The sad part is, this man is correct.
Arrogant? I really don't get that impression.
I think he is speaking plainly and somewhat sadly on the state of an art he pretty obviously admires.
I don't get the impression that he's slamming TCC so much as he's slamming people who claim to practice it but really don't.
The same exact arguments can be used when speaking of Yiquan as TCC, though. How many people who practice Yiquan actually know what they are doing? Not too many, from my personal observations. I too have pushed hands with Yiquan enthusiasts. I have met just about the same level of player in that system as in TCC in general, you take it from there.
There are those who understand and those who don't in any martial art. TCC is no different.
Same thing in Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Jujitsu, Aikido, Wing Chun, Hun Gar, you name it. There are those in any system who like to talk about it but never put in the time or effort to truly understand it. I think that's who this gentleman is discussing in his talk.
And let's look at the other side of this issue, because it's not entirely the "students" fault. How many "teachers" of TCC really know TCC and how many are have simply self graduated from a short course they took at the Y and now call themselves Sifu or Master? A lot.
How can people be expected to learn genuine TCC from someone who has no genuine understanding of TCC but is just in it to make money?
In my own little town there is a guy who is an excellent, excellent martial artist, a genuine Master of his art, no question about it. He teaches a hard style, no reason to go into which, and is respected world wide. I had heard his name long before I ever got here and was actually quite surprised when I found out his school is located in such a podunk, small town as this. If I were to actually mention his name, I'd bet half the people on this board would go, "Wow!". Followed shortly by "Really? You're kidding right? THAT guy?" Anyway, this guy teaches classes in TCC both at his studio on the main drag and at the local Y to senior citizens on Friday mornings (his price is OUTRAGEOUS, by the way).
I can tell you, unequivocally, that he has no idea what real, genuine, TCC is. He just doesn't. I've seen the form he teaches, I've watched him do it with my own two eyes and I have NO idea what it is. I work with one of his black belt students in the hard style who also has his "black belt" in TCC from this "Master". While the guy can leap up in the air and break boards with his bare toes ten feet of the ground, he really doesn't exhibit any of the qualities or principles of TCC that I've ever heard of.
Do you see where I'm going here? This guy isn't teaching TCC, he's teaching something he invented, outright and out of whole cloth, and calls TCC because people pay money to learn Tai Chi.
I mentioned that I work with one of his TCC "black belts" (he took his hard style ranking system and put it firmly in place on his invented form of TCC. Why not? HE invented it, he can do it any way he wants). Well, I can pretty well tell you that my skills at TCC are low...
Very, very low.
I'm not good yet, I need more practice.
Consequently my skills at push hands are low. Again, very low.
This "black belt" at the form of TCC this "master" invented and now teaches wanted to test his TCC skills against me when he found out I practice TCC, so we did some push hands.
I can only tell you that even my poor, low, awful, really terrible skills at TCC were at least good enough to adhere, stick, follow and eventually offset this guy.
I'm not even good at push hands, but these guys are using hard style techniques and calling them TCC and even my poor skills are enough to really fluster this guy, who has gone through years of training in his Masters style of TCC.
He is easily defeated by even a guy like me, who is admittedly not good, because all I do is allow him to start trying to use brute strength against me. He does, every time, and then I lead his stength to an empty place and let him go there after it.
He stopped pushing hands with me about a year ago. He's one of these guys who can't stand to lose, so he got tired of losing pretty quickly and now he never even mentions TCC to me.
The fault is not always, in fact I'd say not even very often, the fault of the students. It is usually the fault of the so called "teachers" of TCC that they are learning from.
In order to understand TCC, you have to learn it from a teacher with some genuine knowledge of the art.
That doesn't happen very often. As more and more "teachers" self graduate themselves, or, even worse, are graduated by their teachers into an art they truly don't understand, hang up their clapboard signs that say "Tai Chi taught here" and take good money for bad rubbish, we're going to see less and less genuine TCC and more "tai chi chi" kind of stuff.
It's sad, but that's the way it goes.
That's my soap box for the day.