Josh, could you explain me...do you think that the original invention of Chan Pan-ling and the others is then real taijiquan or a taiji based art if we use that term?
The invention was a form, a form cannot be taijiquan, it can only be a form. It is a good form and has a lot of taiji content.
I will not call a form or the practice of a form; taijiquan. Taijiquan is the system and the application of the system and so cannot be a form anymore than it can be facial expression or a way of tying ones shoes.
And if it is real inner taijiquan, how does the training of Erle's students differ so much, that they cannot use their art with true inner taijiquan principles?
since it is only a form, it is not taiji, nor against taiji
one can take a good form and learn it very well and never realize taijiquan, though one may have a great deal of martial skill and have obtained numerous techniques from a form
form does not teach the system, one cannot learn the skills or methods from form alone, if anything form alone will take one further from the pathhttp://www.eastwestacupuncture.net/book_notebook.htm
Only someone who has received the teachings of a true Tai Chi master and who has achieved a certain level of gongfu themselves can distinguish this qishi. Superficial, undisciplined practitioners of Tai Chi cannot recognize it. If they did see it, they might even think it was incorrect and criticize it, saying that it was too slow, or that the stance was too wide, or that it was superstitious or deliberately mystifying. Anyone who has not researched a branch of knowledge may make incorrect comments.
I have yet to meet any member of the WTBA that has listening skill. They teach a shortcut where you become ferocious and attack first, and it works fine, but don't understand real push hands or taiji application. They do so poorly with the 13 postures that they use dozens of other forms and methods to make up for it, they can't demonstrate the 13 postures, just ferocity using the outer form of taijiquan.
If you do push hands with someone with real taiji skill and then with the WTBA you will notice a profound difference.
Look at it this way, the highest skills in Chen, Wu and Yang style all resemble one another and are very similar, but the highest skills in the WTBA are unlike anything in any other art. They use a whitecrane/wingchun stance that they call the "power stance" and use a punch that is a lot like wing-chun but not like any taiji. This punch is their primary weapon.
While most real taiji practitioners are open to push hands and challenges, even tournament fighting historically speaking (many of the Yangs and their students did this and it is considered part of Chen training to this day)but the WTBA claims that this is stupid and that their art is too dangerous to use in such events. Yet not one authentic taiji system has ever made this claim, rather many instructors insisted upon tournament fighting and challenges.
There are claims in the WTBA that also show that the 13 postures are not understood. The students are told that Master Erle went around defeating all the other masters, but not one of them has a record of this. You should hear some of the rumors and claims that they pass along, such as slow forms will kill you. :
too much Yang Qi (by doing all slow movements) then goes in to its opposite of Yin, thus causing 'Yin Dullness' which is what many of the old Chinese masters who only ever did the all slow form died of!
Those are Erles words....
Form is not system, system is not form. Taijiquan has nothing to do with the form itself and it is taught that one can apply the principals of taiji to any motion and form. Real taijiquan is internal, philosophical and most of all, something you can feel. It isn't anything like what the WTBA has to offer. The WTBA is taiji based, it is martial, even deadly, but it lacks the understanding and application of taijiquan. Even the use of the term as "supreme ultimate martial art" shows this basic failure to understand, the name applies because of the application, not because of reputation.
It is fun to work with WTBA instructors, it isn't like they are easy to face or aren't martial, they are often quite skilled. they do not tend to be well educated about taijiquan, mostly they just repeat what Erle says as if they know it for themselves, they don't even question their own master or his teachings... they just repeat them and say that their art is more advanced than all others.
In just the same way that Yang Cheng-fu died young of ill health, so too do those who believe that they can get by on only slow movements, the yin side! They usually beome ill from 'Yin Dullness' a disease state taken on from doing too much yin exercise or eating too much yin food etc. However, it is also said that if you change taiji in any way, then it will be to your detriment! Hence the detriment in health of many modern so-called masters! They have forgotten to include the 'hard' side of taiji! And only practice Cheng-fu's form and have left out the cannon fist forms that go with it and the good hard push hands workout in favour of the softly, softly push hands
Now it is known that Cheng-fu practiced multiple forms, including some with faster movements, so the idea that he died of "yin dullness" from slow forms is a strange claim.
Note that comment about "good hard push hands" that is another sign of not getting it. This sign is most apparent when you do WTBA style push hands. It is all external!! The only internal material they have is qi-gong! But to practice an internal style and an external style at the same time is worthless, it leads nowhere but to external skills, true skills yes, but not taiji.