Wile, Douglas. 2016. ‘Fighting Words: Four New Document Finds Reignite Old Debates in Taijiquan Historiography’, Martial Arts Studies 4, 17-35.

I wrote a review of Lars Bo Christensen's recent book, 'Tai Chi, The True History and Principles', which is on my website. Now Professor Douglas Wile has made his commentary on the new 'ancient' documents. He is correct in appraising some of the translation as slipshod, but he himself mistranslated 'Chen Xiang', the proper name of a mythical character from the Classic of Boxing.

It is clear that neither Professor Wile is really aware of what training is necessary in order to fight using Tai Chi Chuan. It is clear that neither Professor Wile is really aware of Tai Chi Chuan techniques [not found in Chen or Yang Family syllabi] with the same name as some of those written on the gravestone of Nei Jia Chuan boxer Wang Zhengnan, such as 'Using Zhou to Break Open The Door', 'Leading a Goat Smoothly', 'Flick the Whip Left & Right', 'Tiger Embraces Head' etc. There are also many technique and concept names not found in any books.

Professor Wile is correct to criticise Mr. Christensen for his somewhat naive references to the skills of great masters of the past  Yet he has done a similar thing in his own writings. For example 'Yang family Touchstones is full of photographs of Yang Cheng-fu showing risible applications of form techniques with no evasion and using bulk rather than skill.

That the origins of Tai Chi are not purely Taoist, I accept, but there are many Taoist and Neo- Confucian influences. I have written of this elsewhere. Chinese history right up to the present day is riddled with new 'discoveries' of '  ancient artefacts and texts.

Don't kid a kidder.