Conflicting info may be a sign of McDojo, but not always. IMO, if the lineage is legit, the worst problem is out of the way. That being said, there’s still the problem of them selling their product as the only true martial (?) TJQ. If that’s really the case, wow, I just have no words LOL
I watched the videos you linked. Taiji demos are shit. If they just showed the standard trad form or some yang xiaojia it would be much more interesting. In this day and age you either gong sau or you don’t. You either own your shit and teach student how to fight with full resistance, or you don’t. Chen Ziqiang and other good coaches kick serious ass in tuishou. Good TJQ practitioners can wrestle pretty good. That’s the way I try do it too, at least.
I guess I’m circling back to the other point you raised in the original post. People get hypnotized by some weird TJQ coaches because Taiji is old chinese magic gymnastics that’s also a “secret super weapon fo da streetz”.
I have to argue that, despite being a martial art first and foremost, Taijiquan is extremely efficient as a therapy, of course. However, if you want to market your stuff as effective for self-defense, SOME aliveness is absolutely necessary. Wrestling rules for Tuishou training would be a good start. Hell, even fixed-step Tuishou would be a good start.
Another problem is we don’t usually see a lot of people really interested in TJQ for martial application. In my experience, the people who do Taiji and get interested in combat often take up Sanda or Shuai Jiao, or both. With the guys who trained with me, I would go over forms just as a warm up, some wrestling and shuai jiao basics, some clinch swimming, then tuishou sparring, free-step, like they do in Taiwan. It looked a bit like lazy freestyle wrestling but we did our best. Anyways, it never took long for people to completely switch to taiji forms only or Sanda and Shuai Jiao only.
I wrote all this crap just to say that some coaches will go where the money is, and it looks like most people want to live the dream of chinese magic gymnastics that’s also a “secret super weapon for da streetz” – it’s all esoteric bull crap, and people love it as much as they love to snort snake oil, or essential oil or whatever. And the people looking for effective martial arts are already taking up BJJ and boxing – they see no point in taking part of the struggle that is making TJQ a martial art that can be used in live settings and MMA (or “rebuilding” it, maybe). One can argue that if it just turns into lazy freestyle wrestling mixed with shuai jiao, why bother with it if there’s already Judo, BJJ, Sambo etc? That, of course, is a question for serious practitioners of TJQ (as a martial art) to answer. We either do something about it, or it won’t make sense to call it a martial art anymore. Me, I like it too much to give up on it, that’s why I keep trying.