So I'm walking down the corridor with John Kells at the Tai Chi centre, past the toilet that served as a changing room and down the stairs that needed refurbishing. Actually, most of the house did but I think that was part of the attraction. Maybe not for everyone!
I had mentioned tradtional tai chi when he said " of course, we're not practising traditional tai chi ". I was a bit taken aback but I had never actually thought about it. What is traditional? A system as handed down by yout teacher? A system that is inflexible and withought development or additions? Isn't what some perceive as traditional tai chi representative of a break from what had gone before? Otherwise we would all be practising whatever was taught to the Chen family. What is tradtional was radical in it's day.
What John taught was a blend of his input from the Ch'eng Man Ching and Yang style Tai Chi he had learned, plus other influences. So his approach and form changed as a result. The form was a vehicle for exploring principles of tai chi and energy.
And isn't this really the crux of the matter? Investigation, not Dogma.
No doubt opinions vary.