Hi Matt and everyone.
First Erie no amount of $$$$ makes me do anything, I've only taught for free for 30 years, which allows me to teach what and when I choose....
When I met Matt and the gang we were just getting to meet one another and I guess I did suggest a few thoughts on how I train.
What Matt saw as a trick (from a one time perspective) wasn't meant as one, just a tool to let someone feel when they're doing their technique incorrectly. I touched them and they fell out of balance, not because of my magic touch but because there was a structural flaw in their technique.
Done in a relative static situtation it looks like a trick, but if we were fighting and I saw that mistake and attacked against it, the results would be more dramatic, IMO.
The key isn't some great internal training, but that they have to actually do the technique as it was designed and the flaw isn't there, and the value of deep kata training is to work to eliminate those flaws at all times.
My knowledge began 15 years into my tai chi studies when my instructor did the same to me and then explained the framework he used (I've met several other instructors, with entirely different frameworks who do the same thing, for while their took kit approaches it differently, the body still works the same.)
In concept is is related to the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtYDJ_XDVRU
and the sanchin video. but then it's related to everything, even how you eat soup.
I can't explain something that must be experienced, but I can describe that you need to feel how weak a mistake leaves you (and the framework of the tool does that) and how much more powerful you are when you don't make that mistake.
Then constant drive to perfect movement and alignment result in increased power in your blocks, strikes and kicks. All external nothing internal in the least.
The flip side is with expanding undestanding you learn to see mistakes in others and in turn can attack into those mistakes instead of just blasting away blindly.
It also allows you to form evaluations of anyone's performance from an objective standard. A black belt performing a form with a mistake that can be exploited must be lower in score, nothing subjective from your point of view.
The 'trick' Matt experienced is just the wakeup call that soemthing needs to be changed.
There is not one answer for one system, all methods of movement can be done more effective or less effective, and to my way of thinking more is better.
Matt, there is nothing magical about what I do, just trained effort, and a student working to the point you must explain it to them <GRIN>.
BTW with 30 years of tai chi behind me I find nothing internal about it. Never once has my instructor and I talked about Chi. The Chi experience exists in the experience of our effectiveness, but being personal cannot be shared outside of experiencing it