I had some sad news in the mail today from my former publisher, Paladin Press, which sent letters to current and former authors saying they would be closing shop after 47 years in the publishing business. Another death-knell for small publishers in a world that values electronic convenience over the printed word. For anyone "of a certain age", particularly in North America, who has done martial arts for any length of time, it's hard not to remember the ads in martial arts magazines for their books and videos/dvds or to forget the legal troubles that they endured in the late 1990s when they were notoriously sued for publishing books said to have influenced some high-profile crimes in the USA. They survived that and, in more recent years, they tried to keep up to changing consumer demand by offering electronic downloads of their most popular films and publications through their website.
There's an Aesop's Fable about a King of the Bullfrogs trying to impress it's fellows by blowing itself up, bigger and bigger, to impress its subject amphibians after they described at length how big an ox was that had accidentally stepped on their nest. The King keeps inhaling more and more to try and seem larger than the descriptions it is hearing... until it bursts from its efforts to seem bigger. That Fable seems apt to me on days like today when watching many of the "experts" who have posted videos of themselves on sites like Youtube™. It's hard to avoid the feeling that many of them haven't bothered watching a lot of the clips of better experts to see what real taijiquan expertise [insert the Family style of your choice] looks like. Is it because they can't tell the difference between mediocrity and excellence or is because they refuse to see the difference between what they are advocating in their own clips and what is available around them? It also often seems to me that those with dozens or hundreds of clips on their channels are trying a little too hard to metaphorically blow themselves up in the viewers eyes.
43+ Years of Experience Training in the Chinese martial arts; 33+ years experience teaching taijiquan and 24+ years experience teaching baguazhang