a formidable internal style? What makes
the snake style uniquely different than the other external styles, which
also explain their principles in bio-mechanics? The latter also
speaks of 'energy' as well, and how they use it to fortify their
In Tai Chi Chuan, when an individual speaks of the
bio-mechanics as the first level source of internal power, the very
statement in itself is an indication that this particular individual
doesn't understand the internal
Among the high level chi gong sets, there is a particular chi gong posture that
happens to strengthen the psoas and 'dan tien' region. I wonder if Boyd knows of this chi gong posture. I highly doubt that he does.
Striking Energy Push Hand (Ta Sau) is never mentioned in Boyd's
book. The method of the striking energy is very precise and highly technical in its precision. When it is properly executed, one will utimately realize that a such execution is a very high tech in nature: striking the energy in order to excite the energy, so that more energy can be generated.
'Ta Sau' - a high-tech methodology of the energy cultivation. Such methodology is never expressed from any of the imitation taiji camps. Therefore, to those imitation taiji practitioners, the concept of 'ta sau' is completely foreign, thus, resulting in absolute failure neither to grasp the reference nor concept. Hence, if you've never experienced the striking of the energy, then
how would you know what it is? "Bu Ta Bu Jiao - Not To Strike
Is Not To Teach."
Interestingly enough, Boyd says that his teacher's fa jing predates
Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan's fa jing. If that is the case, then
Boyd's teacher has been practicing something that wasn't a part of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan curriculum, all these years. Hmmm...very, indeed, interesting! This revelation, whether Boyd realizes what he has admitted or not, is an admission of a methodology that is very different from that of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan. Furthermore, it is also puzzling as to why Boyd's teacher was using this particular, previous method of fa jing when, in fact, there is the superlative fa jing technique in Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan. In his book and in his teacher's interview on
Boyd's website have, clearly and undisputedly, indicated this fact.
Better save a copy of the interview before he
It is absolutely true that your teacher had a very fast and strong
hands. Have I mentioned about the dragon claw and hand speed
drills in any of my articles?
Why is there no mention of Gam Na (chin na) by Boyd? Surely, after
all those boasting of his teacher's fast and strong hands, isn't it logical to follow
up with the aspect of Tai Chi gam na, then eventually with Tai Chi Dim
Speaking of already mentioned aspects on Tai Chi Chuan
trainings, I believe I've already mentioned about the concrete wall
training somewhere in my articles. Again, what Boyd says about
the concrete/brick wall training is nothing new to me. So, be a good chap
and tell me something about Tai Chi Chuan training curriculum that I don't already know.
Where did Boyd ever get the idea that, in a forward stance,
the center line is placed in the middle of the feet (as seen in some of
his photos)? If one places one's body in a such odd position, how will
that individual ever understand the
principle of 'full and empty', one being completely double-weighted?
Moreover, since Boyd didn't have a clue of the principle of 'full and
empty', then he would not have any idea how to apply the principle while doing
the dynamic push hand. I can just imagine Boyd, pushing (shoving) like an idiotic
brute, thinking that he was endeavoring to attain the internal power.
Totally comical, indeed. Basically, what he is telling the world is that
he was unintelligent and had no idea what he was doing while learning
from his previous Tai Chi teacher.
To follow up a bit on his allegation of Boyd's past tiger style...if
an individual had his centerline in the middle of his feet, in his forward
stance, and made an effort to tuck his sacrum and rounded his upper
back, then what would likely happen to his stance? Like everyone
else, he would tilt to the opened side and fall over, wouldn't he? But, since that is not very
desirable, he would definitely find himself straining his entire body to keep
balance, but then where is the relaxation of the body? His body was
tensed, and he didn't even know it. If he knew a thing or two about
the proper postures...well, no wonder he had all these physical
[footnote] In August 1994 issue of Tai Chi
International, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Vincent Chu writes an article on 'Six
Harmonies in Tai Chi Chuan'. In it, he writes
"...Throughout the Tai Chi Chuan form,..., the body's weight is
always supported by one foot, while the other foot is empty. This
principle prevents double weightedness and develops better mobility.
Many novice students find it difficult to pick up the foot because they do
not understand the concept of full and empty yet."
My Sifu is the second DISCIPLE of Yang Sau-Chung SIGONG,
and the former learned 'Dynamic' Push Hand (Classical Yang Family Tai Chi
Chuan tui sau) from the latter. Which
means, since Ip SIBAK is the first disciple, he too must have learned tui
sau as well. No other marshmallow tai chi
practitioners know of this power training method other than the disciples
of Yang Sau-Chung. How is it then that you come back from Hong Kong
and know less about dynamic push hand than before?
Your teacher is immovable...since you cannot move your
teacher when doing dynamic power pushing hand, perhaps the objective of it is not to
move him. Do think, please!
Too Much Power...Ip SIBAK probably meant physical strength
and not the true power because you don't have internal power. From
the way you describe your experience with the dynamic push hand, you've
developed some degree of low level internal strength. As I've
said elsewhere in my articles, constant dynamic pushing, even if it is done
incorrectly, will develop some degree of internal strength, but this strength is not
internal power! Therefore, Ip SIBAK had no problem controlling
Being strong and being powerful are two different things
in Tai Chi Chuan. When power pushing is done without the
understanding of the pushing principles, one will become strong, which is
the result of developing 'hard' peng kieng energy; and, when one is
pushing with the correct principles, then the individual will attain
'soft' peng kieng energy that is so powerful, that it is beyond scientific
Thus, the internal strength (IS) is not the internal power
(IP) in Tai Chi Chuan. IS cannot be powerful whereas IP can easily manifest
IS and beyond. The possessor of the soft energy of IP can control
the energy in a such way that the density of his arms can change, thus making the arms feel very heavy; can make the arms as hard as a
steel or as soft as a sponge by controlling 'peng kieng' energy. He
can also alter the shape, speed, curvature of the energy, and more.
As for the hard energy of IS, you guessed it, one is
limited only to being strong.
Absence (negligence) of certain curriculum...
Yang SIGONG had three disciples; the first was accepted in
1954; the second, in 1977; and last, in 1983 or so. To the
disciples, the curriculum that were taught by Yang SIGONG was basically
the same. They were all taught the family version of Tai Chi
Chuan. Some were taught the complete curriculum, and some were
not. Moreover, being the disciples had certain privileges to the
advanced training, such as Tai Chi fast form, advanced push hand,
advanced chi gong, solo drills, etc. However, they came with
certain premium prices. Even though the disciples were considered as
adopted family members of the system, you still had to pay the top dollars
for each and advanced curriculum.
Yang SIGONG did not give away his family Tai Chi Chuan
free. He believed in the old school of earning the privilege and
having to pay for that privilege. First, you had to earn the privilege
of becoming a disciple by certain accomplishment (gong*, in Chinese)
that would place a prospect in a favorable position; then, you had to pay
the monetary price of discipleship; then, you were given the access
to the inner family training; then, of course, you begin the real
training. Until a person becomes a disciple, his training and the result
of that training gives him a diminutive title of an average
Even among the disciples, there are slight differences in
the way each does the curriculum, and that usually is determined by the personality
and the ability of each disciple and the way in which each trained, which might have been
influenced by circumstances. For example, some might prefer on more
active sparring, on the deeper understanding of the internal principles,
and on the aspects of the internal power. Whatever case might be for
the disciples and their trainings, the final objective should be the same:
the internal power (of internal martial art) derived from understanding
the internal principles of Classical Yang family Tai Chi Chuan curriculum
that were taught directly by Yang SIGONG. That is the ultimate goal
of their training and burden of the legacy of Yang family
If you couldn't pay
Yang SIGONG for the asking prices of a specific curriculum, he wasn't going to teach you.
Why? Because that's the way it was. Teaching Tai Chi Chuan was
Like the forefathers before him, Yang SIGONG wasn't very different.
His father, uncle, grandfather, granduncle, and great grandfather all made
people pay the prices for learning the Yang family system. Whether
one can pay for the lessons or not, it did not matter. If one wanted
badly enough of the system, one was expected to find the means. The
policy of how
badly do you want it? is still live and well. A perfect example is the Tai Chi Halberd
form; the form that truly symbolizes the great Yang Lu Chan! How
many people have had an opportunity to learn the halberd form from Yang
SIGONG? Only one. It goes same for the advanced Power Chi Gong
sets. Pay the top dollars for it, and you will value it. Give it for free and have it always available, then it is almost guarantee
that it will be less appreciated and taken for granted.
Yang SIGONG told his second disciple to focus on the power
(dynamic) push hand and understand the 'peng kieng' energy, for it is
the source of the internal power of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi
Chuan. Because Yang SIGONG could not train his second disciple
on a regular basis, due to them being a continent apart, the disciple was
told to focus the training in power push hand and advanced
power chi gong
sets. He was instructed in what to look for. Finally, he was
told that the understanding Tai Chi Chuan depends on the second disciple's
dedication and his intelligence. The curriculum (forms, push hand,
chi gong, solo drills, and the principle) represents 50% of the knowledge
and acquiring the remaining 50% of the knowledge depends on the efforts of
the second disciple. The honored method of 50/50...
According to Yang SIGONG, Tai Chi Chuan form cannot be
understood unless the energy is understood. Chi is not the energy
that will help to understand it. It has to be elevated to a much higher
level of energy, and that methodology to enrich and elevate chi is
power (dynamic) push hand training. To understand Tai Chi Chuan
form, one needs to understand soft peng kieng energy, that results
from the proper execution of power push hand . To truly realize and
become internally powerful, the union of the forms and power push hand must
come to exist: do the form like the the push hand, and do the push hand
like the form. When they complement, while other curriculum
they ascend to the state of Neng. The internal power then
becomes beyond your imagination.
He was told that Tai Chi Chuan form is for cultivating the
energy, chi, and that continuous training of the form will
condition and strengthen the tendons and ligaments. As for the
strengthening of the muscles, more specific exercises were needed.
The form will stimulate the already existing energy; even though this
energy is cultivated, it will not develop the internal power, as he was
advised. Chi is not the power, but rather it is unrefined
source of fuel. He was told that he must do the form and the power
push hand together. This combination of training has to be done
properly, for chi to be refined and enriched into the internal
power energy, peng kieng.
The second disciple was also cautioned about not falling
into a trap of physical pushing. Understanding this error was
extremely critical because this type of pushing can develop an erroneous,
hard peng kieng energy. Pay attention to the principle of borrowing
energy. He was told that to properly develop the soft peng
kieng energy, one must understand how to borrow the incoming energy. As a tension
is created in the body, one must realize and release the tension in the
body. Thus, power push hand is the next level of on how to
relax the body. As in Tai Chi
Chuan form, he was told, first to minimize the physical movements of the
body as he pushed; the minimizing of the body while pushing coincides with
the principle of minimizing the body movement in Tai Chi Chuan form.
Therefore, it is critical that he understand the principle of minimizing
the body movements while doing the form and power push hand. This
understanding will eventually make him ascend to the state of revelation
of the principle of 'stillness in motion, in the body, the (super)
energy, and the mind.
Power push hand is not a contest, Yang SIGONG
told the second disciple. It is not about who is stronger or the
is not about who can withstand or resist a force and maintain in an
immovable posture, or who can budge whom, or who can
upset whose balance. Yang SIGONG reminded that power push hand is a
profound method of discovering the internal power energy, and the other
push hand exercises were to further develop and understand the internal
power energy and its practical usages. Do not get into a shoving
match, however subtle it maybe, he admonished...seek the internal power
Do not neglect the power training, he was told. To
attain power, you have to do the specific power push hand training
of Classical Yang
Family Tai Chi Chuan. When the second disciple asked Yang SIGONG
about the sparring push hand, he was told that the sparring push
hand is extremely important in understanding the martial aspect of Tai Chi
Chuan. In sparring push hand, the focus is in the hand
speed using the dragon claw as a primary arsenal, with quick release
of the internal power (fa kieng) while applying the array of
techniques. He was told that this type of push hand is for the
practical martial purpose, but before an individual can train properly in sparring
push hand, one has to understand a significant level of the internal
power. Thus, he was reminded to attain the internal power first, a prerequisite to the sparring push hand. In order for Tai Chi
Chuan to be effective as a martial art, the internal power has to be
present, for it is the most important aspect, then comes
the speed and the techniques, he was told. When one has the internal
power, then any intentional movement becomes a martial technique because
of the power within. The sparring push hand, thus, is a
training method that hones the applicable skills of this tenacious
power. Again, the second disciple was reminded, when there is power, the speed is no longer
needed for its acceleration to generate the power. Speed will assist
the intent and the power in
getting to a target, though an acceleration can expand the power, so that a technique can be properly
executed with the intended objective. Lastly, he was told to stay
focus on the power push hand because too much emphasis on sparring
push hand can cause to neglect the attainment of the internal power
and to sidetrack individuals to something else.
It is said that one has to push beyond one's physical
exhaustion, so it is not uncommon to see many practitioners ludicrously,
if not literally, exhausting themselves mentally and physically, during
power push hand sessions. What 'pushing beyond physical exhaustion'
means is that one ought to push with the absence of physical strength, and
to accomplish this state of the absence of physical strength, one
endeavors to exhaust the physical strength through power pushing; so that,
in an effort to push when there is no longer any physical strength, the
internal power energy will emerge. Then, the power push hand is a
method that guides us to understand how to push and develop the internal
power energy, without the brute, physical
strength, and not literally exhausting oneself of the physical strength.
Understanding power push hand is about knowing how to eliminate the
physical strength, without having to physically exhausting oneself.
Thus, the second disciple absolutely heeded to the
words of Yang SIGONG. Taking things for granted because they are always
available within reach can have a devastating effect. Same thing can happen with the
power (dynamic) push hand as
well. Understanding this powerful concept of enriching,
re-cultivating, and elevating Chi to Peng Kieng is extremely arduous and has to
be taken very seriously if an individual wishes to seek the authentic Yang
Family Tai Chi Chuan system. The second disciple did not take his
teacher's teaching for granted. He realized that the result wasn't
going to appear out of thin air, and because of his realization, he put
forth every ounce of his effort to his training. For those who have
taken Tai Chi Chuan curriculum for granted, and neglected of the
importance of the power push hand,
the results are quite obvious.
Proper Method On How To Do Tai Chi Chuan Form...
There is only one proper way of doing Tai Chi Chuan form, and that's
Yang SIGONG's way. In my other articles, I have already specifically
indicated what those methods & the principles are, but sometimes, I
find it necessary to repeat some of the methods and the principles.
Tai Chi Chuan postures are handed down to us, by way of his disciples,
for the purpose of understanding the specific internalization of the
body, the energy, and the mind (intent), so that the
combination of these three aspects can enrich Chi (internal energy)
into 'Peng Kieng' (internal power energy), for the martial understanding,
followed by a more profound level of the unification of 'body, energy, and
mind'…Six Harmonies, Five Bows, Nine Pearls, Chun Kieng,
Stillness in Motion, Stillness in Power, Power in Motion, Neng…
Six External Harmonies: Hands and Feet, Elbows and Knees, and
Shoulder and Hip Joints. The
hands, where the energy is expressed, are critical in understanding the
how the energy, the intent, and the mind are harmonized in different
depths. The feet, where the energy and the body becomes one with the
earth, are critical in understanding the beginning of the softness of the
movements. The elbows guide us to understand the coordination of the
hands and the arms and their functions in the movements; the hands and the
elbows are the first line of defense against the oncoming force. The knees teach how to shift the body, from foot to foot;
they are the indicators of directional alignment of the knee and the foot;
they are the center in which the postures are controlled for the height of
the stances. The shoulder and
the hip joints coordinate the directions of the squareness and the
function of the roundness of the torso, by guiding the body, the energy,
and the intent to a specific direction of Pa Qua.
It is through the understanding of
the hands, the feet, the elbows, the knees, the shoulder and hip
joints that we correctly interpret the physical manifestations of taoist
Yin/Yang and Pa Qua philosophy, and the harmonic state of the parallel
lines throughout the entire body. Out
of the awareness of Six Harmonies comes the understanding of the
principles of Five Bows and Nine Pearls.
Five Bows: the
arms, the legs and the trunk. The
bow of the trunk is made up of the torso, the spine, and the pelvis.
The bow of the arms is made up of the wrist, the elbows, and the
shoulder joint. The bow of
the leg is made up of the ankle, the knee, and the hip joint.
The trunk is one of the most important bows because it needs to be
held most correctly in order to be efficient in relaxation.
Because the trunk contains the vital organs, it needs to be
properly posturized. Because
the trunk contains most of the inner muscles, the delicate tendons and
ligaments, which verticalize and stabilize the body, it has to be
harmonized by the proper alignment of the torso with the pelvis, by the
correct usage of the spine as a connector.
For the torso to be properly posturized, it has to have the
roundness of the upper back, which causes the chest to have a soft
hollowness. For the pelvis to
have its roundness, the sacrum has to be gently tucked. It is then the spine that connects the two anatomical parts.
When the torso and the pelvis are gently rounded, the spine
straightens and elongates, thus opening the vertebrates.
Then, the torso takes on the appearance of an enlarged back,
without the unnecessary straining of the muscles in the upper and the
lower back, thus the gentle roundness of the trunk embraces the vital
internal organs, causing them to reach the ultimate state of relaxation.
When the bow of the trunk is established, the power in the hands
and the feet are internally connected.
As the perception of Five Bows is realized, the awareness of
the internal connection, Chun Kieng, is realized through the
understanding of Nine Pearls of Five Bows.
These are the principles of Tai Chi Chuan and the energy...
Physical interpretations of Yin/Yang
Physical interpretations of Pa Qua (of the directions and the corners, the
parallel lines, and the concept of 45°)
Six External Harmonies: Hands and Feet; Elbows and Knees: Shoulder and Hip
Six Internal Harmonies: Mind and Intent; Intent and Chi; Chi and
Five bows (of the arms, the legs, and the trunk)
Nine Pearls, the internal connectors.
Peng Kieng, the internal power energy
Kieng, the internal connection; one unit of Peng Kieng energy.
Ascension and Emergence of Super Energy
Energetic interpretation of Tao Te Ching (of soft energy overwhelming hard
In Motion of Form and Energy.
In Stillness of Mind and Power.
Realm of Neng.
State of the Stillness of Mind, Energy, and Body
In Accordance To Principle
If you don't know the Principles,
How will you know the movements?
If movements are not taught correctly,
How will you understand the Principles?
Learn the postures and the movements correctly,
Condition and strengthen the tendons and the ligaments,
Relax the body and soften the movements,
And let Chi cultivate in the background
Power push hand refines Chi to Peng Kieng,
Mind, Intent, Chi, and Power,
Changing the energy structure.
Understand how to eliminate the physical strength,
Becoming strong is not the objective.
Let Internal Power energy slowly accumulate.
Understand Six Internal Harmonies.
Hands, feet, elbows, knees, shoulders, and hips,
Move with Six External Harmonies,
Body well-coordinated in movements.
Movements are relaxed and minimized,
Peng Kieng occupies inner space,
Thus, physical strength replaced.
Peng Kieng exacts the postures in their movements,
Nine Pearls strings Peng Kieng,
Peng Jing establishes Chun Kieng,
Moving as one unit internally and
Not exerting physical force, with Idea in constant presence.
bows, Nine Pearls, Peng Kieng, and Chun Kieng,
Establish the impregnable internal and external structure.
Power becomes visible to the trained eyes,
Mind observes stillness of Chun Kieng,
And body follows the tranquility of Peng Kieng.
Energy is kept still,
Further enrich with Tui Sau and Ta Sau,
And the body understands the liveliness of Sheng Lit.
Body and energy, energy and mind, mind and body,
Action and idea are in harmony, moving as one
Yin/Yang, Pa Qua, and Five elements,
Mind and Intent interpret every movement,
Intent and Chi perceive Six External harmonies.
Five bows, Nine pearls,
The postures solid and relax.
Chi and Power emerge,
Embrace Peng Kieng, Chun Kieng, and Fa Kieng
Idea and energy harmonize.
to minimize the motion,
By understanding the details of the postures and the movements.
Understand the super-energy,
For they are handed down to us by the Great ones.
Seek stillness of the internal power,
By applying the principle of Chun
Minimize the movement and maximize the power.
Action is included in inaction
Stillness in motion,
Motion in stillness,
Both principles are within the Great Ultimate.
Action and inaction are well-coupled.
disclaimer: I have no clue on the proper style of prose writing;
thus I lack any decent sense to follow the conventions of rhyme, rhythm,
cadence, stanza structure, etc. Indeed...for I am, a confirmed, prose
The Principles on Training...
Forms...Push Hands...Chi Gongs...Solo Drills
As much as an individual tries to bedazzle the public with
a pompous air of one-of-kind flair, an individual cannot become a legitimate
disciple of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan overnight! This
particular person, through his book, is endeavoring to tell us that he was
something of a special persona that deserves to inherit the imperial
wreath and the scepter of our system, and oddly enough, rather
preposterously, that this utmost critical criteria and the judgement of a
selection process of a discipleship was made over a mere weekend, with
a help of his teacher's daughter! Ah...an involvement of a woman,
after all...very interesting.
What's with the baishi picture with your teacher's
daughter? Is she actually sitting on her father lap? Did she
forget that she was no longer a five year old child? A five year old
child on her dad's lap is cute, but a fifty year old woman is definitely
not...please don't hesitate to disagree with me on this matter. Tell
me in all honest, whose idea was it to photoshop her into the
picture? Upon a casual examination of the picture, any half-wit
person can perceive that M was edited into the picture. And the way
she positioned in the picture...a complete faux pas...your teacher is the
most senior person in the photo, thus he is entitled to be in the center,
and everyone else surrounding him...thus is the Asian cultures...and yet,
this is not the case with your photo...you have no idea on the Asian
social etiquettes, do you? M should have been standing behind, or
next to, her father, perhaps with one of her hands on his shoulder to
indicate father/daughter significance. So, tell me, what was your
intention of including this particular photo in your
Snake style is not more advanced way of doing Classical
Yang Family Tai Chi
Chuan. Far from it, but rather, it is much more inferior way.
In fact, it is absolutely incorrect way of doing the form. Boyd
suggests that the understanding of the internal principles is not by
understanding the principle of the refinement of the energy; instead, he
suggests that it is all bio-mechanics and nothing more.
If Snake style is much more advanced way of doing the
form, I welcome the idea of researching it more indepth, of course, in
order to improve my own understanding of Tai Chi Chuan, selfish that I am, as
it is a such profound system that might require a several lifetime of
training. But, having seen many of the snake style videos and read Boyd's book, my conclusion is that that is not the case with the
snake style. Oh...yes, one of my students has incidentally met Boyd
in one of his workshops, in Vermont, and did some push hand with him.
In Tai Chi Chuan, there is no short cut to any attainment
of a certain state of 'an immediate and a radical boost of power and skill
as a direct result of receiving corrections.' Whatever an individual
learns, he must train quanti-qualitatively the particular exercise(s) in order to understand
the underlining principle of it, and finally, reap the benefits from
it. The corrections, bio-mechanical or not, are not meant as a magic
pill, though such is the shyster's method of promotion. Why any individual
continuously offer a such impression that there is an immediate way of
success is beyond my comprehension, even amongst genuine Tai Chi Chuan
practitioners, or not.
If anyone has any knowledge and skill of Tai Chi Chuan to
offer (or share), I cordially welcome them naturally...I'm at your
service. But, if you have nothing; and in fact, if you don't
understand any of things that I have talked about in all of my writings, then
may I succinctly suggest that you go back to your world of training.
Let us not waste any of our resources.
Self-proclamation. The dubious self-proclaimers want
people to believe and embrace their versions of stories without any
verifications. For these guys, facts are few, if not non-existent,
but they do have a nice, exciting story to tell. In fact, the very
idea of accepting a claim without a verification is dangerous and
scary. Anyone can fabricate a story of how this person met so and
so, and received the secrets of the system, and that he is the only one
who knows it. Any intelligent person wouldn't fall for this type
sales pitch in other commodity markets, and yet, in Tai Chi Chuan market,
people become rather gullible to these shyster's claims. If a car
manufacturer claims that its car can exceed 300 miles an hour, then all
the super-car enthusiasts would want to see for themselves, to verify the
claim. However, for many seekers of taichi hopefuls, they
somehow seem to lose their intelligence and common senses, for whatever
reason, when it comes to discerning about the authenticity of Tai Chi
My main criticism of Boyd is not about whether he is
offering a superior system or not, because I already know and expressed
elsewhere that he is not offering a superior method of training. It is about the verification of
his claim of the secretive system, of which we have never heard, and of
course, the lack of any conclusive verification supporting his claim. These
days, anyone can claim anything, and many get away with it, sadly
enough. If it wasn't Tai Chi Chuan, I probably wouldn't give a darn
either, but unfortunately for Boyd, it is about Tai Chi Chuan. And,
because Tai Chi Chuan is my business, of which I need to stay on top,
especially when such claims can have a devastating effect on Classical
Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan, I find myself encountering an assortment of
taichi shysters and their products, in which I must weed them out, by
pointing out the anomalies, the fallacies, and the lies. Youtube is a great media medium
to propagate any ideas, good or bad. Unfortunately, for Tai Chi
Chuan, Youtube is like an opened meat-market for anyone who wants to debauch
himself with a prospect of fame and wealth, with their badly-understood and terribly-distorted taichi products. Most
of time, I simply dismiss them after a few seconds of viewing because they are
simply just awful...pure junks. Boyd is no different, and there are
plenty of his videos on Youtube, making wild claims and debauching
himself. But, because his system is loosely related to mine,
I have given him and his products more than enough share of my time to
examine them. My conclusion on Boyd should be obvious from what I
have written so far.
As for anyone who insist that Boyd might be offering a
superior system, I have a very brief comment to make. If Boyd did
have a superior system, I will be able to perceive it, but I don't.
I don't perceive any internal power in the way he executes the movements,
nor do I see it in any of his pushing techniques. What's even worse
is his lack of understanding of the internal principles when he makes a
feeble attempt at explanations of Tai Chi Chuan principles. He
stumbles through his explanations, hoping his participants don't pick up
on his inconsistencies and shortcomings. When it comes to exhibiting
the internal power, there is absolutely none...none-existent! His
manifestations of the martial applications are simply awful, as I have
seen other imitation taichi people execute far better. However, if you
are still at a lost as to what I am talking about, then blame it on
yourself for your inability to perceive the true aspects of Tai Chi Chuan. Lastly, as I have said
previously, anyone who attempts to explain the system of Tai Chi Chuan
strictly with the bio-mechanics is giving himself away as a taichi shyster...maybe,
a snake oil salesman...I couldn't resist.
Let us see if we can come up some, if any, verifications
to Boyd's claim. As much as I poured over my effort to find
something that would shed a flint of revelation on Boyd's claim, searched
through the Internet, reading Boyd's articles and
videos, I have not yet been able to find anything that would validate his
claims. Perhaps, my inability to find any conclusive facts to verify
the claim is at fault...perhaps, I am not as good an investigator or
researcher as you are. So, somehow if you managed to find any
evidence(s), please don't hesitate to inform me of it. What I did
manage to find is his regurgitation of lies, scattered throughout the
Internet, that he has inherited a true, secret system of Classical Yang
Family Tai Chi Chuan
that were previously never known to anyone, other than allegedly his teacher and certain Yang
family members. Self-serving as they are, these lies.
Moreover, I have often wondered if
it is true, then why Boyd was chosen as the inheritor, and not John Ding,
though Ding is the first disciple.
By the protocol, as it is clearly stated by Boyd, and if it is in fact
true, then the rightful inheritor should have been Ding and not Boyd.
In some of martial art
inconsistency has been mentioned on several occasions...so the puzzle
continues...an unknown, family secret system...indeed. What we
have is his words, and only his words, and no else's. Maybe his words are good enough for
some people, but unfortunately for Boyd, they are not good enough for us.
As I address these issues freely with a hope of hearing some rebuttals, no
one has yet to hear any word of defense or the evidence(s) from Boyd's camp.
Someone suggested that I'm irate and writing these harsh
criticism of Boyd because I'm threatened by this sudden appearance of the alleged
superior system that's shaking my very Tai Chi Chuan foundation. My
response...you got to be kidding! Please do try to have an idea on
what I have written so far on this critique and my other writings.
By the way, all this controversy of Boyd could have been
non-existent if he proclaimed his secret system while his teacher was
still alive. If such was the case, we could have made a cross
reference to the validate the truth to Boyd's claim with Ip SIBAK and saved ourselves of
the valuable resources. For whatever reason, though Boyd had an
ample time to announce with a grandiose fanfare, he conveniently waited
until his teacher passed away, then decided to drop the bomb. If
Boyd cares to glorify his teacher, I have no issue with that. But, in the
process of this glorification of his teacher, when he, knowingly, undermines Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan, and because I find his
action truly unacceptable and offensive, his web of lies has to be squashed, and I will
not rest until it is accomplished, even if
it takes all of my resources to do so, to see him fall.
Just another self-serving, lame book that tries to explain Tai Chi Chuan
through the bio-mechanics, with some obscured mumbo-jumbo reference to energy,
and with some odd pictures.
He'll be more than happy to take your money. But, he swears that
it's the real thing. Rubbish! Don't you get it...it's about
I have not yet to see anyone who can explain Tai Chi Chuan
strictly in terms of bio-mechanics, and exhibit the internal
power of Tai Chi Chuan at the same time.