Tim, tell me you’re in a cult without telling me you’re in a cult.

Tim, tell me you’re in a cult without telling me you’re in a cult:

A comment from “Tim”:

“I’m disappointed in your entire take on internal power, as indicated by your dismissive way of talking about those who actually do possess some genuine internal power as using “tricks”. To be blunt, you’re just ignorant–that is, you have no personal experience with real practitioners and assume everyone showing such power must be a charlatan. Yes, there are many fakers out there and also many brainless critics who are not truly skeptical but just reactionary and dismissive. You haven’t seen this film but you lump everyone doing demos of internal power into one category of fakers using cheap tricks. I suggest you seek out one of the genuine Tai Chi practitioners who possess such power and experience it for yourself. Otherwise, you don’t represent Tai Chi Chuan as your little blog suggests. You just stand for the Tai Chi meditation approach and teaching form, which is OK but very limited and in denial of the original purposes and uses of Tai Chi Chuan. It’s not that difficult to find those who are the real deal. Start with the Martial Man series and see some who have taught at their “camps”–Adam Mizner, Liang de Hua and many others who are authentic practitioners of internal power approaches. Those people are themselves the former students of even higher-level masters whose powers are phenomenal. Tai Chi Chuan is a martial art that can be practiced for health and well-being, but it remains an extremely effective and powerful self-defense system that includes the use of various forms of “jin”–an energy converted to force that can be issued against any opponent. Take a breath, lose the cheap tricks of your dismissal, and try to seek out some contact with those who can show you what you’re missing.

Let’s just go over a few things from this:

  1. Tim (the owner of an anonymous sounding Yahoo email address) has no idea who I am, has never met me, and has certainly not read much of my material beyond my one post about the film “The Power of Chi”, which has got him so upset. That post contained an excellent video by Rob Poyton (who has appeared on my podcast before) showing how those things are done, and that anybody can do them with a bit of training. It’s well worth a watch.
  2. I can do the “internal power” things he’s talking about.
  3. I’ve done the “internal power” things he’s talking about on a stage in front of people.
  4. They are just demonstrations of ways to use power, not divine miracles done by a guy who needs to be paid thousands of dollars while being treated like a master of the universe.
  5. What I object to is the conflation of these things with real fighting skill, not the things themselves.
  6. Tim, you’re in a cult, and you don’t know you’re in a cult. One day you’ll look back and think, wow I was in a cult!
  7. Namaste.

12 thoughts on “Tim, tell me you’re in a cult without telling me you’re in a cult.

  1. Hey, Ken, I just confronted you and described what you are. Naturally, it didn’t break through the hard shell of your arrogance and bigotry. Predictably, you doubled down on your mendacious and insulting commentary. Interesting how smug and supercilious you are when charging someone is a cultist. Truly lame.


  2. Hey “Tim,” have you ever confronted an alcoholic or addict about their problem? They usually deny it and react with anger. They often lash out. Cultists do the same thing. Very interesting. Hey, the $5,000 reward exists. Just contact me to set it up.


  3. It was unclear to me until now who the original post is from, calling me a cultist, since there’s no ID at the top of that posting. I assumed that it was from the Cutting Edge Systema guy when I previously posted a response. But I now think I was simply confused by the way this entire thread is presented and the reference to a “blog” that consists mostly of self-promotions and arrogant proclamations. (So I now think it must be the originator of this site, one Graham Barlow, esq.) In any case, the original post in this particular thread is shamelessly ignorant, grossly distorted, juvenile in its insults, and unworthy of more response beyond what I’ve already engaged in on the adjacent thread related to the “Power of Chi” film.

    As for the brazenly deranged and insulting post by kengullette, that’s truly noxious BS, to be blunt. Your dismissive attitude and contemptuous association of me with people like Scientologists demonstrates just how unhinged your perspective is as well as exposing your total inability to distinguish between fakers and legitimate practitioners, worthwhile dialogue about Tai Chi principles, and the intellect required to be a formidable debater in serious discussions. Your subsequent responses to Michael add arrogance and a certain snotty disdain that is a complete undercutting of your supposed wisdom of history and philosophy related to Tai Chi. You sound like a Joe Rogan acolyte run amok.

    The kengullette mission seems to be to strip bare the charlatans by calling everyone who can do what you can’t do a charlatan. Your offer of $5,000 to anyone who can make you “hop or fall” is pretty shameless showboating, but I have to think you haven’t spread the word very widely or you’d have a couple of takers by now. However, most respectable Tai Chi practitioners with any power could do that but are not given to public spectacles and infantile wagers. If you bring the cash with you and give it to a neutral bystander to hold until the demonstration is done, you might still get someone to take you up on the offer.


  4. I have offered this $5,000 reward since 2002. It was printed in Inside Kung-Fu magazine in 2003. I have directly offered it to several “masters” who cause their students to hop, fall and bounce by barely touching them. There is a reason these people do not take me up on my offer. You don’t understand why? That’s your problem, not mine. Go ahead and pursue these fantasies. But my offer stands now just as it has for 20 years.


  5. I’ll give you a Chinese saying that I highly recommend meditating on ” Be carefull, you might get what you wish for”.
    I am not in anyway associated with Adam but have seen students throw themselves in demostration but like most senior students they are helping their teacher explain or promote a skill set. Hardly unique in any martial art and I’m sure you have had students do similar.
    I have also seen Adam going very hard in free style pushing with people of a similar standard, he was sent flying multiple times and he gave the same. There was obviously no acting and was genuine practise.
    If you haven’t trained with him you can’t speak to what he teaches.
    In my opinion if you have a problem with what Adam Mizner teaches then the onus is on you to seek him out and issue the challenge and not vice versa otherwise to speak so badly of him is no better than what you accuse him of.


  6. I guess Buddhism hasn’t had an impact on his honesty, or that of the students who hop and fall at his slightest touch. But hey man, I encourage you to follow him and spend money with him. Go for it. And on the day you (or he) can make me hop or fall like his students do, I will give whoever does that $5,000 in cash. Any of his American students who have learned this power (if he is such a good teacher) should contact me. If you have this power and can do it to me, it will be the easiest money you ever made.


  7. Adam Mizner is a dedicated practitioner of Taichi as he has learnt it and is a very successful teacher of those skills. Who cares what language he uses to teach those skills as long as they work, the only complaints I’v heard about Adams teaching by actual students have been of “Training Bitter” which ultimately is the only true path to gaining any level of skill. The other complaints seem to be from other teachers who show a degree of envy at his success.
    I understand that Taichi isn’t a Buddhist art as such but Buddhism has played a big role within its developement and spread across the globe.
    Adam is also a devoted Buddhist and by his own admission this has impacted his study of Taichi.
    I looked at the promo and thought it was well shot and produced and it will no doubt encourage many people on the journey of Taichi. ( Don’t tell me you’ve never had a student fly for you Ken )


  8. Michael, you mistake Buddhism for being passive. That is an ignorant view. And perhaps you also think Tai Chi is a Buddhist art. It isn’t. Do you at least understand the concept of self-defense? How about the concept of protecting others? Then you might understand that if someone walks up and robs somebody armed with a gun, this is an immoral act. Likewise, if a Tai Chi teacher robs students of money by pretending to have powers that he doesn’t have (and using his own deluded students to help him by hopping and falling in the videos or in classes), it is an immoral act. There is a really good story of a Taoist and a Confucianist sitting on a park bench enjoying the day. A policeman walks up and demands the two men leave the park. He strikes the Confucian, who gets up, apologizes, and leaves. The Taoist just sits there. The policeman swings his fist to strike the Taoist, who grabs the arm, breaks the policeman’s elbow, and sits back down to enjoy the afternoon while the policeman runs away howling in pain. The point of all this is that perhaps Buddhists and Taoists who point out fraud have more character and morality, and are attempting to help the people who are being deceived, while people like you tell the honest people to be quiet and leave the deceivers alone. Good job, Michael. You must be proud of yourself.


  9. To write off Adam Mizner and the other practicioner mentioned shows politics is alive and festering in the Taichi world and market place.
    Buddhism is much kinder than that.


  10. Pingback: The most successful martial arts movement of the first half of the 20th century, that you’ve probably never heard of | The Tai Chi Notebook

  11. Unfortunately, “Tim” and others who actually believe guys like Mizner are no different than the people who handle snakes and believe God won’t let them die; who give hundreds of thousands of dollars to Scientology, thinking that L. Ron Hubbard is coming back for us; and yes, the same type of folks who will try to overturn an election because of the cult leader they are following so strongly. They are like drug addicts who swear they aren’t addicted and get angry at loved ones who ask them to get help. We can’t really help them other than try to point out the error in judgment and then withstand their anger. They believe it’s OUR problem, like any cult member or addict. Graham, your response to “Tim” is very good.


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