The arrival of Kellyanne on the political scene following Trump’s ascension to the White House was the birth of the term alternative facts. Since then the US political scene has been filled with so many alternative facts that I am sure many less politically savvy readers would be utterly confused by the amount of information coming out.
I would think that the Tai Chi scene would be safe from alternative facts but I was wrong. Alternative facts have arrived.
Today my friend Paul pointed out a blog post to me. I read it and went “huh”.
I don’t claim to be a representative of this school and style or even a formal lineage. But then in the early years my teacher explicitly said that there is no need to have a formal disciple relationship.
Anyway, a person can be a disciple but the status can be meaningless unless the person truly practices to achieve the skills of the style. This is as opposed to a person paying money to be a disciple, learning a form (not mastering it mind you) then going back to his country to open a school and teach the style’s form without first mastering it. Basic competency is not the same as mastery!
Anyway, I read the following alternative facts in this post :-
Alternative Fact No. 1
“…..Imperial Yang Family Tai Chi, a mysterious branch of the most popular style of Tai Chi that originated from the Palace staff during the Qing Dynasty in the early 1900s.”
Alternative Fact No. 2
Master Yang Jian Hou, son of Yang style founder Yang Lu Chan, was summoned to train the royal family and, along with his son Yang Chengfu, used the palace staff to absorb the blows. No one absorbed blows better than Wang Chonglu and his son Wang Yong Quan. After years of pushing them around, the fearsome Yang Chengfu rewarded their courage with lessons in the Yang family secrets, not shared with others.
Alternative Fact No. 3
The Old Six Roads seems distinctly different from the Yang form, with shorter and more compact movements within the larger postures.
Alternative Fact No. 4
For decades, Wei Shu Ren traveled China and South Asia to teach and compete.
Alternative Fact No. 5
Today the Imperial Yang Family Tai Chi tradition is carried on by Wei Shu Ren’s three daughters
The problem with alternative facts is that over time they are accepted as facts because readers particularly those in the West do not always have access to other sources of information.
The problem is compounded by the fact that over time key players pass on and unless their version of the facts are made known, allowing for comparison with other competing facts that came later the truer facts may become lost to history.
So what is my contention with the above five alternative facts?
Read on in the next post.