Definition of Tao. From the Webster's college dictionary.,

Tao(dou, tou)n. [[Chin tao, (the) way]] 1 in Chinese philosophy and religion, esp, in Taoism, the central or organizing principle of the universe, moral life, etc.
2 the governing creative principle of an art, craft, or other pro fond activity.

It seems that everybody but a few are using the second definition which would be associated with MA, cooking, or running. These activities do not provide one the foundation in having a "moral life" like the first definition states.

People who practice the "way" understand that MA just provides the physical body that is needed to be able to sit in mediation long periods of time. MA is not a religion or a philosophy so it fits the second meaning of the "way".

Monks did not study MA to learn religion but instead used MA to build the body for the physical practices used in Taoism/Buddhism.

Here's a cool link