Critique on Robert Boyd's Book: Snake Style Tai Chi Chuan


Hypnotic induction?  Is this the best Boyd can do?  

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 get manipulated?

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 not?  

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 allegedly partaken 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 actually never occurred?  What is then Boyd's motives, by making these false allegations?      


Here is a hypnotic incantation for you: ' 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 power.  

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 principles.      

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 deletes it.

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 BoydSurely, 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 Mak

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 problems.    

[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 your strength.    

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 explanation.   

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 knowledge for 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 student.  

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 system.        

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 his livelihood.  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 assists, 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 strongest.  It 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 the internal power energy. 

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 joints
Six Internal Harmonies: Mind and Intent; Intent and Chi; Chi and Power. 
Five bows (of the arms, the legs, and the trunk)
Nine Pearls, the internal connectors.  
Peng Kieng, the internal power energy
Chun 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 energy) 
Stillness In Motion of Form and Energy.
Motion In Stillness of Mind and Power.
Realm of Neng.
State of the Stillness of Mind, Energy, and Body 

Movement 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 in silence.

Power push hand refines Chi to Peng Kieng, 
Changing the energy structure.
Understand how to eliminate the physical strength, 
Becoming strong is not the objective.
Let Internal Power energy slowly accumulate.

Mind, Intent, Chi, and Power, 
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 externally.
Not exerting physical force, with Idea in constant presence.  

Five 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 unit. 

Understand Yin/Yang, Pa Qua, and Five elements, 
Mind and Intent interpret every movement,
Intent and Chi perceive Six External harmonies.
Five bows, Nine pearls, 
postures solid and relax.
Chi and Power emerge, 
Embrace Peng Kieng, Chun Kieng, and Fa Kieng 
Idea and energy harmonize.

Learn 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 Kieng.
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. 

(Prose 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 hack.)

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! 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 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 book?        

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 Chuan.  

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 blogs, this inconsistency has been mentioned on several the puzzle 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 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's about your credibility?   

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.  Have you?